Find your Ballmer Peak in Lakewood

Lakewood's own distillery to open in November


The “Ballmer Peak,” named after Steve Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, claims there is a relationship between blood-alcohol levels and the improvement of cognitive ability.

In Lakewood, the term “Ballmer Peak” also happens to be the name of a distillery that is opening up in the city.

“The Ballmer Peak is essentially a graph when your productivity goes down when you're drinking, and then it spikes, and then goes back down to nothing. That little spike is known as the Ballmer Peak,” said Eric Strom, a former web developer and co-owner of the upcoming Ballmer Peak Distillery. “If you get the joke, you get it. If not, it sounds like a really Colorado-y thing.”

Strom and his best friend Austin Adamson went through middle school and high school together in Arizona. Now, the two are preparing to open up the Ballmer Peak Distillery in Lakewood. The distillery will rest at 12347 W. Alameda Parkway, and the two hope to open up sometime in November.

The Ballmer Peak Distillery will be the only current distillery located in the city.

“We realized what an opportunity it is to provide this type of experience to this surrounding neighborhood. We want this to be a place where someone can say `this is made in my neighborhood',” said Adamson. “Hopefully we can bring in the local working crowd for happy hour where (spirits) are made in their backyard.”

Strom and Adamson have had an appreciation for whiskey for quite some time, but the idea to open up a distillery didn't hit the two until they ended up at a distillery after a brewery crawl around Golden. After back and forth talks, Strom and Adamson drilled out a business plan for their dream distillery.

“As we looked at how things are produced, we just fell in love with the industry and the creativeness around it,” said Strom.

When it comes time to open, Ballmer Peak Distillery will have five different spirits to choose from, including three rums, a white whiskey and an Australian inspired gin. Adamson has lived in Australia before, and he wants to use botanicals that are native to the country for the Australian gin.

The distillery's menu will have a variety of drinks to choose from like “Rum-DMC,” a drink made with silver and gold rum, pineapple juice, miso syrup and a splash of Australian style gin, and “Long Drink,” which contains a mix of gin, grapefruit juice, simple syrup and seltzer.

“A big goal for us is to be affordable, because I personally hate going out and spending $10 to $15 on a drink. We can be a neighborhood spot where you can come in and spend a night here, and you're not going to go bankrupt,” said Strom. “We're making this stuff because we think it's good, and we want people to try it.”

Ballmer Peak Distillery has already partnered with Lakewood's Old 121 brewery to develop sparkling sodas that customers can drink or spike with Ballmer Peak Distillery's spirits. Adamson said he is hopeful that the distillery can bring food trucks to Ballmer Peak Distillery as well.

“Colorado is one of the leading states in the craft brew and spirits industry, and Lakewood is a natural fit for the entrepreneurs leading that industry. We've had great success with several breweries in town, and Ballmer will be an excellent addition to our business community,” said Robert Smith, Lakewood's economic development director.


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