Wroe and Mei are hiking on Rabbit Mountain, Can’t Touch This retro cactus vintage novelty Shirt a popular outdoor entertainment district of Boulder County a few minutes from downtown Longmont, where Wroe and two friends are planning to open their distillery. . As they walked along, Mei accidentally stepped on a prickly cactus, so Wroe stopped to gently remove the thorn from her foot – and an idea began to take shape.
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For several months, Wroe and Dry Land co-founders Aaron Main and Marc Staats were brainstorming ways to create a unique version of tequila or mezcal, delicious Mexican spirits made from agave. , a succulent type. “I was sitting there, frustrated, plucking thorns out of her mat and I liked, ‘Cactus has something to do with agave. And it’s all over Colorado, ”Wroe said. “That’s when I realized we were thinking about all the mistakes. Maybe we missed the obvious. ”
That fateful and quintessential moment of Colorado caused Wroe, Main, and Staats to begin experimenting with creating a spirit out of native prickly pear cactus. It’s a complicated and painful process – literally, because at first they harvest cacti by hand – ultimately resulting in something unique and delicious.
First, the Can’t Touch This retro cactus vintage novelty Shirt team has to find out whether prickly pear cactus can be fermented, one of the first steps in the distillation process. They tested a few small blocks in the basement of Wroe’s Longmont house, which led to some creative nicknames from his kids. “Sure, we were able to create a really green fermentation that looks like a grain, which the kids immediately nicknamed” dog snot “, he said.
The trio expanded into larger test batches, purchased a large smoking machine from the Scout camp in Pueblo, and began to smoke cacti through mesquite. (Because there aren’t any commercial cactus growers in Colorado, Dry Land sourced plants from Texas and California.) Next, they had to find a way to remove the blackened cacti to make them usable. for the rest of the distillation process; they broke some grinders and food processors before knowing that the wood chipper was the right tool for the job. The resulting cubes are then cooked in a crushed mixture into a thick greenish-black liquid, which is fermented and distilled.