Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

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March 15, 2013
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Hey, Spike! reads a liquored-up Midwest blog

They came from the Midwest on vacation to ski and ride The Summit. They went sightseeing. They dined out. They drank alcohol. They had a great time.

So, what's new?

Millions of skier days are racked up here annually doing it all.

The difference?

This time "they" went home and blogged about it on their family liquor store website.

All positive. Whew!

"They" are Louis Dachis and Sara Marishah Steinberger of Minneapolis. Louis' family owns Merwin Liquors, which has three retail discount locations there, and online ordering with nationwide shipping.

Merwin Liquors got its start "before the television set." Today, Louis, 43, is an owner and the president.

The highlight of their visit here, where Sara's dad, Jim Steinberger of Logansport, Ind., has a condo in Frisco's Bear's Den, was a tour of Bryan Nolt's Breckenridge Distillery, home to award-winning spirits.

Louis penned this opening line on his blog:

"Just next to the Breckenridge Ski Resort sits a teeny, tiny rustic cabin where every single bottle the Breckenridge Distillery produces is born. I was a bit astounded pulling up to the place since we've sold quite a lot of their whiskey (and quite a few cases of vodka and bitters as well). I expected at least a warehouse with a smokestack or two."

Then Louis goes on to blog:

"Instead, you're greeted by a 1968 Land Rover that was imported from New Zealand and rebuilt by the fella running the still - Bryan Nolt. If you're not already doubled over with altitude sickness, the back of the Rover confirms what your lungs already know - you are about to visit the 'world's highest distillery.' At a gasping 9,600 feet above sea level, Breckenridge Distillery earns the title and is probably the first distillery I've walked INTO a little light-headed.

"They claim the distillery is 4,000 square feet, but the day we visited things were a bit torn up due to a remodel of the tasting room. While this probably exaggerated the diminutive feel, it's worth noting that the area affected was a non-production area. This place is small and fortunately their product line reflects the benefit of being small through a focus on quality. Everything here starts with water. Snowmelt to be exact," is Louis' descriptive prose.

Louis' and Sara's experience had them quite pleased with the distillery's product lineup, which resulted in a few purchased bottles of whiskey, vodka and rum.

Noting that our mountain water is a main ingredient, Louis describes the vodka this way:

"I swear to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that when you open a bottle of their vodka, it smells just like snow."

All in all, Louis and Sara had a great time here, and at the distillery.

"We were blown away how such a small operation could produce so many incredible spirits," says Louis.

Louis' blog link:

http://www.shopmerwins.com/buy-breckenridge-liquor-online.html

In an added note, Sara will graduate with a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin in May.

***

And writing of coming and going, we note with sadness - but happiness for her - that Sandy Greenhut is moving to Phoenix.

The political and arts activist moved out here from South Bend, Ind., in 1984 and bought a home in Summerwood.

She wants to be warmer and closer to her offspring and grandchildren.

A bye-bye open house is set for Thursday, March 21, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the Backcountry Brewery.

***

Hey, Spike! and Mary recently skied Monarch Mountain near Salida with son mfpv, a telemarking patroller/emt there.

That day had seen 30-plus inches of fluffy powder attracting 'hounds from all over the region.

We joined sisters-in-law Judy Staby Hoch of Salida and Kathie Staby of Plymouth, Minn.

Spike started skiing there in 1959.

On one lift ride up, we were joined by Jamie DeLuccio of Fairplay, a snowboarding mom of two youngsters. She loves Monarch.

Jamie owns Open Sky Yoga and Doula Services over in South Park.

mfpiv and mfpv ("four" and "five" down there) ended the day chatting with other patrollers in the shack at the top of Panorama Lift. Sweet.

***

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran,

former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-

winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social-biz info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.


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The Summit Daily Updated Mar 15, 2013 01:01AM Published Mar 15, 2013 12:57AM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.