How a Volunteer Fireman Found Success In a Bottle

Stranahan's co-founder Jess Graber's passion for whiskey was born in a barnyard fire fight.
Entrepreneur Staff
Editorial Director
1 min read

Stranahan’s was the first legal whiskey made in Colorado and boasts a loyal drinker-ship that spans the globe. And with good cause: not only does Stranahan’s have an amazing origin story, it is also incredibly delicious.

I know because I was lucky enough to sneak into the barrel room at Stranahan’s Distillery in Denver and raise a glass (or four) with the entrepreneur behind this amazing brand, Jess Graber.

Related: 'Bar Rescue' Star Jon Taffer Shares the One Thing That Helped Him Find Success

In the above video, Mr. Graber explains how Stranahan’s came to be (spoiler: it involved putting out a fire in the barn of George Stranahan, founder and owner of Flying Dog Brewery) and how the company has expanded since they first started distilling in 2004.

Future whiskey entrepreneurs take note: distilling is harder than it looks, but by the ever-present smile on Mr. Graber’s face can attest, it sure beats being stuck behind a computer all day long.



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