Thirsty? Owners of a whiskey distillery want to expand operations to the Historic District at Chaffee Crossing. The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) approved the $675,000 sale of Building 339 and 5.32 acres to Axe and the Oak Distillery.
Colorado Springs-based Axe and the Oak Distillery was formed by three whiskey aficionados and friends — Jason Jackson, Casey Ross and Eric Baldini – in 2013 in Colorado. After three months in the barrel, Axe and the Oak’s Colorado Mountain Bourbon Whiskey took Silver at the Denver International Spirits Competition. Since then, Axe and the Oak has gone on to win over 40 awards across the world, the website states.
Ross said Oct. 20 the company will expand its production and building a distillery and tasting room in Chaffee Crossing. The
“We have a distillery in Colorado Springs. This is just an expansion for us. We are going to keep things going strong in Colorado Springs,” Ross said. “We’ll be making bourbon, rye, vodka and gin – all the fun stuff.”
Ross did not have estimates on cost of the construction or when construction would begin, but said once completed, they would expect to employ 10 to 20 with salaries in the $35,000 to $65,000 range.
He said they hoped to open the distillery in the first or second quarter of next year.
According to IBISWorld, there were 740 whiskey distilleries in the U.S. in 2022, up 15.4% compared with 2021. New York has the most distilleries at 70, with California being home to 68 and Colorado having 64. IBISWorld also estimated that U.S. distilleries paid $4.3 billion in wages in 2022, up 5.5% compared with 2021.