Arvada distillery with Irish roots expanding, raising capital

210314 Talnua 4 LR 17 scaled

Talnua Distillery operates at 5405 W. 56th Ave. in Arvada. (Courtesy Talnua Distillery)

Like any good whiskey, Talnua is getting better with age.

The only single pot still whiskey distillery in the United States, located in Arvada, is building a bigger tasting room and cocktail bar, aiming to more than triple production in a few years.

Patrick and Meagan Miller opened Talnua at 5405 W. 56th Ave. in 2019, but the distillery’s story began almost 10 years before that, when they tasted single pot still whiskey for the first time.

TalnuaHeadshots2022web 265

Patrick and Meagan Miller

“We got this taste of this amazing whiskey that had been mothballed and was introduced to the Irish market only that year,” Patrick Miller said. “We just happened to be kind of right place, right time.”

Traditional whiskey is made from 100 percent malted barley. Single pot still whiskey is made from malted and unmalted barley and distilled in copper pots. It took off in Ireland in the 18th century as a way to avoid the English malted barley tax. The unmalted barley makes for a spicier, velvety whiskey, Miller said. 

In the 20th century, however, a number of macroeconomic factors, including the American Prohibition, Irish Civil War and a trade war with Britain, left Ireland’s whiskey scene in shambles, essentially halting its production.

The Millers, who are both of Irish descent, found themselves in Galway in 2011 on their honeymoon. The newlyweds were sitting at a pub at eight in the morning to watch the rugby world cup when the pub received its first shipment of single pot still whiskey released in decades.

“We fell in love, whether it was the game, the atmosphere, the honeymoon, the whiskey or a combination of all,” he said. 

At the time, the Millers worked in the oil and gas industry. They returned to Ireland every year to find more and more single pot still brands returning to the market. 

“We kept coming home with suitcases full of whiskey,” Miller said. “This kind of ancient style of whiskey has been reborn in a very modern era.” 

The couple couldn’t shake the idea of bringing single pot still whiskey to the states. So, during an oil and gas downturn in 2014, Miller decided to take a distillery startup course in Breckenridge.

Miller then worked at Stranahan’s, where Robert Siegrist walked in. The two hit it off, and Siegrist mentioned he owned a building that needed a distillery tenant. The Millers decided it was now or never and opened Talnua in the 5,000-square-foot space while Siegrist joined as a partner.

Miller said they barely produced 100 barrels that first year. 

Since then, Talnua has added another 10,000 square feet. In 2023, the business produced 800 barrels a year and did $1.5 million in revenue. And the plan is to keep growing. 

Next month, Miller said, Maverick Beverage Co. will begin distributing Talnua whiskey around the state. Talnua is already in about 100 restaurants and liquor stores, thanks to Miller’s sister, Kristi Griffith, who up to this point personally delivered shipments. 

By winter, Miller said, Talnua will debut a new 2,500-square-foot tasting room with a 1,000-square-foot patio. Miller said the current tasting room, which is 800 square feet, will become a private event space.

To fund its expansion, Talnua is raising $7 million over the next five years, about $2 million of which is already accounted for. Miller said $250,000 will go toward the tasting room buildout, another $2 million for new equipment and the remaining cash will fund whiskey production. The plan is to produce more than 2,000 barrels a year by 2026.

While other distillers have made special edition single pot still whiskies, Talnua is still considered the only dedicated single pot still distillery in the United States. But Miller thinks the offering will eventually take off here as well. 

“People are being much more adventurous and wanting to know more about what else is out there,” he said. “People, one day, are going to find this story, where you have this style of whiskey that used to be the best-selling style of whiskey in the world. 

“We do this because we love our heritage, and we love this style of whiskey. We want to bring this story to the world.”

210314 Talnua 4 LR 17 scaled

Talnua Distillery operates at 5405 W. 56th Ave. in Arvada. (Courtesy Talnua Distillery)

Like any good whiskey, Talnua is getting better with age.

The only single pot still whiskey distillery in the United States, located in Arvada, is building a bigger tasting room and cocktail bar, aiming to more than triple production in a few years.

Patrick and Meagan Miller opened Talnua at 5405 W. 56th Ave. in 2019, but the distillery’s story began almost 10 years before that, when they tasted single pot still whiskey for the first time.

TalnuaHeadshots2022web 265

Patrick and Meagan Miller

“We got this taste of this amazing whiskey that had been mothballed and was introduced to the Irish market only that year,” Patrick Miller said. “We just happened to be kind of right place, right time.”

Traditional whiskey is made from 100 percent malted barley. Single pot still whiskey is made from malted and unmalted barley and distilled in copper pots. It took off in Ireland in the 18th century as a way to avoid the English malted barley tax. The unmalted barley makes for a spicier, velvety whiskey, Miller said. 

In the 20th century, however, a number of macroeconomic factors, including the American Prohibition, Irish Civil War and a trade war with Britain, left Ireland’s whiskey scene in shambles, essentially halting its production.

The Millers, who are both of Irish descent, found themselves in Galway in 2011 on their honeymoon. The newlyweds were sitting at a pub at eight in the morning to watch the rugby world cup when the pub received its first shipment of single pot still whiskey released in decades.

“We fell in love, whether it was the game, the atmosphere, the honeymoon, the whiskey or a combination of all,” he said. 

At the time, the Millers worked in the oil and gas industry. They returned to Ireland every year to find more and more single pot still brands returning to the market. 

“We kept coming home with suitcases full of whiskey,” Miller said. “This kind of ancient style of whiskey has been reborn in a very modern era.” 

The couple couldn’t shake the idea of bringing single pot still whiskey to the states. So, during an oil and gas downturn in 2014, Miller decided to take a distillery startup course in Breckenridge.

Miller then worked at Stranahan’s, where Robert Siegrist walked in. The two hit it off, and Siegrist mentioned he owned a building that needed a distillery tenant. The Millers decided it was now or never and opened Talnua in the 5,000-square-foot space while Siegrist joined as a partner.

Miller said they barely produced 100 barrels that first year. 

Since then, Talnua has added another 10,000 square feet. In 2023, the business produced 800 barrels a year and did $1.5 million in revenue. And the plan is to keep growing. 

Next month, Miller said, Maverick Beverage Co. will begin distributing Talnua whiskey around the state. Talnua is already in about 100 restaurants and liquor stores, thanks to Miller’s sister, Kristi Griffith, who up to this point personally delivered shipments. 

By winter, Miller said, Talnua will debut a new 2,500-square-foot tasting room with a 1,000-square-foot patio. Miller said the current tasting room, which is 800 square feet, will become a private event space.

To fund its expansion, Talnua is raising $7 million over the next five years, about $2 million of which is already accounted for. Miller said $250,000 will go toward the tasting room buildout, another $2 million for new equipment and the remaining cash will fund whiskey production. The plan is to produce more than 2,000 barrels a year by 2026.

While other distillers have made special edition single pot still whiskies, Talnua is still considered the only dedicated single pot still distillery in the United States. But Miller thinks the offering will eventually take off here as well. 

“People are being much more adventurous and wanting to know more about what else is out there,” he said. “People, one day, are going to find this story, where you have this style of whiskey that used to be the best-selling style of whiskey in the world. 

“We do this because we love our heritage, and we love this style of whiskey. We want to bring this story to the world.”

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