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Local pairs wine, whiskey

John Colson
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times
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George Stranahan and Jesse Graber thought it might be nice to grab a space at the Food & Wine Classic this weekend to showcase their new product, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey.But things just didn’t work out that way.

Stranahan said he called up the organizers and asked if they’d mind making room for a locally concocted whiskey operation, and while they were at it, why not change the name of the annual festival to “Food, Wine & Whiskey”?”They said $8,000 to the former and no to the latter,” said the Woody Creek rancher, Flying Dog beer creator and whiskey seller, somewhat ruefully.”Goddammit, whiskey goes with food and sex,” he said.

After a quick consultation with his master whiskey-maker, Graber, the pair decided, “the hell with spending $8,000 to be in their tent,” Stranahan said.So they called The Red Onion, Aspen’s oldest continuously operating saloon and restaurant, “and they said, ‘Fine, come on down,'” Stranahan said.

The result was a series of “introductory” events at several area establishments. It began Wednesday and continues today from 3-5 p.m., and again from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Red Onion. It concludes Saturday at the patio of Takah Sushi, opposite Wagner Park (site of Food & Wine), from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and from 9 p.m. until “whenever,” according to Graber.Stranahan said he has not talked with Food & Wine again, “nor have they called us back, begging.”As for his latest career move, Stranahan said making and selling whiskey “is about as much fun as you can have with your hands above the table” and that it “may be my last project involving alcohol.”


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