Jake Norris has been a key player in the emerging industry of micro-distillation. As one of the founding partners of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey his work has been on the vanguard of the industry redefining quality and innovation in the industry. Norris revolutionized whiskey production by employing the use of a sanitarily fermented wash rather than a traditional open air fermented mash resulting in a much smoother more flavorful whiskey. His accolades include American Distilling Institute – 2008 Gold Medal Malt Whiskey, American Distilling Institute – 2006 Best Of Show, Best Small Batch Whiskey In The World 2009 – Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, Artisan Whiskey Of The Year 2009 – Malt Advocate Magazine, 6 Liquid Gold Awards – Whiskey Bible 2010, Best Small Batch micro distilled whiskey – Whiskey Life 2009.
When Norris is not making world class whiskey he spends his time as an amateur chef and perusing his original love, music.
Norris will often ‘stage’ with local chefs in Denver to keep his creative juices flowing. “I love to get away and get in to a kitchen somewhere and just cook. It is so cathartic. I really enjoy designing a special and then watching people enjoy it. It is something totally different than whiskey making but every bit as enjoyable.” “ I have always dreamed of a small restaurant or food truck to explore my passion for food, but I have my plate full with distilling right now”
Born in remote West Virginia in a subsistence farming community, Jake Norris has a built in connection to the earth. He gardens, and is active in Denver Urban Gardens and local Slow Food groups.
Jake Norris grew up in music, as the son of a traditional western musician. His father Tony Norris, makes his living playing guitar and telling stories to audiences across the southwest. Norris went to school to be a producer, but chose to pursue his love of distillation rather than spend his time in a recording studio. “I love music but there is a definite potential for burn out when working in the studio. I would rather use music as a release rather than a career.” Norris Plays the guitar and sings preferring classic country and honkey tonk. “Old country just sounds right, I listen to all kinda of music but when I pick up a guitar, I want to play old honkey tonk.” When asked about his ability, he quipped “lets just say that Im a better distiller than I am a guitarist.”