SF man turns passion into business plan

Posted at: 11/30/2012 5:52 PM
Updated at: 11/30/2012 7:08 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

When the economy took a downturn in 2009, a Santa Fe Architect closed down his firm and opened a distillery. His goal: To not just be the best in New Mexico, but to be the pre-eminent spirit maker in the entire southwest.

"It was kind of an idealist leap," Colin Keegan said. "We said 'the economy be damned we're going to do what we want to do.'" 

He was always interested in the art and history of whiskey making. He decided to engage his passion and start Santa Fe Spirits.

"It was a good time to get the buildings - you know - because the economy was down. And buying stills and equipment. So we took lemons and made lemonade I suppose - or whiskey even," he said.

Just as microbreweries were the trendy thing 20 years ago. Santa Fe Spirits isn't just hoing, they are banking that micro-distilleries will be one of the next big things.

Keegan sees it as part of a bigger national trend that includes people buying more locally.

"Each area has a unique spirit that lends itself to what's produced locally." Keegan sees it being a regionally motivated flavor. "The southwest we think goes very well with our gin. Which is all Santa Fe botanicals. We've got tria-cactus blossom in there. You just don't get that anywhere else in the country. And it gives it a specific flavor."

Keegan says currently there's only two other legal distillers in the entire state, and he's looking forward to more coming along. He said he thinks the competition will make it better for everyone.

"There's definitely room for us and plenty more," keegan said. "Having a drink at the end of the day is always a nice thing to do. And if you've got something different to try- why not give it a go?"

Click here to learn more about Santa Fe Spirits.