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Traditional Moonshine + Modern Twist

3 Hundred Days Distilling:

Mike Girard, owner of 3 Hundred Days Distilling, spent more than 22 years in the military as a bomb technician. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan disarming and dismantling bombs to help protect his brothers in arms. As an explosive ordnance disposal (OED) tech, Girard was highly trained in the chemistry of bomb making to better assist in his efforts. This knowledge eventually came in handy, but for a very different application.

Ingenuity in Action

During deployments, he often had downtime between action. Alcohol wasn’t available and Girard overheard others talking about turning their pallets of A&W Root Beer into hooch. He was inspired to create an experiment to see if he could make a working still.

For training purposes, Girard had in his possession a dismantled IED made out of an old pressure cooker. He scavenged the base for materials and also sourced copper tubing and a hot plate. Using A&W Root Beer, distiller’s yeast, and his newly constructed still, Girard set about distilling his first batch of moonshine. Using available test equipment, he confirmed that what he had created was indeed alcohol.

Colorado Influence

Once home, Girard continued to try new recipes. He also began researching the history of Colorado Moonshine. He discovered that in the days of prohibition, moonshine was made with beet sugar, one of Colorado’s largest cash crops at the time. They also used baker’s yeast–not distiller’s yeast. The secret to keeping the yeast happy and healthy is a rather odd nutritional ingredient: tomato sauce.

Girard embraced the idea of creating traditional Colorado moonshine, but with a modern twist. The beet sugar is locally sourced out of Ft. Morgan, Colo. As another nod to Colorado, Girard chose the name 3 Hundred Days of Shine, 3 Hundred Days Distilling, referring to the State’s abundant sunshine.

Moonshine Success

Eventually, Girard’s moonshine caught the attention of some local investors. They helped him open his first commercial distillery, bar and tasting room, located in Monument. His distillery was so successful that he turned a profit in the first year and has been in the black ever since.

“The best part of this business is that it employs and sustains my entire family," Girard says. "I lost so much time with them while I served and am now so lucky to be surrounded by them every day.”

The modern twist that Girard applies to his traditional moonshine is the numerous recipes using all natural ingredients, which has resulted in several award-winning styles. He also makes a barrel-aged moonshine that is strikingly similar to high-quality whiskeys and bourbons. Whatever your preferred flavor profile, there is a moonshine to please your pallet.

Website: https://www.3hundreddays.com/
Instagram + Facebook: @3HundredDaysOfShine

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