By Caitlin Switzer
RIDGWAY—It’s a recipe for success of a slightly different kind. Take two busy, highly-educated professionals, combine with the right space and some great spirits…and step in for a taste experience unlike any you have had before.
Ridgway’s Trail Town Still, the irreverent and wildly popular destination distillery at 240 Palomino Trail in Ridgway, was created by longtime local veterinarian Dr. Joe Alaimo and educator and computer expert Melissa Wright.
“Melissa and I wanted to have a business together,” said Alaimo. “We looked at a lot of different kinds of businesses, from ice cream to an RV park. Finally, we noticed that every time we discussed starting a business, we were in a brewery or a distillery.”
Today, Trail Town Still is known for its vodka, whiskey, gin, rum and Agave liquor. Vodka is by far the hottest seller, and is featured in many of the mixed drinks created at the Trail Town Still. The still itself was made by hand, according to the web site, and the use of local produce is emphasized. “The painted lady (raspberry lemonade and vodka) is really, really popular,” Alaimo said. “And our whiskey is doing very well too—it’s very light. Almost everyone who likes beer likes our whiskey. We make whiskey sours and old-fashioneds, and we make our own ginger ale too.”
Wright and Alaimo strive to make Trail Town as comfortable as possible, and have gained a following not only with the thousands of tourists who come through Ridgway during the summer months, but with Ouray County residents. Trail Town Still, which can accommodate around 30 guests, has welcomed numerous wedding parties in recent months, thanks to its “casually upscale” ambience.
“We do see a lot of tourists, but we have a really strong local following,” said Alaimo, who has called Ridgway home for the past 13 years. “Anyone who just wants to come in and talk can find me here just about every day.”
Trail Town Still is located in Ridgway’s Trail Town business district, and is open from 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. The phone number is 970-626-3060.