Carbondale Distiller Offers Spirits and Sustainability
Entrepreneur of 2019 finalist Connie Baker also has guest rooms above the stills
Connie Baker, co-founder and head distiller
Marble Distilling Company/Carbondale
Consider 1.8 billion BTUs. That’s enough to heat 20 homes for a year.
It’s also the amount of heat recycled annually at Marble Distilling in Carbondale. “We’ve got a closed-loop system,” Baker says. “We have a lot going on in that department.”
She highlights a goal of going from a net-zero energy user to net-negative, “so we’ll be giving back to the grid.” An upcoming installation of 32 kilowatts of solar should do the trick.
Of course, all those BTUs have a cool backstory: They were involved in the distillation of Marble’s ever-expanding catalog of whiskeys, vodkas and liqueurs.
The triticale grain-based Fightin’ Whiskey and Moonlight EXpresso coffee liqueur both medaled at the 2019 World Spirits Competition in San Francisco. Many ingredients are local, including grain from the Nieslanik family’s farms just a half-mile from the distillery. “That’s a really great relationship,” Baker says.
It’s not just about award-winning spirits and sustainability; Baker is also in the hospitality business, with the boutique Distillery Inn offering five slick rooms for overnight guests above the stills.
Bookings were up roughly 10 percent from 2017 to 2018, despite low snow and wildfires. “I’m feeling pretty good about that number,” Baker says.
For 2019, the focus is on “laying down as much whiskey as we can,” she says. “That market is a really hungry market.”