Exactly a year ago on July 30, the Boot Hill Distillery opened their doors for the very first time. Since then, the distillery has seen a massive amount of success

“Our first year in business went incredibly well. Truthfully, I think it went as well as could be expected, if not better,” said Mark Vierthaler, marketing director for the distillery. “We are really excited to just celebrate the fact that we’re about to hit 1 year. We’re really just stretching our celebration across 2 days.”

Vierthaler says that the entire community is welcome to come and celebrate with them today and tomorrow, where they will be serving special cocktails.

“We’ve got that at a special price all through Dodge City Days at $6, it’s called Raise a Ruckus,” he said. “We’ll have longer hours (today) for Final Friday. Obviously we’re open from noon to 7 p.m., but we’re actually going to start the celebration at 7 instead of 8 p.m., and it’s going to go until 11 p.m. We’ve also got Haven Alexandria playing a set in the evening.”

According to Vierthaler, their specialty cocktail includes white whiskey, fresh orange juice and orange bitters topped with sarsaparilla. Additionally, the distillery will also be releasing their newest product today.

“Basically when the doors open at noon, we will have our Prickly Ash Bitters ready to go,” said Vierthaler. “We’re really excited, we’ve been working on that for about a year now. Basically we revived a bitters brand that has been dead for over 100 years, it went extinct in 1916. We tracked down the original recipe then kind of tweaked it up a little bit with the ingredients that are now available.”

According to Vierthaler, they have a special plan for their first distributed bottle of Prickly Ash Bitters.

“There was a gentleman at the museum’s 7th annual Boots and Beer auction who bid to have the first bottle,” he said. “We’ll bottle those up (today) and the first bottle that comes off we will label it ‘1 of 1.’ All the distillers are going to sign it and we’ll set that one aside for him.”

Vierthaler also added that they will be donating a dollar of each bottle of Prickly Ash Bitters sold to the Boot Hill Musuem.

After a lively celebration today, the fun will continue tomorrow.

“We are going to do something from 7 until 10 p.m. (tomorrow),” he said. “We’re going to have Guns on Mars performing live out on the patio. It’s a little laid back from the previous years, but we’ve just been working really, really hard for the past year to get where we are, we just want everyone to come in and help us celebrate it. There’s a lot of hardcore, raging parties going on for Dodge City Days and so we want to be a little breath of fresh air.”

The celebration will then carry on into the week, said Vierthaler.

“We’re going to be doing a week-long celebration that kind of ties in with Dodge City Days,” he said. “We’re going to be open next week Monday through Saturday, and we’ll also be doing tours during those days of the week at 1, 3 and 5 p.m.”

After a very busy year, Vierthaler says that he feels proud and accomplished.

“It’s so hard to choose just one thing because it really has been a massive success, like one after another,” he said. “We had an amazing opening weekend, then we had a massive amount of support when we released our first product in November. Shortly after that, we won our first national award for our vodka, then we got named best whiskey in Kansas at the Heartland Spirits festival.

“Also, while I was in New Orleans last week, I got an email saying that we had just won a bronze on the red eye whiskey, a silvery on the white whiskey and a gold on the vodka at the Washington Cup competition. Additionally, we were also a finalist for the Governor’s Award.”

Vierthaler also stated that they had just recently sent out their first shipment for distribution, which was one of their goals upon opening.

“I always tell people to keep an eye out because we are always releasing new stuff,” he said. “There are a couple of limited bottles that we think are going to roll out here pretty quick, so there’s a lot stirring up.”

Vierthaler then expressed his appreciation for the community’s endless support.

“The community has been great to us, they have been a massive support,” he said. “It’s the least we can do to just give back and invite people into our home. We figured what better way to celebrate 1 year than to do all these different things.”

For more information, visit the Boot Hill Distillery Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/boothilldistillery.

To contact the writer of this story, email egarcia@dodgeglobe.com.