Founded in 2016, DV8 Distillery initially launched its distillery to create a variety of rice-based and gluten-free spirits, including vodka, gin, whiskey, flavored vodkas and liqueurs. While the distillery’s unconventional approach to alcohol continues to grow, it was the eccentric, safe-space, inclusive atmosphere that paved a new era for the queer community in Boulder, Colorado. DV8 Distillery not only makes unique alcohol but creates immersive experiences and hosts a variety of themed events throughout the year. Each event aims to celebrate differences, create authentic relationships and express yourself free of judgment.
“DV8 Distillery is a lifestyle, community and distillery company all wrapped up in one. ‘DV8’ sprouted from the word deviant and is for those who don’t fit in, feel out of place or have been marginalized by society,” said Rawley Gunnels, co-founder of DV8 Distillery, in a press release. “DV8 Distillery encompasses being spanked for the first time (with consent), dancing without restraint and making friends who care more about your well-being than who you sleep with, where you’re from or what mistakes you’ve made. DV8 Distillery is home for those who don’t have one and a community for those who didn’t know they needed one.”
Community is of utmost importance to DV8 Distillery, so it comes as no surprise that their events help build a community unlike any other in the Boulder area. From smaller, more intimate events such as Drag Bingo, to larger, electric events such as their Dance ‘Til You Glow parties, their approach to social nightlife is one that was lacking in Boulder.
“We initially wanted to create a space where we, the founders, felt comfortable and had an unlimited ability to express ourselves- Boulder seemed like the perfect home for our quirky lifestyle,” says Johnathan Tilley, co-founder of DV8 Distillery. “We wanted to bring queer pride to Boulder and provide a space where our community can flourish. Our events bring people together. They allow people to raise their freak-flag high and be surrounded by others who cheer as they do so.”
With a combined supportive community and a diverse scene, it is the perfect cocktail for hosting events, gatherings and providing the public with a place they can call home. “We are not only a lifestyle community, but we are a community bonded through real-life situations and pride ourselves on it. Whether you need to let loose, talk through your pain or just have someone listen, we are here and want to be your safe space.”
DV8 Distillery is open online and in-store for alcohol sales and events. Follow along at dv8.fun and @dv8distillery.