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Radiologist Adds Smooth, Spirited Sideline

June 28, 2013
Written by: , Filed in: Gastrointestinal Imaging
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Bryan Nolt, MD, put his medical training to double use. He learned how to be a radiologist, and he learned how to make whiskey.

Dr. Nolt, 42, practices in Pueblo, Colorado. He’s been a fan of whiskeys—particularly Scotch whisky—since his college days in Kansas. A few years ago, while talking with a doctor friend during a fishing trip about what he’d like to do besides practice medicine, he realized that wanted to make whiskey. Not as a hobby. As a business.

After all, he told the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper:

I already knew how to distill from organic chemistry.

In 2010, he opened the Breckenridge Distillery. Just one year later, Breckenridge Bourbon won a gold medal in the International Wine & Spirit Competition in Surrey, United Kingdom. The distillery also makes vodka, bitters, and such seasonal concoctions as spiced rum. The products are distributed nationally, and the company is working on quadrupling its output to keep pace with demand.

Dr. Nolt hired California master distiller Jordan Via to oversee production. But the doctor also likes to “tinker” with the product and processes himself. “We do everything in the lab,” he said. “We have an apothecary, really. There’s a lot of science and art behind it.”

More than one major company has offered to buy the business, but Dr. Nolt isn’t interested. “It’s tough to think about selling because I don’t like what they do,” he said. “This is more to me. I want to do things the right way.”

His two businesses complement each other, he said:

When you’re in medicine, you’re very rigid. You need something else. You have to have a focus somewhere. It’s an easy transition for me.

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What happens when you lie about a letter? When it’s a Food and Drug administration denial-of-clearance letter and you’re CEO of an imaging company, you can get charged with fraud. For details, see our Facebook page.

Related CME seminar (up to 59.25 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™): National Diagnostic Imaging Symposium™ (includes gastrointestinal radiology)


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