LYONS - When Matt Rooney walked into Spirit Hound Distillers after the flood waters subsided, he found a mess and a story.
"We had about two foot water lines in the insides and so we had a ton of damage and destruction here," Matt Rooney, president of Spirit Hound Distillers, said. "But, the barrel of rum survived."
A barrel of his aged, Mountain Bum Rum survived despite floating around on two feet of mud and muck. Despite its official name, this batch of liquor is now known as something else.
"Everybody's been asking when's the 'flood rum' gonna be ready, when's the 'flood rum' gonna be ready," Rooney said.
The 'flood rum' is now turning into a symbol of the town's survival from the massive September floods.
"We are far from fine and so in order to keep that momentum going, that's why we launched our 'flood rum'," Rooney said.
The tale has turned into a fundraiser for the Lyons Fire Department. Every penny of the first 25 bottles that are sold will go to help rebuild a fire station destroyed by the flood.
"Oh, I think it's great," Wendy Miller, Lyons resident, said. "We definitely need a new fire house."
Bottles 1-25 are part of silent auction going on through New Year's Eve or they're being sold for a minimum of $100. Bottle #1 sold for $1,000.
"The fire department - throughout the flood for about four days straight - they didn't sleep," Rooney said. "We really just want to help them out."
Rooney hopes to raise at least $5,000 for the fire department. He says people from all over Colorado had bid on the bottles.
"Now, I'm gonna cry, see," Miller said. "A tighter stronger community and that's a real blessing. It could've disintegrated."
After bottles 1-25 of the Mountain Bum Rum are sold, Rooney will take part of the proceeds of the remaining 300 bottles and donate that to the fire department, as well.
"We're just beginning our recovery phase," Rooney said. "So, it is on everybody's mind."
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)