Boulder restaurateur Bradford Heap has axed previously announced plans to open a distillery for spirits made from locally sourced ingredients.

Heap sent an e-mail this week to friends, colleagues and members of the press stating that he and Evan Faber, the beverage director at Heap's downtown Boulder restaurant Salt Bistro, have decided not to proceed with the craft distillery.

"While disappointed, I feel it's the right decision for me," Heap wrote. "I will proceed with all my energy to change consciousness around bringing food and animals to the table locally, seasonally and humanely."

In a subsequent phone interview with the Camera, Heap said the decision came after some soul-searching that led him to decide that spirits and a distillery "weren't really as aligned with my purpose as they needed to be."

Heap said the impetus behind his restaurants -- Colterra Food & Wine in Niwot, Salt in Boulder and a planned third restaurant that is in the works -- was to support local farmers and businesses while promoting healthy eating, sustainability and humane animal husbandry.

While locally sourced craft spirits fit partly in his business philosophy of "doing well by doing good," Heap said he felt it would not go far enough in "changing people's consciousness around food."

"The biggest part of it for me is asking people to invest in something that maybe I'm not going to be 100 percent proficient at or having knowledge around started feeling a little sketchy," he said.

Contact Camera Business Writer Alicia Wallace at 303-473-1332 or wallacea@dailycamera.com.