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Celebrating 6 years of Montanya Rum

Blooming Where We Are Planted

Blooming Where We Are Planted

By Karen Hoskin

Three-and-a-half years ago, the Hoskin family pulled up every stake we had set down over a decade and relocated two adults, two children and two companies to Crested Butte. In transit, we looked like the Clampetts of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” except Granny and Jed didn't come along and our dog passed away on the eve of our departure.

We made five trips with an overloaded trailer for the house and some immeasurable number of trips from Silverton with the equipment, supplies and inventory of Montanya Distillers and Mountain Boy Sledworks (the latter company we sold in August 2012). The trailers had stills and sleds, skis and bikes poking out in all directions. It was, we knew from the first moment we unpacked in Crested Butte, one of the best decisions of our lives.

Karen and Brice Hoskin and Montanya's bottling warehouse

Karen & Brice Hoskin

Today, Montanya Distillers occupies two commercial buildings (5,200 square feet in total) in Crested Butte and has grown our rum sales from distribution in 15 states in the USA to distribution in 39 states and 5 countries overseas. Visits to our tasting room and bar have increased by thousands of people every year just by being on the main street of downtown. We played a game of hopscotch on Elk Avenue trying to find the right building on the right block, but in November 2013 we settled in at 212 Elk Avenue.  We knew immediately it was going to be our HQ for a long time to come.

Montanya Rum Tasting Room in Downtown Crested Butte, CO

Tasting room at 212 Elk Avenue

We now employ 11 locals in year-round jobs and regularly engage five local companies to do our accounting, payroll, cleaning, plumbing, engineering and architecture.  Coming from Silverton, we knew it was luxurious to find so much talent in a tiny mountain town. This family of employees and subcontractors is one of our greatest pleasures because so many people tried to warn us it would be hard to find good people in a seasonal mountain town. We found not good people but great people to work with us at every level of our company. They give Montanya its joie de vivre every day.

Some folk said the town regulations would be hard to handle and navigate. Instead, we found a group of town employees and elected officials committed to local business development and willing to help us wade through the compliance that comes with any new and unusual business like a local distillery, Crested Butte's first.        

Our rum has now accumulated 18 gold and silver medals, as well as two Best in Class and a Distillery of the Year designation from some of the country's most well respected trade organizations. We hope to bring this pride home from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Crested Butte because Crested Butte contributes so much to making our rum great: incredible water, great people and ideal facilities. 

This month, we celebrate 6 years of making rum in Colorado.  Cheers to many more years to come and enjoy our many hand-crafted rum cocktail recipes, including The Hottanya below, which is perfect for the upcoming winter season.

Montanya's signature winter cocktail- the Hottanya

The Hottanya

2 to 3 Big Spoonfuls of Hottanya Mix (see recipe below)

3 oz. Montanya Oro Rum

Fill a mug with hot water, rum and Hottanya mix or warm together on stovetop to make piping hot. Stir, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Hottanya Mix 

1 quart Vanilla Ice Cream (use best quality available)

1 lb. Salted Butter 

1 lb. Brown Sugar 

1 lb. Confectioners Sugar

Soften ice cream and mix all ingredients in a blender or a bowl with a durable mixer. This makes a large batch that can be stored up to 4 months in a freezer.

 

Karen Hoskin is president of Montanya Distillers, which she owns with her husband, Brice. She plays a strong role in choosing distilling cuts and selecting spirits that are ready to bottle from the barrel and participates in and helps manage the bottling lines. She also handles national sales and marketing, product development, mixology and the busy rum bar. 

Photos: By Nathan Bilow

- See more at: http://www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/blog/blooming-where-we-are-planted#sthash.buyUla2H.WBwFIlcp.dpuf

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OFFICIALLY REOPENED IN OUR NEW CRESTED BUTTE LOCATION!

Okay, we promise, we are not moving buildings for at least another 5 years!  But when you see it, you will understand why it was worth the huge project we just undertook.  :)  

The new Distillery and Tasting Room at 212 Elk Avenue is a truly spectacular space.  Here are just a few of its attributes that we love and did not have in the Powerhouse:  concrete floors, sprinklers, a crawl space that you might want to live in (one electrician: "you could rent that out to a bunch of ski bums and they would love it!"), Cat5 wired in the walls, an alley, trash and recycling dumpsters out back, windows that get clean when you wash them, insulation, hood systems with warmed makeup air, a fire alarm system that sends you a text message, plumbing from this millennium...the list goes on and on and on.  We even have a children's play nook with toys, books and stuffies.  It just works. Come check it all out!  

We have a new giftstore with tons of cool merchandise like new t-shirts, glassware, flasks, recipe books, bar tools, some of our most popular cocktail housemade ingredients for sale, fancy tonic, ginger beer and other mixers, and more for all your holiday shopping pleasure.  You can even custom design a gift basket.  

Our new menu features new cocktails (Vesta's Brew, Rum Old Fashioned, The Hot Toddy Shot) and new appetizers (Crab Tostada, Tacos El Pastor, Polenta Red Pepper Stackers, Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers).

We are still open 7 days a week, 11am to last call at 9pm.  The stills are not quite fired up yet, hopefully before Christmas. Photos of the Distilling area coming soon.  Happy Holidays!!!    

   

 

 

 

 


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FUN News at Montanya Distillers - January 28th, 2013

DISTILLING, WEBSITE ADDITIONS, BOTTLING, and MUSIC!
It has been an exciting year at Montanya Distillers.  Not only did we grow 58.5% overall in 2012, but we also managed to put away more Oro and Platino rum than ever before into aging stock.  We began a Montanya Añejo rum which will be longer-aged than any rum we have aged/bottled before. We are not sure when it will be ready, but we'll let everyone know if and when we plan to bottle it.

We continue to enhance our distilling process for efficiency and quality.  Most recently, Brice Hoskin created a new heat exchange process by which we are able to use the spent wash from our stills to warm our fresh fermentations prior to distillation.  This means we use less heat to reach the temperatures needed to distill.  If you have visited our distillery, you will also have noticed the extent to which our stills, which run 6 days a week, provide heat for our Tasting Room and fermenters.  Just another way we are preserving natural resources every day at Montanya by capturing the heat in our process.

We have added two new webpages to our website: "BOOKING MONTANYA" is about how to reserve Montanya's Tasting Room and Distillery for special events, music, fundraisers, etc. We get a ton of requests for weddings and private parties, and this page helps to clarify what kinds of events are well suited to our space (and which are not).  The "UPCOMING EVENTS" page is about our 2013 national events schedule.  Check out where Karen and staff will be this year and what cool events we will be participating in here in CB and around the USA.  

We continue to pull in wonderful community members to help us on our bottling line!  Most recently, we have welcomed our friends Michael and Jen Brody of the Crested Butte Film Festival.  Not only are they a total blast, but they are fantastic help too!

We have a lot of great apres ski music coming up at Montanya in CB in February and March! The New Folk, Johnny Kongo Allstar Show, The Empty Bottle Blues Band, Bruce Hayes, Tony Rosario and more!  We'll keep you posted on Facebook and on tis blog as the final schedule comes together.  Join us!

 

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