Karen Hoskin ‘86 left the comforts of her rural Maine milltown in the fall of 1985 and arrived on Proctor’s campus as a first year senior. Familiar friends, coaches, and family, were replaced by countless unknowns, but she was confident the journey on which she was about to embark would change her life. She was right. As her 30th Proctor Reunion approaches, Karen reflects on her journey since Proctor; one that led her to Williams College, to working in an enlightening, albeit unsuccessful, political campaign, to living off the grid with her husband for ten years, to a successful career as a brand builder, and most recently, to starting her own craft distillery in Crested Butte.  

In 2008, Karen and her husband, Brice, decided to take a chance starting a craft distillery. Brice had already started his own business, Mountain Boy Sledworks, and their instincts told them the time was right for Karen to make her vision a reality. She notes, “Brice and I almost began a craft brewery in 1991, but didn’t pull the trigger. When we got the same instincts about the craft distillery market, I told myself, ‘I’m not going to miss the train this time!’ Everything we felt instinctively right about the craft distillery world has come to fruition.” Their company, Montanya Distillers, was an early player in this space, and their award winning rum has experienced remarkable 35% growth each year in a traditionally slow growth market. They now have two locations in Crested Butte and distribute to 42 states and seven countries around the world.