Check out the latest from Artisan Spirit Magazine here!
Check out the latest from Artisan Spirit Magazine here!
IN COLORADO, we don’t spend much time discussing which nightclub has the best chance of rubbing shoulders with big-name celebrities. In fact, to most of us, the word “celebrity” brings to mind only two things: 1) an old Denver bowling alley our parents still talk about, and 2) John Elway. Here in the Centennial State, we prioritize adventure and craft culture. Maybe it’s the 14,000-foot peaks or the locally made spirits, but our priorities are a bit different.
Montanya Distillers is nestled high in the Rocky Mountains at 9000 ft. in the charming town of Crested Butte, Colorado. Their high alpine location makes great sense for making rum, since the altitude positively affects almost every aspect of fermenting, distilling and aging rum and they heat their building with their stills. Their non-GMO sugar cane comes from family farmers in Louisiana, who grow and mill for us. The water comes from one of the purest spring and snowmelt charged aquifers in the USA. The Montanya Rums are made by hand, from scratch, in a very traditional way using alembic copper pot stills from Portugal.
Colorado may be landlocked, but island-inspired Adrift Tiki Bar in the Speer neighborhood manages to deliver a slice of beachside heaven. That’s especially true now that the serene enclosed patio is open for the season, with its brilliant hula dancer mural (by Denver graffiti artist Jolt), grass-hut awnings, and piping-hot lava rock fire pit. Nothing pairs better with patios than cocktails, and you’ll definitely want to soak up the warm weather with Adrift’s macadamia nut chi-chi in hand.
The spirits industry is only starting to catch up when it comes to addressing the issues posed by climate change, so when I heard about a 100 percent wind-powered rum distillery I wanted to know more, especially when I learned that the rum distillery was in Colorado of all places.
Leaving a desk job behind to open your own business, go back to school, or make any other dramatic career change is a fantasy nearly everyone has. For most, these dreams will never be realized, but there are some who do manage to successfully remake their livelihoods—in fact, it’s a common story in the distilling industry.
No self-respecting mountain biker has ever needed an excuse to tackle the miles upon miles of singletrack sweetness that is Crested Butte, Colorado. Now there’s even more reason to load up the roof rack and make the pilgrimage: The premier mountain biking demo event in North America is coming to Crested Butte this summer when the famed Outerbike festival summer goes down here August 18-20, 2017. If you aren’t yet familiar with the phenomenon that is Outerbike, get ready to be blown away.
When the lifts shut down in America’s mountain towns, out come the flip-flops, microbrews, and inner tubes. For a real recharge this summer, spend some time at altitude.
(Photo Credit: itsaberglund.com)
Park City, Utah
The outside world may associate Park City with glitz – the Sundance Film Festival, luxe ski resorts, restaurants helmed by big name chefs – but ask locals what they love most and it's sure to be the trails. The hills that surround town hold an unprecedented 400 miles of loops, networks, and connector trails for hiking, trail running, or biking. Best of all, the easy-to-access trails virtually bring the Wasatch Range to you and then drop you off back by quirky Main Street.
Making spirits sounds like a glamorous job, but people find out pretty quickly it’s often a harder career to maintain than most regular desk gigs. Aside from actually creating the juice that goes into the bottle and running an operation with all kinds of daily challenges, one of the hardest parts of producing a whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy, rum, liqueur or agave distillate is finding a way to showcase it and build brand awareness. For the past 11 years, Dave Schmier has been providing independent brands a means of exhibiting their products at the Indie Spirits Expo, which takes place in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. As the founder of Orange V Vodka and Redemption Whiskey, Dave is intimately familiar with the inner workings of brand building.
Award recognizes Montanya as the U.S. rum to watch in Europe.
has named Montanya Distillers’ Oro rum 2017 USA Rum of the Year. Montanya is a craft rum distillery out of Crested Butte, Colo. that uses old-world artisan traditions, combining science with art.
Crested Butte, Colo., May 10, 2017 – The Berlin International Spirits Competition has named Montanya Distillers’ Oro rum 2017 USA Rum of the Year. Montanya is a craft rum distillery out of Crested Butte, Colo. that uses old-world artisan traditions, combining science with art. Its Oro rum is distilled from raw Louisiana sugarcane and aged for 12 months in an American Oak Barrel, which previously aged Colorado Whiskey. Montanya’s rum uses only four natural American ingredients: non-GMO sugar cane, mountain spring water, yeast, and a touch of caramelized Rocky Mountain honey. Oro has hints of caramel, black pepper, chocolate, red chili, vanilla, and coffee. Unlike many dark aged rums, Oro never receives molasses caramel or artificial colorings/flavorings.
The Berlin International Spirits Competition has named Montanya Distillers’ Oro rum 2017 USA Rum of the Year. Montanya is a craft rum distillery out of Crested Butte, Colo. that uses old-world artisan traditions, combining science with art. Its Oro rum is distilled from raw Louisiana sugarcane and aged for 12 months in an American Oak Barrel, which previously aged Colorado Whiskey. Montanya’s rum uses only four natural American ingredients: non-GMO sugar cane, mountain spring water, yeast, and a touch of caramelized Rocky Mountain honey. Oro has hints of caramel, black pepper, chocolate, red chili, vanilla, and coffee. Unlike many dark aged rums, Oro never receives molasses caramel or artificial colorings/flavorings.
Karen Hoskins of Montanya Distillers shares her thoughts on diversity and equal opportunity in craft distilling.
Boulder’s reputation for having a competitive restaurant scene provides us with so many opportunities to experience good-spirited, albeit heated competition. Movers and Shakers, a competition focused on naming ‘Boulder’s Best Cocktail,’ has been influential in ranking some of our city’s best since 2013. This year, Montanya’s Plantino Rum was the spirit inspiration for Boulder’s best mixologists to create the most coveted drink, and thus, bar program, a huge point of distinction in such a competitive market. Each competitor also provided a ‘bite’ inspired by their cocktail and this year’s spirit. Creativity, presentation and balance were all under scrutiny from judges and citizens alike, and once again, Boulder’s best mixologists showed their ability to surprise and delight while competing at the highest level.
Rum is not something usually associated with Colorado's mountains, except maybe in the "hot-buttered" category. But Karen Hoskin and her husband Brice have changed all that.
The Hoskins started making rum in Silverton in the San Juan Mountains nine years ago and in 2011 moved their distilling operation to the West Elk Mountains and Crested Butte where they had room to grow the business. Since then, Montanya Rum has been racking up awards, helped put a spotlight on female distillers, and honored as a notable Colorado exporter.
With record-breaking snowfall amounts already this season plus a top of the line Nordic trail system, Crested Butte is a great winter destination for outdoor adventurers–especially snowshoers. And, its central location just a four hour drive from Denver makes it a great weekend getaway. Here are some tips to enjoy a great Crested Butte snowshoe vacation.
Crested Butte’s Main Street hosts a quaint collection of restaurants, bars, shops as well as giant snowdrifts thanks to epic early season snowstorms.
Hoskin will talk about the importance of coming together as an industry amid tremendous growth.
Karen Hoskin, president and co-founder of Montanya Distillers, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s American Distilling Institute (ADI) Craft Spirits Conference. This marks the first time a woman has been named the keynote since the conference’s inception in 2003.
The driving force behind Colorado’s robust craft distilling scene — now 80-plus strong — is whiskey. Sparked by the mash-recycling moonshiners at Stranahan’s who forged Colorado’s first microdistillery more than 13 years ago, Colorado has become the birthplace of Rocky Mountain Whiskey, a hand-crafted movement injecting youthful vigor into the centuries-old whiskey business.
Karen Hoskin is co-founder of Montanya Distillers, a Green America certified craft rum distillery located in Crested Butte, CO. She's a catalyst in promoting sustainability, diversity and equal opportunities in the distilled spirits industry. An in-demand wine adviser and educator, Marika Vida is Wine Director at The Ritz-Carlton Central Park in NYC.
Listen to the podcast here: https://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/?episode_id=28046468
A winding four-hour drive from downtown Denver, the ski town of Crested Butte is among the Rocky Mountains’ most elusive little enclaves. Local businesses of all colors line the streets—historic preservation guidelines prevent chain stores from settling in—and further expansion of the town is limited by local conservationist efforts. The resulting charm is less cookie-cutter than quirky, and for snowbirds who enjoy a side of culture with some of the steepest runs in North America, there’s no more idyllic adventure town in the west.