2016 Media Highlights
Crested Butte might be overshadowed by fellow Colorado ski resorts Vail and Aspen, but offers some of North America's best skiing and outstanding powder snow. Beginners and intermediates can hog four-fifths of the mountain, while the other fifth has some of the most challenging inbounds runs in the world.
Whereas some people eschew offseason in resort towns, those who have taken advantage of the shoulder season know firsthand the beauty. The pace is low-key, the locals are relaxed and cheerful, and hotel rates are reasonable. Plus, there’s no waiting for tables at restaurants (a godsend when you have young kids), and the trails are nearly empty and sublimely peaceful. And so it went during a recent mid-October visit to Crested Butte.
New York City—more specifically the neon insanity around Times Square—may be the most popular tourist destination in the United States, but travelers don’t need to navigate the Big Apple to take home a memorable experience. America’s small towns have a lot to offer tourists, from lakeside picnics to golf with a view to carriage rides through cobbled streets.
It’s officially off season. While there may not be a much going on, there are some great specials on Food and Drink in the Crested Butte Off Season. Both the temperature and the number of people in town have noticeably dropped and the lifts won’t begin their test runs for weeks. Now is the perfect time to enjoy those shoulder season deals! Travel Crested Butte has put together a list of 4 Crested Butte Off Season Drinks and a Crested Butte Off Season Deals guide, plus I’ve added a few more to the list!
When the Still on the Hill Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival was created, the town’s local distillery was still in its infancy. With hopes of bringing more awareness to the craft spirits movement — as well bring more off-season business to the town — the festival was a way to shine a light on Breckenridge Distillery.
The weekend has come and gone, and with it the Fourth Annual DSTILL Showcase at the History Colorado Center. With a start time of 7 p.m. and over 40 craft distilleries to sample, it was no wonder Lyft was one of the event’s many sponsors.
While Colorado has long been known as a craft beer hub, over the past several years, it’s become fertile ground for small-batch distilleries, too. “Colorado has jumped from something like 30 distilleries to more than 50,” says Chuck Sullivan. Sullivan launched Dstill four years ago with two of Colorado's earliest champions of craft distilling, Rob Masters, founder of Rob's Mountain Gin and former president of the Colorado Distillers Guild, and Moose Koons of Peach Street Distillers and Rocky Mountain Soda Co..
Back in 2014, Crested Butte’s then-mayor Aaron Huckstep was very fortunate he didn’t spark a bloody, Arab Spring-like uprising among his citizenry — a Colorado Spring, if you will — after he and the town elders shamelessly whored out the city to Bud Light for $500,000.
Rum is synonymous with the Caribbean, evoking visions of tropical beaches and island breezes. After all, the hot, sunny climate of spots like Jamaica, Guatemala and Cuba is as perfect for growing the sugar cane required for making rum as it is for sipping a mojito.
But while the Caribbean is undoubtedly an ideal location for producing rum, it’s not the only region to consider when searching for a quality bottle. For something different, consider starting right here in the USA. America has been producing rum since colonial times, though the spirit has been often overshadowed by spirits like whiskey and gin.
In a state full of great destinations for outdoor adventure, Crested Butte, Colorado still manages to stand out. This small mountain town may only be home to 1500 residents, but it has a lot to offer travelers looking for an active escape. And surprisingly, it has plenty of great restaurants and night spots for when you're ready to unwind at the end of a busy day.
Although Prohibition put a damper on America’s ability to drink in the 1920s and 1930s, the recent emergence of craft distilleries has put drinking spirits back on the map. We searched high and low to find the coolest distilleries across the country to sip top-notch beverages. The distilleries on our list pride themselves on using organic and locally-sourced (when possible) ingredients to produce high-quality spirits ranging from classic whiskies to off-the-wall flavoured vodkas. Each can be savoured in the form of a tasting flight or mixed into a craft cocktail. No matter what you order, there’s nothing like tasting spirits straight from their source.
It’s a freezing February morning in Crested Butte, Colorado and scribbled “Powder Day” signs are swinging from the windows of the Main St shops.
Here, in the place Australian skiers and snowboarders have dubbed the “Byron Bay of the USA”, everything stops for the snow.
Few bat an eyelid when the local bar or taco shop shuts to sample an overnight dump.
For a week each July, New Orleans becomes the center of the booze universe as thousands of bartenders, distillers and enthusiasts (and your humble spirits columnist) descend upon the Big Easy for the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference. With its nonstop slate of seminars, pop-ups, cocktail dinners and parties, Tales is the best place to take the pulse of the cocktail world, and this year’s edition was no exception.
During a trip to the annual cocktail convention Tales of the Cocktail, held each July in New Orleans, I learned a thing or two about cocktail trends: Tiki cocktails are big, classic cocktails are hot and hospitality is in, so don’t take any guff from that attitudinal “mixologist” when he asks if you want to pay extra for artisanal ice in your cocktail. The bartenders I spoke to at Tales were adamant that bartending needs to recapture the spirit of hospitality that has sometimes been lost as craft cocktail culture has ascended.
Rum is quickly becoming a hugely respected spirit category all over the world. With a resurgence of historic distilleries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as a new crop of craft distillers in the United States, the sugar cane spirit is back. Lucky for most of us, it's still a relatively affordable category, so this list of the best rum under $40 is able to be fairly comprehensive.
We've included a variety of brands, from Jamaican mainstays like Appleton Estate to brand-new American rums like Montanya (distilled in Colorado) and Owney's (made in Brooklyn, New York). It's a truly global product, with each region, country, and city putting its own local spin on the recipe.
Today, American rum is undergoing a resurgence, with distilleries focusing on high-quality ingredients and traditional techniques. 10Best enlisted the help of a panel of spirits experts to nominate the 20 best craft rum distilleries in the nation. Our readers have spent the last four weeks voting for their favorites, and the results are in.
Many of these distilleries work in small batches using locally-sourced ingredients. Many are family-owned. Many painstakingly distill their spirits using a blend of traditional and modern techniques. All take pride in crafting the best rums available.
The spirits explosion is undisputed. Thanks to global cocktail love and the nonstop growth of spirits collectors in every category, from whiskey to Cognac, distillers can’t keep up with demand. As the established brands devise and revise production plans, the rise of local, small batch distilleries continues to proliferate not just in the U.S., but globally. “Craft distilling” is officially mainstream.
If rum were a friend of yours, it would be the fun one.
Unlike cognac, bourbon, scotch, and tequila, there are no universal regulations for the distillation or production of rum. This is awesome news for the adventurous drinker, who can enjoy the infinite creativity allowed by rum producers around the world. But it also means that being a savvy rum drinker requires a little more research, since there’s no one ensuring that what’s in the bottle is of the highest, uniform quality standard.
When it comes to summertime sipping, there is nothing — and I mean nothing — better than a cocktail made with fresh ingredients. The Little Nell’s Mountain Mojito fits the bill perfectly. Poured with precision by Nell chief mixologist Ricardo Leyvas, this unique twist on the standard mojito blends together fresh lime juice and blood orange purée with agave (no simple syrup here) and fresh mint. The mint — plucked as the drinks are being poured right from The Little Nell’s lush onsite garden summer — is both muddled in the drink and served as a garnish. It is, to quote Leyvas, “what a summer drink should be.”
Crested Butte is truly a mecca of mountain biking, and according to some it’s where it all began. The action dates back to the 1970's and it's been at the forefront of the sport ever since. Today Crested Butte remains atop every pedal head's bucket list. With hundreds of kilometres of trails - almost all accessible from town - there’s enough here to keep even the most avid mountain biker busy for weeks. Some of the more famous trails are the 401 Trail, Doctor Park, The Dyke, and Strand Hill.
Making distilled spirits is an ancient process, and for 21st-century craft distillers--currently there are about 1,000 of them in the U.S., according to the American Distilling Institute--everything old is new again. And profitable. ADI's annual survey estimates that craft sales moved about 2.4 million cases in 2015, about 40 percent more than the previous year. From 2011 through 2015, segment revenue grew more than 40 percent annually.
You could always get a stiff drink in Aspen, but the last decade has seen a revolution in the craft cocktail movement. The focus is on fresh, as in farm-to-glass; local, as in made just down valley; and innovative. Here’s your guide to the tastiest summer sippers in town, local barkeeps and Colorado’s top distilleries. Cheers!
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.
Although rum is often associated with the Caribbean, Montanya Distillers, a craft rum distillery located high in the Rocky Mountains, is breaking that notion. Using high elevation to its advantage, Montanya crafts flavors you can’t create at sea level.
Quality rum-based drinks in a picturesque mountain setting are what set Montanya Distillery apart from the other places on this list. They even have a rum tasting, for those who’d like to learn a bit more about their tipples before diving in.
Drink up! Delicious craft cocktails made with organic spirits are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than ever. Today’s trend of fresh fruit and herbs in the glass make craft cocktails more like a fragrant garden instead of an (artificially flavored) blue lagoon.
Although rum is often associated with the Caribbean, Montanya Distillers, a craft rum distillery located high in the Rocky Mountains, is breaking that notion and seeing a 35 percent increase year-over-year. Using high elevation to its advantage, Montanya creates flavors you can’t recreate at sea level and is expanding its presence in seven additional states. Montanya is now available in wider distribution in New York and New Jersey and recently entered Tennessee, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota ,and South Dakota, bringing total distribution to 44 states, plus seven countries.
From the desert to the mountains, here are seven spots where you can enjoy the springtime sun.
Situated in a stunningly beautiful high alpine valley at over 9,000 feet, Silverton, Colorado’s Victorian row houses seemed out of place. As the crew from CU Boulder’s Backcountry Club and I unloaded our bags into one of these beautiful aforementioned Victorian-era homes, I stared up valley at the craggy San Juan mountains and couldn’t wait to ski them.
If your vacation plans include my fair state of Colorado, be sure to stop in Crested Butte at the Montanya Distillery. Karen and Brice Hoskins, and their great staff, offer daily tours, tastings and a full rum bar with artisan cocktails, appetizers and small plates. While you are there you can purchase a bottle of Montanya Exclusiva, a limited release only available in Colorado as of October 2015.
Brice Hoskin’s wife, Karen, claims that he has to always have something that he’s designing, inventing, creating, or making. “We call them Brice Devices,” Karen laughs. Together, Brice and Karen produce award-winning batches of rum as Montanya Distillers on Elk Avenue.
Producers of three craft distilled rums made at 9,000 feet, Montanya Distillers brings beachy cocktails to the mountains. Using sugar cane from Louisiana, the rums are aged in white oak barrels that previously held Colorado whiskeys.
This list of the Best Restaurants in Crested Butte for Families is a great reference for local and visiting parents. Crested Butte is well known for having fantastic dining option ranging from awesome pizza joints to five star french cuisine. Great food isn’t just for adults in Crested Butte and may local restaurants are happy to have the kids join in on the ski town dining experience.
Montanya Platino Rum is one of three rums crafted in Crested Butte Colorado at an elevation of 8909 feet. Karen and Brice Hoskin founded the company in 2008, and on January 1 2016 the distillery and tasting room became 100% wind powered. The other rums include Oro a 1 year old gold rum, and Exclusiva a 3 year old double barrel rum that is only available in Colorado.
I HAVE A HORRIBLE SECRET. I live in Colorado, but I don’t ski. Or snowboard. I do enjoy skiing, but the thought of spending seven hours on I-70, crawling toward the Eisenhower Tunnel makes me want to jab a ski pole into my inner ear. And yet, winter is probably my favorite season to get outside.
CRESTED BUTTE — It worked for sleds. It worked for rum. Now Brice Hoskin is hoping his entrepreneurial flair works for cook stoves.
But he’s not in it for the money. Hoskin is hoping his latest invention — a hyper-efficient, collapsible steel stove that burns just about anything and could be made for as little as a $1 — will help millions of the world’s poorest people.
Everything changed for Karen Hoskin while she was traveling in India. Not because she fell under the spell of a yogi or went on a month-long pilgrimage to the country’s holy sites. It was a far simpler activity that proved to be just as transcendent.
1) Yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum Bar
Since the the Rum Bar opened its doors, things get spicy after the lift closes. The Crested Butte-based rum makers inhabit an original brick building under a rooftop patio where they serve up award winning rums like their Platino that's aged for a full year in an American white oak barrel that previously held Colorado whiskey. It's then filtered through a coconut husk charcoal filter.
A tradition of distilling that dates back generations vs. the freedom to start with a blank slate and craft your own style. A taste for spirited moonshine bottled right off the still vs. whiskey that rests and mellows for several years. A Continental climate prone with wide seasonal differences that lead to complex offerings vs. an alpine climate with an endless supply of snow melt and spirits with purity.
In the winter, the trailhead is two miles from town, where the plowed road ends and the groomed snowmobile trail begins. (Thanks, Gunnison County SnoTrackers!) On a Wednesday afternoon, the parking area was crammed with vehicles, so we fully expected to be constantly dodging snowmobiles.
Why We Love It: The buzzy scene at the CB tasting room/distillery/bar is reason enough, but killer cocktails made with Platino White, Oro Dark and the new Exclusiva (extra-aged and finished in port barrels from Cortez’s Sutcliffe Vineyards) make this a must-visit destination.
The après ski scene has always been an integral part of your ski vacation. You hit the slopes for hours on end, cascading down the hill, trail by trail in search of the freshest powder. How should a day of epic shredding end?
When it comes to biking and parties, there’s no place in the world quite like Crested Butte, Colorado. So it’s no surprise that the first-ever annual Fat Bike World Championships will happen in the same place where the original Bike Week was born.
With four skiable mountains, a thriving cultural scene and culinary offerings that rival any sophisticated metropolis, Aspen is the grand dame of Colorado ski country.
As an Arcadia Power Clean Energy Partner, Montanya now joins other national brands such as Whole Foods, Google, and Starbucks, which also purchase clean energy.