Montanya Distillers of Crested Butte, Colorado was named 2013 Craft Distiller of the Year at the 10th Anniversary Conference of the American Distilling Institute, which concluded its four day conference last week in Denver.  The conference boasted record-breaking attendance by over 900 people from all over the USA, representing 200+ current American distilleries and a number of hopeful start-ups.  

This award, called the “Bubble Cap Award”, is presented to one American distilling company that most exemplifies the values of the Institute and its distiller training programs - excellence in process and products, transparency regarding methods, overall authenticity of approach, and promising company growth.  Montanya Distillers is the second Colorado craft Distillery to receive the award, and the first woman-owned company ever to be honored.  

Montanya Distillers President Karen Hoskin says, “This award was a great honor for us because it was conferred among our peers in the industry. We still think of ourselves as very young and inexperienced, as students rather than teachers of the trade.  We have so much to learn.  But this year at ADI, we found ourselves transitioning into a new role as an older, more experienced Distillery. I hope we can live up to it!”  Montanya’s Oro rum also received a silver medal at the conference, the highest medal awarded in its category.

Montanya Distillers expanded its distribution into six new markets in 2012 and early 2013 - Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Kansas.  This brings the availability of their Oro and Platino rums to 38 US states, including California, Arizona, and Massachusetts.  Montanya is also newly shipping its rums to Europe and other overseas markets.

"There is no question that one of the things that makes Montanya Distillers unique is the presence of women working at all levels of the company.  It is not just me,” says President and company founder Karen Hoskin, “its our female employees making fermentations, driving pallets on the forklift, distilling rum, bottling rum, creating fun national events, running payroll, and defining the company.  That is kind of new in this industry...and fresh...and fun.  It makes us look really different from our peers, both in design and in execution.  And as we know, being unique and having a fresh story is a big part of growing a brand."

Montanya Distillers in Crested Butte (home of Crested Butte Mountain Resort ski area) is open to the public daily year round for distillery tours, tastings, cocktails, and appetizers from 11am to last call at 9pm.  They produce their rums on site from scratch on two Portugese Alembic copper pot stills and offer daily tours.  For more information, visit or call Karen Hoskin, Owner and President at 970-799-3206 ext 1.  For ADI, visit or contact Virginia Miller at

Assistant Distiller Jacqueline Mearman readying the stills for the day’s run.  

Assistant Distiller Will Browne managing fermentations at Montanya Distillers in Crested Butte, CO.