Inaugural Battle of the Bartenders

Who will claim the title of the Valley’s Best Bartender?


We are so excited we can hardly stand it! Bartenders from some of our favorite Crested Butte and Gunnison, Colorado establishments will be going head to head in an all new event that we’re sponsoring through the Center for the Arts: Battle of the Bartenders on September 24th.

We’re talking valley-wide bragging rights and a cash purse of $500 for the winning bartender. Each team will create a killer cocktail using Montanya Rums, to be judged by a panel of three world-renowned rum experts (our very own Karen Hoskin included, of course!). There will be two additional prizes as well: a $100 cash prize for the runner up and a $100 cash prize for the People’s Choice.

We’re certain this will become an annual favorite. Guests get to mingle among the action, sample the creations and vote for their favorites. We’re providing souvenir glasses for tasting (also in keeping with waste-free events) and you’ll get to enjoy delicious appetizers by our very own chef, Rose Reyes.


Add some local acoustic musicians to the mix, and We. Can’t. Wait. (Have we said we’re excited?) Here are the details:

When and Where the Show Goes Down


Tuesday, September 24th, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
The Depot, 716 Elk Avenue, Crested Butte, Colo.
$35/$30 early bird (Register through the Center)

Leveling the Playing Field

Montanya is providing two bottles of rum per bartender, with Montanya and the Center providing additional reimbursement of up to $75 per bartender for additional recipe ingredients. Fever-Tree Mixers is also donating products for any bartender who would like to use them.

The Contenders

You know them, you love them. Now you get to see them in a whole new element:

The Dive Pub
The Divvy
The Dogwood
Double Shot Cyclery
Elk Avenue Prime
Majestic Theatre
Marchitelli's Gourmet Noodle
The Princess Wine Bar
The Slogar Bar & Restaurant

The Judges

Daniel M. Veliz, former Global Beverage Director for Trader Vic’s Worldwide


From a former bartender at the world famous Vesper bar in the Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas to 2016 Best Cocktail Bar San Fransisco (The San Francisco Chronicle) Daniel has created award winning cocktails and programs all over the world, just recently leaving a two-year stint as the Global Beverage Director for Trader Vic’s Worldwide.


Michelle Glancy, Bartender at Denver’s RiNo Yacht Club


Michelle has two decades of hospitality experience in bars such as House of Blues, Williams & Graham, Occidental and RiNo Yacht Club. Michelle is proud to have been involved with Speed Rack for the past two years and most recently won the national Rogue Spirits Cocktail Competition. Currently, Michelle is a part of the bar team at two spots in Denver, Seven Grand and Pony Up.


Karen Hoskin, Founder and Owner of Montanya Distillers


Around town, Karen Hoskin is best known for being the face behind Montanya Distillers’ Elk Avenue Tasting Room and Distillery. More widely, she’s known as a vanguard of the rebirth of American Rum. When she started Montanya Distillers in 2008, few people knew there was a strong American rum tradition, not to mention a mountain tradition. Craft cocktails were not yet a major US trend and rum was considered the wild west of spirits. Karen has helped change that perception, steering the distillery to accomplish double-digit growth every year. In 2019, that success helped the company secure minority investment from Constellation Brands, which Karen will leverage to build the distribution footprint worldwide.


Register through the Center and we’ll see you there!