Crested Butted, Colorado-based Montanya Distillers, a craft rum distillery and Certified B Corporation, is celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2023. What began as a small, family-run business is now a successful brand selling rum across the United States and in seven countries in the UK and Europe.
The original Distillery (2008-2011) was on Blair Street in Silverton in a 100 year-old, 800 sq. foot building. The complete operation took place on three levels: fermentations in the dirt-floored basement, distilling and tastings on the main level, and aging and bottling upstairs. The Hoskins and their young sons climbed a lot of stairs back in those days, and you can imagine the heavy lifting of cases, raw ingredients and the pumps sending fermentations and distilled spirits between floors. The Tasting Room was often packed shoulder to shoulder with skiers and hikers drinking double White Room cocktails. It was a grand adventure.
In 2011, Karen Hoskin and her family decided to move to Crested Butte to open up more opportunities for the whole family and their three businesses. Today, Montanya Distillers occupies over 10,000 sq. ft of commercial space in two counties. The company is poised for continued growth after a challenging few years of expansion and pandemic.
Reaching a 15-year anniversary is no small feat for a self-started, woman-owned distillery. There have been many challenges and set-backs along the way. “Access to capital, competition against larger companies, and the fact that we don’t have a famous celebrity representing us are a few of the many hurdles,” says Hoskin. “In addition to the fact that rum was so far outside the norm– American mountain rum no less– when we started.” Despite the odds, Hoskin has scaled her business and increased production ten-fold.
Montanya will release various limited-edition anniversary items throughout the year, including limited-edition glassware, hats, and t-shirts. They will also be releasing their first-ever rum liqueur this summer (only available in their tasting room initially), which will feature a burst of vanilla, clove, orange, and lemon.