After 15 years of breaking barriers, educating and changing perceptions, Montanya Distillers founder and owner Karen Hoskin has sold the venerable American rum brand to CRN Ventures, a team with deep ties to the company.
The new ownership group, consisting of current head distiller Megan Campbell, former head distiller and operations lead Renée Newton, and Houston-based brand strategist Sean W. Richards, plans to build on Montanya’s rock-solid foundation of exploration, sustainability, diversity and community engagement while continuing its production of award-winning rums with respect to its high-mountain legacy.
Hoskin expressed confidence in the new ownership, stating, “I have spent my 15-year distillery career advocating for better equity and diversity in the spirits industry. These buyers represent one of the most diverse and powerhouse owner teams in craft spirits history to date. They are some of the smartest and most capable people I could ever choose to take the helm. I am so excited to see what they will do together to keep the legacy of Montanya Distillers vibrant and to take the brand to new heights while retaining its values and culture.”
The decision to purchase Montanya Distillers was personal for Newton and Campbell, a culmination of their shared passion for craft distilling and 12 years of hard work producing exceptional spirits under Hoskin. Campbell states, “We are ready to lead with a blend of tradition and innovation. As I embark on this journey with expertise in production, I harmonize crafting spirits with science and art in mind. This trio of new ownership is fueled by a passion for excellence and a dedication to crafting moments that linger in the heart.”
Newton, whose history with Montanya goes back even further, echoed, “Ten years ago, I never imagined I’d be the owner of Montanya Distillers. From leading events and managing the tasting room to holding the title of head distiller, I’ve journeyed through almost every department of this international company. Growing up with Montanya has been a dream come true, and now, as an owner, I am thrilled to work alongside Megan and Sean. I am excited to continue the legacy we’ve built, steering Montanya Distillers toward an even brighter future.”
Richards, who was introduced to the two through Hoskin and brings 20 years of brand and cultural marketing experience to the mix, adds, “Our team possesses a wealth of knowledge, spanning distillation, production, marketing and agriculture, which positions us well for our journey ahead. I am honored to play a part in shaping Montanya’s future narrative alongside Megan and Renée. Expanding our reach and engaging both our long-standing supporters and new audiences, while contributing to the story of this Uniquely American Rum.”
Hoskin followed up with, “A lot of people have asked me if this feels bittersweet after giving my life’s blood to this company. It doesn’t. It feels 100% sweet. I am so pleased to hand the torch to these amazing folks. It brings my personal goals full circle and it will be great for Montanya.”
The new owners’ plan for the future includes a renewed focus on community engagement, collaborative partnerships, increased production with innovative new expressions, and limited edition releases. Continuously innovating while remaining true to Montanya’s culture and founding principles, they are committed to consistently delivering award-winning, super-premium rum to the public.