During the 10th Anniversary Conference of the American Distilling Institute, Crested Butte’s own Montanya Brewery took home the coveted “Craft Distillery of the Year” award. The conference was held in Denver in early April, and had record-breaking attendance with about 900 people from around the country showing up. In total, more than 200 American distilleries and start-ups were represented at the event.
Known affectionately as the “Bubble Cap Award,” Montanya took home the top honors for exemplifying the values of the American Distilling Institute, including its training programs, process and products, approach to authenticity, accessibility of their methods, and company growth. Located in the historic Powerhouse building downtown, Crested Butte homeowners have come to know and love their products, most notably their artisan rums that are made by hand from scratch. The distillery is open to the public daily year-round for tours, tastings, cocktails and appetizers.
Their secret to success? It could be the two Alembic copper pot stills from Portugal that the distillery uses. Whatever it is, they’re doing something right, as their business has grown 75% or more each year since the inception in 2008. Montanya is run by Karen and Brice Hoskin. This year, the couple took home a silver medal for their Oro (gold) rum, the highest medal awarded in that category.
Karen Hoskin says, “The ADI conference was a real eye opener for us about how far we have come in the last 5 years. We transitioned from being students of the trade to being teachers, and we became an example in a group of peers, many of whom we have idolized since we started. It was a great honor.”
The company continues to grow, and recently expanded into five new markets, including Texas, Nevada, Georgia, Florida and Kansas. Montanya’s Oro and Platino rums are now available in 38 US states.