Montanya Distillers was originally founded in Silverton, Colorado in 2008 by Karen and Brice Hoskin. The company relocated to Crested Butte in August, 2011 and opened on Elk Avenue in August, 2011. It is nestled high in the Rocky Mountains at 9000 ft. The high alpine location makes great sense for making rum, since the altitude positively affects almost every aspect of fermenting, distilling and aging rum. All rums are distilled from family- grown, non-GMO minimally processed sugar cane from Belle Rose, Louisiana. The water comes from one of the purest spring and snowmelt charged aquifers in the USA. It has never been treated with chlorine, fluoride or reverse osmosis filtration. Montanya Rums are made by hand, from scratch, in a very traditional way using 100 gallon, all-copper Alembic pot stills from Portugal, and contain only four ingredients: American sugar cane, Colorado mountain water, yeast, and a touch of Colorado honey from local bees. No flavorings, no additives, no glycerine or glycol. Just all natural, craft distilled, honest American rum. Montanya Rum is certified Kosher.
Sustainability practices: On January 1, 2016, Montanya Distillers became 100% wind powered for both the distillery and tasting room in Crested Butte. Green energy had been a goal of theirs since they moved into the building, but until now, they had been pursuing solar power. Photovoltaics became unapproachable because of the beautiful historic trees that surround the property and got in the way of efficiency, so they decided to go with wind instead. Being wind powered is part of their approach to reduce their footprint and minimize their impact. The distillery uses C2C (Cradle to Cradle) certified glass for their bottles, and is scheduled to be zero waste by 2020. It received B-Corp certification in 2018 – one of only three distilleries in the world. Montanya’s team is for half female – a rarity when the average in the industry is 6%, is employed year round at higher than average wages, and is given support and opportunity for growth. Karen and Brice are active philanthropists in their community.
Note: the sugarcane used by Montanya is harvested by machine, as manual cane harvesting is very dangerous and physically difficult. There is no burning in the fields ( a source of air pollution, greenhouse gases emission, and respiratory problems created by smoke inhalation), except for tiny patches.
World-Changing Women Podcast: Ep. 23 – Karen Hoskin, founder of Montanya Distillers – Released Mar 20, 2019
Montanya Distillers becomes Certified B Corporation, November 14, 2018
Karen Hoskin, Owner of Montanya Distillers, Takes Over Interim Leadership of Ladies of American Distilleries – April 20, 2018
Ditching Trashy Events: 5 steps to sustainability – Dec 1, 2017