Insider Look at Montanya Distillers with Karen Hoskin – Koolers Lifestyle Podcast Episode 8

Matt Kuehlhorn (00:00):
Here we go. Hello, ladies and gentlemen. This is the Kooler Lifestyle Podcast. I’m your host Matt
Kuehlhorn, and today we have Karen Hoskins joining us. She is the owner, founder of Montanya
Distillers, and I’m really excited to learn a little bit more about Distillery Rum and your story, Karen. So
thank you for joining us.
Karen Hoskins (00:24):
My pleasure. I’m glad to be here with you.
Matt Kuehlhorn (00:26):
Yeah. You’re up at Crested Butte. Um, one question I’d love to ask initially is where did you grow up?
Karen Hoskins (00:36):
Uh, well, I was born in the Bronx . Um, my dad was at Fordham Law School when I was born, so
they were living in a very tiny little apartment in the Bronx when I was born. And then, um, quite soon
after that, when I was almost one and a half or two years old, they moved to Maine. So really, I grew up
in Maine. Um, my dad worked for the Bank of Maine, um, and moved, we moved 11 times while I was
growing up, so I can’t really tell you a town. Um, I can tell you that we, we cruised around a lot,
Matt Kuehlhorn (01:12):
On. How did the Gunnison Valley in Crested Butte find you or you it
Karen Hoskins (01:19):
Um, my husband is from Grand Junction, so we met in college in Massachusetts. Um, and, you know, we
met at Williams College, which is a liberal arts college up in the Berkshire Mountains. Um, and soon after
graduation, I went out to Grand Junction and visited his family, and then I ended up in San Francisco, but
I kept getting drawn back to Colorado. Uh, eventually he and I lived in Arizona for 10 years together and
got married and did all that. Um, but we were still always drawn back to Colorado. So it’s been 20, 25
years now that we’ve been in Colorado.
Matt Kuehlhorn (02:02):
And, um, what do you love about the area and being part of this community?
Karen Hoskins (02:07):
Oh my gosh, that is a very long list. Let’s see. I mean, I spent, we spent a decade in Silverton, Colorado,
which we loved. That’s where we raised our kids, um, you know, through about sixth and eighth grade
and in a beautiful school up there. But, um, was pretty clear to us that it was a little small. Um, so when
we moved here, it was kind of funny. People were like, oh, do you know how small a town this is? Do
you know how long the, the off seasons are? And we just were chuckling because of course, you know,
Silverton, everything’s like that on steroids. So, um, I, you know, we’re serious about back country skiing,
Nordic skiing. We ride mountain bikes and road bikes and, um, trail run and, you know, just basically
everything. I, I can’t really think of a lot of things that we wouldn’t do, um, if invited or if we decided we
wanted to set out.
Karen Hoskins (03:05):
We love to camp. Um, so it’s just a perfect place for everything we love to do. Plus we found the
business community here. When we moved here in 2011, um, we found it much more approachable and
professional than what we had been encountering in, uh, in Silverton. So, um, you know, that we’ve had
our days since then wondering if that was, you know, if that was a hundred percent the case. But, um,
we’ve generally found this to be, especially with Riverland and some of the, um, you know, some of the
infrastructure that this community has. We found it to be a better fit for the, the companies that we’ve
had and run during the almost 12 years that we’ve been here.
Matt Kuehlhorn (03:52):
Yeah. That’s awesome. So, as I understand it, you’ve been an entrepreneur for a while. You have
maintain distillers new distillery down in Riverland. Tell me about that journey. How’d you get into
distillery distilling and like specifically Rome
Karen Hoskins (04:10):
Mm-hmm. . Well, um, yeah, so back in 2008, I was a graphic designer and a brand builder
and a web designer, and I’d had my own private practice for about 12 years at that point. Um, and I was
very, you know, focused on helping other companies to define themselves, to build out their brand
identities and to put themselves out into the public in a way that was cohesive and identifiable and, uh,
good for their company. , excuse me, recovering. Um, good thing we’re on Zoom. Um, so I, um,
you know, that I’d been doing for more than 10 years, and I just literally woke up one morning and said,
you know, I’m kind of ready to do this for myself, my own brand, my own ideas, instead of handing
everything off, um, to other people. So that pretty much was from one day to the next. Um, and I
thought about what I loved and what I wanted to do, and I could see, so back in like 1992, I had thought
about starting a brewery, um, in Flagstaff, Arizona, where there are now like three craft breweries and
they do really well.
Karen Hoskins (05:32):
And I, you know, I think the idea itself was pretty awesome. I think it was, you know, it was good. The
problem was I’m Celiac, um, I couldn’t drink beer. I didn’t drink beer. I don’t drink beer I never have. So,
um, it was a, it was a not a great fit. Um, so, but the, the trend that I saw in, in 1992 was really, it really
bore itself out in the marketplace. And so then in 2008, I saw the same trend coming into the world of
craft distilling, and I thought, now there’s a fit, because even though I don’t drink a ton, um, I, when I do
drink, I usually love to have a really good cocktail. Um, and so in my life, I had been become somewhat
known among my peers for being that person that you invite to your dinner party because she will come
with the really good, um, in my case, really good rum and yeah, um, ready to make cocktails for the
whole group.
Karen Hoskins (06:38):
And, um, and, you know, usually it was something that no one had ever heard of. You know, if it was the
holidays I was making, you know, south American cocktails that nobody had ever heard of. So it was just
kind of my thing. Uh, we all have our thing and, um, and that I’d been doing for a very long time,
probably, you know, 10, 12 years, um, at family gatherings and gatherings of friends. And I said at, in,
you know, 2008, I was like, I wanna make rum. Like that’s what I wanna make. I love the spirit. It doesn’t
ever bother me the way, uh, many other spirits do. And we could have a long convers whole separate
podcast about what people don’t understand about the way alcohol is made and some of the additives
and how it can affect people with, say, celiac disease or other types of, of illnesses.
Karen Hoskins (07:33):
And so, um, yeah, so I just wanted to make rum and, you know, it was a little premature because the
world didn’t really yet understand rum. The world didn’t understand how good rum could be that it was
as good, if not better than many of the whiskeys and bourbons and SCOs that were in the marketplace.
Um, and I, you know, I was like, but that’s what I wanna do. That’s what I love. That’s what I can stay
excited about. You know, now I’m almost at the 15 year mark, um, and I’ve managed to stay excited
about rum all that time. And I can tell you everything that I imagined might happen has happened. So
obviously most people know about the crazy boom of, um, of craft spirits around the country, around
the world. Um, people know about the crazy boom of craft cocktails, you know, and, and when I started
this company in oh eight, there was not a craft cocktail.
Karen Hoskins (08:31):
Boom. Rum was not well recognized. American rum was definitely not well recognized. Um, so many
different little hurdles that we had to clear for such a long time. Um, but we’re here today, you know,
2022, um, with premium rum being one of the fastest growing categories in the alcohol beverage world.
Um, premium rum, rum in general just overtook whiskey in the UK and the EU for the first time in
history in 2021. So that was a big deal. Um, and then for me personally, you know, I’ve managed to
really be part of the movement of helping people to understand the, the industry, the business, um,
craft rum, American rum. I’ve helped to establish American rum with some credibility, um, in the, in the
world. And then also, um, you know, employ people in a seasonal ski town on a more of a year round
basis, um, with higher than average wages and, and, uh, an exportable good, which those are very
unusual and rare things in a town like Crested Butte.
Matt Kuehlhorn (09:45):
Yes. This is amazing. I love the story. So have you always been that visionary? Have you always seen, or
since trends, I mean, you mentioned the brewery, the micro brewery, kind of catching the wave of, of
micro distillery, you know, specialty cocktails. Has that been a part of your life long term?
Karen Hoskins (10:09):
Um, it’s a good, it’s a good question. I worked for a Fortune 500 company for a period of my career, um,
and I was really in their trend division. So we would, they would send us trend shopping. Uh, it was
fascinating, cool thing to be able to do, you know, send you with the company credit card out to LA or
something, and you just spent four or five days cruising around to find out what was happening, what
people were doing, what was cutting edge. Um, but, you know, it’s a good question. It’s like, was that,
was I trend visionary or was I just trend recognizing? Um, I think ultimately I was, I’m better at
recognizing trends that are already underway than I am imagining what the next trend might be. Um, so
yeah, I felt I’ve, I’ve really enjoyed often sort of saying, yeah, that’s gonna fly, that’s gonna go watch
what happens over the next five years, that’s gonna take off. Um, but I also am, um, you know, I would
say that I’m not someone who, uh, can, can necessarily come up with what the new thing is gonna be.
I’m a follower.
Matt Kuehlhorn (11:22):
Yeah, yeah. An observer touching the wave copy of that. And you mentioned, and I understand like this
is opening up a rabbit hole that can go insanely deep. I can only imagine because you get into a level of
refinement and art, real art when you’re talking about, you know, creating distilling. Um, and I’m
curious, so, you know, it sounds like rum was just a, a personal interest, and then you went down into
the almost, I mean, it’s, it’s gotta be some science and some art at the same time combined for real
distilling. Um, and without giving away any real secrets, but what’s, what’s some of the differences in
montagu’s rum versus other distillers distillers?
Karen Hoskins (12:15):
It’s a good question. I mean, you know, so I’ve been, I was trained in, I always call it, you know, the trial
by fire. Um, I started a rum distillery before I really honestly knew how to distill rum. Um, I had some
amazing mentors and some people who taught me a lot. And I, you know, we, as a group of three, we
began as just three of us, um, did a lot of work to really cultivate a lot of, you know, in intelligence about
what it takes to make spirits. There’s a lot of resources out there in the world. So, um, I wasn’t flying
totally blind, but I was definitely, as they say, sort of building my wings after I took off from the perch.
Um, but also I would say, yeah, so art and and science both really deeply ingrained in the, in the
business.
Karen Hoskins (13:09):
Um, for me, I would say that, you know, probably one of the biggest things has been that I want, when I
started rum was widely perceived as being over sweetened. It still is. Um, and, and that was my
experience as well. I would go and buy a bottle of a rum that I loved, um, but I would always be like,
gosh, I just wish that it wasn’t sweet. And rum is not sweet. There’s nothing about rum off the still that is
sweet, that is always added sweet. And so I was really focused on like, does it have to be this way? Like,
why, what’s the deal here? Um, why are people adding so much sugar to rum after it’s been distilled?
Um, and, and really it came down to the fact that people were making some pretty crummy rum. And
the rum itself was not of equality that you would sit down and take a sip of, you’d have to adulterate it
in order to make it palatable to the average consumer.
Matt Kuehlhorn (14:11):
Interesting.
Karen Hoskins (14:12):
So, you know, again, almost 15 years ago, we weren’t having conversations like we are now about how
much sugar there is in rum and how many and what companies are not doing it that way. We were one
of the first, um, to really promote and, and talk about not adding sugar to our rum and, uh, no, you
know, no additives in general. Um, and so that be, that has now become the absolute, you know,
narrative of premium rum is like how much, what are people doing to adulterate it? And that includes
adding color. It includes adding sweetness, um, you know, know things that make it, it approximate an
aged spirit when it’s not aged. Um, you can do that with glycerin and propylene glycol and all of these,
you know, chemical additives. But also it came down to origin ingredients. Um, we buy all of our sugar
cane from family farmers in Louisiana that we, you know, actually know from here in the Gunneson
Valley.
Karen Hoskins (15:13):
It’s the coolest thing. Um, they came into our distillery, um, when we were sourcing our sugar cane from
Hawaii and said, you know, heck, we’re from here in the Gunneson Valley, like, why are you buying
sugar cane from Hawaii? Um, buy it from us. And that was a long time ago, maybe, um, 12, gosh, I don’t
know, 10, 12 years ago. And now we’ve been sourcing from this company for a really long time. Um, so
original ingredients really matter to what makes Montani different, beautiful American grown sugar
cane that is non G M o, um, milled onsite and at our facility that we work with in Louisiana, and it comes
to us, um, in really raw and unrefined form. Um, so it doesn’t have to be stabilized for the, um, you
know, to be in a Caribbean environment for a long time or any of that.
Karen Hoskins (16:08):
I could go on. That’s getting pretty geeky for 30 minute interview. Um, but also the stills we use. Um, so I
just, as you mentioned, um, opened a new expanded distillery here in the Gunnison Valley. Um, it’s 10
times more capable of producing rum than our last distilling operation was. It took me two years of
being a general contractor to bring this, um, distillery expansion online through covid and supply chain
challenges. You can just imagine, uh, it was not easy. It’s still not easy. We’ve had to actually make some
pretty tough moves. Um, we moved our rack house, which is where we store all of our barrels of aging
rum out of county because of some issues that we encountered, um, with the Fire protection district.
Um, n not issues that I think were, you know, reasonable, but unfortunately insurmountable. So, uh, we
now have, have storage in Delta County. Um, but in general, we’ve done a lot in this county to really,
um, establish our tradition of mountain rum, of high altitude rum, which affects every step of the
process from fermentation to distillation, aging, bottling the water we use everything. So it’s really
American mountain rum and, uh, Colorado rum. It’s very widely perceived to be very unique in the
business.
Matt Kuehlhorn (17:41):
You just bust in a number of myths that were in my head around rain. And is it true, I mean the, um,
kind of the roots of rum, would it be Caribbean? And is, has it always been sugarcane as kind of the base
or
Karen Hoskins (17:57):
So Yes, to the second question, no, to the first question. So it’s always been, um, it’s always been
sugarcane. Um, and it’s always, uh, you know, you can’t make rum from anything else legally in the
world. So there are people who’ve tried to make things from sugar beets, um, and call them rum, and
they got in trouble with the federal, you know, government entities. Um, the first question is somewhat
widely contested, and I have a very strong, uh, set of feelings about it, and I have for a long time, and I
speak about it publicly. Um, nobody really, quite honestly knows where rum began. People believe it
began in Barbados, and I understand that that was the beginning of the Caribbean tradition, and it was
the beginning of the, you know, kind of what I would describe as the, the eastern tradition, or not, not
east like far east, but like, um, just the east coast of the United States and North America and South
America and Central America.
Karen Hoskins (19:02):
Um, I believe it began in India, and I can pretty well document that it began in India. Um, sugar cane was
being grown. Um, distilling was happening. This was before copper, before, you know, back when it was
in ceramic. Um, it was being distilled from sugar cane, it was rum. Um, whether they called it rum or not
is a different question. Um, but I do believe that that’s the origin of the spirit. But the Caribbean is really
where people associate, and unfortunately the reason that that became true was because of the slave
trade. Sugar cane is incredibly difficult to harvest by humans. Um, slaves were perpetually used in the
Caribbean, um, to, to harvest. Um, and that just made it easier to produce. It was also something that
they did with the byproducts of the sugar industry. So molasses is, uh, one of the throw was one of the
throwaway parts of making sugar, and they determined it could be fermented and you could make, uh,
you could make a spirit out of it.
Karen Hoskins (20:09):
Um, there was also rum distilling in Boston. So there was an, a tradition in the United States, and the,
the tradition that I feel more connected to is that long before whiskey, um, people were bringing rum up
into the mountains of Colorado from both the east and the west coast, and they, they were using it as a,
um, as a currency. So it would buy you, I mean, on the, on the not so pleasant side a night with a
prostitute. And it would also, it was, you know, would buy you various different things in the economy
of a, of a mining town in Colorado long before whiskey. So I actually believe rum is, you know, endemic
in a good way to, um, Colorado before whiskey, bourbon, anything that we now associate as
being here.
Matt Kuehlhorn (20:59):
Yeah. Nicole, um, you’re gonna have to let me know if this question opens up the conversation that is
not gonna be contained within our last few minutes here. But is there an insight? So you’ve mentioned
spirit a number of times, and I know that, you know, every spirit is slightly different, but when you’re,
when you are referencing spirit, what are you really referencing?
Karen Hoskins (21:26):
Hmm, I mean, rationally, logically what I’m really referencing is any sort of, uh, you know,
distilled liquid that’s distilled typically to, and I would say, you know, 20 to 30% alcohol or higher, all
your wines, all your beers, um, you know, your ports, things like that are typically below 20% alcohol.
Um, so when I say a spirit, i, I really mean the, not the beers, not the wines, not the fortified wines, uh,
things like that. But really the, the, um, higher proof alcohols like whiskey, bourbon, rum, gin, vodka,
um, and in some cases, like the, my favorites are the Italian amaros and odes in France. And, uh, a lot of
these beautiful laurs that are from around the world, de jifs and a TiVos and things like that, those are,
that’s my jam. And I love to, um, make, make cocktails and, and in introduce people to the beauties of
some of those European traditions.
Karen Hoskins (22:34):
Um, but when I say spirit, you know, it, it really, you can’t divorce that from the extent to which, um,
there’s a human factor in every single thing we do. Bringing people together to consume. Um, I always
hope in moderation. And I do recognize the challenges of alcohol. Um, I’ve, you know, reckoned with
that in my career for more than 15 years. Um, I was a bartender for a long time. I’ve, you know, very
aware that alcohol is not for everyone, but there’s really nothing that is for everyone living in a snowy
mountain climate’s not for everyone. Eating bread is not for everyone. You know, some people are
allergic to blueberries, you know? So it’s really figuring out like what can you consume safely for
yourself, but then coming together with other human beings in celebration, in the spirit of, you know,
human interaction and the beauty of what we share as, um, as people, uh, I think that’s a really, I think
that’s why the word became associated with alcohol was because it kind of produced this com
community collective response in people that was shared and that took them out of their daily grind and
put them into the moment, like really into the moment of where they were and who they were with and
what they were doing.
Karen Hoskins (23:56):
And that’s what our tasting room here in Crusted Butte celebrates is like bringing people together
around delicious things, um, so that they can be festive
Speaker 3 (24:06):
. Amazing. Lovely. That’s awesome.
Matt Kuehlhorn (24:09):
What are you excited about over the next few years?
Karen Hoskins (24:13):
Oh, it’s such a good question. Um, I, you know, I see a lot of the things that I have been predicting would
happen happening, and I’m really excited to see rum take it place on the international stage. Uh, the
way whiskey and scotch have over the years where they’re celebrated as some of the very best things
that you can consume in the alcohol beverage world. Rum has always been that good. It’s just been
really hard to find the good ones. Um, the good ones are now becoming much more available and on
the shelf of your local liquor store. So I’m excited about that. Um, I’m excited to see where Montani goes
next. Um, as companies in this space grow, uh, we attract venture capital, which is something I’ve done
in, you know, 2019, you attract the attention of larger makers. They wanna kind of be part of your
success or they wanna be part of what you’ve been up to.
Karen Hoskins (25:12):
Um, and I, you know, I’ll, I’ll be interested to see how that affects our business going forward, cuz it’s
also hard to stay small and survive in this business. Um, it’s really cost intensive. Getting your product
out is expensive, getting people excited and, and having brand recognition is really expensive. Um,
growing is expensive and I’ve just, I’m on the painful side of a big growth process. So the painful side is
when you’ve spent all the money, you’re now trying to rack and bank all the, the rum that you’re making
with the new higher level of production that you haven’t yet sold and can’t sell for at least a year to, you
know, four years depending on how long you age. So there’s a lot coming down the pike for us in terms
of, you know, hurt and excitement and, um, being in a rural area, being in, you know, climate change
situation, which has affected water, uh, out in Riverland, which is our main location of our production.
Karen Hoskins (26:16):
Um, there’s a lot to, to reckon with over the next few years. And we’ll just hope that we can, uh, be
vibrant and, um, we’re a leader in sustainability in the alcohol beverage world, and we hope we can
continue to be a leader in that world with this new distillery that has some amazing new, um, ways, you
know, in which we’re using closed loop water systems and bio digestion on site, and a lot of things to
really address the fact that the climate is changing around us. And the, and we as a company have to be
better. We’re a certified B corp, which means people can bank on the claims we make about
environmental and social responsibility, et cetera. Uh, that’s, that’s a whole other conversation,
Matt Kuehlhorn (27:02):
Only. Yes. Um, second to last question for you, we’ll wrap this conversation up, which I’ve enjoyed a ton.
It’s been very informative, um, you know, from your place in Crested Butte and, you know, definitely a
small community, it includes the county, you know, from your perspective, how many businesses and
community leaders work together even more for the greater good?
Karen Hoskins (27:28):
How are we working together? Was that the question?
Matt Kuehlhorn (27:31):
How might we work together even
Karen Hoskins (27:33):
More? How might more,
Matt Kuehlhorn (27:34):
Ok, yeah, yeah, those are
Karen Hoskins (27:37):
Very different approaches. I mean, there’s the,
Matt Kuehlhorn (27:40):
Yeah, to lean in, like, on that question and in some context, like, I, I perceive a lot of our community, uh,
fairly progressive. Like we work pretty well together and there’s always another level. I know, you know,
housing is, is a big kind of on the radar type of problem that is gonna take a lot of collaboration. Um, but
yeah, just how might we work together even more for the greater good?
Karen Hoskins (28:07):
I think that’s such an important question. You know, one of my roles historically was on the board of
directors of, um, you know, regional economic development because I believe so much in rural
economic development in Colorado. I mean, I’ve been involved with this for 20, almost 25 years in
different, wearing different hats, many of them volunteer hats. Um, I, you know, I really, this is an area
that really concerns me more than ever. Um, there was a time when I really felt, uh, a lot of traction, uh,
around, um, making progress on issues of affordable housing on, you know, pay and pay equity and
gender equity and, you know, gen diversity and inclusion and so many different things that I felt were
essential to being good businesses. Um, what I’m seeing right now is that a lot of what I thought was
happening is getting unraveled, and it’s getting unraveled by a couple factors.
Karen Hoskins (29:14):
One is, you know, say for example here in the upper valley of the Gunneson Valley, the extreme cost of,
um, of construction, the extreme cost of building materials, land, everything. So even if you’ve set aside
land to do an affordable project, which our visionary, um, community and and county have, you know,
so we have good land. I am sitting in a, in a sustainable house, 1300 square feet that I built on, um,
workforce and in as part of a workforce community for people who live and work in this community year
round. Um, it’s amazing what has historically been done, but how do you do that when you can’t afford
to build it? We have a project that’s under construction that has not been finished because it went over
budget and they had to bring it to a halt and the, the contractor left the project.
Karen Hoskins (30:15):
Um, so how do we do that, uh, when all these forces are so incredibly against us? So affordable housing
being a big one, how do we pay people and give them the benefits that they deserve in a community like
this when the cost of healthcare is literally skyrocketing? Of course, I just got my new, um, you know,
health insurance benefits, costs for 2023, and I’m experiencing huge increases as a small business. I
want to provide health insurance to my employees, but it’s really hard to do. Um, you know, w in terms
of wages, I really wanna pay people on a year round basis what they ought to be making in any
community around the country, um, so that they can put their kids through college like I had to do so
that they can, um, you know, take a vacation, have paid time off, all of those things.
Karen Hoskins (31:15):
But wow, it’s so hard to piece that together when you’re in these incredibly fluctuating economic
circumstances. And then the other thing that I really struggle with is that we’re so much better at
recruiting new companies and talking to new companies and giving them incentives. Um, and we’re not
always, and I’m not talking about just the Gunnison Valley, I’m talking about the world, but the US we’re
often like, oh, but you guys who’ve been here for 10 years, you guys sink or swim and we’re gonna go
recruit and give all kinds of tax incentives and, and benefits and assistance and technical resources to
these, you know, up and coming startups. And I’m like, we have to do both. Um, we have to do both.
And so I’ve been working really hard to be present and mentor some of the new startups in the
Gunneson Valley, but I’ve also really recognized that like we need to have supportive approaches for the
companies that are already here and trying desperately to stay here when the, the pressure to just go
operate somewhere cheaper, where it’s easier for people to find housing where it’s easier to recruit
people. Um, yeah, it tho those are big issues that we could spend, uh, you know, five days talking about
and, and maybe only come up with one or two solutions.
Matt Kuehlhorn (32:42):
Yeah. The Lune, those are big for sure. And when you’re talking about the incentivizing for, for new
companies versus investing in established already here companies, it just reminds me of how often, you
know, business owners will spend money on new marketing strategies or whatever to recruit new
customers when they can do much better at retaining their current customer base and and serving
them. And that’s just a another reminder there. Um, yeah.
Karen Hoskins (33:13):
Well, and I know we probably don’t have time to talk about it, but maybe, you know, someday in the
future, you know, I know your company’s in an expansion mode too, so you and I are here in the
Gunnison Valley expanding, excuse me. And, um, you know, then we deal with all kinds of the challenges
of expansion, which are that we can’t keep our arms around the whole company anymore. We need
good help, we need high level help. Do we outsource that? You know, like accounting, bookkeeping,
audits, things like that. Um, do we outsource that outside the county? Do we try to keep it here? Um,
can we find the expertise in the Gunnison Valley that we need to keep that work here? Um, they’re just,
you know, expansion has its own really challenging elements and yet it is the best thing for our local
economy that you and I are selling things and doing things outside the county, but bringing the revenue
from that back here, primary income, that starts a beautiful cycle of people being able to earn wages,
spend them in our local restaurants, you know, have vibrant families here, own houses, be here year
round.
Karen Hoskins (34:31):
It’s just, it’s a, it’s a virtuous circle.
Matt Kuehlhorn (34:34):
Yes. Thanks to all that , I know we could talk for hours and hours, Karen, um, but we’re gonna
wrap this one up. How do people reach out? How do they stay in touch with Montaa and, and what’s
going on and, and connect with you?
Karen Hoskins (34:49):
So we have a really beautiful website that I am not in charge of, so I’m speaking on behalf of my amazing
staff who does that, um, at montaa rum.com. So Montaa has a one a moment, t a n y a rum.com. And
then, um, unlike a lot of people in business with employees and you know, growing companies, I’m
really accessible. You can call our phone number hit extension one and you will come to me. Um, you
know, email is always a great way, Karen at Montag rum, or it’s better to do
karen@montagnadistillers.com. And then, um, our tasting room in Crested Butte is like a really lovely
portal into our company. So we have this well-trained staff who can taste people in the rum and tell
them our story and help them to understand how and why we do what we do here in Crested Butte.
Um, so that’s really fun. And then, um, we, you know, I’m out on the road all the time, so I get around,
um, we have distribution in 44 states in the US and seven countries overseas. So if, you know,
depending on where people are, they could usually just track my schedule@karenhoskin.com, um, and
find out, you know, where to come see a, a speech or a presentation or attend a tasting that we’re doing
or some sort of party or event. So
Matt Kuehlhorn (36:21):
We’ll be sure to drop all those things into our show notes and, um, share as wide and proudly. And
Karen, thank you so much for the conversation today. It was very educational and inspiring and I’m
excited to see where you go and where when Tanya goes. And I’m just glad that you’re here in this
valley.
Karen Hoskins (36:40):
Thank you. You too. Thanks for my beautiful garage door on my house. I love it, .
Matt Kuehlhorn (36:45):
You bet. You’re absolutely welcome, Karen. We’ll talk to you soon.
Karen Hoskins (36:49):
All right, take care. Bye-bye.

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