While hosting a rum industry lunch during Tales of the Cocktail 2019, Karen Hoskin, Owner/Founder of Montanya Distillers, announced a new investment/partnership with Constellation Brands. The influx of capital, distribution and industry knowledge will broadly help Montanya expand across the USA and beyond. Announcing the partnership, Hughes wrote:
Grateful for a busy summer and a new partnership
that will help expand Montanya’s distribution
We’re a bit ecstatic these days. Not only are we having a record summer but as you’ve probably heard, we have a new partnership that will help us bring Montanya rums to more people across the country and around the world. This has been a goal of ours for so long. We’re one of the first distilleries to receive funding through the Focus on Female Founders venture fund from Constellation Brands, Inc.
It’s hard to get venture capital investment to begin with, and even harder for female founders. So we are honored that Constellation is taking a chance on us and wants to help us grow. We are also pleased to be recognized as a company that not only makes premium rum but has created a “disruptive and interesting brand with an inclusive culture”.
To celebrate, a team from Constellation came to Crested Butte to enjoy dinner, drinks, and friendship, and strategic planning for the future. Many exciting things to come including another very exciting announcement on September 4th. Stay tuned to our social networks.
Much-needed investment capital will go straight into the business and enable us to increase production and distribution. We’ll also benefit from Constellation’s wisdom in somewhat vexing areas like distribution and national sales. In short? With our new partner’s help, Montanya rums will become easier for you to find!
We’re also planning to improve infrastructure throughout the company, including pay for employees, our accounting, HR, and benefits (gotta take care of the people behind the rum!). And of course, we’ll continue to evaluate and expand our commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
Perhaps the most important thing to understand is that Constellation has a minority stake in Montanya; I (Karen) am still in the driver’s seat. The heart and soul of the Montanya Distillers you love will remain the same, we will continue to make every drop of our rum ourselves, and we are more energized than ever about Montanya’s future. Check out our blog post to learn more.
A million thanks to you for supporting us on our journey!
Much love from the Montanya family,
Owner/Founder of Montanya Distillers
More information about this investment was posted to the Montanya Rum website:
Female Founders Venture Fund
The Tasting Room and Distillery are abuzz these days, and not only because it’s the height of a very busy summer. This week we were excited to announce a new partnership that will help us bring Montanya Rums to more people, across the country and around the world. Montanya Distillers is one of the first distilleries to receive funding through the Focus on Female Founders venture fund from Constellation Brands, Inc.
Constellation’s corporate venture capital group invests in premium alcohol companies, and intends to use this new fund to invest $100 million in female-founded or female-led beverage alcohol businesses by 2028. We’re so honored to receive this investment and be recognized as a company that not only makes premium rum, but has created a “disruptive and interesting” brand with an inclusive culture.
From our earliest days in Silverton, Colorado, our founder and owner Karen Hoskin set out to build an international rum brand with an impact. If you’ve met her, you won’t be surprised to learn that this grew in part from her love of a good challenge. But she also wanted to build a business that could be a force for good—a company that would support her local community, enable her employees to thrive, and help set new standards for environmental sustainability and gender diversity in the spirits industry.
Thanks to her drive, and that of her husband and co-founder Brice and a host of amazing staff, Montanya Distillers is well on its way to having that kind of impact. We ship rum to 44 states, Canada and Europe. We support the arts, outdoor recreation, and other important initiatives in our community of Crested Butte, Colorado. And we’ve been so excited to see our employees purchase homes and support families. Karen has also been helping to shape national and international conversations about stewardship of the environment and growing gender diversity in the workplace. Her unrelenting commitment to these principles even motivated Karen and Brice to move their family and business to Crested Butte in 2011.
As with any industry, there are hurdles to clear in order to continue that growth and ramp up our impact. Increasing production and introducing new people to Montanya rums takes up-front capital and the know-how to navigate the world of sales and distribution. Yet historically, women have received only 2 percent of venture capital despite earning better results than male business owners. Constellation is the first such company to recognize these hurdles and create a fund specifically to support women founders like Karen.
We are so fortunate to have Constellation as a strategic partner. The company will provide much-needed investment capital straight into the business, allowing us to increase production and expand distribution. We’ll also benefit from Constellation’s wisdom and expertise in areas that have always vexed us, like sales and distribution. The company has a minority stake in Montanya, so Karen retains majority control.
In so many ways, this partnership has been made possible by our previous successes—and we know we owe a lot of that to you, the biggest fans of our rum. We want to assure you that our values remain the same. Our status as a B Corp is unchanged, and we are as committed as ever to continuing the practices that helped us earn that certification. We will also remain in Crested Butte, where the character of our operations and our Elk Avenue Tasting Room will remain intact. And when we expand distilling, we’ll do so locally. The biggest change you’ll notice is an increased availability of the rums you love.
And perhaps most importantly, we are all more energized than ever about Montanya and look forward to seeing where the next phase of this journey will take us.
Karen and the Montanya Distillers crew