Small distilleries are exploding across Colorado right now. During our trip to Crested Butte in January we noticed the Montanya distillery as we walked out of the Secret Stash (best pizza in Colorado, maybe the world). Both of these places have won awards, one for pizza and one for rum.
They are located in large space that originally housed the hydro plant for the city. It is a large open structure with open corrugated metal walls and heavy timber supports. You would think it would feel cold and industrial, especially in January, but the lighting and colors really made the place warm, cozy, and intimate. One of the first things you notice is the beautiful copper still that dominates, as it should. Those barrels in the back are old Stranahans whiskey in Denver.
Don’t think that you will be limited when you only see drinks made with Oro dark or Platino light rums. There are various jars holding infusions and herbs, reminds us of a rum filled apothecary. All of your ailments can be treated with the amazing concoctions produced behind the ample bar! If they fall short in one area it would be food. Not in quality, quantity. If you are looking for a light snack then you are good but if you are hungry you better fill up before getting there or just plan on having several small plates with a different drink. The small plates offer are inventive and full of flavor. We ordered a curried nut spread that was very good. The bread on the plate comes from the Mountain Bakery which shares part of the space. Pick up some fresh baked goods for breakfast!
The staff were attentive and not intrusive. They also very energetic about their product and were more than happy to answer any question about the distilling process or philosophy of the business. Did I mention I can be quite inquisitive? Much to the dismay of my wife..
We will be back again to continue to sample the other drinks and dishes. Every time we go back something has changed in Crested Butte. The city making the Secret Stash remove the signs outside of the building, increasing numbers of license plates from Texas, and Paris Hilton clones walking down Elk. Montanya is a welcome addition to the changing scene in Crested Butte. But since we just visit and we are transplants from Florida our opinions can be viewed as hypocritical and worthless.