Crested Butte may be known as a great ski town. But it has plenty of attractions in the summertime, too: wildflower capital of the States, best mountain biking in Colorado, best dog town. It's also the home of Montanya Distillers, an award-winning rum distiller.
"So much of what makes a great spirit, as we know from Scotland, is the water and the environment. Our water comes straight from a well under Crested Butte and is a distiller's dream," says Karen Hoskin, co-founder of Montanya Distiller .
"We bring our sugar cane from a family farm in Louisiana. And high elevation benefits every step of our process, from fermentation to aging. But really, this is where we love to live since our hobbies are right outside the door."
Hoskin moved to Crested Butte four years ago. Here she shares five must-dos in Crested Butte.
"On my perfect day, I would sleep in and start my day late at the top of Elk Avenue at the Guild, which is a collaboration between a local organic bakery and a coffee roaster. The food is delicious, with great vegetarian and gluten-free options, as well as exceptional breads, pastries, coffee and tea. Often the coffee is being roasted and the bread is being baked while you sip." - 21 Elk Avenue.
"If it is Sunday, I would wander the Farmers Market and grab a strawberry-basil, watermelon or kiwi-kale Popsicle from the Whimsicles booth. The Farmers Market is a full downtown block of booths displaying fresh, all-organic produce, meats, cheeses and even wines from our neighbouring Paonia and Hotchkiss valley. We find seasonal cherries, peaches, strawberries, greens and sweet corn, all picked that morning less than 50 miles away. But, I admit, my favourite part of the market is the fresh flower booth, with the most beautiful bouquets." - Every Sunday, 2nd and Elk Avenue.
"If it is not Sunday, I would grab a locally made ice cream cone from Third Bowl Homemade Ice Cream. At Third Bowl, which is aptly named after one of the ski basins on our mountain, my favourite flavour is blueberry bergamot. I also adore the lemon chèvre." - 332 Elk Avenue.
"Rent a mountain bike from Big Al's Bicycle Heaven and ride right out of town on the paved Recreation Path or Tony's Trail, a dirt single track. Both afford a spectacular view of town and the whole valley." Big Al's Bicycle Heaven, 207 Elk Avenue.
"Crested Butte's premier farm-to-table restaurant is right next door to Montanya. Weather permitting, I would find a spot on their back patio and be entertained by the circus-esque owners who create a memorable environment of folly and celebration for every guest." - 214 Elk Ave., 970-349-6866.
This interview has been edited and condensed.