We had the good fortune of connecting with Montana Horsfall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Montana, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
As Brand Ambassador of Blackhat Distillery, long time bartender in Colorado Springs, and owner/operator of a small side company (Craft Cocktail Inc.), I like to think that the world is being changed one sip at a time. Spirits and cocktails are a part of defining a generation and a culture. Relationships often occur over conversations combined with spirits and cocktails. The passion is in creating these special moments. This is our time in history. These are our cocktails and spirits, just in “To Go” containers. 🙂 When an atmosphere is designed to bring a relaxed and interactive environment, it makes it easy to connect with other people over award winning spirits. In our busyness, it is rare to have an extraordinary guest experience. Expertise combined with a little entertainment is what keeps guests coming back time and time again. A pandemic doesn’t change this reality. It has only changed the way we stay connected. Cocktails and spirits are still a part of us. The passion has now transferred into creative programs designed to keep the “spirit” alive, no matter what the circumstances may bring. I feel that this type of impact on clients/guests changes the consumers standard of customer service and dare I say….friendships. The world of spirits and cocktail creation helps bring awareness to local charities, networking in our community, and also develops relationships with others that bring a sense of closeness and belonging. Plus, who doesn’t want to bond over good cocktails and spirits?!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been a long time bartender in Colorado Springs and am currently a Brand Ambassador for a locally owned and operated Distillery called Blackhat where we make Rums, Agave, and Brandy Spirits. A few years back, I was in college for Pre-Nursing/Pre-Med. To pay for college, I bartended at night like so many of us have done. My personality was embraced by the community and so was my talent. Even then, I did not see the wine and spirits world as a career. I had a hard time (despite a high GPA) getting into a grad school for medicine. The cost and overwhelming gloominess of life long debit also made me question my choices. With all looking lost, I started to marry my passion for Chemistry, Microbiology, and Human Science into my profession as a bartender. That’s when I realized that expertise combined with entertainment is a winning combination. Distilleries were a good choice for someone who loves people, spirits, and science alike. I have now won multiple awards, traveled the country, and have met the most interesting people…all with an Associates Degree. I feel this profession chose me and I am so grateful to be a part of it. Cheers to the future!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a Coloradian, we exude a culture of enjoying the outdoors. I love to take friends and tourists on a journey. I start with paddle boarding with my rescue dog Katie at Rampart Reservoir in beautiful Woodland Park. I love the small mountain towns of Colorado. Local Distilleries are the hotspots of the state of Colorado! I love taking a tour of a Distillery, sippin some good spirits, then finishing with dinner at a local spot and seeing what the bartender chooses to make with the local spirits. It brings such a sense of hard work and culture to a night out in a mountain town.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am honored and humbled by the community and bartending industry of Colorado Springs and the support from guests and clients over the years. From Teachers, to First Responders, Nurses, and laid off bartenders, they have persevered and purchased locally through even the toughest of times. One can not help but be overwhelmed with gratitude at such a loving community. They are the true heroes.
Blackhat Distillery and Tisa Conran (Blackhat Distillery’s Head of Social Media)