Interview with JP & Monika Krause Owners – Krause Family Spirits – Squeal Rum
JP & Monika Krause
Owners – Krause Family Spirits – Squeal Rum
1) Bucket List items for this upcoming year.
- Collaboration with a few local companies, making new items with the fusion of both our products, having fun & being able to support each other
- Making a second product, and bringing it to life
- Be part of a music video
- Try making a homebrew of some kind
- Start both a sponsored Athlete & sponsored Artist group
2) Biggest achievement you personally feel you have accomplish for the rum industry.
Winning Spiced Rum of the Year from Bar Bi Magaine a few months ago. It was great to see our hard work, long nights, and dreams start to pay off. Winning this together as a husband & wife was even more exciting.
3) Favorite Drink + Recipe
Monika’s Favorite – Squealin Egg Nog
2 oz squeal
4 oz egg nog
topped with whipped cream & nutmeg
The creamyness of the egg nog, goes perfect with the smooth vanilla & warming spice notes
JP’s Favorite – Squeal RootBeer
1.5 oz Squeal
3 oz root beer
top with ice cream you scream for ice cream
One of JP’s favorite things growing up has always been some old fashioned root beer, Squeal stands up to the rootbeer and the spices really come through and blend well yet give distinct seperate flavors. As i got older, i changed that love of those flavors into my extreme love for bitters but rootbeer is still that childhood joy for me.
4) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?
Today the rise of micro distilleries has only benefited small companies like ours, people are willing to try ‘out of the box’ ideas, as well as celebrate the craft in many ways than just big names. Being able to travel to different cities, and taste the local fair, has given new life to being a tourist. We love tasting local beers and spirits wherever we go, meeting new people everywhere we go, and sharing a conversation over a cocktail.
In 5 years we see rum growing with the rise in food culture acroos the nation. The food truck rise here in Denver is starting to spread scross smaller cities, this includes small unique cafes, restaurants & my favorite pizza joints. As the food culture sprads, the micro distilleries will be able to craft unique flavors & infusions, thinking herbs, flowers, chili peppers, and stuff we never thought of. That change of cocktails into culinary infusions is just begining. We can’t wait to see what the future holds.
5) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have helped you.
- Angel Tuccy & Eric Reamer, they have been supportive of us, they have helped us make our brand visible, and have taught us how to lead with positivity. The positive business culture that we have been part of has transformed our lives outside of business. Angel & Eric were there for us first, and that unconditional support gives us the confidence that it is okay to put ourselves out there. As Eric would say, KISS – kindess is so simple.
- Gov Vaughn, Gov has been in the Wine & Spirits Industry for a long time, so when a new company like us can gain the knowledge for a mentor like that, it is key. Everytime I have had a question, no matter how simple, he has been there to answer them. We would not be where we are today without his support.
- My (JP’s) sister Amanda, She has taught us how to use the internet and social media the correct way. Being abe to think about us as a company vs. just another product and have our social media presence reflect who we are has been in short amazing. Taking everything I have thrown at her, she has been able to make it look beautiful and effective online. So big Thank You to her.
6) Any last words?
We have learned that success is not an easy road at all, and it takes guts to show up. Putting yourself out there to be judged everyday takes thick skin, and isn’t for everyone. But when the small glimpse of success peaks through and you have won the little battles a small business faces everyday it is so worth it.
Do what you love, for myself (JP) food has always been a passion of mine,. When work is stressful having the creative release like cooking or drawing makes the day go bye. When your work is the fun part of the day, that is key, and for me I get to spend it with the lady I love. Can’t think of a better life than that.
7) Learn more about JP & Monika Krause
Monika- Monika was born & raised in Poland, and can trace her family history back a few hundred years. Born in a small city Lancut (prononounced Wine-suit) she grew up playing outside, with friends and her 2 sibings. Getting a Masters in Business and Tourism she hoped to share her love of fun experiences with the world. Nothing beats running through the forest picking mushrooms, and camping. The fun has not stopped for her, being able to share these experiences with her 2 kids has been the best experience of her life.
JP – JP, short for John Patrick, was Born and Raised in Colorado, living a few other places around the world, but coming back home. The love of hiking, running, biking and snowboarding makes a close drive to the mountains the perfect place to live. JP is a well known Chef in Denver, and uses those skills to create a culinary inspired rum. JP has always been a people person, loves to share time with his friends and just have fun. He spends his Saturday mornings taking his daughter to ballet, and hanging out with their kids. His favorite thing to do is go hiking with his wife Monika.