About First Ascent Coffee Roasters

Living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, we know there’s nothing better than starting an adventure with the perfect cup of coffee. We also know that it’s worth the investment to rely on the right gear.

Our founders have spent years working together as baristas and roasters.  First Ascent Coffee Roasters began as a cafe in an old miner’s cabin on Crested Butte’s historic Elk Avenue. We have since closed our cafe and now focus on roasting fine coffees and producing the most delicious instant coffee on the market today.  

We work with reputable importers who help us select coffees from farms and co-ops that offer transparency and traceability, so we can support positive practices for the environment and for coffee-growing communities.  Each growing season we sample dozens of coffees before choosing a select few for our roastery.  We then roast with precision and care in order to highlight the unique flavors within.  

First Ascent Coffee Roasters is a leader in the emerging specialty instant coffee market.  As far as we know, we are the only instant coffee makers today who do the entire process (roast, brew, freeze-dry, and package) under one roof.  We do this because we know that this is the best way to work with a dynamic product like coffee and because it is the only way to guarantee the freshness of the coffee before it is packaged.  We are proud to keep our entire manufacturing and packaging process within the community that we love— Crested Butte, Colorado.


Mark Drucker

After years of running an independent cinema, Mark’s career in coffee began as he home-roasted coffee on his porch while his infant son napped.  Always curious and experimenting, Mark dreams up our new ideas while staying grounded by working on our financials.  Years of rock climbing prepared him for the exquisite “sufferfest” that is running a company.

Favorite Coffee: Washed Ethiopias that are bright, citrusy and floral.

Favorite way to spend a day off: Leisurely savoring a morning cup of coffee, followed by a long alpine mountain bike ride through a tunnel of wildflowers.

Allison Drucker

Ali is a second-generation small business owner, having opened two independent cinemas and a beloved coffee house known as The Guild Cafe, in addition to founding First Ascent Coffee Roasters.  Her proudest achievement is building a life in a mountain town- she adores ski town culture and the passionate, resilient people of Crested Butte.

Favorite Coffee: Iced Hero Day Instant coffee with oat milk and agave syrup.

Favorite way to spend a day off: Camping with friends, threatening to actually use her ice cream ball, which she never does.


Sam Higby

Sam has spent his whole life building, making, and thinking about how things work. His passion for the outdoors mirrors this as he climbs, skis, studies the snowpack and obsesses over gear. He is constantly striving to make the perfect shot of espresso and is on the brink of discovering how to make alternative milk steam as well as grass-fed whole milk. 

Favorite cup of coffee: Ethiopian natural process espresso in a perfectly-steamed (120 degrees) cappuccino. 

Favorite way to spend a day off: Climbing high-alpine granite on a perfect summer day with a sandwich on top of the peak, followed by a cold beer and chips that he hauled into base camp himself.


Libbie Early
Marketing Coordinator

Raised in Northwest Montana, Libbie Early now calls the Western Slope of Colorado home. Libbie brings both her experience in the food and beverage industry, and her creative marketing concepts to the team at First Ascent Coffee. On a rainy day, which she loves, you can find her testing a baking recipe with heirloom flour, or preparing a meal for friends.

Favorite Coffee: Single Origin Americano. 

Favorite way to spend a day off: Playing outside on a bike, or her own two feet. If it ends with a dip in some cool mountain water, even better.