We always love learning how people find Crested Butte—for a small town, the population comes from a wide variety of places and backgrounds. Sarah Chesebrough is no exception. Not many people can say they’ve gone from the Goldman Sachs Foundation to the world of rum, but Sarah can. These days you can find her bottling Montanya Distillers’ rum, cooking up dishes from our increasingly popular food menu or out in the backcountry. Here’s her story:
Finding Crested Butte and Montanya
I’m from New England. I studied in NYC and landed a job at the Goldman Sachs Foundation, primarily working for the Institute for International Education. I was in a program called Goldman Sachs Global Leaders, but when the recession hit in 2009, my job ended. I had always wanted to be a ski bum, so I decided to move to the Rockies. I knew a friend who lived in CB, so I Facebooked him and asked if I could crash on his couch and figure life out. He said yes. I worked at the Sunflower for six years, and then moved on to Montanya. I’ve been cooking in restaurants for over a decade now, and bottling rum for Montanya for two years.
On Staying in Crested Butte
I stay for the lifestyle. I love the seasons. I love the snow, I love the summer. I love this community, and the support we give each other. I stay for the thrill and the everlasting challenge that this valley provides. I stay because I have found a niche and I think it is very special. This life is a gem. This life in an envy and it is all I have ever wanted.
When she’s not on the bottling line or in the kitchen
I live for the active life. I ski, snowboard, backcountry tour, snowmobile, trail run, mountain bike, dirt bike, rock climb and try to embrace everything that I possibly can. I have been building my outdoor resumé since the day I arrived. I also really love reading. I have a book club called Ski Bums and Books. We’ve been reading and meeting for a year now—we’re currently reading Red Sparrow.
Claim to Fame
I won the 2018 Dirt Ball Rally—the first girl to ever finish and ride the rally in the six years it has been running. Riding to Aspen from Crested Butte on a vehicle valued at $500 or less. I was on a dirt bike I bought for $350. It was raining and muddy. I had been riding a dirt bike for about a month. We rode over Pearl Pass. It took nine hours to get there, and I dumped my bike eight times, but I made it. It was glorious.
Favorite Montanya Distillers Cocktail
I love the strawberry señorita. It is sweet, sour, spicy and it makes me feel refreshed. Having fresh ingredients makes it an all time winner. It’s like lemonade with fresh strawberries and a kick. Come try it at the Distillery.