A bottle of suds goes down real smooth after a day of shredding pow. And sure, you can grab some of the corporate offerings out there, either cans or a draft and the local bar, but why not go for a brew that’s been crafted with love by a local ripper? There are craft brewers in ski town USA that offer up some of the best beer around. So instead of a can of weak commercial dribble, why not indulge in a locally brewed pale ale, stout or lager? Here’s a list of our favourite ski town breweries. The bonus here is it’s pretty close to some our favourite places to ski. Enjoy.
Mammoth Brewing make some of the best beers on this list. Add to that the fact that they are currently in one of the biggest storm systems in their history and you have that ultimate of ski combinations: bottomless pow and fantastic beer. One of the down sides with a lot of the craft breweries can be making beers that are just too hoppy. Mammoth is a cut above and has proven to be one of the best beer makers in California. They offer some great seasonal brews as well as some year round constants that are delicious and refreshing. Our two favourites have to be the Golden Trout Pilsener and the Yosemite Pale Ale. They also, believe or not, do an awesome root beer, so even your driver won’t feel left out.
Magic Hat Brewing Company – Burlington VT
Just under an hour from Mad River Glen, Smuggler’s Notch and Stowe is the Magic Hat Brewing Company. Long a favourite among New Englanders, Magic Hat has always got 8 to 10 fantastic beers to try after a day at the Glen “skiing it if you can”. One of our personal favourites is the Demo Black IPA. A darker IPA with a combination of floral notes and subtle chocolate and caramel malt flavours, it’s subtly delicious.
Telluride Brewing Company – Telluride, CO
Brewing beer at 9000ft is a challenge, but the folks at TBC know their trade well. Located in one of the coolest ski towns in America, they have some great beers on offer for folks finishing up a day on the hill. Offering both seasonal brews and some constants available throughout the year, our favourite is the Face Down Brown Ale. With reminders of a traditional English Brown, the Face Down Brown Ale is a rich and delightful way to end your ski day. They also offer a great Wheat Ale which is especially good on those spring days.
Deschutes Brewery, Bend OR
Located in one of the best little adventure towns in the US, and close to Mt. Bachelor, which is having an awesome season, the Deschutes Brewery is an award winning brewery and real stand out in the world of craft brewing. This is no easy feat in a place like Oregon, which probably has more craft brewers than any other state. But they do it right. Our favourites include the Obsidian Stout and the Deschutes River Ale. The stout is particularly good, especially if you’re a fan of the darker side of things.
Coast Mountain Brewing Company, Whistler BC
The newest brewery on this list, the Coast Mountain Brewing Company was set up by a few Whistler locals in 2016. With a tasting room in the eclectic, half industrial neighbourhood of Function Junction, just south of town, it’s got some great beers on offer for being such a newcomer to the craft brewing scene. Some of the favourites include the Treeline Lager and the Field Guide Ale. Definitely worth stopping by. Their beers are also on offer in a few key places throughout Whistler.
Grand Teton Brewing, Victor ID
Just down the road from Grand Targhee, WY and at the foot of the Teton Pass, is the Grand Teton Brewing company. They’ve been in the game since 1988 and know a thing or two about making beer. The Bitch Creek Extra Brown Ale is off the hook and definitely worth a try. They also make a great golden ale called the Old Faithful Ale. Their pub is a cozy little space that’s a real welcome after a day of touring in the pass or skiing at Grand Targhee, which is one of the most underrated ski resorts in the US.
Wasatch Brewery, Park City UT
Located in a state that’s maybe not overly friendly to brewing beer, the folks at Wasatch have made it work, and work well. They offer some great beers which not only taste great, but have some tongue in cheek names as well. The Devastator Double Bock and the Polygamy Porter definitely stand out. So if you’re in the land of dry, fluffy pow, stop by the folks at Wasatch and enjoy a really good beer.
Drinking beer after skiing is a bit of a right of passage. From stopping by your local brewery to packing in cans of your favourite suds to a backcountry hut or just stocking your truck cooler at the side of the road for the finish to a day of ski touring, having a cold beer completes a ski day. And sure, you can buy the regular stuff, but why not get something locally brewed, crafted with local love, that tastes amazing? Why not indeed.
Be safe, ski hard and drink responsibly.