Some things in life just go together—Peas and carrots. Hipsters and moustache wax. Mountains and beer. Whether you’ve just summited a peak or raced down one with your proverbial hair on fire, there’s nothing quite like a cold one when you’re ready to kick back and bask in your badassery.
The only thing that would make it better? If that beer were a local craft beer. Über local. Created so close to the mountains that, if they were family, they’d be Siamese twins.
Wish granted. Here are some of the newest ski town breweries that are appearing (much like magic) across the country. Be sure to stop in and sample their wares—it’s a taste of the high country.
1. Blue Line Brewery
Location: Saranac, New York
Closest Ski Resort: Mt. Pisgah Ski Center
A new brewpub and brewery nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks, Blue Line Brewery opened in Dec. 2014 and is brewing up several different IPAs as well as a black lager and a cream style ale. Try the Red Rye IPA, a “blend” of the Irish Red, Rye and English IPA styles.
2. Park City Brewery
Location: Park City, Utah
Closest Ski Resort: Canyons Resort, with Park City Resort a close second.
Utah’s craft beer scene has been booming, and Park City Brewery is the newest player on the scene. The taproom opened in April 2015 and is currently pouring four beers with promises for seasonal additions. Though none of the beers have a higher than 4% ABV (this is Utah, after all), the Boogie Water Brown may lead to you believe differently.
3. Woodstock Brewhouse
Location: Woodstock, Virginia
Closest Ski Resort: Bryce Resort
The Woodstock Brewhouse has a history, even though it officially just opened its doors in July. Housed in the former Casey Jones Denim Plant, which manufactured overalls for the US Navy during World War II, this brewhouse currently offers seven beers on tap with locally inspired names like the Seven Bender American Pale Ale (named for the Seven Bends of the Shenandoah River) and the Casey Jones Vanilla Porter. For a guilt-free option, try the homemade root beer that is also on tap.
4. Oblivion Brewing CO
Location: Bend, Oregon
Closest Ski Resort: Mt. Bachelor
Though Oblivion has been brewing and distributing their beer around Bend and beyond since late 2013, the popular brewery just made it even easier to sample all of their wares in one place by opening up a brewpub on already beer-heavy Galveston Ave. area in May. Sample the seven core beers that are featured on tap, including an India Session Ale (with the flavor of an IPA but a lower ABV) and the Backside IPA, named after the backside of nearby Mt. Bachelor.
5. Vail Brewing Company
Location: Eagle-Vail, Colorado
Closest Ski Resort: Beaver Creek Resort, with Vail Resort an extremely close second.
The newest brewery in a valley that is fond of local beers, the Vail Brewing Company opened its doors in May and has hardly closed them since. The selection is constantly changing as recipes are developed, but there are usually at least ten different options to choose from. Come in for the live music and sample the Morning After, a coffee pale ale, or The Stepchild, a red IPA.
6. The Mountain Rambler Brewery
Location: Bishop, California
Closest Ski Resort: Mammoth Mountain
After a long day on the river or shredding the slopes, head to Mountain Rambler Brewery, which opened in Dec. 2014 in Bishop, just south of Mammoth. A laid-back place with a welcoming mountain vibe, Mountain Rambler currently has seven beers on tap, including the Sheeplet Coffee Porter (a blend of their Peaklet Porter and coffee from local Black Sheep Coffee Roasters) and a Black IPA which, at 7.4% ABV, makes for a very satisfying end to your day.
7. Alibi Ale Works
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA
Closest Ski Resort: Diamond Peak Ski Resort. Close seconds: Mt. Rose, Northstar,
Squaw Valley and Heavenly Ski Resort.
Alibi Ale Works is the first production brewery in the Tahoe basin and they’ve been busy since they opened the doors in Dec. 2014—they’re already expanding. Focusing on a selection that ranges from traditional European styles to new incarnations of hop-forward American beers and, most recently, barrel-aged and sour beers, the selections may vary, but they’re working hard to keep up with the demand. Try the Pale Ale or, if you’re feeling frisky, one of the Funkmobile blends like Strawberry Funk Cake.
8. Dakota Shivers Brewing
Location: Lead, South Dakota
Closest Ski Resort: Terry Peak. Close Second: Ski Mystic Deer Mountain
High in the Black Hills, Lead (pronounced LEED) is a historic mining town that now welcomes outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Dakota Shivers Brewing, which opened in May, has already cultivated a local following that flocks to its tasting room every weekend. The flagship beer is the 5280, a refreshing Pale Ale, but there are also several IPA incarnations. Make sure to try the Dark Matter RyePA, which is named in honor of the Sanford Underground Research Facility that is located in Lead.
9. Stumptown Ales
Location: Davis, West Virginia
Closest Ski Resort: Canaan Valley State Park
This brand-new brewery in the heart of West Virginia’s ski country is actually set to open in the next few weeks. Plans are for all eight taps to be flowing for the grand opening. In the meantime, six taps are occupied with brews like Big Boy Pants Double IPA and Porter? I Barley Knew Her! If the names are any kind of indication, Stumptown Ales will be a welcome addition to the area and a popular destination for beer lovers.
10. One Love Brewery
Location: Lincoln, New Hampshire
Closest Ski Resort: Loon Mountain Resort
Located about two miles from Loon Mountain Resort at the base of the Kancamagus Highway, One Love Brewery started sharing the love in May and is quickly becoming known for its tasty gastro-pub style food and convivial atmosphere. While they do have plenty of tasty suds on the menu, you’ll have to wait to sample their own brews as they’re still in the process of building the brewery. ETA for their beer is the end of the year.
Hero image photo credit: Vail Brewing Company
Thanks for the mention from DSB in Lead!
One Love rolled out their kolsch at the end of April. I got to taste a few glasses and it was quite excellent!