Have you noticed? Some of life’s best experiences occur because of shared interests. You like to snowboard? So do I! You like beer? So do I! You like to drink a beer after ripping that six inches of fresh pow bestowed upon us? So do I! While opposites may attract, there’s plenty to be said for mutual appreciation. And while there are many ways to top off an excellent day on mountain, few are as satisfying as sipping on a pint of local, craft beer — especially if you don’t have to travel far to enjoy it. As such, here are some of our favorite breweries in which to enjoy a carefully crafted brew after a day on the slopes.
If you’re skiing or riding in Oregon, there’s no shortage of great breweries to visit. After all, the state has the third highest number of breweries per capita in the country. And while most are in Portland, you have options in the mountains, too. After skiing Mt. Hood, you can get a quick pint at Mt. Hood Brewing, located at the gateway to the mountain, for a great beer using pure glacial water after shredding. However, if you have a bit more time, head into Hood River for more options, like the venerable Full Sail Brewing, Solera Brewing and the can’t-miss Pfriem Family Brewers, just to name a few. Shredding Mt. Bachelor? There are more than 20 breweries in Bend alone. In Washington, don’t miss riding at the locals’ favorite, Summit at Snoqualmie and be sure to grab a beer at Dru Bru — the views are spectacular.
There’s no such thing as having too many options and the skiers and snowboarders who flock to Lake Tahoe know this well. From expansive resorts to smaller, locally-loved options, there are plenty of places to play in Tahoe. After you’ve satisfied that need, slake your thirst with a beer from Alibi Ale Works. This local brewery uses pure Lake Tahoe water to craft traditional European styles, super-fresh hoppy beers and barrel-aged and funky/sour/mixed-culture beers. You can find them at Incline Brewery & Taproom (they also serve kombucha, cider and wine and often host food trucks), which is located just 2.8 miles from Diamond Peak Ski Resort and 10.7 miles from Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe, or head to Truckee Public House, conveniently located within 11 miles of Tahoe Donner Downhill Resort, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Boreal Mountain Resort, Sugar Bowl Resort and Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows.
Whistler might be best known as a bucket-list ski destination (and home of the 2010 Winter Olympics), but beer lovers will rejoice to find it’s also home to two craft breweries, along with various pubs and tap houses committed to offering vast ranges of seasonal, local and unique brews. After a day on the slopes, head to Whistler Brewing Co. and Coast Mountain Brewing: Both are located in Whistler’s “industrial zone” known as Function Junction, about a 10-minute drive south of Whistler Village (also accessible on public transit). Head to Whistler Brewing Co. for an award-winning Black Tusk Ale, and English-style mild dark beer, or check out the new kid on the block, Coast Mountain Brewing, which focuses on complex, flavorful and the oh-so-important sessionable beers.
If you’re planning on skiing the Big Three (and let’s face it—you should be), you’ll find stellar brews at Banff Ave Brewing Co, located 15 minutes from Mt. Norquay and 20 minutes from Sunshine Village. Established in 2010, Banff Ave. Brewing Co. crafts its own beers and features a weekly guest cask from other regional breweries. Note: Due to the town of Banff’s unique location within a protected National Park, these exclusive house-made brews can only be purchased on-site and are not exported outside of Banff – so you know you’re sipping something special.
Don’t let the abstinence of Utah’s founding fathers fool you — there’s still beer in them thar hills. There are 13 breweries in-state; three of those brewers have pubs in Park City. After exploring the slopes at now super-expansive Park City Mountain, be sure to stop into Wasatch Brewpub, the first in Utah, located at the top of Main Street. The brewpub has been in operation since 1989, making waves with its Polygamy Porter. You’ll also find an outpost of Squatters Brewpub in Park City if you want to sample several options.
For those visiting Alta, Snowbird, Brighton or Solitude, once you’ve exited Big of Little Cottonwood Canyon, keep heading west for about ten minutes to find the Bohemian Brewery, a brewery that combines a European après feel with their pilsners and lagers.
Oh, Colorado: Where the gold once mined from the mountains gave way to the white gold of snow on the slopes. Now, gold is often found beneath a foamy head in the pleasure of the pint. Finding a sudsy sip after skiing is easy here — perhaps more difficult is narrowing down your choices. If you’re skiing or riding one of Aspen’s four mountains, head to the eponymous Aspen Brewing Company which has been brewing great beer for the past 10 years—check out the new tap room in downtown Aspen with views of Aspen Mountain. In Telluride, Telluride Brewing Company is one of the highest-elevation microbreweries in the world, founded by a group of self-declared ski bums and true lovers of all things Telluride. Head to Steamboat Ski Resort and enjoy brews from not one, but three breweries in town, located between a five and ten-minute drive (or convenient bus ride on free public transit) from the resort. Mountain Tap is located just steps from the Yampa River, but be sure to check out both Butcherknife (try the Amputator IPA) and Storm Peak Brewing (see if the Chowder, a hazy NEIPA is on tap) for a relaxed vibe and plenty of locals to chat up. If you’re shredding at Copper Mountain, head to Outer Range Brewing Co. in Frisco to wet your whistle; over the pass, you’ll find Vail Brewing Company in Eagle-Vail, conveniently located between Vail and Beaver Creek Mountains.
Idaho might not be your first thought when it comes to skiing, but when the snow is good at these resorts in the Northern Rockies, it’s really good—and so is the beer. After exploring Silver Mountain (which gets 300+ inches of snow each year), head to Radio Brewing Company, less than a mile away in Kellogg, where each beer is themed after a favorite, old-timey radio program. For those visiting Sun Valley Resort, you have options, like Warfield Distillery and Brewery is located on Main Street in Ketchum, just 1.3 miles from the resort. They have nine beers on tap and also produce gin and vodka. And while the Sawtooth Brewery production facility and tap room is now located in Hailey, Idaho, the Public House serves up Last Chair Stout and Free Solo Single Hop Pale along with tasty grub. Heading to Schweitzer? Don’t miss the new Utara Brewing Company in Sandpoint, just 12 miles away—ask for Painted Pachyderm Amber.
Looking forward to dropping into the couloirs at Jackson Hole Ski Resort? Well there are plenty of places in which you can regale your friends with tales In nearby Jackson. Snake River Brewery is Wyoming’s Oldest Brewery (try the Snake River Pale Ale), but there are some new kids in town, too, like the quickly-taking-over-the-world Melvin Brewing, which started in the back of the local Thai Restaurant. Try the 2X4 Double IPA, but the clue is in the name—at 12% ABV, you might feel like you’ve been hit by a 2×4 if you have too many. The newest option is StillWest Brewery, which opened in summer 2018 and is located right across from Wyoming’s oldest ski hill, Snow King.
There’s no shortage of great beer in the north east (hello, NEIPAs)—and the skiing isn’t bad, either. In New Hampshire, Moat Mountain Smokehouse & Brewery is a locals’ favorite and it’s located less than 20 minutes from Cranmore, Attitash, Black Mountain and Wildcat Mountain; it’s 30 minutes from King Pine. From ales to pilsners to stouts, these crowd favorite brews have names like Hell Yes! Call it A Day and Flavah of the Day; the Hoffman Weiss, with a little squeeze of lemon, has been a long-standing, thirst quencher after a day of shredding.
In Maine, there’s no better way to end the day at Sunday River Ski Resort than at Sunday River Brewing Co., located about three miles from Sunday River Ski Resort. The “Brew Pub” (as the locals call it) is known for its Mountain Mama IPA, a classic IPA, and Ski Town Brown, an English brown ale with chocolate notes. You can even get a treat for Rover—they have dog treats from the recycled grains.
And no beer-and-skiing story would be complete without including The Alchemist, creator of Heady Topper. It’s located just nine minutes from Stowe Mountain Resort and near Bolton Valley and Smuggler’s Notch. But don’t stop there—Idletyme Brewing and Prohibition Pig are also great places to stop and sip some suds.
In Virginia, Bryce Resort is tucked away in the mountains of western Shenandoah County, just a short drive from Washington D.C. After enjoying the slopes, make the short (about 20 minutes) scenic drive to Swover Creek Farm Brewery. This rustic brewery serves up craft brews not only inspired by life on the farm, but also made with ingredients grown on-site. Visiting Massanutten Resort? Pale Fire Brewing Company in downtown Harrisonburg (less than 30 min from the resort) can quench the thirst racked up after a day on the slopes.
Of course, there’s no way we can include all the beers near all of the resorts, so tell us—what did we miss? And of course, please enjoy responsibly.