By: Rich Stoner | All About Après
Spring has sprung as they say and while I am sure that they will be skiing at Squaw and Mammoth throughout the summer (maybe longer), the majority of us are in what I like to call, après-ski season. That period of time “after” the ski season ends where we all transition to other activities like hiking and biking to occupy our time until the flakes once again begin to fall. However, just because we are not skiing and riding doesn’t mean that we have to eliminate après from our lives entirely. You can and should celebrate all your accomplishments with good friends and good drinks no matter what the season. In fact, it’s this very notion that defines many of us mountain riders. That’s why the French invented après-ski anyway, right? Following suit and catering to our cause are the ski town breweries across the country whose beers we often drink while on the mountain. Fully embracing this very motto of work hard play hard, these breweries encourage their patrons to live life to the fullest. “Work hard, play hard” has pretty much been my personal mantra my whole life and often find myself saying “work hard, play hard” while I’m running or pushing myself on some way physically.” Says Kristin Scott, co-founder of the Colorado based brewery Odd 13. It even defines the work life balance that her and her husband Ryan implement at their brewery, offering flexible vacation times and 3 days off per week. “We value our employees time here at the brewery as well as ensuring they live a life that’s fun. If we have brewers stuck in this seemingly unending work grind and not able to enjoy other aspects of life, what’s the point,” says Scott? Exactly! All work and no play as Jack once typed repetitively in The Shining and nobody wants to end up like that. Bend, Oregon’s 10 Barrel Brewing operate under a similar guise, co-founders, Chris and Jeremy Cox feel that, “Life is too short to be stuck in an office grinding so we like to balance our life with a little fun as well.” They even have a powder clause.”If it snows more than 8” overnight, the powder clause will go into effect and employees can come in late so they can enjoy Mt. Bachelor.” Talk about practicing what you preach, these two breweries have the work hard play hard matra down and they are not alone when it comes to this endeavor.
More and more craft breweries, particularly from the towns in and around ski resorts are embracing the idea of their customers getting after it and then enjoying the time spent with friends afterward at the brewery. “People don’t move to Summit Country Colorado by accident. They choose to leave the convenience of city life to have the mountains as their playground,” says Emily Cleghorn, co-owner of Outer Range Brewing Company. This is what keeps us living. So let’s take advantage of the longer days and warmer temps as we embrace spring with a slew of outdoor activities that are sure to have you celebrating with these tasty, spring like beers from the following mountain town breweries.
Out of Office Pils
10 Barrel – Bend, Oregon
With brew pubs in prominent mountain towns like Bend, Boise and Denver, 10 Barrel encourages its patrons to drink beer outside. You should, especially one as quaffable as their Out of Office. Pushing the boundaries of a true pils, there is a hop presence that falls short of making this an IPA while still producing a nice citrus flavor. That makes it the perfect refresher for a hot day when you are cough, cough sick and out of the the office.
Crux Fermentation Project – Bend, Oregon
Amidst the backdrop of Mount Bachelor, in the town of Bend that is laden with breweries, Crux Fermentation Project is one of the more underrated ones. However, they continue to brew some seriously tasty beers that embody life outdoors. This includes their newest release, Lawn Party. A golden ale that is refreshingly bright and citrusy with a touch of pine at the finish. It’s so good you will need to bust out the cornhole boards and throw a party.
Outer Range Brewing Co. – Frisco, Co
This collaboration double dry hopped DIPA done with Collective Arts Brewing out of Ontario, Canada is brand new for the spring. Dubbed Sluff (a type of avalanche) it is a tribute to the backcountry skiers and riders on the Outer Range team and features artwork designed by local Denver artist Max Coleman who actually recreated it in a large mural at the off site can release.
Full of juicy citrus flavor this dangerously delicious beer is a worthy tribute to those who make the mountains their playground.
Odd 13 Brewing – Lafayette, Co
Their O.G. IPA is brewed with a variety of hops from the Pacific Northwest and, as a more traditional American IPA, is a nice break from the hop bomb madness that IPA’s have become. Juicy, mango and grapefruit flavored hops with a touch of bitterness Codename is a refreshingly well balanced and medium bodied beer that will turn you into a Superfan.
Tart ‘N Juicy Sour IPA
Epic Brewing Co. – Salt Lake City, Utah
A sour IPA, sounds like a beer nerd’s dream. In actuality though it is an excellent introduction into sour beers. Easy drinking with the tart flavor of green apples balanced out by the citrus hop presence it is a solid sour and a welcome refreshment on a warm spring day.
Ridge Hippy Kolsch
Map Brewing – Bozeman, Montana
Named for the famous ski bums who frequent the local favorite resort, Bridger Bowl this refreshing Kolsch embodies the mountain lifestyle. Grainy and with a touch of fruit at first and finally a touch of spice at the end. It’s a great beer for a warm spring day providing all the refreshment you need after any outdoor adventure.
West Coast Haze
FiftyFifty Brewing – Truckee, California
Sitting amidst the backdrop of Lake Tahoe, the town of Truckee is an outdoor playground and FiftyFifty is brewing beers the represent that lifestyle. This is an excellent combination of a New England and west coast IPA. Citrusy and tropical like a NE IPA but has less juicy hop qualities of a west coast. It’s smooth, refreshing and the best of both worlds.
Zero Gravity – Burlington, Vt
Named after Madonna Mountain which located at Smugglers’ Notch Ski Resort, the first cans of this double IPA were cracked open after a hike up to the summit of that very peak. Madonna packs a punch flavor that is not too hoppy and full of tropical grapefruit and tangerine goodness. Honestly, it goes down far too easy for a double IPA with an 8% abv, making it as scary good as the views at the top of Madonna Mountain.
Woodstock Brewing – Phoenicia, NY
Lagers are perfect for the warmer weather and this one more than delivers. A traditional helles lager with a crispy, dough-like flavor yet there is a slight citrus twist of lemon and limes. Simple and crushable, it’s an ideal beer post any Catskills hike and/or bike.
Boone Creek Blonde Ale
The Appalachian Mountain Brewery – Boone, NC
With hiking, mountain biking and even skiing nearby, the town of Boone is an outdoor adventure mecca and The Appalachian Mountain Brewery’s beers are the perfect reward to a day on the trails. This especially goes for their namesake and award winning blonde ale. Bready with a taste of orange and a honey-like sweetness throughout, it is refreshingly delicious and very drinkable brew.
All About Après is a lifestyle clothing and media brand devoted to the good times shared with friend and family at après-ski. We strive to bring you the best places to play on and off the mountain plus all the food, beer, gear and more to help make it epic. Our clothing line is cheeky, comfortable and designed to enhance your overall experience. https://allaboutapresski.com/