Packing for a ski trip requires certain essentials. Your ski and/or snowboard equipment is a must. As is all of your layers to stay warm in varying conditions. And, of course, don’t forget the beer.
Yes, good craft beer is essential to a fun ski trip. Maybe it’s because thrill seekers like ourselves tend to enjoy it. Or, perhaps it’s because beer is the most refreshing adult beverage one can enjoy after a hard day of slaying pow.
Either way, more and more craft breweries around the country recognize this symbiotic relationship and are starting to take advantage of it by brewing ski themed beers. And, they are damn tasty too. So when you’re packing the beer for your next ski trip, why not reach for a ski themed beer like one of the following? It is sure to help put you and your friends in the right frame of mind to relive the days exploits.
Payette Brewing Company – Apres
Style: Hazy IPA
Named for the social activities that follow a day on the mountain Payette Brewing’s Apres is exactly what you would expect from a hazy ipa. Cracking the can the smell of citrus instantly wafts to your nose and is reaffirmed by the taste. Full of citrus flavor if you are into hazy juice bombs then this Apres is for you. Also, give Payette’s new Saucer Boy a try. This Shane McConkey inspired brew will have you going full send even when the lifts stop spinning.
Crazy Mountain Brewery – Shane McConkey
Shane McConkey the pioneer of free skiing lived his life to the fullest. So it is not surprise that this namesake beer from Crazy Mountain is equally full bodied. At 7% it packs a punch in abv and flavor. An almost bready flavor compliments the citrus notes and is rounded out with a pine finish delivering a worthy beer to its namesake.
Upslope Brewing – Mary Jane Ale
Style: Pale Ale
Winter Park Resort’s Mary Jane territory is famous among locals and visitors alike. Named after the lady of the evening who was the original owner of the territory, the area is legendary for its bumps and tree skiing. So, of course, it deserves its own craft beer. A well balanced pale ale with hints of citrus, its refreshing and approachable nature will have you coming back for more, just like Mary Jane herself. Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about the mountain.
Ellicottville Brewing Company – Ski Bum
Ellicottville with its close proximity to nearby ski resorts in western NY, is a charming little ski town. So it is no surprise that this winter-loving town has brewery whose flagship winter beer is dubbed Ski Bum. A bold IPA that delivers an array of flavors that include strong citrus notes that balance perfectly with the sugary sweetness and pine finish. It has a lot going on, just like the apres ski scene in the town it’s named after.
Snake River Brewery – Earned It
Snake River Brewery is known as Jackson Hole’s living room and if you spend some time there post shred, you will probably meet many people who have earned their apres that day. Earned It IPA salutes those skiers and riders with milder take on a NEIPA. A softer mouth feel is followed by an explosion of flavors including mango, grapefruit and other tropical fruits that result in a beer worthy of your ski day.
Crux Fermentation Project – Mountain Traffic
Style: Red Ale
Chances are you’ve experienced it. The long line of cars leading to and from your favorite ski resort. Yup, Mountain Traffic can be a bummer, but in the case of this winter seasonal from Crux Fermentation Project, it is well worth the wait. An incredibly refreshing beer for its higher abv, you’ll taste the fruit from that hops perfectly balanced with the toffee from the malt. This Mountain Traffic is not only tolerable but highly drinkable and will have you craving more.
Great Basin Brewing/Moment Skis – Deathwish
Style: American Pale Ale
A collaboration like this between Great Basin and Moment only seemed logical. Two locally based, fiercely independent yet wide know brands coming together to brew a beer that symbolizes this. This year’s packaging is inspired by Moment’s Deathwish skis and houses a explosion of flavors from citrus to pine. Well balanced with a slightly sweet malt backbone that will have you craving more.
Common Roots Brewing Company – Snowy Night
Style: American Double Stout
What skier or snowboarder does not love a snowy night dumping tons of fresh pow to wake up to in the morning? Hang by the fire and watch it dump as you pour yourself this Common Roots beer with the same name. Snowy Night is well balanced imperial stout with a slight hint of bitter chocolate that plays perfectly with the creamy vanilla bean and lactose sweetness. Flavors like this will have you craving more in anticipation of the falling snow. If you you enjoy a good Gondola Session visit their tap room where you’ll find their newest ski themed beer baring that name.
Sawtooth Brewery – Out Cold
Style: Winter Ale
Cold and long winters like the ones in the Sawtooth Mountains require a beer that warms the heart. That’s exactly what Sawtooth Brewery is doing here with their winter ale. A winter warmer this ale offers plenty of malt flavor without being overly sweet despite the addition of molasses. Well balanced and slightly crisp, it’s an excellent substitute to getting caught out in the cold.
Appalachian Mountain Brewery – Beech Pow Pow
Style: American IPA
Appalachian Mountain Brewery is all about being active outdoors and then celebrating it with their award winning beers. So it is no surprise that they collaborated with the highest lift served ski resort in the East, Beech Mountain for their ski themed beer. Hoppy fruitness flows from the can and finishes with a creamy pillowy feel reminiscent of the pow pow that you’ve just finished skiing.
Dru Bru – Bruski Patrol
Style: German Dark Lager
Raise a pint to the ski patrol, whose efforts keep up safe and deserve a beer or two as much as anyone. Let it be a Bruski Patrol devoted specifically to them. Layers of malty flavors like chocolate and caramel dominate the taste but are well balanced with a mild hop presence on the finish. At 4.8% it is the perfect easy drinking yet fully flavored lager to quench your thirst after a hard day on the mountain.
Rich Stoner is the founder of the après-ski lifestyle clothing and media brand, All About Après. No stranger to the ski and après-ski scene, Rich has been a long time contributor for many publications on topics like skiing, gear, beer and food. However, his passion is on the slopes and enjoying good times with good people. You can find him perfecting his craft carving turns and drinking beers in the Green Mountains of Vermont. @allaboutapres