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Top US Skiing Destinations for Beer Lovers

Top US Skiing Destinations for Beer Lovers

Outdoor adventures and craft beer are a perfect duo. We love to crack open a beer after our hike or ride or whatever other activity we’ve enjoyed to celebrate with our companions and commemorate just how awesome it was. Skiing is no different. While skiing and craft beer don’t mix in a literal sense (i.e. don’t drink and ski), these U.S. skiing destinations feature craft brews that serve as a perfect accompaniment to a long day on the slopes. Whether you’re an expert skier or have never put on a set of skis, here are the top U.S. skiing destinations perfect for beer lovers.

Albany, New York

Albany is an affordable destination that’s only 1.5 hours from four different ski experiences – Windham is just 26 miles away, Jiminy Peak is 42 miles away, Catamount is 46 miles away and Gore is 70 miles away. The city is also home to the Northeast Ski & Craft Beer Showcase, which offers samples from breweries all over the country, gear deals and ski lift tickets. Druthers Brewing Company, Fort Orange Brewing, Albany Pump Station, The City Beer Hall, and The Albany Ale & Oyster just scratch the surface of the craft beer and dining scene in Albany.

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky is just about 50 miles away from Yellowstone National Park and has a mix of skiing terrain for everyone from beginners to experts. At the top of the Lone Peak Tram, there are breathtaking views of three states and two national parks. Beehive Basin Brewery and Lone Peak Brewery and Tap House are two breweries in the heart of Big Sky.

Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge is a vibrant town that combines a sleek, tourist destination veneer with a homey, local feel. In the heart of ski season, the town hosts an epic event every winter – the Big Beers Festival, which focuses on pouring high-ABV Belgian-style ales and hearty, filling and boozy Barleywines. While the weekend beer event is packed with fun and educational experiences, there are plenty of opportunities to hit the nearby slopes (fest-goers receive discounted lift tickets). Broken Compass Brewing’s tagline is ‘It’s always 5 O’Clock on the Ski Hill’, and to help facilitate that, they offer a free shuttle around town. Breckenridge Brew Pub is located right on bustling Main Street where the beer makes its way onto the food menu with stout gravy for the elk meatloaf, beer-cheese fries and an artichoke ale dip.

Photo Courtesy Broken Compass Brewing

Hood River, Oregon

Just about 60 miles away from Portland, Hood River is scenically located between the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Range. It’s home to a variety of ski resorts that each offer something unique, including Mt. Hood MeadowsTimberline Lodge, and Cooper Spur Mountain Resort. Located inside Cooper Spur is Crooked Tree, a tavern serving craft beers on tap from Iron Horse BreweryNinkasi Brewing CompanyFort George Brewery and other local spots. Nearby must-see breweries include pFriem Family BrewersDouble Mountain Brewery, and Full Sail Brewing Company. Feel the ski love at Mt. Hood Brewing with brews like Hogsback Oatmeal Stout, which have illustrations of skiers enjoying the snow.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Jackson Hole is home to three ski areas – Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain Resort, and Grand Targhee Resort. Jackson Hole is an outdoor lover’s dream destination close to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. For beer lovers, ski-influenced Melvin Brewing has a brewpub right in town called Thai Me Up, which serves Thai Fusion and 20 craft beers on tap. Snake River Brewing, Roadhouse Brewing Company and StillWest Brewery and Grill are also located in the action-packed town.

Photo Courtesy Melvin Brewing

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe might be best known for its deep, vividly blue water, which is visible from several of the various ski resorts here. There is really a resort for everyone here, with Homewood Mountain Resort appealing to families and Diamond Peak Resort to those looking for something with smaller crowds. The North Lake Tahoe Ale Trail offers an interactive trail map highlighting great spots to grab a beer, including Tahoe Mountain Brewing and Alibi Ale Works. The WinterWonderGrass Festival in March is a combination craft beer, blue grass music and ski festival.

Park City, Utah

Park City is home to two world-class ski resorts, Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain. At Deer Valley Resort, the Brass Tag restaurant offers local beers from SaltFire Brewing Co., Red Rock Brewery, 2 Row Brewing, Epic Brewing and more. Park City Brewing strives to makes beers to pair well with outdoor adventures, like the Breaking Trail Pale Ale, which is a smooth-drinking, elegantly hoppy brew. Park City is a short 30 miles away from Salt Lake City, which is home to dozens of breweries and beer destinations such as Uinta Brewing, Proper Brewing Co., Shades Brewing and Kiitos Brewing. 

Ponderay, Idaho

If you’re gearing up for your ski adventure at nearby Schweitzer Mountain Resort in this snowy Idaho town, Sandports Sports is a go-to spot since they offer an inviting taproom while you browse for equipment. The resort is the largest resort in Idaho with nine lifts and 92 named runs. Laughing Dog Brewery is a small brewery that offers an eclectic tap list with award-winning brews. Idaho Pour Authority is part bottle shop, part taproom with 300 bottled and canned craft beer choices and 12 rotating taps.

Victor, Idaho

Victor, Idaho is a mere 30 minutes away from Grand Targhee Resort, which is known for 500 inches of light powder snow annually. The resort also offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, fat biking (LINK), snowmobiling and other cold-weather activities. Grand Teton Brewing hosts free brewery tours and a variety of outdoor-inspired beers, such as pale golden ale Old Faithful Ale (named after the famous geyser in Yellowstone National Park). Wildlife Brewing serves pub food and brews like the Bear Claw Black Ale and Fiend Coffee Stout made with Teton Coffee.

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe is known internationally as a four-season ski destination with the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield, along with the smaller but no less picturesque Spruce Peak. Stowe is definitely a must-see spot for craft beer lovers as well. Besides The Alchemist, which now makes its home in Stowe, visitors will be able to venture to Von Trapp Brewing, Lost Nation Brewing, and Idletyme Brewing Company. Tap Twenty-Five is a craft beer bar with 25 rotating beers on tap and foods designed to pair nicely with them. Right on Main Street, Stowe’s Public House and Bottle Shop sells specialty beers and has a quaint bar to grab a local beer on tap as well as sample local Vermont cheeses.

Vail, Colorado

For beer lovers looking for a luxurious skiing destination, look no further than Vail, with 5,000 acres of skiable terrain. Vail Brewing Company is in the heart of Vail Village, which is home to dozens of restaurants, bars and stores. The five-star lodging at Four Seasons Vail offers beer-inspired spa packages to relax after a long day of skiing. The Amber Ale Foot Soak uses local Crazy Mountain Brewing beers for the service, and the Brew and Renew massage incorporates heated beer cans and finished with a delectable local beer to drink.

Waterbury, Vermont

Waterbury is less than 20 minutes away from four ski areas – Stowe Mountain Resort, Sugarbush Resort, Mad River Glen and Bolton Valley Resort. This small Vermont town was, of course, put on the map for craft beer lovers due to the presence of nearby The Alchemist, whose Heady Topper was on the cutting-edge of the hazy, unfiltered IPA movement, but there are several other spots that make it worthy of a ski-focused beercation. Prohibition Pig and Brewery is in the original location of The Alchemist, The Reservoir Restaurant and Tap Room, and The Blackback Pub are all in town. The Craft Beer Cellar is located at the center of town selling more than 800 beer and hard cider options from all over the world.

Photo Courtesy Prohibition Pig

More great skiing spots for beer lovers can be found via mountain pub tours. Learn more about the Ultimate Mobile Mountain Pub tour here.

As has already been stated, combining craft beer before skiing is a recipe for disaster, but if you manage to take a trip to one of these craft beer-imbued skiing destinations, you’ll be sure to have a grand time on the slopes followed by a relaxing and enjoyable time at a craft beer bar or restaurant in town. Happy trails!

Header Photo Courtesy Breckenridge Brewery


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