Apres Ski - Winter Park Ski Resort
Well, folks, the time is here. The season of blue skies and sunny days has dawned upon us and that means it’s time to get educated on some of the best beverages offered by ski areas in Colorado to pair with your après ski adventures.
So, if you find yourself at one of these ski areas this spring, don’t hesitate to try one of these alcoholic (or non-alcoholic) beverages to refresh you after a long day on the slopes. Not only are you supporting the ski area you’re at, but you’re supporting the local brewery who helped partner to make this beverage happen.
Some of these ski areas and breweries have partnered and made a specific beverage, while others have partnered but haven’t made their own beverage yet.
With that said, let’s jump right in:
Loveland Ski Area - Tommyknocker’s Pine Bough Pale Ale
Photo Credit: beerinfinity.com
This one is near and dear to the Loveland fanatic, as this pale ale is brewed with handpicked spruce pine needles directly from the mountain. You can drink this beer knowing it came from exactly where you were skiing. That’s pretty special. This pale ale is an American style pale ale with an ABV of 5% and strong-tasting notes of mountain pine. If you’re a beer lover, be sure to include this on your to-try list this spring at Loveland.
Loveland Ski Area - Bernese Mountain Brown Ale by Gunaella Pass Brewery
Bernese Mountain Brown Ale - Guenella Pass Brewing
This Bernese Mountain Brown Ale is an American Brown Ale with Maris Otter, chocolate, wheat and Crystal 60 malts that give a nice, subtle, malty, chocolate flavor while the Centennial and Cascade hops provide a spicy, piney character. The ABV is 6.4% so it's a good Apres Ski beverage.
Winter Park - Upslope’s Mary Jane Ale
Photo Credit: Upslope Brewing Company
This ale is a revamp of their Mary Jane Ale with New Belgium’s brewery from year’s past and their goal was to create a beer that was craved by skiers and riders coming off the slopes. It’s a pale ale with notes of citrus and other fruits but has enough hops to balance the beer out nicely. This has become a favorite of Winter Park and Mary Jane goers and is the perfect way to round out a day on the mountain. Give it a try next time you find yourself skiing at Winter Park and Mary Jane.
Sunlight Mountain Resort - Tommyknocker’s Sunny Pop Craft Soda
Photo Credit: Sunlight Mountain
There’s no reason why a great après ski sessions can’t be enjoyed by the whole family and what better way than allowing the kids to enjoy this craft soda at Sunlight Mountain. Tommyknocker Brewery had inclusivity in mind with this one and this is now the first craft soda collaboration between a ski area and a brewery. Very similar to a cream soda, this beverage has a strong orange citrus taste with a hint of vanilla. They are really aiming to associate this taste with the flavors you’d imagine go with ‘Sunlight’. So, if you find yourself here this spring, get one for the kids, or for yourself. Either way, a great beverage and a cool way to support the mountain and brewery.
Monarch Mountain - Elevation’s Throwback Red Ale
Photo Credit: Elevation Beer Company
This beer was crafted to celebrate and commemorate 80 years of fantastic skiing at Monarch Mountain. It’s an easy-drinking 5% ABV Irish Red Ale with great flavor. It has tasting notes of subtle caramel, toast, and toffee with a deep red color, so this beer can be enjoyed for all of its characteristics. Don’t hesitate to partake in the celebration of this mountain by enjoying one of these beers after a great day on the mountain. You earned it, and so did they.
Aspen Mountains - Aspen Brewing Company
Aspen Brewing Company didn’t want to just create one beer to represent their resorts, they wanted more than that. So instead, they’ve created a variety of beers which represent different aspects of their different resorts. They have a Silver Queen series, which is named after a gondola at Ajax (Aspen Mountain) and a Temerity Series, named after a lift and a steep section of the mountain enjoyed by many at Aspen Highlands. Among that they also have a seasonal Cloud 9 Saison and an Ajax Pilsner, both with names associated to their mountains as well. So, if you find yourself at any of these mountains keep an eye out for one of these and delve in to make you feel one with the mountain.
Ski Cooper - Dillon Dam Brewery’s Kerrigan’s Irish Stout
Photo Credit: untappd.com
Poured exclusively at Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub on the mountain, this drink embodies what the pub is all about. This Irish Style stout is full-bodied and is sure to pair with any of your appetizers or meals. This brew is slightly dry but has a really smooth finish and is a fan favorite among avid goers of this mountain. If you find yourself at Ski Cooper stop by this pub and give this beer a shot. It’s all about the experience.
Telluride Ski Resort - Telluride Brewing Company and SweetWater Brewing Company
Photo Credit: Telluride Brewing Company
While SweetWater isn’t a Colorado brewery, it has co-partnered with Telluride Brewing Company to be the sole beer sponsors of Telluride Ski Resort. While they haven’t yet crafted a beer specific to the mountain, you can be sure to expect SweetWater’s award-winning brew, the 420 Extra Pale Ale and Telluride’s award-winning brew, the Face Down Brown Ale to be their most popular at events and their bars. However, other beers will be rotated from each of these two breweries as well. If Telluride is your destination this spring, you’ll have plenty of options to support their resort and brewery partners.
Eldora Ski Area - 10 Barrel Brewing
This Denver based brewery has partnered with Eldora Mountain to again, not just make one specific beer, but try to get all their favorite beers in the hands of Eldora skiers and riders. While their selection will vary this spring, you could expect their Joe IPA or one of their sours to likely be available. Regardless, snagging one of these on your next trip to Eldora is a great way to support the mountain and another great local brewery. So, go après ski and feel good about doing it.
The biggest takeaway here is that there are so many awesome ways you can support local breweries while supporting your favorite spring skiing and riding mountains. These partnerships are the best of both worlds about Colorado – great beer and great skiing.
So, as we get into more and more bluebird days this spring, consider making one of these your next beverage of choice. Not only are they delicious beverages, but they’ll make you feel more connected to the mountain you’re on.
Of course, make sure you’re making your après experience a responsible one, but make sure to enjoy it as well. But first, get out there and enjoy those spring skiing days that lie ahead. There’s no better time than now to continue making the most of your season.
Get after it!
~ Alec Stowell
Alec Stowell is a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Business with a focus in entrepreneurship. He was born in Glenwood Springs and grew up skiing in the roaring fork valley. Being active and exploring the outdoors has always been a huge priority to him - everything from skiing, basketball, mountain biking, hiking, and more have all been hobbies of his for as long as he can remember. Early in his education, he discovered a passion for writing and so when the opportunity came along to both ski and write, he was ecstatic. After graduation, he hopes to still be able to pursue a career in which he can combine his passion for writing and the outdoors, but is still figuring out what the future holds. For now, he is looking forward to making the most out of his ski season with Colorado Ski Country.