Ultimate 6er | Mountain Town Beers
I’m one of those people who has always felt at home in mountains. Some people feel at home in the water, some in the city, some on the farm. For me, I feel more at ease and a bit of nostalgia even if I’m in mountains I’ve never visited before. In the summer, I like to hike and backpack and in the winter I snowboard – in any season, a refreshing beer is a great way to cap off an adventurous day! Luckily, here in Colorado it seems that every small town has it’s own brewery or at least a taphouse to find some delicious drafts.
The following is a collection of some of the best mountain-themed beers I’ve come across recently, even looking at some of these labels is enough to give me severe wanderlust.
ABV: 6.7% | IBU: 81
Whether you enjoy riding from the tops of mountains to the bottom over and over all day long or just staying at the bottom and taking in the scenery with a beer in the lodge, you will absolutely appreciate the views depicted on Ninkasi’s newly re-branded flagship Total Domination IPA. Ninkasi is located in Eugene, Oregon and the Total Domination IPA was actually the first beer they ever produced. It’s become a staple over the years and totally dominated (see what I did there?) the Oregon IPA competition from Day 1. It’s totally hoppy, pleasantly malty and a great go-to beer whether you’re taking in the views from the peaks or from the valleys.
ABV: 5.2% | IBU: 30
The extinct volcano for which this beer was named is located in Deschutes National Forest and is nearly symmetrical. That pretty much also describes the porter – from Deschutes and very well balanced. The sweet coffee and chocolate flavors make this an easy drinker. Its so good, in fact, that this could pass as your brunch beer – kind of like a mocha with 5.2% ABV. That’ll get you pepped for a day on the hill!
Anyone who decides to go out of bounds on the ski hill is probably pretty extreme and the flavors in Avery’s well known beer are the same. With plenty of coffee bitterness, a touch of sweet malt and “a mountain of hops” – this is a big beer for the lover of big adventures. While you won’t get kicked out for drinking this stout, you will likely be asked to leave if you go out of bounds on many a ski hill. Stay in the marked areas and enjoy your Out of Bounds time from a pint glass.
ABV: 7% | IBU: 62
Independence Pass is one of the places in Colorado where feet of snow remain year-round. Going to the Chili and Brew Fest in Snowmass in July? You’ll see snow going over Independence Pass. Headed to Aspen in December? You might have to take the other way in because the pass will likely be closed due to snow accumulation. Aspen Brewing Company made their rendition of the IPA using this pass as a starting point – high altitude, high hops. This is a big IPA with lots of hops and heavy sweetness – just like the pass itself.
ABV: 5% | IBU: 19
Known for it’s ski hill, Breckenridge sits at the base of the Rocky Mountains. With the gold rush embedded it its history, current visitors and residents search for their own gold – hiking, fly fishing and boating in the summer, snowsports in the winter. Breckenridge Brewery certainly struck gold with this amber ale, their best selling beer. With a good balance of pale and caramel malts and a small hint of hops, it’s a very approachable beer whether it’s your first time on the mountain or your fiftieth.
ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 15.5
This label, you guys. It’s a chocolate mine. I’m so glad to finally know where chocolate comes from! Evans Brewing, based in Orange County, California, doesn’t overdo it with this dark brew. The coffee and chocolate notes are present but not too in-your-face powerful. Now if only we could Wonka-fy one of our favorite slopes and turn it into an edible adventure!