Blog Post Updated on May 6, 2022
The symbiotic relationship between craft beer and skiing goes without saying. In fact, it's hard to imagine a day on the slopes without at least one après-ski beer. That's why we devote so much time on our craft beer blog to finding the best ski beers for you all to partake in.
Our Ski Beer List Needed a Facelift
A couple of weeks ago we updated our Top10 East Coast Après Ski Beers to give the readers of our craft beer blog a fresh take on the latest and greatest skiing beers. Now it's time for our Top 10 West Coast Après Ski Beers to get a facelift.
Since there are so many excellent breweries out there producing top-notch craft beer there is no reason to limit our skiing beer choices to one region. So without further adieu here is a new look at the après-ski beers you must drink when skiing out West.
Our New Top 10 Après Ski Beers From the West
Photo Courtesy of Telluride Brewing Instagram Page
This was one of the only carryovers from the original list and deservedly so. It's a multiple award-winning ski beer for a reason. A hybrid brown ale whose malt-forward nature produces rich notes of toffee and chocolate are well balanced by the subtle hoppiness at the end. And, at only 5.7% ABV you can drink a few without ending up face down in the snow like the name and label suggest.
Photo Courtesy of Roadhouse Brewing Instagram Page
I've been fortunate enough to try this beer every year since it was released. Now in its third year, RBC has dialed it into what I think is its best version. The hop explosion is noticeable. The second you crack the can open the citrus aroma hits you. These notes carry over into the taste producing another burst of citrus that is very palatable. The lower ABV this time around makes it even more sessionable and thirst-quenching. So much so, that you may not only loosen your boots but even kick them off completely when you start drinking this après-ski beer.
Pray for Snow
Photo Courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing Instagram Page
Pray for Snow is an iconic skiing beer in every way possible and it's a damn good too. What other beer has an annual party series wrapped around its name and comes with its own movie?
Ummmmm, to my knowledge, none.
Furthermore, it's delicious! Malt forward with sweet notes of caramel and toffee balance well with the hops to create a slightly boozy winter warmer that is the perfect offering to the snow gods.
Photo Courtesy of Deschutes Instagram Page
Red Chair is arguably the most unique hybrid après ski beer on this list. Part IPA, part winter warmer, part amber lager and very well balanced. Red Chair starts out smooth with notes of caramel before transitioning to a clean hop finish of citrus and pine. It's a classic, just like the chair on its label.
Photo Courtesy of Fifty Fifty Brewing Instagram Page
Pale ales are always an excellent choice when it comes to ski beers due to their drinkable nature. Fifty Fifty's CAPA is no slouch. Very fragrant and tropical this Pale Ale is filled with fruity hops such as orange, lemon and grapefruit. Medium-bodied, crisp and clean CAPA is a highly quaffable and refreshing choice after a day on the slopes.
Photo Courtesy of Odd 13 Brewing Instagram Page
When I first had this après ski beer at the famous Red Lion in Vail Village, I was told by the bartender that it was the best IPA in America. Bold statement but not unwarranted. Codename Superfan is damn good! A nice bitter punch hits you first before giving way to the juicy hop flavors of pine and citrus and some dry woodiness in the end.
Kolsch beers are not a highly sought-after craft beer style. Many breweries here in America don't even brew them. But Map Brewing does and does it well. They do this traditionally German-style beer justice with their award-winning Ridge Hippy. True to style, it is subtly fruity with a bread-like body that is well balanced with a light hop character. Named after the beloved ski bums that frequent Bridger Bowl it is always a refreshing option to reach for when skiing under the Big Sky.
Photo Courtesy of Outer Range Brewing Instagram Page
Truth be told, I've never had a bad ski beer from Outer Range Brewing. Their IPAs are as good as they get. In the Steep is just another terrific example. Citra hops produce a lush taste of grapefruit and passion fruit with a creamy consistency that envelopes your taste buds. Lush, juicy and very drinkable it's absolutely fantastic!
Photo Courtesy of Squatters Brewery Instagram Page
I know that blonde ales are characteristically more of a summer beer but they can also be quite refreshing after a day of shredding. Chasing Tail is an excellent ski beer option when in Utah. Floral and fruity with a bit of lemon are balanced out with a hint of breadiness. Light and refreshing it will quench your thirst while pairing very well with common après ski foods like wings and nachos. You just can't go wrong with chasing tail. The beer, duh.
Photo Courtesy of Dru Bru Instagram Page
This award-winning German-style dark lager is full of flavor.
It's like Nutella on toast in a can. The dark malt character dominates with notes of toast, chocolate and hazelnut and finishes with a slight herbal hoppiness. Despite the taste explosion, it can be consumed as a session beer, and you should since it's brewed to support the Ski Patrol.
Skiing Beers Complete Your Day
There is simply nothing better than that first après ski beer after a day of shredding the mountain. That's why we created our If You Don't Après Ski t-shirt. Soft and comfortable, it is the perfect piece of après-ski clothing to wear while enjoying any and all of these fine ski beer choices above.