There's a saying that goes, "Beer...because no great ideas start with a salad." Aside from this very maxim defining my life, it also happens to be the spark that ignited the idea for a collaboration beer between Bohemian Brewery and Solitude Mountain Resort. Solitude had been serving Bohemian Brewery's beers at their resort for quite some time, but it wasn't until several Solitude and Bohemian employees were brainstorming over a few of their ice cold lagers, that the light bulbs went off and they decided that brewing a Solitude themed canned beer was a real possibility. From that point on, all the other factors including location, a common bond between the two and a similar set of high standards only added to the ease of which this transaction went down.
Location Makes for Good Brew-skis
It may have been the beer that spawned the brilliant idea for a collaboration brew, but it was location that originally brought both sides together. With the brewery located at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon and Solitude being near the top, an alliance between the two only seemed natural. I mean, they do share a road (Fort Union Blvd turns into Big Cottonwood Canyon) and skiers have to drink good beer at après, right? Working in such close proximity also means that the snow that is skied on at Solitude eventually makes it’s way down the canyon and into the water supply only to be used for the beer Bohemian brews each day. It is hard to imagine a better reason for a relationship than the snow melt from the mountain being one of the primary ingredients for the beer, but the list goes on.
Turns Out Both Sides Really Like Each Other
Over the years, being such a short distance apart has led to a mutual affinity for each other. Bohemian's founder, the late Joe Petras, was an avid Skier and Solitude just so happened to be one of his favorite resorts. Solitude's current Director of Food and Beverage, Andrew Fletcher, has also always been a big fan of their beers. So it is no surprise that Solitude has been serving Bohemian Brewery's beers at their resort for quite some time now. However, this is more than just an, "I love you, you love me," let's sell your beers kind of relationship. It is also the quality of the product produced by both sides that elevated this partnership to the next level.
High Standards Define the Beer and the Relationship
This brings us back to that day when both sides were throwing a few back and the idea of a co-branded beer became a real possibility. Once the idea was a go, both parties brought a set of standards that had to be abided by during the project and they were exactly the same. "At that moment I knew it was going to be a high quality product from start to finish," said Fletcher. Bohemian Brewery is very unique in the sense that when the brewery was started, Petras insisted on following reinheitsgebot. Reinheitsgebot, was a law established in Germany by the Duke of Bavaria over 500 years ago that maintained that beer could only be made with four ingredients: barley, hops, water and, eventually, yeast. Established to protect the purity of the beer at the time, in Germany, it is not something that too many brewers in America abide by. Daring to be different, and wanting to brew traditional lagers in an "old school" way, Bohemian decided to follow these guidelines. Not only that, but when the beer tasted a bit different in the bottles then when it was in the tank they began canning their beers. Problem solved. Way ahead of their time for canning craft beer, it was this type of pioneering attitude and their already high brewing standards that enhanced Bohemian's appeal to Solitude. Thus Solitude BrewSki became a reality. Originally created as a one-off beer as part of Bohemian Brewery’s “Brewer’Stache” line, "After we tasted the beer that the brewer wanted to showcase, we knew this was the perfect match to can and label, Solitude BrewSki," said Fletcher. A German-style Pilsner, Solitude BrewSki quickly rose in such popularity that Bohemian Brewery and Solitude Mountain Resort decided to release it as a standing offering.
Solitude Brewski Mountain Lager Does Not Disappoint
The best part, it's in cans and available not only at the mountain but in stores throughout Utah. With that in mind, I recently had the opportunity to throw a few of these back, I mean conduct a tasting, and here is what I thought about this uniquely brewed après ski beer.
Admittedly, I like lagers...a lot, especially pilsner style lagers so having the opportunity to taste this version got my beer taste buds standing at attention. When looking for a good beer to help you relax post pow most tend to lean in favor of a beer that is light and refreshing. This is exactly the case here with Bohemian's Brewski. The taste is crisp, as is the case with most pilsners, and it has a nice level of bitterness that blends well with its bready, slightly sweet flavor. Overall, Brewski delivers the goods on being a thirst quenching, easy drinking, yet flavorful après ski beer.
*All Photos are courtesy of Solitude Mountain Resort