What is there to do in a ski town during quarantine? Let me start by saying that we are lucky to be in a place where it is easy to social distance. Getting outside is encouraged if done responsibly and there are so many options for outdoor activities. Hiking, ski touring, biking, and golfing are just a few of the hobbies that we can safely enjoy in our communities. Not everyone has this luxury during such a difficult time and we at Ski Butlers are very thankful for that.
Now let me change gears- while all of the previously mentioned activities are great, the one I’d like to highlight is one you can do in just about any town across America- drink. Now might not be the time to argue over how essential liquor stores really are, but I can confidently say that ski town liquor and beer sales are up since mid-March.
I would argue that skiing and drinking are a better match than Peanut Butter and Jelly or Spaghetti and Meatballs. The best part? Some of my favorite micro-breweries and distilleries just happen to be in some of the best ski towns in America. Because I’m working from home and have a glass of High West Double Rye calling my name, let’s rattle off my personal top 7 list of ski town distilleries and micro-breweries.
7. Breckenridge Brewery Breckenridge, CO
Starting this list off with a brewery that has it all. From a great rotating seasonal list- try the Oktoberfest- to their “Mainline” of year-round offerings, BB encompases everything you are looking for in a ski town brewery. Nothing says a powder day in Breckenridge like a few Avalanche Ales after 4pm.
6. Fifty Fifty Brewing Truckee, CA
Squaw Valley is the first place I skied out west. Before that trip, I had been to Vermont once and only skied the Poconos in Pennsylvania- I was instantly hooked. It’s only right that I include a Truckee-based brewery on here. I happen to like just about everything they put out- but the Donner Party Porter has a certain bite to it that I just can’t resist.
5. Breckenridge Distillery Breckenridge, CO
The first distillery making the list here at number 5. While not as nationally known as High West (keep scrolling), Breckenridge Distillery still offers an incredible selection for every kind of Whiskey drinker. Curveball for you here, try the gin- awesome for a spring skiing day when you need something a little lighter on the palate.
4. Beehive Basin Brewery Big Sky, MT
While Big Sky is still growing, they definitely have an established beer scene on par with any major ski destination. Some may argue against Beehive Basin in favor of Lone Peak or Big Sky Brewing. While both are great choices- I have recently been hooked on this little gem next to Roxy’s Market. Bring a pizza (they don’t serve food) and try one of the rotating beers on tap. The Green Bridge IPA is a must-have after a day exploring Lone Peak.
3. Aspen Brewing Company Aspen, CO
Aspen- where the beer flows like wine. There really is no place like Aspen. From the amazing variety of terrain to a town with a vibe second to none, Aspen has everything and more you are looking for on a ski trip. Located just off Main Street, Aspen’s only microbrewery has something for everyone. My go to is the Independence Pass Ale, their super-hopped high altitude rendition of a classic India Pale Ale
2. Melvin Brewing Jackson, WY
Jackson Hole is without a doubt one of my all-time favorite places to visit and ski. A few years ago I was introduced to Melvin (after visiting Snake River many times) and have been hooked ever since. A couple 2x4s in the hot tub after a day lapping the Tram and you will be toast. Pro-tip: Check out Thai Me Up on your next visit. You will not be disappointed.
1. High West Distillery Park City, UT
Beer will always have a place in my heart, but my personal favorite on this list is a well-known distillery. I am a whiskey drinker and have been enjoying High West for almost 10 years now. The best bang for your buck is the Double Rye- smoother than the American Prairie and still reasonably priced. Feeling spendy? Shell out the extra cash for my all time favorite- Yippee Ki Yay.
While I’m sure I missed a few- and maybe left off your personal favorite, I hope this list helps get the wheels churning on ways to pass the time until the snow starts falling again.