Top Ten Ski Resorts to Down a Local Beer - Page 2

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Park City, Utah, ski lift
In Park City, Utah, a lift connects the ski hill right to Main Street. Talk about easy après access.  (courtesy, Dan Campbell/Park City CVB)

5. Durango Mountain Resort, Steamworks Brewing Co.
Durango, Co
The Hill: Though the owners changed the name to Durango Mountain Resort, everybody still calls Southern Colorado's popular destination its old name, Purgatory. Not the largest resort, DMR did just add an additional 125 acres of tree-skiing, bringing the total terrain to 1,325 acres; more than a third of the runs are rated advancedexpert. Three terrain parks round out the fun.

The Beer: Steamworks CEO Kris Oyler is a Colorado native living the dream. His in-town pub serves a line of ales, lagers, and stouts that are celebrated the world over. At the 2009 Australian International Beer Awards, Steamworks' Kölsch, Conductor Imperial, Steam Engine Lager, Backside Stout, and Spruce Goose cleaned up.

In the know: Thursday is pint night. Just purchase a $7 logo glass and, after the first beer, enjoy $1 pints.

On the go: Based at Durango, the San Juan Ski Company offers killer snow-cat service with access to 35,000 acres of national forest.

4. Killington Resort, Long Trail Brewing Co.
Killington, VT
The Hill: Billed "The Beast," this perennial favorite in Vermont offers something for everyone. And, though the crowds can make it seem like everyone is skiing Killington, the truth is that with gorgeous glades spanning seven peaks—the highest reaching 4,241 feet—everyone can find a slope to call their own. With the world's biggest snowmaking system, it's a recipe for success.

The Beer: Over the hill and through the woods, head for Long Trail Brewing in Bridgewater, a 20-minute drive. The namesake amber Long Trail Ale is available year-round; après-ski, order a pint of warming Hibernator, an unfiltered Scottish ale.

In the know: The suds are brewed in a celebrated "environmentally conscious operation" (eco, get it?), which emphasizes recycling, water conservation, and renewable energy.

On the go: Snowboarders will want to check out the Stash, an all-natural terrain park designed by Jake Burton, one of only five such parks in the world.

3. Aspen/Snowmass, Aspen Brewing Co.
Aspen, CO
The Hill: When considering America's ritziest resort, keep in mind AspenSnowmass is a quadruple threat. There's challenging Aspen Mountain with 673 acres of terrain; the larger outpost Aspen Highlands with its namesake bowl; and Buttermilk, the smallest of the areas, host to the X Games which has a 22-foot superpipe. Then there's Snowmass, the biggest of the bunch, taken alone one of Colorado's biggest areas at 3,100 acres, and boasting a massive 4,406-foot vertical drop. 'Nuff said.

The Beer: Aspen might have been the last Colorado ski town without a brewery. Into the breach stepped the Aspen Brewing Company, which opened in 2008.

In the know: Winter draughts include Pyramid Peak Porter and Midnight Mine Imperial Stout.

On the go: Yes, a one-day lift-ticket will set you back $96, but there are discounts for buying multiple-day tickets in advance, and you can ski or ride any of the resorts.

2. Mt. Bachelor, Deschutes Brewery
Bend, OR

The Hill: On the southern edge of Oregon's Cascade Range, Mt. Bachelor's volcanic peak rises above the tree line, offering a diverse terrain. The lift-served, 9,000-foot summit provides access to 360-degrees worth of slopes from chutes to tree skiing to bumpy moguls, while lower-mountain runs offer intermediates and families a place to work on their turns. Thanks to Pacific storms, the resort gets more than 350 inches of snow annually. With 3,683 acres, and 1,600 acres groomed daily, crowds are rarely an issue.

The Beer: Deschutes Brewery brewpub on Bond Street in downtown Bend, 20 miles from the mountain, has been serving superior suds for two decades. Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, and the Deschutes Brewery Quad all picked up medals at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.

In the know: Food does not take a backseat on Bond Street. Our choice for protein: the elk burger with gruyere.

On the go: Altitude plus accumulation mean that the late spring season on Mt. Bachelor can extend to May.

1. Park City Mountain Resort, Wasatch Brew Pub
Park City, Utah

The Hill: Celebrating its 25th anniversary, pretty Park City represents not just the epitome of Utah resorts, but some might argue the Rocky Mountains writ large. A mere 36 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport, resort access is completely simplified by a lift connecting the hill to the town's historic Main Street. Once on the mountain, 3,300 acres offer go-getters plenty of challenges. Recent improvements include a new high-speed quad and a new blue run under the Silver Star lift.

The Beer: Somewhat surprisingly, mostly Mormon Utah has become a go-to zone for beer-lovers. The granddaddy of the state's microbrew scene is Park City's Wasatch Brewery, offering the award-winning Polygamy Porter and the high-alcohol (8 percent) Devastator.

In the know: Forget what you've heard about Utah's stingy liquor laws. Things have changed. You no longer have to be a member to visit the full bar at the Brew Pub Cantina above the brewery...or any other bar or brewery in the Beehive State.

On the go: The Black Forest Glades are reputed to hold powder long after the rest of Park City has been tracked.

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