ON TAP: Ski Brew-skis

A shift in conversation to ski season and snowboarding season  reverberates through the campus like sudden snowstorm.  Many Colorado College students take to ski towns during these winter blocks to enjoy the mountains, along with the ski areas come the ski bars.

Craft beers have gained a lot of popularity in many bars, as seen in downtown Colorado Springs. Many establishments highlight their craft brewery selections, a great number of which are from Colorado. There are well over 200 breweries in Colorado, with 23 in Colorado Springs alone, providing many stores and bars with local flavors.

Alongside the city breweries, there are also many breweries in ski towns, such as Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, and the focus of this week: Telluride. A town with a population under 3,000, Telluride thrives during their summer music festival and their ski season in the winter.

Telluride Brewing Company was founded in 2011, and their first beer was produced the next year. Founders Chris Fish and Tommy Thacher met in Telluride, where Thacher was a bartender and Fish was a brewer. They started this brewery together just northwest of the town and the ski resort, and it’s grown ever since. Now, it distributes across Colorado to places such as Colorado Springs.

Face Down Brown Ale: This is a World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival award winner, and I can see why—this beer is smooth in many aspects. It isn’t bitter and produces all the oat and toffee flavors one would like in a brown ale, but no flavor is over the top. It tastes like almonds with a light coat of caramel-like sweetness. The aftertaste is my favorite part of this beer because it is rather sweet and light. This beer could go well with any savory meal because it is easygoing and balances earthy and sweet flavors.

Bridal Veil Rye Pale Ale: Featuring some amazing can art, this rye pale ale was my favorite of the two I tried. It’s more bitter on the palate, with lovely hops through and through. While normally I have a difficult time identifying individual hops in beers, this one seemed to do justice to all the ingredients. It has floral, earthy, and citrus-like hops that produce a fresh flavor profile that isn’t overplayed in any way. Too often, it seems breweries try to put too much in their beers, but this rye pale ale feels simple. The mouthfeel is gentle and, similar to the Brown Ale, is not overbearing. I’d suggest having this after a meal to really enjoy its subtleties.


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