© Brasserie du Mont Blanc
It’s a well-known fact that one of the best parts of a ski holiday is the après-ski, and one of the best parts of après-ski is the beer. But more than just a way to get sloshed, having a pint on the slopes can be an opportunity to discover new and exciting tastes! Many breweries are located right in the mountains and use the freshest alpine glacier water for their beer, meaning some of these beers are truly outstanding. For a refreshing brew made with the best the Alps have to offer, look no further. We’ve searched out the best beers in the Alps. How many of these have you tried?
At the forefront of the Savoyard craft beer scene is the Brasserie du Galibier, based in the ski resort of Valloire. They do a mean IPA (6%) with overtones of caramel and roasted grains as well as a hoppy American pale ale (4.8%).
© Brasserie du Galibier
This 4.8% lager beer, named after the longest piste in the world, was conceived a few years ago by three friends spending the winter at Alpe d'Huez. Light, fruity and perfect to enjoy on a sunny terrace during a mid-morning break.
This beer comes from a little closer to home but is nevertheless definitely skiing-inspired! Named in honour of the eponymous slope, the White Lady is made by the Aviemore-based Cairngorm Brewery Company. Notes of orange peel and coriander give this wheat beer (4.7%) a distinctive taste.
© Cairngorm Brewery Company
Alepine is a crisp American pale ale made with British and American ingredients. Available at Chamonix, Morzine, Courchevel and other French ski resorts, they are looking to expand into Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The UK-based company donates a percentage of its profits to ski-related charities.
This floral, slightly amber beer is slightly malty, with a bitter note which is balanced by the honey aftertaste. Birrificio Aosta has a range of other beers, from ale to porter to weissbier.
© Birrificio Aosta
The Brasserie du Mont Blanc makes a range of beers brewed with Mont Blanc glacier water. Their novelty beer, La Verte (5.9%), contains a splash of genepi (herbal liqueur), but our favourite is La Rousse (6.5%), a triple-malt amber beer with notes of caramel and roasted almonds.
At 1760m, the AsitzBräu touts itself as Europe’s highest brewhouse. Located at the Asitz cable car station in Leogang at the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn, the brewhouse has spectacular views and delicious food. The beer isn’t half bad either – an amber beer with herbal notes.
The Microbrasserie de Chamonix was started by four beer-loving Canadians living at Chamonix. The brasserie has a charming bar where you can sit and enjoy a pint over a meal. We recommend the Blanche des Guides (5%), an unfiltered Hefeweizen with notes of banana and clove.
Brewed in Zermatt at the base of the mighty Matterhorn, Zermatt Bier uses pure spring water from the nearby Valais Alps and brews according to the Bavarian Purity Law. Their “Special Beer” (5%) is reddish and fruity, while the golden “Monte Rosa” lager (4.8%) brings out the flavour of the hops.
© Zermatt Bier Matterhorn
Established by a Londoner, Morzine's Bec Jaune has a rotating tap of original house craft beers, everything from American pale ales to porters and stouts. The Bec Jaune also has a fantastic restaurant with cuisine made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
What's your beer of choice on a ski holiday?
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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