Drink It In

Reaching your day’s objective often requires calculated nutrition through the uphill grind. But after hours of slogging, few things can beat returning to a fully stocked tailgate session. From skintrack-worthy pilsners to après IPAs to fireside stouts, these five beers will satiate after a long day of powder mining.

Après is a very serious matter at Backcountry Magazine’s Gear Test Week. [Photo] Matt Kiedaisch

Paradox Brewery

Beaver Bite IPA

Paradox Brewery, situated on Schroon Lake near the heart of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, has earned a handful of awards for their light and crisp pilsner. But their Beaver Bite IPA sunk its teeth into our testers, and its full-bodied yet mildly bitter flavor earned our top award. It is, after all, a Northeast-style IPA, aimed to be juicier and more subdued than its West-Coast counterpart. “Don’t judge it on the first sip,” one taster offered. “It needs time to build its bite.” 6%, Schroon Lake, N.Y., paradoxbrewery.com

Silver Moon Brewing

Darkside Stout

Finding a brewery in Bend, Ore. is about as difficult as finding a crater on the dark side of the moon—they’re everywhere. But Silver Moon, founded in 2000, is known for its live music and their Lunar series of seasonal beers, including the Darkside Stout, brewed annually between September and March with dark malts for a rich, chocolaty and coffee-forward flavor. “Surprisingly light and full of taste for a stout,” one sipper said. “Roasty chocolate to start,” another added. “Smooth milkshake to finish.” 7%, Bend, Ore., silvermoonbrewing.com

Maine Beer Company

Post Ride Snack

For Maine Beer Company cofounder David Kleban, Post Ride refers to cycling, not splitboarding. But anyone who brews a session IPA to be consumed after outdoor activity deserves a little slack. This snack is crafted with a half-dozen hop varieties including Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe that left every tester’s palate dancing across a range of flavors—pineapple and mango, specifically. “Easy drinking. Truly sessionable,” one said. Commented another, “Like every other brew I’ve had from Maine Beer Company, this is incredibly made and very drinkable.” 4.9%, Freeport, Maine, mainebeercompany.com

Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Côte de Champlain

With the Côte de Champlain, Burlington, Vt.’s Zero Gravity turns up the funk. It’s not billed as a sour—instead, Zero Gravity calls it a golden ale inspired by Brasserie d’Orval’s Trappist (read: Belgian-style). But nearly every tester commented on the exciting flavor profile—using words like fun and funky. That’s the Brettanomyces yeast talking. “It’s sweet where it needs to be and sour where it needs to be. Refreshingly light and fun,” one said. “And I hate using the word ‘fun’ to describe beer.” 6.1%, Burlington, Vt., zerogravitybeer.com

Foundation Brewing Company

Riverton Flyer Pilsner

There’s surely some parallel between a beer named for a roller coaster and the highs and lows, ups and downs of ski touring. But testers found no low points in tasting Foundation Brewing’s Riverton Flyer, brewed with pilsner and pale malts, house yeast and a small smattering of hops. Words like crisp, light and refreshing appeared frequently in their comments. “Forefront of the taste is way crisp,” one said. “Best enjoyed with several more after a long day in the skintrack.” 5.5%, Portland, Maine, foundationbrew.com

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