Brace yourself; I'm about to unveil the biggest revelation in the world of ski and snowboard since Gore-Tex: canned craft beer. Seriously, this will change the way you think about getting drunk after a day on the slopes. Truth is, the shift from glass to aluminum is in full swing and will have an effect on the way everyone consumes their finer-grade suds, but the revolution seems especially suited for perpetually mobile snow enthusiasts. Because it's our duty to point you in the right direction, we've picked five New England–brewed selections that'll slake your après-ski thirst.
CISCO BREWERS :: WHALE'S TALE PALE ALE :: 5.60% ABV
Although brewed in Nantucket — probably the furthest thing from the mountains — Whale's Tale is an exceptionally perfect post-ride beverage. It's smooth, with a malty, orange-tinged taste, ideal for consumption while laid up in a reclined position. Just because it isn't summer doesn't mean the beer that you're drinking can't taste like it.
SHIPYARD :: EXPORT ALE :: 5.00% ABV
The most wintery selection of the lot. Bearing a hearty caramel scent, Shipyard's blonde ale is light and easy to drink while still maintaining a staunchly piney seasonal taste. And being the flagship beer of one of New England's pre-eminent microbreweries, the Export Ale shouldn't be too difficult to come by.
NEW ENGLAND BREWING CO. :: 668 THE NEIGHBOR OF THE BEAST :: 9.00% ABV
While the fact that New England Brewing Co. is based out of Connecticut might make this Belgian strong pale ale a bit tougher to seek out, we suggest that you do so at all costs. Besides being the beer with the greatest name in the history of beer, 668 lives up to its "strong" brand with a full-bodied imperial taste. Plus, at 9 percent ABV, we doubt it will take much more than two of these following a day of rigorous cardio to have you feeling nice.
BAXTER BREWING CO :: STOWAWAY IPA :: 6.90% ABV
Once you shake the initial shock of drinking an IPA from a can, you'll be quick to realize that this is, in fact, one damn fine IPA. Revealing a hazy orange glow should you choose to dispense it into a glass, the Stowaway treads a bit closer to the sweet, fruity side of the IPA spectrum than the bitter, starchy end. It's essentially a West Coast IPA brewed in Maine (lucky for us).
NARRAGANSETT :: CREAM ALE :: 5.00% ABV
It's not often that 'Gansett gets lumped in with a discussion on craft beer, but this year-round offering is deserving of as much praise as we can levy in its direction. Their website recommends the Cream Ale as a "fitting a reward at the end of a hard day of yard work," and the same rings true following a day on the mountain.
Michael C. Walsh can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org