Switchback Ale

I like to ski. Living in the Hudson Valley means that I am 4-5 hours away from some of my favorite ski places. Since this means an overnight stay, Apres ski becomes a valued part of the overall ski experience. To me, that means a pint or two of a good beer. One of my very favorites is the Switchback Ale, made in northern VT, and hard to find anywhere else. It is not available in bottles, I don't believe it can be purchased by the growler, but every ski place and restaurant in those parts seems to have it. And I am glad they do.

What is it about the Switchback Ale? Two points to understand: 1) I usually opt for a good ale over a good lager, generally leaning to the hoppy over the malty, and 2) I am not a beer connoisseur. But, there is something magical about this particular brew. Is it the ambiance of enjoying something tasty in a great setting? Perhaps. That has happened to me before (e.g., Second Cup's "Caramel Corretto" coffee drink tasted way better in Whistler BC than it did near the convention center in Halifax NS). But, I don't think that is the case with Switchback, which I will decree a requirement for any northern VT traveler (or northern NY, NH, and ME traveler too). No other beer causes a reflexive snap of my jaw, as if the sip I have just taken was a bite--yes, a bite--into something scrumptious. Unfiltered, it looks something like used cooking oil, but its taste absolutely belies that.

Oh, how I wish the Switchback was available beyond those northernmost Northeast areas.


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