Significant Beer That Changed My Après Life

Significant Beer That Changed My Après Life

The beer isn’t even that fancy. But for some reason I remember them.

New Belgium Fat Tire (Fort Collins, CO)

Where I first had it:
2013, Winter Park, CO – 2 hour drive from the brewery. Visit >

The story behind it: 
It was my first time skiing in Colorado, close to six years ago. I was with my then-boyfriend, who I had met on a chairlift over a year prior. It was pretty much fate, or so I thought, back then. We spent our winter weekends skiing and summer nights at a farmhouse down the road, escaping our everyday lives for something a little more outside. I was just too lucky to hop on a plane and head west on his family ski trip.

Fat Tire was well-established by the time I got hip (I am not hip) to the beer game. New Belgium’s creator first brewed it in his basement in 1988. Twenty-five years later, I was interested in beer, but my palate wasn’t ready for IPAs and stouts. I drank amber ales and blondes and hefeweizen, mostly because I liked to say hefe-veisen at the American Hofbrauhaus chain like I knew what I was talking about (I don’t).

Four days into the trip I found myself in a dim mountain bar, then-boyfriend and his father in tow. I spent the previous 3 days struggling in the trees, trying to keep up with a friend who had moved to the state full-time and his gang. I was also busy avoiding moguls the size of VW Beatles. Over those days, it had snowed what seemed like a foot, and I got my second taste at a real powder day and my millionth taste of realizing I can’t ski for sh*t. I don’t remember much about the bar but I do remember how blown away I was by this beer. They didn’t even distribute it in Pennsylvania, yet!

I remember drinking that night and realizing that was the best beer I had EVER had, right there. Sitting at the bar, it was cold, and it was good. I’ve never had a beer that gave me the same cold deliciousness than that après ski Colorado draft gave me. Maybe it was the fresh air, but I think it was because of a little something else, too. You know that feeling, the one after you have rode your heart out? Your hair still matted to your head, a cozy warmth radiating from the inside of your body while the outside is still a little cold, your endorphins running rampant in your brain? The feeling that everyone else in the bar feels, all connected and content. I drank it in the rest of the trip.

Southern Tier Live (Lakewood, NY)

Where I first had it:
2015, Ellicotville, NY – 3 hours drive from the brewery. Visit >

The story behind it:
Fast forward a few years. Well past broken from the chair lift relationship, I went on a trip up north. It was just myself and one other, as most of my friends were busy getting married or having babies. We were the twenty-somethings that weren’t an age statistic, like those buying houses and creating families with no disposable income for frivolous, expensive things. No, no, this trip wasn’t frivolous, but we did have the broke part down pat.

We got a cheap room in town, close enough to walk or shuttle everywhere. During the day, we made pit stops around the mountain for food and drink, making friends along the way. Once the sun went down, we settled in at a bar where we gulped golden brews for dinner, chatting with mountain guests and bartenders. We spoke loud and told jokes to our neighbors, and played games with the bartender until we knew her first name.

It was the label that got me. Like every basic girl choosing her wine from the liquor store, I fled to to the vibrant colors of Live. Was it Lie-v or Lih-v? Not sure, as the question replayed in my mind and out of my mouth a few times throughout the weekend. But I felt cool as I sipped, a Beer Queen drinking something other than her throne of Bud Light, donned with a knit-hat crown in need of something refreshing. As we drank, we made friends and exchanged phone numbers. We all had something in common: the love for snow and mountains and beer.

I remember drinking that night and realizing that was the best beer I had EVER had, right there. Sitting at the bar, it was cold, and it was good. I’ve only once had a beer that gave me the same cold deliciousness that après ski New York bottle gave me. Maybe it was the fresh air, but I think it was because of a little something else, too. You know that feeling, the one after you have rode your heart out? Your hair still matted to your head, a cozy warmth radiating from the inside of your body while the outside is still a little cold, your endorphins running rampant in your brain? The feeling that everyone else in the bar feels, all connected and content. I drank it in the rest of the trip (and again when we returned with more friends that same season).

Lift Rate Roundup 2018: Tri-State / Mid-Atlantic

Lift Rate Roundup 2018: Tri-State / Mid-Atlantic

Oh man! A very late roundup of lift ticket and late season pass pricing is finally on the blog for the 2018-2019 season. Resorts in western PA and more have opened up this weekend, if they haven’t been open already! Check out the alpine skiing and snowboarding areas just a drive from anywhere in Western Pennsylvania and listed in PA, WV, MD and NY. The perfect places for a day or weekend trip–just be sure to check the web first for who’s officially open, because, well, that’s going to be changing on the daily. It’s only November!

Resort Map

Ski Resorts in PA, MD, WV

Rate Chart

Notes about this chart depicting lift ticket rates for the 2018-2019 season: the season pass rates depicted here are non-sale, late purchase pricing. Many of these resorts have spring or fall pre-season pass sales where the majority of them are sold (and when you should buy if you’re seriously considering owning a pass). Unfortunately I missed gathering info on that pricing, so you see the rack rate. All season pass rates are depicted as a single person, full access/classic season pass as purchased today. A few of these resorts are listed under Highland or Peak Pass, which means the resorts are part of a group and the passes have multi-mountain benefits. All lift tickets are set as a single, extended or 8-hour rate, whichever is the “most offered” at each resort.

RESORT
NAME
SLOPES &
TRAILS
EXTENDED
WKND LIFT
NON-SALE
INDV. PASS
TIMES TO
PAYOUT
PENNSYLVANIA
Highland Pass
7 Springs 33 trails $87 $660 8 visits
Hidden Valley 26 trails $69 $569 8 visits
Laurel Mtn 20 trails $57 $569 10 visits
Peak Pass
Liberty 16 trails $82 $579 7 visits
Roundtop 20 trails $78 $579 8 visits
Whitetail 23 trails $84 $579 7 visits
Blue Knob 34 trails $68 $449 7 visits
Mystic Mtn 6 trails $43 $199 5 visits
Tussey Mtn 8 trails $52 $269 5 visits
MARYLAND
Wisp 34 trails $79 $599 8 visits
WEST VA
Timberline 40 trails ___ $499 ___
Canaan Valley 47 trails $68 $497 8 visits
Snowshoe 60 trails $99 $479 5 visits
NEW YORK
Peek’n Peak 27 trails $63 $599 10 visits
Holiday Valley 60 trails $78 $989 13 visits

Did I miss one of your faves that you can get to with an easy drive? Let me know in the comments. See you out there! ❄

Snowbird’s Genius ★☆☆☆☆ Campaign

Snowbird’s Genius ★☆☆☆☆ Campaign

Oh, the dreaded one star review. Anyone who works with a product or service that receives online reviews can relate – some of those low-ball reviews are just petty. Snowbird decided to take advantage of that concept and introduced the world to their ★☆☆☆☆ campaign. 

Why did they do it?

In an effort to “embrace the unique aspects of what makes Snowbird special and be true to the product, [the] ski resort has begun running ads that contrast gorgeous, sweeping views with one-star reviews complaining about aspects of the resort…” It may sound counterintuitive, but Snowbird’s marketing director, David Amirault, reflects, “We’re known for our steep terrain, long runs and deep snow… for our core guest, it’s what makes them come back year after year.” (Griner, 2017) The Snowbird team worked with creative agency Struck on the project.

This campaign hit home for Snowbird’s repeat guest profile, and included those with the same demo and psychographics that the resort wanted to turn into a repeat guest. This campaign is for an advanced skier or snowboarder that is truly ingrained into and enjoys the mountain sports culture. And the resort totally embraces that.Print Ad 1 “Too Advanced. I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!”
Print Ad 2 – “There are NO Easy Runs. We felt like our lives were in our own hands. Make the wrong turn and you’re stuck on a double black diamond. It took us 90 minutes to shimmy down the Peruvian Gulch before we could even find a blue square safe enough to ride.”

Why it works

The juxtaposition is great. There is this grand, gorgeous view or an experiential photo and a 1-star review tearing that very moment to shreds. I love how they use a two-page spread to capture the grandeur of it all, and then the one star concept just drags your attention to the bad review. It takes a moment, but then you realize what it’s all about.

I can see the television ad now, featuring beautiful mountain views, forests and rare wildlife amidst snowfall, and a skier getting their turns in deep powder… and a VO of someone complaining. It’s perfect.
Print Ad 3 – “Disappointed. Are the people who operate the grooming equipment on strike or something? Was hoping for a little more corduroy to dig my skis into.”


Reference:

Griner, D. (2017, September 22). This Ski Resort Turned One-Star Reviews Into a Five-Star Ad Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.adweek.com/creativity/this-ski-resort-turned-one-star-reviews-into-a-five-star-ad-campaign