By Larry Olmsted, Special for USA TODAY -- No other active travel pairs as well with adult beverages as skiing and snowboarding — the sport even has its own built in happy hour, Après Ski. For this reason, America's top ski towns have been leading the pack on the red hot trends of craft brewing and distilling, and are epicenters for locally made beer and spirits. This has been hitched to the fast rising of the locavore farm-to-table movement, and today in ski towns from coast to coast you'll find housemade brews paired with local specialties like artisan cheeses in Vermont, bison in Wyoming and fresh caught trout in Utah. Good thing skiing works up an appetite.
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The Beehive State is home to 14 major ski resorts from one end to the other, but the triangle cluster of Salt Lake City, Ogden and Park City, each just 30-45 minutes apart, is home to all the best-known resorts and more than half the state's total. While the food scene shares a lot with Rocky Mountain ski neighbors Colorado and Wyoming in terms of bison, elk and trout, Utah's two best known specialties are honey, widely used in beer here, and the famously creamy Beehive cheddar cheese, which shows up on practically every menu and is a favorite for cheeseburgers. Downtown Salt Lake is convenient to four major resorts which sit just outside the city (Alta, Snowbird, Brighton and Solitude), and many skiers choose to stay in town for the combination of plentiful hotel rooms, value, urban experiences and world class skiing. Here's where to sip near either hot spot.
Park City Brewing