It's all Downhill from Here!

Raise a glass to these excellent beer and food pairings from Downhill Brewery's founders

Doug Hyndman and Jake Minturn have a job that you want. They own Downhill Brewing Company and, though they do work hard, they get to craft beer and build community for a living. It all started at Arapahoe Basin Ski & Snowboarding Area. They didn’t know each other, but their worlds collided when Jake ran into Doug while skiing merrily downhill. The two exchanged some heated words and thought that would be the end of it. That was until Jake saw Doug drinking a beer in the lodge and went up to apologize. The two were both wearing Colorado brewery apparel and knew that they were in good company. They became fast friends and had conspired to own a brewery together by the end of the day.

Their dream became a reality. In 2017 they bought and rebranded what was Elk Mountain Brewery, renaming it Downhill Brewing Company as a nod to their original meeting on the slopes. They adorned the walls with eight flat-screen televisions, mounted deer heads (who now sport masks), and skeletons joyfully riding a ski lift. There is a beer for every occasion and every type of beer drinker, from the novice sipper to the brew buff. Guests can enjoy a drink inside, on their patio, or from the comfort of their own home by purchasing a crowler (32 oz.) or growler (64 oz.).

As far as pairing their beers with a multi-course meal goes, Jake recommends starting light and moving dark. Typically, this rule of thumb transfers with alcohol by volume (ABV) content (starting with a lower ABV and moving to higher), though there are several exceptions. Downhill also offers a generous pizza menu as well. Their crust is notoriously thin, crunchy, and crispy, and the toppings overflow to the edge. To keep the pies perfectly sharable and convenient, slices are cut into squares rather than triangles.

The tap at Downhill is always rotating to ensure that there’s a beer to fit every palette and season. However, there are four stars that they always have in stock: the Kolsch, Apres Amber, Melisandre, and Amadeus.

1. Kolsch

This award-winning beer got the bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2017 and is a top-fermented lagered beer. This beer is brewed with all German ingredients and follows the Rheinheitsgebot (German beer purity law). This beer is refreshing and crisp, so it pairs wonderfully with a salad or light appetizer.

2. Apres Amber

This ale hits the palette with a backdrop of caramel and biscuit notes. It opens up with hints of toasty bitterness and finishes with a slight sweetness. Drink this beer at a barbecue with meat and veggies hot off the grill. 

3. Melisandre

This beer is a patio pleaser. It’s very fruit-forward, and Doug and Jake say that manly men shouldn’t be afraid of that—it’s a damn good beer. This raspberry golden ale is refreshing and light without being overly sweet. This beer is great with light, white meat or a fruity dessert. 

4. Saturday Nut Fever

Peanut butter lovers will fall in love with this beer. This brown ale is full of the nutty spread and only available in Downhill’s taproom. This beer goes great with a chocolate dessert like fudge, brownie, cake, or torte.

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