While we all wait for snow to pile up in the base area, the team here at Meadows has been busy collaborating with the fine folks at Double Mountain Brewery and Cider in Hood River to bring you a special treat to start the 2019-20 season: beer!
Meadows employees headed to Double last week to help brew Cascade Corduroy: a new beer brewed especially with Meadows in mind! Described by brewer Matt Coughlin as a drinkable, juicy IPA, Cascade Corduroy will be the perfect beer to enjoy after a session on the slopes, combining the quaffability of lighter beers like pilsners and lagers with the bold flavor of an IPA. Cryo, Azacca, Equinot, Cascade, Simcoe, and Centennial hops are balanced by Pilsner base malt, along with wheat and caramel malt present in this beer. With notes of ripe citrus and tropical fruit, combined with a sub-6 percent ABV and finishing at roughly 35 IBU, Cascade Corduroy will be the prefect apres ski beer.
Cascade Corduroy isn't the first beer that Double Mountain has created for Mt. Hood Meadows. Our partnership with the brewery goes all the way back to their first year of operation in 2007, when Double brewed a beer called Alpenbrew: a British-style ale reminiscent of an ESB.
"We were a new brewery in town, we wanted to indicate that we wanted to work with Meadows," recalled Matt Swihart, founder and owner of Double Mountain. "We saw us as natural partners. We had some shared staff and had natural human connections. It's been really fun. It's worked out really well."
Since then, Meadows and Double collaborations have included Gypsy Stumper, a big IPA named after the work crew that cleared out the stumps on the Hood River Meadows runs in the spring of 1980, and A-Zone IPA, which was brewed for our 50th Anniversary, and named after the highest elevation run into Heather Canyon.
Swihart says Double works with Meadows food and beverage staff to help offer suggestions on what brews will appeal most to Meadows guests, which are often "well-balanced, drinkable IPAs. They're kind of the Northwest signature beer."
But it's not all about Double Mountain for Swihart, who is also president of Breweries in the Gorge, a brewery group whose purpose is to promote Gorge beers and breweries. The same goes for Meadows, spreading the love around with many local breweries and ciders to choose from in our food and beverage venues.
"You walk into the Alpenstube, and you have a really nice selection of beers on tap," Swihart noted. "I love it when my beer's on tap, but there's a lot of nice beers up there. You're really well featured with some local players up there. It's awesome."
Our relationship with Double isn't just based around beer either -- it's also based on shared core values. Like Meadows, Double values sustainability, with Swihart noting that his brewery warehouse on the outskirts of Hood River boasts the largest solar array in the county. The brewery also has a refillable bottle program, has sold its spent grain to be used to make bagels in a local shop, and is making plans to capture and reuse its carbon dioxide. When federal employees were furloughed due to the government shutdown earlier this year, the two companies worked to ease that strain, with Meadows offering free midweek skiing and riding to furloughed employees, and Double hiring those affected by the shutdown to help bottle beer.
"I feel like our values are similarly shared," Swihart said of Double and Meadows.
Cascade Corduroy will be ready around early to mid November, just in time for the start of the season. Double Mountain will be sponsoring our Season Kickoff Party on December 7, which will feature Cascade Corduroy, along with other Double beers.