Mountain resort towns are settings designed for indulgence in adventurous activities.
Whether you’re skiing the snows of winter, mountain biking the tacky dirt of spring, or fishing the hatches of summer, you’re probably out, and being active. However, no day of spent breath and sun exposure should go unrewarded without another indulgence—relaxation, and a refreshed palate.
To satisfy either of these needs, the universe has rewarded us with beer.
Fortunately, here in the Wood River Valley, we’ve got a few local breweries that are eager to share with the community the fruits of their artistic labor. Each offers their own unique atmosphere, distinct food menu, and, of course, their own twists on the world’s most important beverage.
Sun Valley Brewing Company
Located on Main Street in Hailey, the Sun Valley Brewery Pub is and has long been, a pivotal staple to the Hailey social scene.
True to their Idaho roots, over 99% of ingredients used in their beers are harvested within the borders of the potato state. While “Gretchen’s Gold Lager” is probably their most recognizable label, their White Cloud Amber Ale, which is made from the original 1986 recipe, comes highly recommended by the pub’s regulars.
The knowledgeable staff will help you pair a proper beer to your lunch or dinner (open for both). Their heaping plates of nachos are outstanding, and the inclusion of a wonderfully executed pot pie on the menu is an appropriate and tasteful move.
The pub is also Hailey’s predominant live music scene, with a spacious dance floor, lively atmosphere, and a consistent lineup of outstanding acts.
The Sawtooth Brewery blipped onto the beer radar in 2011 and has had impressive growth since, not only in their product but in their brick and mortar establishments.
The brewing itself started in Ketchum and has since moved to a larger facility in Hailey. The public is welcome to the tap room to kick their feet up and sample the many beers available.
The Sawtooth Public house, located up in Ketchum, maintains a simple, yet lively atmosphere that is focused on beer and food. With 25 beers on tap, your palate won’t go dry while you indulge in their creative and fresh pub fare, available for lunch and dinner. The buttermilk organic fried chicken will certainly please you, and if you’re really looking to treat yourself, order the beer-battered jalapeno poppers.
Warfield Distillery and Brewery
The newest contender to the Wood River Valley’s local beer scene is the Warfield, located right in the heart of Ketchum, at Main Street and Sun Valley Road.
The restaurant gained immediate attention for their distilled spirits, particularly their gin, and has since delved into the realm of beer.
The modern-rustic interior is a unique, yet vastly welcoming space in which to warm yourself in winter. In summer, though, their rooftop deck is arguably the greatest spot in town to relax.
The food menu is delightfully unique and will alter as ingredients become seasonal. The house baked pretzel comes complete with a dipping side of delectable duck fat, and the mushroom poutine is unlike anything else available in the valley.
Whichever glass it is you’re holding, any of the Wood River Valley’s distinct and budding breweries will well complement your mountain-themed adventures.