Vail Cascade Resort Brings Selection of Rare, Quirky and Familiar Craft Beers Onboard

By AlpineZone News |
Jan 17 2012 - 01:31 PM

New Craft Beer Program Makes Vail Cascade Resort “Vail’s Home to Creative Cuisine and Craft Beer”

Vail, Colorado-January 12, 2012- Recognizing the sweeping popularity of the craft beer movement, Vail Cascade Resort has added a revolutionary year ’round program, designating the resort as “Vail’s Home to Creative Cuisine and Craft Beer,” specializing in handcrafted beer and food pairings. Of special interest are the savory food, dessert and beer pairings, always available, and the continuously rotating menu of craft beers on draft and in bottles, ranging from well-known selections to extremely hard to find and even one-of-a-kind brews. The team at Vail Cascade Resort has joined forces with Laura Lodge, organizer of the premier craft and specialty beer festival, Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines, to create a one-of-a-kind experience for locals and visitors every day of the year. Lodge’s expertise and connections in the world of craft beer combine with a team of servers that are specially trained through in house-tastings and by visiting brewers and distributers, as well as chefs dedicated to the challenge of the food and beer pairings, guaranteeing a program that cannot be equaled anywhere else.

Diners in Atwater on Gore Creek, located in the Vail Cascade, will notice that next to each item on the menu, a craft beer style is listed as a suggestion. Their server can take the experience to a deeper level by guiding them towards specific choices within that beer category on the current craft beer list, designed to enhance that exact dish. Smaller pours of four or more selected beers are a popular choice for those who want to share with others at the table, and perhaps order several appetizers or small plates. The dessert menu also pairs suggested beer styles for each selection, and craft brew/dessert pairing evenings have already become a hit at the property. The most popular selections so far have been the flourless chocolate mousse cake matched with Ommegang Three Philosophers Belgian Quadrupel, and a beer float which can be ordered off the menu with a customized beer pairing. Executive Chef Todd Bemis describes the process of getting a good pairing right:

“When we first put the items together for a crazy idea like a beer float, I didn’t like them at all. The imperial stout we tried was quite bitter and our homemade vanilla ice cream was quite sweet. The beer overpowered the ice cream without any balance. However, when we married the O’Dells Cutthroat Porter to the vanilla ice cream, it was a hit! The cool part is that I get to show our discovery to the public, and the fun part is that the public can show me what they’ve found out too; some actually prefer the coffee flavor of that first stout in the float after all. It’s just extremely interactive.”

Gluten free menu items, including beer, make it possible for every diner to have an experience that is rare in a mountain resort setting.

Vail Cascade also provides training sessions for Atwater servers in the unique ways each beer can pair with every offering on the menu, especially as new beer or food selections are introduced. Servers have attended-and will continue to attend-tasting/training sessions led by brewers, distributors and Julia Herz from the Brewers Association. Some servers will continue the training process to become Cicerone certified-similar to the sommelier designation in wine. Diners can feel confident that regardless of their familiarity and comfort level with craft beers, they can trust their server to give them guidance not only on the right choice of entree, but on a great choice of beer-even with chocolate mousse.

Assisting the team of chefs at Atwater is craft beer specialist Laura Lodge. In her new role with Vail Cascade, Lodge is able to create programming that can only be found at Vail Cascade Resort. Her twelve year history as Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines co-creator and organizer means that she brings extensive connections within the craft beer industry and the latest and greatest brews and trends to the Vail Cascade, as well as dreaming up some of her own inventive seminars. Some of her helpful hints have included a menu categorized with tongue in cheek, yet appropriate categories: Starter, Advanced and Guru Factor, allowing even beer novices the ability to easily navigate the menu. She plans to elevate the experience by providing frequent seminars such as a cigar/beer sampling, and visits from craft brewers from around the world speaking about their craft and meeting face-to-face with the attendees. Beer flights, experimental tastings, releases and allocations exclusive to Vail Cascade, homebrew seminars and public tastings are planned, with room to add to the list as suggestions come from the fans of this growing Vail Cascade program.

For more information on Vail Cascade’s signature restaurant Atwater on Gore Creek, visit and explore the restaurant’s micro-site and blog within that address, or call 970-479-7014 .

Media Contact: Kirsten Texler [email][/email] 970-479-7001

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Vail Cascade’s ideal location and breathtaking mountain surroundings create the perfect natural playground for all-season adventure. With pleasantly warm summers and cool falls, you can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, strolling through the Villages and soaking up sun poolside. Frosty winter and springtime temperatures transform the hotel into a snowy wonderland with true ski-in/ski-out access. Just like the hotel itself, dining at Vail Cascade is truly an event to be savored. Atwater on Gore Creek, the hotel’s signature dining venue overlooking Gore Creek, fuses modern style with the region’s natural elements. Locally inspired and delightfully enjoyed, Atwater serves creative American cuisine in a stylish yet comfortable environment for an exceptional dining experience. A world of wellness awaits you at Vail Cascade’s 78,000-square-foot Aria Spa & Club – the largest spa and fitness facility in the Vail Valley. From the moment you arrive, you feel the inviting warmth and healthy energy of a true mountain retreat. Focusing on all-encompassing wellness, Aria Spa & Club brings mind, body and spirit into balance with pampering treatments, invigorating workouts and a focus on a healthy life. Visit and call 1-800-420-2424 for more information