Ah, the Alps. Magnificent to behold in person. Beautiful snow capped mountains, cozy forested valley towns, great outdoor activities from hiking to skiing and outstanding eats and drinks with postcard views.
Confirming that I am, in fact, as pampered as you imagined, I once drank a beer on Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps, on a trip through Chamonix, France. At the top of Aiguille du Midi (a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif), Le 3842 is one of the highest restaurants in Europe. Here’s a picture of Michelle Hill. She runs CBB‘s webinars. I’m behind the camera. We’re waiting for a table.
Well, about 30 minutes away from Chamonix is another picturesque little town called Sallanches, France. Soon, Sallanches will have an American craft beer experience to add to its natural attractions. Outer Range Brewing, Colorado’s Award-winning craft brewery, recently announced that it is taking its craft beer and mountain lifestyle concept to the heart of the French Alps with a second location in Sallanches. What a second locale. From the press release:
“When thinking about our next location, we knew we had to find a location as aspirational and awe-inspiring as our original location in Frisco,” explained ORB Co-Founder, Lee Cleghorn. “Our motto is ‘leave the life below,’ so we had to stay true to our values and go big with our next move. So why not go to the place where apres was invented?”
If you’re unfamiliar, Outer Range Brewing is a microbrewery in the small mountain town of Frisco, Colo. Cofounder and Head Brewer Lee Cleghorn’s love of craft beer began when he lived in Belgium as a teenager, where the first beers he ever drank were world-class Belgian ales. That background has served as inspiration for the brewery’s IPAs, which showcase the ester profile of these traditionally hop-forward brewskis.
Set to open in winter 2022, Outer Range’s Sallanches brewery will include a Nashville Hot Chicken restaurant, coffee roaster, a private event space for large parties or weddings and a climbing wall with floor-to-ceiling views of Mont Blanc. It’s the exact combo I’d pick too. How did this all happen? Well, over the last several years, Cofounders Lee and Emily Cleghorn travelled to Europe on several occasions to partner with breweries through tap takeovers and collabs, experiences that allowed them to develop close friendships with the European beer community and continued to fuel their vision of expanding internationally. Like their Summit County home base, Sallanches is surrounded by big mountains and cool communities rooted in outdoor recreation.
“The similarities between Sallanches and Frisco are remarkable,” explained Emily. “We were absolutely blown away by the incredible mountainscapes and down-to-earth local community. It felt like home away from home.”
The brewery location has been secured, and construction is set to begin this spring. As for the beer, the company has purchased identical brew systems to assure the beer brewed overseas will be of the same quality they’ve become known for in the United States. The Sallanches tap list will include many of the flagship beers brewed in Frisco, Colo., but the brewery also noted it is hoping to learn new techniques from Europe with plans to allow its brewers to work between both locations. Also, Emily and Lee will move to Sallanches for at least a year or two but will continue to travel back and forth between Colorado and France.
Sounds like a tough gig, right? I’ll keep you updated, as I suddenly begin to plan my next trip to Europe’s great mountainous wonders.