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Drinking at death’s door

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By Brian Yaeger

At the hottest, driest spot in all of North America, you’d be grateful for a drop of any cold beer. Thanks to Ben Cassell, you can be downright picky: He stocks more than 100 bottles and seven taps in his Death Valley, Calif., hotel and campground. At Panamint Springs Resort’s bar and restaurant, Cassell fills convenience-store-style chillers with beers from 40-plus breweries (think Cali outfits like Indian Wells Brewing and Firestone Walker) and delights in steering visitors away from the macros they order toward craft brews. Ben champions Mammoth Brewing’s IPA 395—brewed with hops, desert sage and mountain juniper all sourced along Route 395—as an ideal sipper while sitting on the patio overlooking the multicolored Panamint Mountains.


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