I used to find myself contemplating the worthiness of a warm beer on a sizzling summer day here in the beautiful State of Washington. Luckily for me, I’ve purchased my very own Thermal Flask Growler, no adventure is worth taking without these brilliant sidekicks, because who wants to drink a lukewarm, celebratory beer?? Though for the shorter hikes, I have been known to take the lighter choice and haul up a couple cans placed safely around my ice filled water-bladder.
The art of the minimalist day pack has me almost constantly in a mental clash with what I really need, and the two to three beers I can fit in my thermal flask; that I will most definitely need after a three-hour hike in. An efficiently prepared day pack is crucial for any expedition, though one half full of tasty brewskies is much more enjoyable than one filled with hard granola bars, emergency supplies and extra water. Though this style of minimalist day packing has gotten me into trouble in the past… Obviously, I’m being facetious when I state that strongly believe that in the “worst case scenario” those brews will be more helpful than extra survival supplies!!!
Picking the right beers is just as important as completing the hike itself, and what better way to enjoy your most auspicious victory, than with a more hike-complimenting brew? So, let’s get started with the basics, you’ll need a beer that has flavor, but not too dark and not too high in alcohol content. Personally, I always tend to veer towards more Sessionable Ales, Wheats and Ciders.
These are my top five brewski picks for those long summer day hikes.
Summer Time Hiking Pick #5 – Green Flash Brewery, Jibe Session Ale – A finally tuned, session ale with all the flavor, drink-ability and just enough hoppiness to hold you down on those sizzling summer days.
Summer Time Hiking Pick #4 – Big Sky Brewing Company, Trout Slayer Wheat Ale – What more could you ask for from one of my all-time favorite breweries, than the only wheat beer that I have ever loved. The Trout Slayer is a nice, lite wheat beer, that doesn’t cut you short on flavor, light malts and a nice floral hop aroma.
Summer Time Hiking Pick #3 – Seattle Cider Company, Dry Cider – Weighing in at 6.5%, you couldn’t ask for a better cider to curb your thirst on the summer afternoons. I’m the first person who will admit to mostly just hating the overly fruitiness of cider in general, but I’ve come to love the dry ciders, and love to pack a couple of these 16 oz cans away on my shorter hikes.
Summer Time Hiking Pick #2 – Fremont Brewing Company, Summer Ale – Fremont has been brewing some of my favorite specialty beers for years, ever heard of the Ancient Ones??! The Summer Ale was originally my pick for number one, and it encompasses everything you could ever possibly need in a perfect hiking brew. With a well-balanced malt bill and tasty citrusy hops, it’s made its way into almost every adventure hike I’ve had in the last three years. I just can’t get enough of this amazingly retrospective hiking beer gem!
Summer Time Hiking Pick #1 – Oskar Blues Brewery, Dale’s Pale Ale – Coming in at number one, is one of the best beers out there today. It is currently sitting at number the two pale ale in the country, only second to the Sierra Nevada Pale. If you curious as to what beers Dionysus is drinking on top of Mount Olympus these days, it’s this incredibly tasty brew. With European malts and four kinds of hops, this is the sure-fire way to quench your thirst on any adventure.
I hope you found my brewski picks inspiring, riveting and delicious. Cheers and happy hiking my friends!