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The Best Beers To Bring Camping, According To Brewers


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Camping is the only true vacation for nature lovers. No hotels. No crowds. Just you, some friends, a fire, and — with any luck — a swimming hole. Maybe a van, too, if you’re not the tent type. Once you set camp, the whole vacation is a breeze. Hike, swim in a lake, kayak, or just lay back in a gravity chair and sip on a cold beer in front of a roaring fire.

Like us, brewers enjoy a breezy camping trip in the heat of summer. So we asked a few of our favorite brewers to tell us their go-to beers for exploring the great outdoors. With these recommendations, you’ll be ready to get out in the woods on an epic summer ’19 adventure. Just don’t forget the bug spray.

Wibby Moondoor Dunkel

Tim Matthews, head of brewing operations at Oskar Blues Brewery

A great camping beer has to be a crusher and good for sitting around the campfire. Moondoor Dunkel from Wibby Brewing gets it done for me.

Pabst Blue Ribbon

Steve Rieger, brewer at Blue Point Brewing Company

A camping trip deserves a classic beer. That’s why I bring Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s the old school camping way. I love PBR — it’s cheap and good.

Firestone Walker Parabola

Eric Warner, brewmaster at Karbach Brewing Company

For camping, you want something big and boozy. I usually camp in Colorado where it’s pretty chilly around the campfire. A big ol’ Imperial Stout like Firestone Walker Parabola will warm you right up. It also goes well with smores and will make you sleep like a baby. Which is a good thing considering you’re sleeping on the ground with a possibility of bad weather or a snoring camping buddy.

Russian River Blind Pig IPA

Rhett Dougherty, head brewer at Veza Sur Brewing Co.

The best camping trip I’ve ever taken was at a small campground at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park just outside Santa Rosa, California. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the Russian River Pub, and fresh growlers were the perfect accompaniment to the campfire and scenery.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Cameron Compton, brewmaster at Midwest Coast Brewing

Camping beer feels like it should be a nod to one of the beers that started it all: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. A bottle of this gem just feels right in the crisp mountain air.

Trumer Pils

Andy Ingram, brewmaster and co-founder of Four Peaks Brewing Company

Not sure if it’s really a summer beer, per se, but when I’m in California, and especially near the Bay Area, I crave Trumer Pils. So light and refreshing, it’s just really well made.

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

Brad Manske, beverage director at ViewHouse VH Beer

Camping beer? I’ll take a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy because it is sessionable, light, refreshing, and drinkable.

Georgetown Bodhizafa IPA

Scott Francis, co-Founder, president & CEO of Santa Monica Brew Works

I’m sorry to say I haven’t gone camping in a while, but if I did, I’d head to Mt. Rainier with a six pack of GABF Gold Medal Winner Georgetown Bodhizafa IPA. Not only is it great beer but takes its name from a character from the great surf movie Point Break – a movie from which Santa Monica Brew Works has borrowed a beer name or two, too.

SouthNorte Sea Senor Mex Lager

Shawn Steele, director of brewing operations at Coronado Brewing Company

I camp a lot, and I always bring a bottle of whiskey from San Diego Distillery, and cans of Sea Señor Mex Lager by SouthNorte Beer Co. It has a touch of corn for complexity, and the lagering makes it super smooth.

Great beer to crush after a long day of relaxation.

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