One might not think that beer drinking is a particularly active hobby. But for a lot of outdoors lovers, a beer or two after a hike isn’t just a good idea—it’s practically a way of life. Nothing refreshes as well as a crisp, clear lager, sipped slowly on a sunny porch with your dusty legs kicked up on the railing. “A beer is a wonderful thing after a day snowboarding, after a good run, climb, or a long walk,” agrees Eric Steen, founder of Colorado-based Beers Made By Walking, a summer-long hiking series in which brewers, botanists, and environmentalists come together to brew (and drink!) craft beer.
Together, participants on Beers Made By Walking hikes discover fruits and herbs indigenous to the region. In its third summer, Beers Made By Walking now has several iterations in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. Notable Northwestern participants in 2012 include a juniper and sage IPA from Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, and a stinging nettle ale by Snoqualmie Brewery in Snoqualmie, Washington.
But what if you don’t want to make beer—just drink it? Portland, Oregon-based Hikes & Pints leads group hikes to local landmarks that end, as all hikes should, with a tour of local breweries. Whether you’re stopping by a trailside cabin to play cards on a pleasant afternoon stroll or dragging yourself into a mountain top tasting room after 10 days of not seeing another living soul, a cold beer is a fitting commemorative end to a day spent on your feet. —Adrienne So