Unless you’re new to this lengthy log of my life, you know that I am a bit of a beer nut. Ok, not really. I am an addict. Addicted to the hoppy, frothy, foaming barley wonder we call beer. This addiction comes from my years of homebrewing. The palate has happily settled on the monster hop notorious to IPAs, especially Double IPAs. My dear hugging trail friend Maggie asked me how many beers I drank. It really is scary to ponder. So many miles, so many beers.
Here they are, my top favorites.
1. Fresh Hop IPA ~ Old Schoolhouse Brewery – Winthrop, WA
2. Insider ~ Crux Fermentation Project – Bend, OR
3. Barley Legal ~ Dunsmuir Brewery Works – Dunsmuir, CA
4. Homo Erectus ~ Walking Man Brewing – Stevenson, WA
5. Worthy Imperial IPA ~ Worthy Brewing – Bend, OR
In The Bottle:
1. Phillips Amnesiac Double IPA ~ Phillips Brewing – Victoria, BC
2. Vortex IPA ~ Fort George Brewing – Astoria, OR
3. Jamaica Sunset IPA ~ Mad River Brewing – Blue Lake, CA
4. Stone India Pale Ale ~ Stone Brewing – Escondido, CA
5. West Coast IPA ~ Green Flash Brewing – San Diego, CA
All these beers are the result of having made it to yet another trail town. The reward. The carrot. Like the day it took me 4 hours to warm up after hiking 19 non-stop miles in cold, pelting rain. Like the day a trail angel took me to 5 different breweries in Bend. Like the day I sat and contemplated the smoke-filled skies. Like the day I was blessed with angel after angel after angel. Like the day I sat asking, “Did I really hike all those miles?” Like the day I had pizza and beer for breakfast.
And for every town beer memory there is an equally wonderful on-trail beer memory. Like the day when there was a cooler of Miller High Life seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Like the Bud buzz at Ollalie Lake. Like the day we packed beers out of Reds Meadow, hiked 9 miles and called it a zero. Like arriving at hwy 40 to find PBRs. Like 100 mile reward beer at Barrel Springs. Like the day I arrived to find a cheering crowd, shade and ice cold Steel Reserve at Walker Pass.
Still many miles to hike and beers to drink! Cheers!
If you want to read more of my story, click of the Class of 2013 link on the top right of my page.