Sleeping bag’s packed. Tent’s packed. Helmet’s packed. Everything’s set for a few days mountain biking and camping in the Sierra Nevadas but I’m still on the fence about which beers to pack. Burgers one night, chicken fajitas the next. No wild recommendations from a Cicerone needed to pair with that. On the surface, it just comes down to two guys sitting around a fire, resting tired bones from biking and hiking, drinking a few beers.
Ordinarily, a no-frills camping trip would call for two beers. The night would start off with some Sierra Nevada Pale Ales—given the location—then a Rauchbier like my favorite, the quintessential Schlenkerla, would get cracked open mid-way to keep the smokiness going, before a night cap of a final cheap’n’easy Sierra Nevada.
Is it ever appropriate or even demanded that nicer beers get passed around the campfire? The camping portion of my bachelor party turned into a great bottle share. But many a beer geek insists on drinking from the proper glassware, and there ain’t no way you’re gonna have a tulip, snifter, chalice or any such glassware around the fire pit I should hope. In fact, have you ever seen beer-clean glasses on any camping trip ever? Considering there’s usually no showers involved, campers get a pass to drink from the bottle or can, right?
Is more expensive beer inappropriate considering there’s not even a roof over your head? Considering their lighter weight and impossibility of shattered glass in a campsite, is canned beer really the only good call? I have plenty of great local cans to choose from so should I fill the cooler with Caldera Pale Ale. or Ft. George Vortex IPA. I mean, the latter even comes in a pint can so I don’t have to think about packing tallboys of Ranier, or should I?
Where do you want to camp just so you could bring a cooler full of local beers? Ft. Collins, CO? Wisconsin’s U.P. in the summer? Many National Parks have beers named for ‘em. Or it doesn’t matter, so long as someone brings Short’s S’mores Stout?