By Kristen Kuchar
The days are longer and warmer, and Coloradans are ready to embrace summer. There are dozens of ways to soak in the rays in this great state, and just as many delicious beers to enjoy with them. We picked five summer activities and paired them with excellent beers.
Rafting with River Runners Pale Ale from Eddyline Brewery
Buena Vista has plenty of opportunity for riding the whitewater rapids, especially in Browns Canyon. Bring along some cans of Eddyline’s River Runners for your post-trip cool down. Described as “just as satisfying as crushing a Class V line," this award-winning brew has a refreshing grapefruit aroma with a light finish.
Hiking paired with Pyramid Peak Porter from Aspen Brewing Company
Aspen Brewing’s delicious porter is named after Pyramid Peak, one of Colorado’s fourteeners. The dark brew is made with chocolate, and black malts with a balanced dose of hops. If you’re not quite up for tackling the peak, head out to Smuggler Mountain, a 14-mile, out-and-back trail that’s dog-friendly and filled with wildflowers.
Biking with Fat Tire Belgian White Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company
When it comes to biking, it’s a must to pair it with the iconic bicycle-centric New Belgium. Fat Tire Belgian White is made with Seville oranges and Indian coriander, both ground a mile from the brewery. The entire city of Fort Collins is super bike friendly, but a local favorite is the Poudre Trail, which is a 12.3-mile-long asphalt and concrete trail.
Running with Ascent Pale Ale from Pikes Peak Brewing Co.
This pale ale is named after one of the country’s most difficult races, the annual marathon up Pikes Peak. Since the race itself is extremely intense and some folks fail to complete it, Pikes Peak Brewing opted to make this brew more easy going with a finish as “clean as the air at 14,000 feet." If running up the peak isn’t on your to-do list at the moment, go for a run on the 15-mile graveled Santa Fe Region Trail.
Camping with Smores Stout from Wild Woods Brewery
Sure, it’s not super physical, but camping is the quintessential summertime activity. And since s'mores are arguably the best part of camping, opt for the smooth Smores Stout from Wild Woods Brewery in Boulder. The dark, sweet stout is brewed with roasted barley, biscuit, chocolate malts, complex sugar, and aged on rich cacao nibs. It’s the perfect drink for sitting around the campfire, especially at Long’s Peak Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park.