7 Best Beverages for Après Trail

Is there anything better than a cool drink of a hoppy beverage after a long outdoor adventure? If your destination is far from the car and a bottled brew seems like a heavy extravagance, try these canned brews that have broken away from their traditional glass mold to appease the light packer.

Heady Topper
Rated by beeradvocate as the best beer in the world, Heady Topper, brewed by the Alchemist Brewery in Waterbury, VT, is not easy to get your hands on. Or maybe you have a friend in Vermont that can hook it up. “The aroma on this is damn near epic and remains amazing throughout. The initial whiff slammed my nostrils with dominant notes of tropical fruit, citrus rind, and a bit of pine” says one beer tester. If you like the hops, this may be the most complex brew you’ve exposed your taste buds to. The 16 oz. can with 8% alcohol by volume (ABV) is sure to knock you off your feet after a long day.

What’s this, a new energy drink? With a can reminiscent of Red Bull, the American Double Imperial IPA brewed in New York by Sixpoint, just may be the type of energy drink your looking for. Another hop explosion, Resin rates high among beers, canned or bottled. The body described as “a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish”, Resin offers a lighter load (12 oz) with a high alcohol content (9.10%).


Torpedo Extra IPA
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
(SNBC) answered the prayers of many dedicated fans when they started canning their beer in late 2011. Hailing from California, Torpedo is another full flavor IPA of the American persuasion.  The beer is brewed using dry hops in reference to the whole-cone hops added to fermentation tanks. SNBC claims “this allows the aromatic oils and resins to infuse the beer with flavor and aroma without adding any additional bitterness.” Ranked among the best of the canned beers, the 16 oz. can at 7.20% ABV is a great pairing with some aged cheddar.

Euphoria Pale Ale
While listening to ska and participating in underage drinking, the founders of Ska Brewing Company envisioned a future of endless beer at the microbrew level. There is one caveat – Euphoria is a seasonal beer brewed in union with Ska’s friends at the Venture Snowboard Factory in Silverton, Colorado. Known for its peppery finish, this 12 oz., 6.10% ABV brew is a perfect pairing with a sunset skin in the backcountry.


Dale’s Pale Ale
Brewed by Oskar Blues Brewing Company out of Lyons, Colorado, Dale’s Pale Ale is the grandfather of canned craft beers, making its debut in 2002. Its creators claim that the American pale ale “delivers a hoppy nose, assertive-but-balanced flavors of pale malts and hops from start to finish.” The ale comes in a 12 oz. can and is 6.5% ABV and pairs well with a dusty, burned in ridge top mountain bike ride.


Blackberry Wheat
For those of you who prefer a fruity beer, Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Co. is a perfect fit. Never mind all those hops, this beer promises to quench your thirst without the extra carbs of the heady brews. Its 3.6% ABV rating ensures more hydration than most beers, if that’s what you’re looking for. Instead of one, carry two or three and feel free to pair with a salad or light appetizer, no longer a need for the bulky wine bottle.


Steel Reserve 211 (High Gravity)
Okay so you’re on a budget, and could care less about complex flavors delivered by outstanding homegrown hops, well here is the brew for you. The Steel Reserve 211 brewed by the Steel Brewing Co. out of California offers you a 24 oz. can of American Malt Liquor at 8.10% ABV for only $1.99. Its unique flavor has been described as “sour malt, aluminum, sweat, [and] pee”. So pour one out for your homies and share the rest with your dog.