Powdered Beer Saves the Day

It’s not that the outdoor community is made up of a bunch of raging alcoholics (though some of us arguably are), but when word went around that a company would soon be selling powdered beer, the backcountry Twittersphere erupted with comments like, “I totally want this!” “The perfect way to sneak in booze to everything.” “Greatest invention of the year? I vote yes.”

No longer are the days of hauling heavy ass six-packs to the tops of peaks for celebratory booze hounding. Designed to lighten your backpacking load, the new breakthrough comes courtesy of the Alaska-based company, Pat’s Backcountry Beverages. Their line of sodas, which includes root beer, lemon-lime and ginger ale, will be debuting at the end of August, while we’ll have to wait until early 2013 for “the good stuff.”

But – and there’s always a but – it requires more than just putting a package of powdered beer in a water bottle and shaking it up…kind of. You need something special: a bottle with a built-in pump that pressurizes the mixture. Luckily, the bottle is lightweight and sleek, unlike other at-home carbonators. The downside of requiring a specialized device comes only in the form of added expense, rather than added weight, as it doubles as a regular water bottle on its own.

Here’s how it all works, as described by Pat’s Backcountry Beverages: Add carbonate to the “reaction cup” that’s attached to the bottle cap. Pour in water and your concentrated beverage of choice into the bottle. Open and close the pump to start the reaction and then shake that bottle with some fury. After a few goes, you’re left with real beer.

The thing is, unless you’re equipped with ice or snow or snow run-off water from a creek or lake, it’ll be warm beer. Then again, that’s always been a problem when packing booze into the backcountry, right?

By Bryan Schatz