Sure, you can bring a bottle of wine or whiskey with you on your next camping trip, but there’s something that just feels right about drinking a cold craft beer after spending the day under the summer sun.
And while there’s certainly no shortage of beers from local Denver brewers that would hit the spot, there are few things to look for when it comes to the perfect camp beer: a low ABV (alcohol by volume) so you can enjoy a few throughout the day without falling out of your hammock, a cold can (no glass bottles near your sleeping bags, please!), and a name that evokes all the favorite things about spending time outside.
Here are 10 local canned beers to bring along on your next camping trip:
Odell Brewing Kindling Golden Ale
Spark an evening of conversation around the campfire with Odell Brewing’s Kindling Golden Ale. At only 5% ABV, you’ll be sipping this easy-drinking brew long after the sun sets.
This hoppy India pale ale from TRVE Brewing Company is a heavy metal-themed heavy hitter at 7% ABV, so save it for the end of your day. It’s brewed with Troubadour Serenade malt and hopped with Citra, Centennial and Chinook hops and perfect for a night spent in the forest.
10 Barrel Brewing Co. Reel Good Summer Ale
Clean, crisp and light as a dry fly, 10 Barrel Brewing Co.’s Reel Good Summer Ale was created in partnership with Simms Fishing Products. The Kolsch-style ale is brewed using a Champagne-like fermentation process and pairs perfectly with a pair of waders. Reel Good Summer Ale clocks in at 5% ABV and won gold at both the 2020 Beer Army Awards and the 2020 Best of Craft Awards. Best of all, a portion of every purchase goes toward supporting the Home Rivers Initiative through Trout Unlimited to help restore and protect our nation’s rivers.
Crooked Stave Lakeview Lager
At only 4.5% ABV, Crooked Stave’s helles-style Lakeview Lager is the perfect session beer for a day spent hiking, fishing, mountain biking or simply swinging in a hammock and looking out over a crystal-clear lake.
The folks at Denver Beer Co. describe their Graham Cracker Porter (5.6% ABV) as “a campfire in a can.” With notes of vanilla, chocolate, biscuit, smoked cedar and mulling spices, it’s like the beer version of a s’more. There’s a reason this brew has won two gold medals at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival. You could drink one instead of scarfing down s’mores on your next camping trip, but, for the real experience, we recommend sipping a can while you toast marshmallows.
Crazy Mountain Brewing Company Mountain Livin’ Pale Ale
This citrusy pale ale (5.7% ABV) from Crazy Mountain Brewing Company utilizes two types of American hops for a unique, tropical fruit flavor with just a faint bite of bitter. Enjoy this beer with a fresh approach to how a pale ale expresses its inner hoppiness. On the label, you’ll meet Jeremiah: Crazy Mountain’s outgoing gatekeeper that’s part mountain goat, part elk, part pika and all about that mountain livin’.
We love a good backpacking trip, but for laid-back, spur-of-the-moment summer weekends, you can’t beat the ease of car camping. So, the next time you’re tossing your gear into the backseat, be sure to include a six-pack or two of Great Divide Brewing Co.’s Car Camper Hazy Pale Ale. Generously hopped with Sabro hops and weighing in at 5% ABV, this is the beer to fuel your next adventure.
Station 26 Brewing Co. Produce Stand Mixed-Culture Sour Ale
No produce stand on the way to your favorite camping spot? Pick up the next-best thing: a four-pack of this tart-but-juicy mixed-culture sour ale (5.5% ABV) brewed with real peaches, apricots and nectarines from Station 26 Brewing Co.
For their 500th batch, Diebolt Brewing created a French biere de garde (7% ABV) with a local twist. They sourced all of the ingredients from Colorado: grain from Colorado Malting Company, Cascade hops from the Western Slope and yeast from Inland Island in Denver. The can is also pure Colorado, adorned with images of a roaring river, a stand of quaking aspens and the Rocky Mountains. What better beer to drink while you’re enjoying Colorado’s great outdoors?
Tivoli Brewing Company Mountain Squeeze Juicy IPA
The next time you head for the hills, take a pack of Tivoli Brewing Company’s Mountain Squeeze Juicy IPA along for the trek. Colorado's oldest operating brewery, Tivoli specializes in bringing the flavors of the past into the present while introducing innovative new brews, too. This one is crafted with five different hops, with flavors of Champagne mango, succulent honeydew, pineapple, under-ripe peach and just a touch of orange zest. At 6% ABV, Mountain Squeeze is the rare light-and-bright IPA made to enjoy in the heat of summer.