Sunday, June 16

Craft Beer and Outdoor Gear: The Best Combination

Although American Craft Beer Week ended last month (May), this doesn’t mean craft breweries are off the radar until next year. Thanks to the outdoor industry, craft beer has found a new industry niche, and the feeling — and taste — is delightful.

In May, Anchor Brewing Company announced that some of its proceeds from its California Lager will go to the National Parks Conservation Association as well as the California State Parks Foundation in an effort to promote environmental activism and protect the environment. The craft brew company also announced that it would expand its packaging from bottles to cans to improve outdoor versatility.

According to Statista, the most popular outdoor activities in 2012 were hiking, biking, camping, and fishing — and all of these recreational sports wouldn’t be complete without an ice cold brew in hand as a reward for a hard day’s work and exercise. Additionally, according to a 2011 University of Michigan study commissioned by the RV Industry Association, approximately 10 million U.S. households now own an RV for outdoor excursions.

These four outdoor clothing and gear brands have decided to take drinking craft brew and experiencing the outdoors to a whole new level.

We all know this brand as offering top-of-the-line outdoor equipment. Last November, the clothing company — which claims a large chunk of the annual $260 million Canadian retail clothing industry — asked New Belgium Brewing to help it produce a beer in honor of 40 years in the outdoor gear business. The name of the new brew, California Route, boasts a malty character and earthy hops and can be found at most Patagonia retail stores.

KEEN Footwear is teaming up with America’s ninth-largest brewer, Portland-based Widmer Brothers, to create the Full Fender Brown Ale. This light, malty English brown is a symbol of Portland’s bicycling and outdoor community. Widmer is now a proud supporter and proponent of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance to help provide safe cycling routes in the area.

The hardcore outdoor activity clothing line. The worldwide fishing industry, which generates $80 billion in annual revenue, employs roughly 200 million people — and many of these fishermen own a pair of Carhartts. The hipster outdoor clothing company hired New Holland Brewing Company to concoct a beer from Michigan-made ingredients; its made with the same dedication to craftsmanship as the clothing itself.

Wooldrich, Inc. Since 1830, this outdoor gear company has been serving outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts. They’ve recently partnered with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery to produce a custom beer to match their custom clothing collection. Called Pennsylvania Tuxedo, the limited batch of the rye pale ale is brewed with spruce tips from Woolrich, Pennsylvania.

It may be difficult to find these craft beers, and they are certainly on limited supply, but the outdoor clothing and gear companies are promoting these breweries in an attempt to get people to experience the environment.

So, grab your camping mugs and your gear and get ready for the perfect view with the perfect craft brew pour.

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