Do you believe the best part of hiking is enjoying the scenery with a cold beer in your hands? Then we’ve got something you’ll love. Winter backcountry barcrawls have really gotten people’s attention over the last few years.
But, for some people, a bar outdoors is not the first thing that comes to mind when planning a trip. It takes enough time trying to figure out where to make your campsite reservations, where to buy your gear, etc.
There’s no time to design an itinerary that involves stopping at backcountry bars, too! Wait, maybe there is! Where do we sign up?!
National Parks and Bars
If you can’t imagine hiking outdoors without access to a bar, then you’ll be happy to know many national parks have bars surrounding them. You’ll still get the same killer views as you would inside of the park, only you get to enjoy them with a nice brewski in your hand.
To make up one of the best winter backcountry barcrawls yet, you’ll need to know where to start:
- Grand Teton National Park: Jackson Hole is home to lots of great drinking opportunities, including Snake River Brewing which is basically a legend here. You can’t picture a cozier place to have a drink. Also, check out Grand Teton Brewing Co., which has been around since 1988 and has a lot to offer visitors, including great events and spectacular views. You may also have heard of the Mangy Moose, another well-known spot.
- Glacier National Park: Located in Montana is one of the nation’s best national parks, which also happens to have some equally amazing breweries and bars. Make sure you visit Backslope Brewing, which is only six minutes away from the West Glacier entrance. Here, you can find diverse brew options as well as menu items like gnocchi and fried pickles, all while being surrounded by beauty. If you want to change it up, then head down the road to The Great Northern Brewing Company.
- Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area: Another beautiful spot to experience a winter backcountry barcrawl, the Columbia River Gorge is an excellent place to hike, even if you aren’t much of a drinker. But, if you are, then you’ll be happy to know that this area is known for that kind of thing. Visit Walking Man Brewing, which is 15 minutes from Eagle Creek. It’s famous for its artisanal pizzas and dog-friendly brew garden, which is perfect if you plan on bringing your dog on the trail with you.
These are just a few national parks that have incredible places to grab a drink. Others that are well-known for their brews are Pigash National Forest, Shenandoah National Park, and Yosemite.
The ONLY Craft Brewery INSIDE OF a National Park
After all that hiking, you can’t wait to have your beer. Unless you’ve brought it with you, there’s no way you’re getting it in the middle of nowhere.
Unless, of course, you plan your hiking trip at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas. There, you’ll find Superior Bathhouse Brewery & Distillery. This is the only place in the country where you can find something like this. And, the coolest part of all is that the beer is made with natural minerals from the thermal-rich spring water. This water happens to be the beer’s main ingredient. Of course, the only thing that might be better than ingesting the magic is actually soaking in it, which is definitely something hikers like to do when they visit here. Especially, in the wintertime.
Here, you can find 16 taps in addition to restaurant food. While it might be a bit luxurious for the average backpacker, it’s nice to know that you don’t need to leave the park to get here.
The Hike to the Upslope Brewery
There’s never been a brew that screams “backcountry” like Upslope. Born in Colorado, everything about this company represents the two things you love most…beer and hiking. From the name and the logo right down to their environmentally-friendly cans, that’s still not the best part of Upslope’s campaign.
What is it?
Well, once a year, they head deep into the Colorado Rockies to set up shop. Last year in October, they released their Oktoberfest Lager. The only way to get it was by hiking 2.5 miles into the wilderness to their backcountry tap room. It was the 2nd year in a row they held this event. So, we’re giving you more than enough time to make it to next year’s!
Don’t wait! It’s time to attend one of these winter backcountry barcrawls and experience the outdoors the best way you know how!