Few things go together better than a great day outside and a crisp post-activity beverage. Below we have 5 great gear and beer pairings from our expert Nate Lind.
The nice thing about fall weather is it goes well with almost any style of beer. You get some warm and sunny days that keep the light and crisp beers alive, as well as cold and wet days that make you reach for a dark and heavy beer.
So how do you pair a beer with a piece of gear? Get out and experiment! (Just use the gear BEFORE you drink the beer).
The Diamondback Mason Pro is a 29” hardtail built to shred. With a slack head angle, short rear stays and 140mm Fox 34 Float fork, the Mason can power though steep climbs and rough terrain while maintaining a very playful demeanor. If you’re in the market for an all-conditions trail slayer don’t exclude the Mason because of its lack of rear suspension. Instead, throw a leg over one and rediscover the fun in riding a hardtail – especially one that compliments an aggressive rider.
A refreshing choice after a great mountain bike ride needs to be quenching but not overly complex in flavor. The Oktoberfest style fits perfectly, and a great example is Paulaner’s Oktoberfest-Märzen. This amber-colored, medium-bodied lager drinks easily with a spicy hop aroma, malty backbone and dry finish. Bring two, because the first one goes fast!
La Sportiva’s Futura is a technical climbing ace. The No Edge design might throw you off at first (literally), but the technology encourages better foot placement, improving skill and performance. This stiff and supportive slipper uses Sportiva’s famed Fast Lacing System to keep it locked on demanding heel hooks.
A strenuous climb deserves a beer that’s a little heavier; one that’s enjoyed slower and provides warmth from higher levels of alcohol. In this case, try the T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter from Midnight Sun Brewing. This Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal winner has all the right ingredients for fall: cocoa nibs, sweet spices and pumpkin. It’s aged on oak and blended in just the right amounts to make a beer that’s complex in flavor yet well balanced.
The Dedisse from Optic Nerve combines desirable features with an ergonomic fit for high-impact sports like trail running. With the easily-changed lens set (included) the Dedisse has you covered as conditions change, and vents between the frame and lens keep fogging to a minimum when things heat up.
As summer comes to a close many breweries in the northern hemisphere jump on the opportunity to use freshly-harvested hops to brew what’s called wet-hopped beer. The use of these hops is unique because they go straight from the vine into a fermentation tank, providing a richer, less-bitter flavor than their kiln-dried counterparts. Wet hops are used in a variety of beer styles, and Great Divide Brewing does a fantastic job with their Fresh Hop Pale Ale. Expect a light, refreshing body with a strong aroma of citrus fruit and lightly toasted malt.
Inventing ways to shave pack weight is a skill in its own, but in a lot of instances old gear can be replaced with something lighter. Big Agnes is known for making high-quality, lightweight gear and the Angel Springs Ultralight 2-person tent is at the top of their line. At a packed weight of just 3lbs this single-wall tent includes ease-of-use features like color-coded poles and straps and interior pockets to keep things tidy. A generous vestibule opens from the center to make entry and exit comfortable, and its narrow footprint tucks into tight camping spots.
India Pale Ales are a dime a dozen these days, and for good reason. IPA’s hit the sweet spot with a medium body, moderate ABV and strong hop flavors. Their versatility in accompanying any outdoor adventure is fantastic – from kayaking, to backpacking, to skiing, IPA’s are the go-to choice for après refreshment among many beer drinkers. Sanitas Brewing Company makes a great example with their Sanitas IPA. The flavor and vibrant aroma lean toward exotic fruit and wet pine from use of rare American and Australian hop varieties, and drinkability is high thanks to its juicy profile and moderate bitterness.
If the warmth of a beer can’t compete with the chill in the air, grab the stylish Mountain Khakis Lodge Jacket and get back to enjoying that lakeside view. A hefty blend of Merino wool and modal fabrics make this form-fitting jacket highly wind- and water-resistant. Furthermore – dual handwarmer pockets and a stand-up collar provide cool-weather comfort.
A fall beer list isn’t complete without a fruit beer. Pumpkins are the norm, but The Bruery uses yams in their delicious fall seasonal, Autumn Maple. Brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, molasses, and maple syrup, and fermented with a traditional Belgian yeast strain, this 10% ABV beer is a sweater for your soul on cool autumn evenings.