Having a beer is great, but earning a beer is one of the best feelings out there.
What better way to earn a beer than with a hike?
Hiking is a great American pastime thanks to the vast open areas that we’re spoiled with. Drinking beer is also a great American pastime, yet another reason beer and hiking go together!
I’m not here to judge your hiking gear, your boots, how far you hike, where you hike, who you hike with, or whether or not you might be hiking too much. I’m here to tell you what my favorite beers for a hike are, ranked.
Ok, here are the best beers for hiking.
1. Pale Ale
Before people get up in arms and call me some beer hipster snob that only likes hoppy beers, I’ll stop you — yes, I am a beer hipster snob, but I like all types of beers!
After a hike, I feel like everything is amplified, especially salty and bitter flavors. There’s just something soooo refreshing about pretzels and beer after a hike, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Anyway, due to the amplified flavor, recommending an IPA seems to be too much, so I’m recommending a pale ale.
I’ve gone off the rails! No I haven’t, this is specifically because of my mention that salty flavors are great after a hike. For those that didn’t brush up on their gose knowledge before landing here, the recipe calls for salt and coriander to be added to the brew. Yes, this makes it a salty beer, but in literally the best way. And liking a gose is just fine! It’s a storied brew that’s been around for hundreds of years.
If you know me, you already know that I’m putting the Pilsner way up here on this list. I’m getting really close to naming the Pilsner the best beer style on Earth ever. Ok, I’ll stop myself from gushing more about Pislners, but Cripsy Bois are the perfect beer to have after any physical activity.
Have you ever wanted a beer but caught yourself saying “what if it was, like, half?” That’s what a session beer is! Sort of. A session beer is essentially a lower ABV version of a specific style of beer. Pale ale is 6% ABV? Session pale ale is 4% ABV. There you go, I’ve given you a way to enjoy a post-hike beer without getting too big of a buzz.
Related: 7 Best Low-Calorie Beers
5. Rye Beer
I’ve gone full hipster here.
I don’t even know if people make rye beers anymore, but I had a red rye ale one time after a full day in the sun and it hit the spot. I still think about that moment. It was a perfect moment. In an effort to recreate my memories and live vicariously through you, I encourage you to try a rye beer post-hike.
And tell me how it was.
Ok, I added IPA to the list now, everyone can calm down.
7. Other Lagers
I say “other” lagers because I’m not going to rank every type of lager individually for a post-hike beer. Every brewery does lagers differently, so it’s up to you to find the best post-hike lager. I am empowering you to experiment!
8. Wheat Beer, or Witbier
Just to be upfront, I’m not a big fan of wheat beers. I think they’re too heavy and soupy, and I don’t care for the flavor. But I know that some of you out there like them, or else they wouldn’t be brewed. So, I’m throwing this out here to make you wheat beer lovers feel seen.
Honestly, this should be way higher up the list, but saison has dropped here because I know a lot of people will think this is crazy. That I’m crazy. I’m not crazy.
Saisons are light, unique, tart, crisp, and delicious. They’re a big, full punch to your taste buds in a small goblet glass. If you don’t want volume or high ABV but want flavor, you should grab a saison after your hike.
Some of you crazies drink stouts in the summer, in the sun, and after exercising. You do you.