GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted June 1st,
Craft Beer and Camping: From Portland,
OR to Portland, ME
Happy Camper Blog
Over the past
decade, the craft beer industry has seen an explosion of growth, allowing
enthusiasts to try local brews from Portland, Ore., all the way to Portland,
Maine. Check out some of our favorite craft breweries around the country and
find campgrounds nearby for your next adventure.
Foundation Brewery founders Joel Mahaffey and John
Bonney met a few years back at a home brewing club in Bangor. Their
friendship, talent and passion have taken them out of the home kitchen and
into a sparkling new brewery that opened in 2014.
brewmasters have chosen to craft their beers in the saison style, which
originated from the Belgian area of Wallonia. Saison beers were brewed in the
winter to slake the thirst of the farm workers in the summer. Foundation’s
two lead beers are “Blaze,” which is a farmhouse IPA and the more traditional
saison “Eddy,” which is a little drier.
In 1995 Rod Tod founded Allagash, taking his
inspiration from Belgian brewers. Over the years, Allagash has developed six
year-round beers that all have unique seasoning and drinking characteristics.
Additionally, when you stop by the brewery you’ll invariably get a chance to
try some limited run and seasonal beers.
Rod has taken a
very principled stance in business responsibility by running the brewery with
100 percent renewable wind energy and developing a composting
don’t let the word winery throw you off track. Though von Stiehl is the
oldest licensed winery in Wisconsin, it’s also the brewers and purveyors of
some fine full-flavored craft beers that harken back to old regional lagers
dating to the Civil War at the Algoma Tap Room, which is just two doors down
from the winery
Undecided? At von Stiehl’s you’ll also find
traditional wines like a highly regarded Cabernet Savignon and best-selling
Reisling. Still want more choice? Then make sure you sample some of their
specialty products like the brandy fortified cherry
Heritage counts in perfecting a great brew, and
the founder of this brewery, Jacob Leinenkugel, started the business in 1867.
Today, the fifth generation of Leinenkugels carry that great tradition
forward. To hoist a foam topped glass to your lips is to sip from a long
tradition of German brewers who, for decades, made Wisconsin the epicenter of
American beer. Tours are free, and the sampling generous. Dining is also fun
at the adjacent restaurant, Leinie’s.
On the western slope of Colorado the town of Gunnison
is in the heart of Rocky Mountain hiking, fly fishing, hunting and boating
activities, and the Gunnison Brewery is a great place to enjoy a pint after a
full day of Colorado sunshine. Open year-round, this modestly sized craft
brewery cranks up the volume especially during summer with several unique
batches brewed each week. Names like “Mountain Mild,” “Gunrack Golden,” and
“River Day Pale Ale,” pay tribute to the great outdoor adventures you’ll find
all along the Gunnison river and its tributaries.
Denver’s known for its 300 days a year of
sunshine and, from Denver to Fort Collins, the area has one of the nation’s
largest collection of breweries from the biggest names in beer: Coors in
Golden, Anheuser Busch in Fort Collins and dozens of smaller breweries. In
downtown Denver you can rent a B-Cycle bicycle and ride between several craft
breweries within a one mile radius. This is one heck of an adventurous and
fun way to spend an afternoon or evening. Many of these breweries don’t serve
food, but not to worry — great food trucks are always parked out in
The Alpine Beer
2002, firefighter Pat Mcilhenney opened The Alpine Beer Company. As demand
for boutique beers has rapidly grown, so has Alpine Beer. In 2009, Pat
retired as a chief and, along with his wife and son, devotes his time to
pursuing beer perfection.
Some the names alone will give
you a sense of why many Southern Californians find it an easy trip to drive
up to the cooler mountain climate of Alpine and quench their thirst with
beers named: Willy Vanilly, Apricot Nectar, Captain Stout and Pure
Sierra Nevada Brewing
name sounds familiar to you, it should. Started in 1980 by home brewers Ken
Grossman and Paul Camusi, Sierra Nevada is the second best-selling craft beer
in the United States and the seventh largest brewery. Yet despite its lofty
position in the beer hierarchy, a visit to its tap room still reflects its
small town roots.
Of course, its well-known Pale Ale with
its unique piney and grapefruit aromas is a great place to start. However,
this is also a great opportunity to sample some of the other tasty, but
lesser known brews such as the Torpedo Extra IPA, Old Chico Brand Crystal
Wheat and Belgian-Style Blonde IPA.
Ninkasi is the Sumerian goddess of fermentation, which
co-owners Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd think is a pretty perfect name for
their boutique 55-barrel brewing system that has a capacity of 95,000 barrels
The brewery is located in Eugene’s historic
Whiteaker neighborhood. And it’s well worth coming for the free tour of the
entire process, topped off by one of he Ninkasi family of brands: Flagship,
Seasonal Release, Special Release, Prismatic Lager, Single Hop, and
there you have it — a good start and a little inspiration to see America
through the bottom of an empty, frosty glass beer mug. Enjoy the ride, the
sights and fun, and above all, drink responsibly.