Editors' Choice Snow 2014: Pat's Backcountry Beer

Pat’s solves the age-old dilemma of how to pack beer on your hiking trip with concentrated beer syrup and a carbonator bottle.

What’s the one thing we unanimously crave after a long day of hiking or skiing? A cold brew. But until now, it was too heavy to pack on a multiday trek—especially a gear-laden winter trip. Pat’s solves the age-old dilemma with concentrated beer syrup and a carbonator bottle. Just add cold water and you can turn what looks like a little GU pack into a pint of suds. The secret? Pat’s Hybrid Brewing Technology produces beer in a concentrated form (it’s not dehydrated). Preparing it takes about 10 minutes per liter, as the carbonation bottle requires a little futzing—add Pat’s Activator (citric acid and potassium bicarbonate), pump, shake, wait; it gets much easier with practice. The taste: “A little bit of a homebrew flavor,” says one tester. “I might not make it at home, but on day three of a backpacking trip? Yes, please!” In BC, we packed in a “case” of Pat’s—Pale Rail and Black Hops (5.2% and 6.1% ABV, respectively)—and after a day of skinning and skiing in warm spring sunshine, followed by pints made with icy water taken from a snow-buried creek, all testers agreed: Cheers! $10 for 4-pack of concentrate (makes 4 pints); $40 for the 20-ounce Carbonator Bottle; $6 for Activator 12-pack; 11.5 oz. (bottle and one beer packet); patsbcb.com