Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
(1) Hike: Sister, Three Sisters Wilderness, OR
Beer: Deschutes Brewery Juniper Sour
Nab this Central Oregon volcano—the region’s tallest mountain at 10,358 feet—in early October, while fall colors peak and before the first snow buries the summit trail. The non-technical, 6-mile (one-way) route to South Sister from the Devils Lake trailhead gains 4,900 feet as it twists above the high desert to the rocky summit. Set aside up to 10 hours for the strenuous out-and-back, and pass Lewis (mile 1.5) and Clark (mile 2) Glaciers en route to the shrub-dotted peak, where Cascades views stretch into the horizon and scents of juniper and sage hang in the air. Retrace your steps to the trailhead and drive a half-hour east to Deschutes Brewery in nearby Bend, where Juniper Sour picks up where the trail left off. Infused with foraged juniper berries, this sour beer is tart, refreshing, and low-alcohol (great for the thirsty hiker). Brewery infodeschutesbrewery.comTrip infobit.ly/SouthSister
(2) Hike: Buford Mountain, Buford Mountain Conservation Area, MO
Beer: Perennial Artisan Ales Black Walnut Dunkel
Enjoy the wild solitude and sweeping valley views of the Ozarks on a 10.5-mile loop that tags 1,740-foot Buford Mountain from the Buford Mountain trailhead. Prep for a six-hour hike and reach the wide, rocky summit at mile 7. Look 640 feet down to the Arcadian and Belleview Valleys, jam-packed with radiant, crimson hickory and oak trees in October. On the descent, spot native black walnut trees. These 50- to 90-foot-tall trees (identify them by their long, fern-like leaves) spit out golf ball-size walnuts that you can taste in nearby Perennial Ales’ Black Walnut Dunkel. This St. Louis brewery’s inventive, robust brown ale is aged with 250 pounds of black walnuts sourced entirely from Missouri’s wilderness. Brewery infoperennialbeer.comTrip infobit.ly/BufordMtn
(3) Hike: Mt. Hunger, C.C. Putnam State Forest, VT
Beer: The Alchemist Heady Topper
You can’t see Mt. Mansfield from Mt. Mansfield, or Camels Hump from Camels Hump. But, on a clear and crisp October day, you can see each of them—plus the Presidentials—from Mt. Hunger, 30 miles east of Burlington. Earn the tastiest view of the Green Mountains on a quick (three hours), 4.4-mile out-and-back from the Waterbury trailhead. Ascend Hunger’s western flank under short pines (pass a small waterfall at mile 1.5) to the apex, where you land views of the Greens—actually red and yellow in fall. Pick out Mansfield 20 miles to the northwest, Camels Hump 20 miles to the southwest, and the Presidentials nearly 100 miles to the east. Cap your summit bid with the Heady Topper, a double-IPA from The Alchemist in Waterbury, which, just like the fall foliage, blasts your senses before disappearing fast. This hoppy behemoth pairs well with outdoor adventures, exuding bold pine and citrus tones, but famously sells out within a few hours of its release. There isn’t a tasting room at the brewery, but the Prohibition Pig in Waterbury (15 miles south) is a good bet (prohibitionpig.com). Brewery infoalchemistbeer.comTrip infobit.ly/MtHunger
Check out 10 more craft beers fit for adventure at here.