Beer Gear: Pat’s Backcountry Beverages Beer Concentrate

Pat’s Backcountry Beverages has solved a conundrum of many a backpacker and adventure sportsman. Beer concentrate. Yes, that’s right—concentrated beer that is lightweight and easy to pack. Nothing tastes finer then a beer after a long day’s hike. So next time you reach your campsite after a day in the hills, you can indulge in one of life’s pleasures, a delicious cold brew.

The company is based out of Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and they have gotten quite the buzz about their patent-pending technology. Each lightweight pack starts as a concentrated liquid that’s 58% alcohol by volume and produces one pint of beer at 6.1% alcohol by volume. Currently, Pat’s offers two varieties of beer concentrate, Pale Rail and Black Hops. The brews are being sold online through Colorado Liquor Outlet who shipped their first batch on October 25.

To drink, you just need to add carbonated water. When you’re out on the trail, this can be done by using the plastic carbonator bottle that the company began producing last year. The carbonation process required instructions and a bit of focus. An eco2Activator pack combines citric acid and potassium bicarbonate to produce carbon dioxide. Using a process of shaking the container and pumping the lever, the carbon dioxide is distributed throughout the liquid resulting in a fizzy beverage.

Blue Ridge Outdoors was anxious to give beer concentrate a try. After brewing up a pint of Black Hops, the prominent taste was of the eco2Activator that is used to produce the carbonation. The instructions say to vary the amount to taste, and I would recommend using less than the full amount. The taste of the eco2Activator dulled over time, but that could have just been from the awesomeness of drinking a trail-made beer. The Black Hops had a surprisingly rich and malty flavor that was made even more delicious by the scenery.

Beer concentrate has so many possibilities both on and off the trail. It seems that this product could be equally useful on a bike adventure, a kayak trip, or at a summer festival. In a recent Facebook post, Pat shared the brilliant idea of traveling with a few brews on your next flight—just pack the concentrate in the quart size bag along with your toiletries.

Gourmands may prefer to haul the extra weight for their favorite beer, and others may stick with the classic choice of a flask of whiskey, but having beer concentrate as an option is certainly a game changer.

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