Pairing Beer with the Great Outdoors

On a steamy afternoon in mid-July, waiting out a thundershower at the Peekskill Brewery, I had an idea. Nothing earth-shattering mind you, but I jotted it down in the notebook I was carrying with me at the time. Which means that when the rain finally stopped it didn't drift off with the storm clouds. Perhaps it's the heat in Bangkok, or maybe I'm just pining for a pint of  Peekskill's dry, sessionable Hop Common, but I was reminded of that same idea again today. 

What if craft brewers positioned themselves to be the drink of choice for certain outdoor activities the way Coors, Miller, and Budweiser jockey to be the "official beer" of popular sports like baseball and football? Sure, the customer pool of NFL fans is considerably larger than the potential market for say, windsurfers, but then again, this audience will probably be more receptive to a product that isn't necessarily mainstream. Although last year, Anheuser-Busch made an attempt to court outdoor enthusiasts by choosing professional kayaker Eric Jackson as the face of their new American Ale. 

Which got me thinking—what would the beer sponsorship landscape look like if regional brewers got in on the action? How would they attract new drinkers if they were trying to partner with the Hawaii Surfing Association, or the American Hiking Society? Personally, I could see a scenario along these lines:
  • Long Trail Ale, an easy drinking altbier made for long distance hikers. 
  • For the dedicated cyclist, New Belgium's popular amber ale, Fat Tire.  
  • Kona's Longboard Island Lager, a drink to grab after a day in the surf.
  • Russian River's Damnation—meant for the kayaker who charges into rapids at full speed. 
  • Malty Hibernation Ale from Great Divide, a warming winter beer for serious snowboarders.
  • The dry-hopped Hazed and Confused, brewed for bold rock climbers by Boulder Beer Company. 
  • Lake Erie Monster, a hoppy windsurfing lover's IPA from Great Lakes Brewing Company.
  • Fresh Powder Milk Stout, Lake Placid's ode to skiing the Adirondacks.  
So, what do you think? Is there a perfect craft beer out there for your outdoor activity of choice?


  1. Yes! Please make this happen. In your capacity as freelance marketing consultant to breweries.

  2. I plan to apply the minute I see such a job advertised...