Wayward x GrowlerWerks Summer Beer Guide

Words by Matthew Vanatta
Photos by GrowlerWerks

It’s hard to live in the Pacific Northwest without having an immense appreciation for natural beauty. From the wild and rugged coast to the arid eastern deserts, the Pacific Northwest is one of the most diverse landscapes in the country. With an abundance of wildlife, flora, and diverse topography, the Northwest has become a destination for not only outdoor enthusiasts, but also for food and beer aficionados.

Inspired by their surroundings, many of today’s most influential chefs, food entrepreneurs, and craft beer specialists have developed products and flavors that are synonymous with the region they call home. Seeing no need to separate the quality found in their favorite restaurants and breweries, a number of passionate beer and food lovers are finding ways to infuse their favorite libations and cuisines into their outdoor experiences.

Born from a spirit of ingenuity and a deep appreciation for craft beer and the outdoors, the crew at GrowlerWerks set forth to develop a pressurized growler that not only keeps beer pressured, but is also highly portable. The uKeg is an insulated CO2 pressurized growler that is both portable and highly functional. Unlike the glass growlers that are used by many brewpubs and craft enthusiasts, the GrowlerWerks uKeg keeps beer from getting flat and stale, allowing you to take your favorite brews into the wild.

With summer quickly approaching and camping season swinging into full gear, we caught up with GrowlerWerks’ Jordan Brandt to find out what beers will best compliment your summer adventures. The Eugene, Oregon-native and aspiring surf bum spent two years chasing waves and drinking warm cheap beer while on the run in an old RV; with this experience, he certainly knows the value of having a cold, high-quality craft to top off a day of adventure. With this in mind we, sat down with Jordan to find out his recommendations for what beers we might enjoy in the outdoors this summer.

The OG – Widmer Hefeweizen

While 30 years might not seem like a long time in the grand scheme of things, this span of time definitely earns you some legend status in the craft beer world. Widmer Hefeweizen is a Portland, Oregon-based brewery that not only produces some of the best beer on the planet, it also throws the largest outdoor craft beer festival in the world. Kurt and Rob Widmer are true craft beer enthusiasts and, more than that, they are nature lovers who prioritize sustainability in their brewing process. Take this brew anywhere from a misty mountain camping trip to a weekend on the coast. With its citrus and floral notes, it’s the perfect refresher on a warm summer day.

For Plant Lovers – Coalition Two Flowers

This frosty IPA from Coalition Brewing is sure to be a favorite amongst hemp and CBD fans. CBD is a non-psychoactive property found in hemp plants, so while this beer might have more medicinal properties than your average craft brew, you won’t be flying high like that summer you followed the Grateful Dead around the country. CBD is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, so this beer is a great choice after a long day of hiking or surfing.

The Cool Down – Grixsen Sorachi Pils

Most summer adventures consist of long days in the sun, and after ample hydration, it can be downright refreshing to enjoy a light single hop pilsner around the campfire. Cool and refreshing, Portland’s Grixsen Brewing Co. hit the bullseye with their Sorachi Pils – the perfect craft beer to enjoy while the sun is out or just after it’s gone down.

For Traditionalist – pFriem Brewing Saison

Based on traditional Belgian farmhouse beers, the Saison is both developed in flavor and light enough to be refreshing during summer months. Because of its dry and fruity complexion, it pairs great with fresh salmon or crab, making it an instant favorite amongst anglers. Throw some in your GrowlerWerks uKeg and take it with you to your favorite fishing hole – you won’t be disappointed.

The People’s Champion – Rainier

Sometimes you just need a classic cold one to wash away the long hours out in the field. If you find yourself in the Northwest this summer, you’ll never be too far from an outdoor enthusiast capping off the day with a Rainier. If you don’t have time to fill up your uKeg with a craft, throw some vitamin R inside and keep it cold and pressurized while you’re in the woods.

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