Combs Spouts Off

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An awesome invention for the backpacking beer lover

Posted by Richard on March 18, 2014

When you combine a light-weight, portable beverage carbonator with beer concentrate, you end up with what I nominate as the best invention of the decade:

We’ve written about Pat’s Backcountry Beverages Carbonator, the Nalgene-size system for fizzifying your drink of choice where ever the trail takes you. And while we’ve talked about Pat’s alcohol-packed beer flavors—the world’s first beer concentrate, according to the company—we haven’t put them to the test. Until now.

As a backpacker and a booze writer, when I heard about Pat’s first two beer flavors(complete with alcohol!) I couldn’t resist checking them out. After all, who among us hasn’t fantasized about some sweet suds at the end of a long, hot hike? But could these “beers” pass the taste test of an admittedly picky beer drinker? The short answer—Yes.

You add a 1.7-ounce packet of Pat’s liquid beer concentrate ($10 for four) to cold water and use Pat’s Backcountry Beverages Carbonator to charge it with CO2. The result sounds pretty good:

So what’s the bottom line? While it’s a struggle to get the drink as carbonated as you’d want (the best I ever got was analogous to a draft beer that had been sitting out for a good half-hour), the flavors are on-point. The Pale Rail is still a tad too sweet, but the Black Hops is most definitely worth the price of admission. I’m absolutely bringing it on my next trip, and if you’re a beer lover, I suggest you do the same.

I haven’t been backpacking in years, but this might just tempt me to pack up and head out this summer. One question: are bears attracted to beer?

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One Response to “An awesome invention for the backpacking beer lover”

  1. Rick Shultz said

    Hey Richard:
    I haven’t been out in a while myself but I do know a few things about bears.
    1. A bear’s sense of smell is several times more acute than a bloodhound’s.
    2. Bears are very curious and are attracted to almost anything with a scent, which would include hops.
    3. I read somewhere that there is a jeep door on display at Yosemite that was ripped off the jeep by a bear that smelled a chapstick that had been left in the jeep by it’s owner.

    It’s up to you if you want to try the instant beer out in the bush, but if I were you I would try to find a container that would seal very tightly, and I would definitely store it up high on a line with the rest of the food. Good luck!

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