Dehydrated Beer: Now Available

Two years ago I highlighted Pat's Backcountry Beverages, which at the time was developing the Holy Grail for backcountry beer enthusiasts. Now you can hold it in your hand.

Two versions of beer concentrate are now available:

1919 Pale Rail, an amber brew featuring "a delicate blend of aromatic malts and Cascade hops" that "delivers a complex, yet well-balanced, craft brew."

Black Hops, a darker, stouter option with "a bold blend of dark roasted malts" that "creates a smooth yet robust craft beer."

How does it work? You can get the full details here, but the short story is this.

Each 50ml brew concentrate pack ($9.95 for a 4-pack) will produce a pint of beer with an ABV between roughly 5 and 6 percent. In order to get it carbonated, however, you also need a carbonator bottle ($39.95) and a single-use activator packet (12 for $5.95). This video shows the whole process in action.

While I have not yet had the opportunity to sample the brew, some early reviews on GearJunkie and Gizmodo confirm what I would have guessed. Not the best beer you've ever had, but not bad either. And given that just about anything you eat or drink tastes better after a long, hard, and sweaty day on the trail, it's probably much tastier in the backcountry than it would be at home.

As to whether it's a good idea to just do a brew concentrate shooter straight out of the packet (ABV of roughly 50 percent), I would heed the feedback from the Gizmodo crew after they attempted it:
"After coating your throat in a not-at-all-pleasant burning sensation (lasting for about 8 minutes after the fact), the gel bombards your taste buds with a rotting symphony of flavors not meant for consumption. The Pail Rail—the tamer of the two at 49 percent ABV in the packet and 5.2 percent with water added—tasted vaguely of potent, regurgitated beer and/or straight garbage, while the Black Hops version—50 percent ABV or 6.1 percent with water added—was more reminiscent of an atrociously strong soy sauce mixed with melted tar. In short, beer concentrate shots are bad. Do not do them."
Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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