There’s nothing more Colorado than hiking through beautiful fall colors with hundreds of other people and then drinking some beer in the backcountry.
Well, okay, maybe that’s not entirely true. To truly do it Colorado style, you’d have to climb to the top of a 14er before drinking the beer. But they like to make this event accessible for people who aren’t intense hikers, so we hiked up a 2.5 mile (4 km) gravel road with minimal elevation gain instead.
The Upslope Backcountry Taproom has become an annual event here in Colorado, though 2019 was our first time attending. A backcountry taproom is exactly what it sounds like: beer in the backcountry! The chosen location this year was in Winter Park, Colorado.
Upslope Brewing Company set up 4 mini bars in a large open space at the end of the road and brought in thousands of cans of beer and hard seltzer. Admission was $15/person and included tickets for 4 free cans of beer or seltzer. 100% of the profits were donated to Leave No Trace; according to Upslope’s Instagram page, the event raised $20,000!
As you can probably calculate from the amount of money raised and the price of admission, this was a jam packed event! It lasted for about 6 hours so people came and went at their leisure. We arrived fairly early and headed out by around 3pm or so, after enjoying our lunch and drinks while relaxing on our picnic blanket and hanging out with some friends.
There were also some sponsor tents set up with games and free swag; one of them asked attendees to guess how many cans of Upslope beer were crammed into a MountainSmith backpack. We stopped by quickly as we were headed out and submitted our guesses. Four days later, I received an email from MountainSmith informing me that I was correct and I’d won a free backpack! So that was pretty neat 😄
Needless to say, we had a lot of fun and helped raise money for a good cause, and we already have plans to attend this event again next time it’s offered!