Say what you want about tasting a beer right from the tap, no brew pub can ever match the heavenly satisfaction of having a few cold ones while embracing the great outdoors. And we’re not talking about a pint on the patio after a brewery tour. We’re talking about imbibing while camping after a long day of hiking, climbing, biking, or fishing. But until recently, that meant either hauling bottles or cans to the base camp, or sipping from a red Solo cup—a receptacle that does no justice to that $20 750ML bottle that you’ve been waiting to drink by the campfire. Thankfully, a handful of outdoor gear-makers have stepped up to fill the void with vessels designed to take great beer into the great outdoors. Some are out now, others are coming out later this year. Start budgeting accordingly.
1. Hydro Flask Growler
Growlers have revolutionized the craft-beer scene, but they can also swallow huge amounts of space in your cooler. The Hydro Flask Growler ($50) solves this dilemma by keeping up to 64 ounces of your favorite local draft cold for up to 24 hours thanks to its vacuum-insulated, double-wall construction. A food-grade stainless-steel interior won’t contaminate the beer’s taste, and a wide 2.2-inch mouth makes filling and pouring a breeze.
2. Lifefactory Glassware
There is no substitute for a glass vessel, but glass can prove to be a genuine hardship while camping or tailgating. One misplaced toast and you could drop your beverage and have to deal with a lot of broken glass. Lifefactory offers a simple solution by wrapping their glass containers in slip-proof, impact-absorbing silicone. Their water bottles are already on the market (ranging from 12 to 22 ounces), and they’ll soon release 11 and 17-ounce glasses that should be a perfect, civilized way to share a growler, make a backcountry cocktail, or split a bottle of wine. Bottles start at $23, and the new glasses will retail for $20 for two of the 11-ounce models, and $25 for two of the 17-ounce glasses. A set of four multi-colored glasses will also be available.
3. Stanley Classic Vacuum Pint, Adventure Pint, and Shot Glass Set
This iconic outdoor brand already makes one of the best flasks on the market, a design that they recently improved with their eCycle model ($15) by adding a full-flip lid to making cleaning a breeze. So it’s only natural that Stanley continues to offer inventive solutions for wilderness adult-beverage consumption. This year they’ll introduce the 16-ounce Classic Vacuum Pint ($23), which can keep your beer cold for 4.5 hours and includes a removable bottle opener in the lid; the Adventure Pint ($15), a stainless-steel glass wrapped in neoprene to insulate your beverage for up to an hour; and the totally awesome Shot Glass Set ($20), which includes four two-ounce stainless-steel shot glasses and a steel carrying case.
4. Snow Peak Stacking Mug Set
Leave it to the boutique “outdoor lifestyle creators” at Snow Peak to craft what could become the most coveted mugs to ever grace the backcountry. Each of these elegant cups has been hand-crafted in Japan from Cherry Birch, and they fit inside each other to make packing a breeze. For $120 you get three cups: 200, 300, and 450-MLs. Or start your collection slowly by purchasing them one at a time, starting at $35.
5. GSI Outdoor Partyware
Unless you embrace the glam-ping fad of camping, the tweed-centric eccentricities of the mixologist scene don’t really fit in the backcountry. But thanks to GSI Outdoors, you can still add a touch of class to your fireside cocktail consumption. Go simple by snagging a few PBA-free plastic vessels like the martini ($7.50), Highland whiskey ($8), or nesting wine ($8) glasses or step up your game for the shinier—and more durable—stainless steel models like the Glacier Martini Glass ($13). But why stop there? GSI Outdoors also makes one of the world’s only hand-crank blenders, which uses a powerful, two-speed gear system to crush ice wherever you happen to be. The Vortex Blender ($100) includes a 1.5-liter pitcher made of durable BPA-free plastic with a C-clamp to secure the device to a picnic table. Now all your camping needs are complete.