We love us some outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, and backpacking has always been a popular get-away-from-it-all activity in Washington’s Cascades and Olympics. How much do we love the outdoors around here? Witness the transition of Seattle’s Recreational Equipment Incorporated from a small camping and mountain climbing equipment co-op to one of the world’s largest outdoor retailers. The REI showroom over the years has provided examples of never-ending technological progress in packs, boots, tents, sleeping bags, clothing, stoves, and freeze-dried meals, all geared toward weight reduction: When you have to carry everything for your camping trip on your back, you want it to weigh as little as possible. But hikers have long been willing to pack a few extra pounds so that they can enjoy some proper libations at the end of the day. Well apparently someone feels your pain and wants to ease your suffering as you schlepp six-packs up the dusty trail.
Pat’s Backcountry Beverages of Talkeetna, Alaska, has developed a portable carbonator (it infuses tickley bubbles into your fave bevvies) that works with something very much like a Nalgene bottle, and will have powdered soda in cola, lemon-lime, root beer, and ginger ale out by the end of August. But more intriguing are their forthcoming-but-still-under-development adult beverages: Their beer isn’t actually powdered or dehydrated, but made from concentrate then run through their proprietary carbonator. They claim it’s as good as any premium microbrew, and a hell of a lot lighter. “Beer is typically 95% water, which makes it heavy, cumbersome, and expensive to transport”, they say.
And though it won’t need carbonation, following the release of their beers they’re planning on marketing wine concentrate as well. Check out their website here.