Camping With Cans
Imbibing your way through New Mexico’s outdoor beauty
By Hosho McCreesh
Now, short of having a 4WD mechanized riding-cooler, it takes hard work and intense preparation to get said beer to said camping spot safely. All too often the precious cargo is packed in glass bottles, making moving our Man Scouts provisions tantamount to jostling unstable dynamite à la The Wages of Fear. Thank the stars a handful of our state's finest and most insightful breweries have had the good sense to put their delicious artillery in handy aluminum carrying cases. So if a hike-up/stumble-down a gorgeous New Mexico park or peak is on your agenda, here's a handy-dandy list of local canned beers, plus spots you and your fellow revelers can tackle in the great (nearby) outdoors.
Looking for a weekend away? Why not load up a cooler with a grip of Almanac IPA, Farmer's Tan Red Ale and Milk Mustachio Stout from Tractor Brewing Co., and head out to Bluewater Lake State Park (Reserve your spot at: bit.ly/1wRCMtD).
If finances allow, you might hire a team of Sherpas to help schlep your 4-packs of A Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA and/or Malpais Stout tallboys from La Cumbre Brewing Co. up Tetilla Peak near Cochiti Lake (1.usa.gov/1nOggwe). Unsure of which beer to bring? Take Marissa (a cashier at our friendly, local, gigantic booze-emporium) at her word and go with the Hefeweizen. Being summer, it definitely gets my vote too—though La Cumbre won’t ever steer us wrong. Your troop can stumble all over the lake and shore proper. My voluntary nomad Nancy LaTurner tells me that the Tetilla Peak campground has crappers, plus a decent coin-operated shower, so dig up some change from the couch cushions. Now if we can only get those Boy Scouts to accurately represent the values they claim to espouse regardless of race, credo and sexual orientation, then we’ll be doing great.
Marble Brewery has, for a desert campaign to Cerrillos Hills State Park (bit.ly/1p88Dog), seen fit to package their India Pale Ale, and their Pilsner in cans as well. We no longer need to drag our weary near-corpses like Lawrence of Arabia to the officer’s bar for a glass of lemonade. We can have our beer and drink it too. Be it hiking, biking or horseback riding, our journey should be nothing like crossing the Sinai on camelback, so no need to plan your restroom stops ahead of time. Because unlike my week-long stay at Camp Frank Rand, Cerrillos Hills is close enough to make for an afternoon jaunt that will hopefully find most folks there and back before nature comes a-calling. No need to desperately hold your guts to the point of impaction for fear of what might be found in the chemical toilets. You hear that, bowels? Nothing has been written!
After any of these worthwhile trips, the only challenge that remains is carrying out all our dead soldiers (read: empties)—because only booger-eating monsters refuse to practice Leave No Trace camping. Tally-ho!
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