GABF week doesn’t have an official start date but it is safe to say that this year it began in the mountains between Vail and Leadville on Saturday (10/1/16). Upslope Brewing Company hosted their second annual backcountry tap room at Ski Cooper / Vance’s Cabin, not to be confused with Copper Mountain, just 30 minutes away.
The biggest draw for this beautiful hike during the height of the fall colors in the Rocky Mountains? Free beer, more specifically free cans of their new Fresh Hop IPA. The tagline said you would earn your beer by the time you arrived and they weren’t kidding. The three mile hike was predominantly uphill but the changing scenery from valleys to thick woods provided the perfect backdrop.
If I were to guess there was at least 1500 people hiking the trail and close to 300 dogs along for the journey. It was a fun group of people, all with a common goal, get to the tap room and enjoy a hard earned beer.
Once you had a cold beer in hand you could make use of the grills, play some lawn games, or simply relax on a nearby log or well-placed hammock before heading back down the mountain.
What I do it again? Absolutely, I can’t wait for next year. It’s the perfect excuse to hit the trail with my dog in a literal adventure for good beer.
What would I do differently? Get there earlier. We didn’t hit the trail until noon and just missed the Fresh Hop IPA release by less than 10 people. Of course that was disappointing but picking three beers from their year-round styles was a nice consolation.