Summit Suds: Lily Pad Lake Trail and Hey Pocky Way IPA |

Summit Suds: Lily Pad Lake Trail and Hey Pocky Way IPA

This excerpt was originally published in the summer 2019 edition of Explore Summit magazine. Pick one up or visit for the full article.

A fabulous way for locals and tourists to treat themselves in Summit County is sipping a beer after exercise, whether that be skiing, hiking, biking, paddleboarding or any other outdoor activity. As the snow finally melts and trails dry, now is a great time to explore the wilderness on foot and follow up with a celebratory beverage on a brewery patio.

Being residents of this active community themselves, here are some favorite trail and craft concoction combos handpicked by brewers.

Almost all local breweries have canned four-packs, crowlers (a growler in a can), or accept fills of more portable, non-glass growlers made of materials such as plastic. However, as public consumption is illegal, it is best to consume these beverages at your trailhead rental, other domicile or the brewery itself post-recovery stretching.

Lily Pad Lake Trail

Located near John Jordan’s first Summit County home when he moved roughly two years ago, Lily Pad Lake Trail is an easy to moderate hike that was recommended by one of Jordan’s employees.

“It’s not super easy, but it has really great views, and there’s that nice lake at the end of it,” said Jordan, owner of Pug Ryan’s Brewery.

To see that lake for yourself, travel north on Colorado Highway 9 from Silverthorne and turn left onto Wildernest Road, then left onto Wildernest Road again after 0.2 miles. Follow the road for 3.6 miles like you’re going to summit Buffalo Mountain, but follow the signs for Lily Pad Lake. The one-way trail goes south for 1.4 miles through lodgepole pine and aspen, gaining only 92 feet in elevation.

After enjoying those lakeside views, Jordan suggests sipping their Hey Pocky Way IPA. Made with Champagne yeast, transforming the beer almost into wine, the brut IPA has a hefty ABV of 11.1%.

“I think after any kind of hike or strenuous activity, a nice, big IPA is always well-deserved,” Jordan said. “It’s a little more easy-drinking than most IPAs because all of the hops go in at the end just for aroma, so there is no real bitterness. You definitely get a big, malty sweetness since it’s an imperial.”

Jefferson Geiger is the arts & entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Everything Summit. Have a question about beer? Send him an email at

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