Summit Suds: Mayflower Gulch and In the Steep |

Summit Suds: Mayflower Gulch and In the Steep

The view from a window of an old cabin from the mining days of Mayflower Gulch while Genevieve Carey, left, and Dave Guilfoyle hike the area Nov. 8 near Fletcher Mountain.
Hugh Carey /

In The Steep

Outer Range Brewing Co.

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Style: New England IPA

ABV: 6.7%

Ingredients: Citra hops, London ale yeast, oats and wheat

Pair With: Beef jerky

This column 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 visitors to treat themselves in Summit County is sipping a beer after exercise, whether that be skiing, hiking, biking, paddleboarding or any other outdoor activity. 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 trails and craft concoctions 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.

Mayflower Gulch

Outer Range Brewing Co.’s motto is “Leave the life below” — they know a thing or two about soaking in the sun and exploring the great outdoors. One of the founders’ favorite escapes is Mayflower Gulch, a moderate, 2.8-mile hike that offers year-round adventures.

“We went splitboarding for the first time this year there,” said Outer Range co-founder and chief marketing officer Emily Cleghorn, who tries to hike at least once a week. “It’s a good beginner area, and I love that it’s partially covered on the way up because sometimes the sun here is so oppressive.”

Along with the shade, the trail features a picturesque stream, ruins of the Boston Mine Company and “epic, gorgeous views,” she said.

The gulch is just barely in Summit County. From Interstate 70, take Exit 195 and travel south toward Leadville for 5.3 miles. Once parked at the trailhead on the left, you begin to see the old mining structures about 1 mile up.

Though the Trail No. 2 Double IPA — which was part of Outer Range’s Adventure Series and features a usable topographic map of Mayflower Gulch right on the can — would be the perfect pairing, that beer was only brewed once last summer and likely won’t be made again. Instead, the Cleghorns recommend their flagship beer, In the Steep.

The first beer the brewery ever canned, it was named Top Five Beers of the Year in 2018 by Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine’s editorial director Jamie Bogner. It tows the line between bitter and refreshingly fruity, making it an ideal thirst-quencher.

“We just wanted to take what we love about both styles of IPAs — West Coast IPAs and East Coast IPAs — and take some attributes of each,” co-founder and head brewer Lee Cleghorn said. “The Citra hops are just the all-time IPA hops in the U.S., and it’s a meditation on that hop.”

Jefferson Geiger is the arts and 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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