Summit Suds: South Willow Falls and Spring Bloom Saison
This column excerpt was originally in the summer 2019 edition of Explore Summit magazine. Pick one up or visit ExploreSummit.com 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. 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.
South Willow Falls
A fan of hiking with his dogs before late nights at the brewery, Cory Forster enjoys trekking to South Willow Falls. “There are some large meadows full of mountain flowers,” said Forster, co-founder and brewmaster of The Bakers’ Brewery. “A little past those meadows you get into the steep part of the climb, and you’ll hear the waterfalls roaring. It’s a pretty sweet area.”
The Bakers’ Brewery
531 Silverthorne Lane, Silverthorne
Ingredients: Falconer’s Flight hops, Ardennes Belgian yeast, lavender, hibiscus and rosebud
Pair with: Fresh fruit and cheese
Forster describes the trail to the falls as pretty mellow, crossing natural rolling terrain over a couple of streams. However, it is long, at 4.2 miles one way to the waterfalls. To reach the trailhead, travel north on Colorado Highway 9 in Silverthorne and turn left onto Wildernest Road. Continue onto Buffalo Mountain Drive and turn right onto Lakeview Drive after 0.8 miles. Turn left onto Aspen Drive after 0.45 miles and the Mesa Cortina trailhead and parking area will be on your right after 0.15 miles.
Once done with the hike, he suggests drinking his Spring Bloom Saison. As the name implies, it is a light and refreshing blonde beer with bright, floral and citrus flavors. “It smells like flowers and tastes like sunshine,” Forster said.
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