PILSNERS, ROSÉS, gin and tonics, Aperol by the bottle, mint juleps: There are plenty of ways to enjoy the season, but like a good meal, any summer activity needs the perfectly paired libation.
It's important to camp near a good source of cool, fresh water. Mostly to keep your beer cold. Whether it's Occidental's refreshing Kölsch, Fort George's big and bright Sunrise Oatmeal Pale Ale, or the OG of craft canned beer and still the best pale ale in a can, Caldera Pale, cans are lighter and quicker to cool than bottles. Just remember, cans are easy to pack in, but even easier to pack out. Nobody wants to hike out to Angel's Rest just to see your Schlitz can glimmering in the clear summer light.
Like the idea of nature, but find it just so obnoxiously natural sometimes? First things first, try to get a cabin with a temperature-controlled wine cellar. If for some reason you can't find that, feel free to just park your car nearby and leave it running the whole time, with the AC at a perfect 55 degrees. Despite my constant letters to the US Forest Service, most yurts still aren't stocked with appropriate stemware, so it's BYO Riedel. You'll miss the comforts of home, so bring some Portland wine: Holden's sunrise-bright pinot blanc and Teutonic's sunset-pretty rosé.
Parks and Recreation
Whether you're out for an epic multifamily picnic or just reading on the grass, Portland parks are an ideal place to get subtly toasted. There's typically no way to keep your drink cool, and you don't want to draw too much attention to yourself from the frolicking children and hovering parents, so a flask of Eastside Distilling's spicy, 96-proof Burnside Bourbon will really come in handy here. If gleaning's your thing, grab some random mint from someone's yard on your way to the park for a hasty-but-tasty julep.
Watching Summer TV
Let's not pretend you won't spend a few temperate nights and even a couple of beautiful days inside watching Game of Thrones or Mad Men or—I don't know what you like, maybe Rizzoli and Isles? It's important to remember to take a break now and then to avoid muscle cramps and bedsores. That's why I suggest something slightly more involved, like a gin and tonic. It is summer, after all, even if you can't tell through those $50 blackout curtains you bought because the glare on the TV is really bad during Lip Sync Battle. For the juniper obsessed, New Deal's Portland Dry Gin 33 is still tops, but a new upstart in Bend called Cascade Alchemy might just be the hit of the summer with their Oregon Gin.
Celebrating the Fourth of July by Listening to Your Family Lament the Sorry State of Obama's America
All of the above, in any order, taken way too fast and in huge quantities, washed down with that bottle of Aperol we haven't gotten to yet. Then just smile and nod and try to watch the fireworks until everything stops spinning.
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