We'll be the first to acknowledge how obnoxious contemporary beer culture can be. Especially in the Northwest. At times you can get the feeling that if you’re not drinking a 15% ABV quad-hopped, double red, local moss-brewed pale ale made upside down in a basement by a dude with a curled up mustache, then you’re a square. And really, we get it. Really delicious beer is great. And there’s no shortage of really really good beer between Oregon and Washington—in 2014 the two states boasted a total of 515 operating breweries—but with so much selection how do you know what to buy? In the olden days (read: early aughts) you couldn't go wrong with a local light beer brand like Rainier and Olympia. Now, many won’t touch the stuff (more for us). But rather than jump into an arbitrary guide of what's what and who's who of NW craft brewing—we're sure you've had enough unsolicited opinion for one article already—we'll simply introduce you to one we've been enjoying of late, Base Camp Brewing Co. from the lovely little city of Portland, Ore.
Base Camp is a pretty accurate representation of the city it hails from—it’s outdoorsy at it’s core, interested in design, driven by local ingredients and a bit dark and dank. Since 2012 the small brewery has specialized on making high quality beers for adventurers. Over the holidays while visiting we had the pleasure of tossing back more than a couple Ultra Gnar Gnar IPAs. And while the name is a bit cringeworthy, the flavor is anything but. It’s extremely smooth, light enough to be refreshing after a long day at the ski hill or walking around the woods, and highlighted by notes of citrus and pine. Really, it’s a damn good end of day drink. Just make sure it’s ice cold.
In addition to the velvety IPA, Base Camp brews five other innovative lagers and ales in their 12 ounce can, and eight total in their trail ready 16 ounce aluminum bottles. All offerings feature a variation on the brand’s signature topo design and a rather cute brand-affirming statement of just how important a proper base camp is . Visit Basecamp Brewing to find out if any is available in your area.