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This Brewery Helps Preserve Snow and Protect Spring Runoff

The late spring brings great skiing and fishing to the high country. 10 Barrel Brewing has beers that help benefit both.

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For skiers who are still earning their turns in the high peaks of North America right now, there is a wonderful transition happening. The deep snowpack freezes each night, and gently thaws in the early morning sun. This process presents skiers with a short window to ski on a soft surface called corn snow.

Perfect corn snow doesn’t show up every day, and even when it does, it doesn’t stick around long. Its sought-after appearance is a seasonal game of patience and reward.

Later on, when the sun really gets going and ripens the corn into sloppy mush, the melted snow transforms into high alpine streams. This seasonal increase in water flow connects alpine lakes and valley rivers, providing brief passageways for fish to move from one to the other. These alpine streams can create honey holes that can be as fleeting as corn snow for fishermen and fisherwomen.

In other words, for skiers who fish, and fishers who ski, the months of May, June, and July are very special in the high country. It’s a season worth celebrating because it seems to get harder every year to get the timing right for both skiing and high alpine fishing. Making sure we have snow in the alpine and runoff throughout the summer should be near and dear to skiers, fishermen/fisherwomen, and conservationists alike as climate change and overuse threaten the longevity of the snow, water, and fish.

So if you’re going to celebrate this ethereal season, why not drink beer that helps with conservation as well?

10 Barrel’s new summer seasonal beer aims to do just that. The Bend, Ore.-based brewery teamed up with Bozeman, Mont.-based Simms Fishing and the conservation organization Trout Unlimited to create Reel Good Summer Ale, an easy-drinking brew that’s ideal for both spring and summertime après-ski, as well as spring, summer, and early autumn fishing seasons.

Dog on a boat with beer
How ski patrol dogs spend their time when the lifts close. Photo: Courtesy of 10 Barrel

As a part of 10 Barrel’s “Drink It Forward” campaign, proceeds from sales of Reel Good Ale will go to Trout Unlimited’s Home Rivers Initiative for the Gallatin River in Montana. Located near Big Sky Resort and the growing city of Bozeman, the Gallatin river has seen a dramatic increase in recreational use over the past decade. Simms has been a leading supporter of Trout Unlimited’s work since last year and has teamed up with 10 Barrel to do even more.

“The conversation between Simms and 10 Barrel started back in August and we’re thrilled to finally watch this project come to life,” said Strick Walker, Chief Marketing Officer at Simms, in a press release. “Working with 10 Barrel has been fantastic and we’re really looking forward to utilizing this partnership to shed more light on conservation efforts and initiatives we have going on right here in our own backyard of Bozeman, Montana.”

Additionally, 10 Barrel’s has additional sustainability campaigns. For skiers and riders, the brewery donates 1 percent of profits from its winter seasonal beer, Pray For Snow, to benefit Protect Our Winters, an organization dedicated to combating climate change with both grassroots and government campaigns. Two other flagship beers, Hazy Trail and Profuse Juice, donate 1 percent of profits to the Outdoor Alliance and the Surfrider Foundation, respectively.

“At 10 Barrel, we’ve been fortunate to have worked with some of the most notable brands, athletes, and media outlets in the outdoor industry,” says Andy Goggins, Marketing Director at 10 Barrel. “The collaboration between 10 Barrel, Simms, and enjoying life on the river provides perfect synergy. We’re also excited to collaborate with Trout Unlimited with a percentage of all sales benefitting the Home Rivers initiative.”

How does Reel Good Summer Ale taste? For those uninitiated: Kölsch-style beers are brewed to create a light and easy-to-drink beer. Those familiar with beer-flavored beer will find it comparable to a craft version of High Life, but just slightly sweeter thanks to the Saaz and Hallertau hops combined with a specific kölsch yeast.

If High Life is the mass-produced champagne of beers, Reel Good Summer Ale is a craft-style prosecco of beers. And, after a morning of harvesting corn and a few hours of fishing on a spring afternoon, Reel Good Summer Ale is an ideal easy-to-drink, refreshing beer to celebrate it all. Don’t just take it from us—real beer critics agree. It won Gold at the 2020 Beer Army Awards and 2020 Best of Craft Awards.

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10 Barrel Reel Good Summer Ale Details

Two cans of Reel Good Summer Ale and a fisherman
That guy got in 3,000 vert of corn skiing two hours before casting his first fly. Photo: Courtesy of 10 Barrel
  • Style: American Kölsch
  • Appearance: Straw, bright, thick white head
  • Aroma: Pilsner malt, white grape, floral spice
  • Flavor Notes: Soft malt sweetness, white grape, Champagne
  • Mouthfeel: Light, effervescent
  • Pairs well with: Spring corn harvesting, après in the alpine, high country fishing, cleaning up rivers
  • ABV: 5% IBUs: 24
  • More Info: