Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Pat's Backcountry Beverages Part 1

Product review

We can always dream, right? Or maybe carry a heavy bottle or can in and pack that same heavy vessel back out.

There I was in an outdoor store in Springdale, UT - the gateway to Zion National Park - and saw a sign for beer, but all I saw was a plastic bottle. The shop owner was quick to enlighten me. Pat's Backcountry Beverages is a carbonation system. Add two dried activators (Citric acid and Potassium Bicarbonate) flavoring and water, pump and shake; viola! A carbonated beverage.

Not a bad deal if your idea of a treat after a long day is a soda. But they also have beer. Not just flavoring. It is honest to goodness, needs-to-be-sold-in-a-liquor-store, beer. Looking at their website, they have Pale Rail and Black Hops as options, with (I'm sure) more coming. In fact the state of Utah had just begun allowing the sale of the Craft Beer packets days prior. They can't sell alcohol over state lines so they re-direct you to somewhere that can if you are lucky enough not to live in Massachusetts, Kentucky, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

I purchased the product, post-host, with a few extra activator packets for good luck. The directions seemed straight-forward but said it would get easier with time and practice.

Once home I tested out the product, and found the instructions very easy to follow and could imagine myself doing them at a shelter quite easily. Put a small amount of water in the bottle, flip and pump a couple times to get water in the cap. Add the activator to the activator cup and attach to the lid. Add water and flavoring to the bottle and attach the lid assembly. Shake and carb shake and carb for 2 minutes and it's that easy. I tried the root beer for my first beverage and I used faucet water to simulate water temperature of the backcountry, though having a nice cold spring would be preferable. The drink was really really good! It could have easily been poured out of a can or fountain bought from the store. It's really the same exact way fountain sodas come, just on a much smaller scale.

I will be using this in the backcountry. The bottle looks to be Nalgen size and thread, so a Katahdin Pump may be able to be attached and a Nalgen lid used when not carbonating. I would probably use the bottle as a water bottle so as to not be carrying an extra 1-use piece of equipment. It's still A LOT lighter than a six pack of brews.

Part Two will cover the beer once it arrives!

Full disclosure: I've nothing to disclose. I have no affiliation with Pat's Backcountry Beverages, I review products to spread word about good and bad. And this one is good!!