We used a few trusty two-wheel hand trucks and took turns pushing (and sometimes pulling) the precious cargo. We got a really nice day for it, too. It started out a little cold and overcast, but it wasn't long before the sun came out and the sweat was flowing.
View Earth Day Keg Haul 2011 in a larger map
Whether or not you are pushing a keg, this is a good route for a beer hike. None of the places are dog-friendly (except Fremont Brewing, of course), but almost every place has adequate space outside to hitch up.
1. Jolly Roger Taproom (Maritime Pacific Brewing)
I met the Latona All-Stars, Elliott and Patrick at around 11:30 am and our Maritime host Geoff treated us to a round of schooners. A perfect way to launch the hike -- I love drinking dark beer in the morning. After paying for the keg and strapping it to the hand truck, we jumped on the Burke-Gilman Trail for a quick trot over to our next stop.
2. Hale's Ales
It only takes about 10 minutes to get from Maritime to Hale's, but I was thirsty anyway. More dark beer for me, Hale's Troll Porter. We picked up a third hiker, Brandon, and he had our keg loaded up and ready by the time we were done. (He even paid for our beers. Thanks Brandon!)
|(L to R): Elliott, Patrick, & Brandon|
The next time he checked, however, we were actually a bit ahead of schedule. So, just like last year, we stopped at the Fremont Dock for a little sun fun on their deck. The Dock's selection of local beer is not bad, but for some reason Elliott ordered us a pitcher of Peroni. It tasted good and he paid for it, so I won't complain.
After failing to recruit some of The Dock's barflys to join us, we walked a block over to grab our third and final keg.
3. Fremont Brewing Co.
I was feeling a little buzzed by now (Skipped breakfast. Very stupid.) so it was weird to arrive and find the crew at Fremont Brewing busily working away at... whatever it is they do all day. Even though it was obvious that they had a lot of shit to do, they stopped and welcomed us in to look around at their new expansion project and poured us some fresh pints of Solstice Ale. I groaned that the next leg of the hike would be the toughest, so our host Matt poured me another one. That was easy.
|An idea for next year? It would be a bitch to push up Stone Way...|
Link waited outside and guarded the kegs while we hikers put down a pitcher of White Woods Wit. (We probably would have sat outside, but their patio seating was not quite ready.)
|Not much of a guard dog.|
It was a good feeling to finally arrive at Latona Pub, although I was a bit sad that it was over. The pub was already pretty lively with patrons and we were greeted heartily by friends and well-wishers who wanted to shake our hands and have their pictures taken with us. A couple of very hearty souls had just arrived before us after a 50+ mile bike ride from 7 Seas Brewing in Gig Harbor. They left at five that morning and used a kid trailer to tow a small keg of beer the whole way. Very impressive. Makes our little 4.6 mile hike seem like nothing in comparison.
It was nice to sit down at the bar and have a pint and a sandwich (Big Time Atlas Amber and one of the best grilled cheeses in the city.) Looking down the tap list -- every keg delivered by walking or cycling -- I was impressed by the number of different breweries that were able to participate. On the adjacent wall, a map of the city was posted with some flags marking where they had all come from. It reminded me how lucky I am to live in a city with so many great breweries. I also remembered something I read on a beer blog (I think) no too long ago:
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."