Beers Made By Walking is a program that invites brewers to go on nature hikes, and urban walks, and make new beer inspired by the edible and medicinal plants from the trail. The initial BMBW program took place in Colorado Springs in 2011. Since then we have worked with over 100 breweries to create unique beers that give drinkers a sense of place. The hope in the initial program was to simply get people outdoors, do something creative, and think about our local landscapes in new ways.
Beers Made By Walking helps raise funding for environmental non-profits by working with them to create educational programming in outdoor areas. The brewers that go on the hikes send their beers to a series of events that we organize in the Pacific Northwest, and in Denver, Colorado.
The initial inspiration for BMBW came during a week long canoe trip down
the Yukon River in Canada. There BMBW founder, Eric Steen, was introduced to the Norwegian term
‘friluftsliv,’ which is translated as ‘Free Air Living.’ The term
describes a way of living in which people make a habit of being outdoors
on a regular basis. There are Friluftsliv conferences that host
‘walking lectures’ where attendees hike for a few days on end, stopping
every now and again for a lecture and food.
The program's concept was also inspired by the beers of Williams Bros Brewing in Alloa, Scotland. This brewery creates historic Scottish beers that used ingredients from the landscape - like heather flower, gale, Scottish pine, and seaweed. Another inspiration came from British artists, like Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, who use walking as a means of understanding our relationship to the world. Beers Made By Walking, in some respects, is a mashing together of those pieces.
If you would like to participate in our annual program, please get in touch. We are always on the lookout for new breweries to work with, new organizations to help support, and new places to explore. Stay tuned by receiving our email updates, and connect with us on our Facebook page. Cheers!