"Hike your own hike", as the saying goes. You may never catch us through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), but we're always interested in reading about others' hiking experiences. One book that's been on our radar for a while recently showed up on our doorstep thanks to Read and Share, a series of events put on by Whatcom County Library System (WCLS). It's a book with a strong connection to Bellingham and the local trail community, so we were excited to read and review it.
If you're anything like us, you have a few ancient hiking guidebooks lying around -- dogeared and outdated. They're fun to flip through for the memories of past hiking adventures and to look up old favorites. But there comes a time when you need a new guide. Whether you're new to the Pacific Northwest or looking to refresh your bookshelf, we've got a few suggestions for you.
After months of research, writing and editing, Urban Hikes Washington released in July 2020 and is available now.
Published by Falcon Guides, our new book features 40 trails across the state of Washington -- from Bellingham to Vancouver; Seattle to Spokane. Anyone can hike these family friendly trails!
When traveling outside our home state of Washington, we're often met with a perplexing planning challenge. Without the wonderful Washington Trails Association (WTA) Hike Finder Map at our disposal, where do we turn for quality trail information? We don't typically trust crowd-sourced sites like AllTrails. And most states don't have a resource like the WTA Hike Finder. So, as travelers and hikers have for generations, we turn to guidebooks.
Spring 2022 update:
Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest is currently out of print and will be re-released as a revised 2nd edition in Fall 2022. Pre-orders are available now! In the meantime, you can also check out our latest book, Urban Hikes Washington.
That's all, folks! Released in May 2018, our book, Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest has sold through 4 print runs over the last year and a half. As first-time authors, we're so grateful for the huge show of support from our readers. Thank you for buying up our book so fast that we can't keep it in stock!
In 2016 we made an announcement: we were researching and writing our first guidebook, Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest. We dropped everything, spent 4 months mostly on the road, and turned in our manuscript in record time. We didn't know details at the time, but we weren't alone in our endeavors. Just a few states away, another first-time author was working with the same publisher to produce a second book in the US beer hiking series: Beer Hiking Colorado.
We recently visited the Washington state capital city of Olympia to research trails for our new guidebook, Urban Hikes Washington. While there, we discovered a perfectly-paired beer hike: Brewery Park at Tumwater Falls and Well 80 Brewing. Here's the scoop on what's brewing in Olympia.
2019 Update: Hops on the Rock will be held November 9, 2019 on Orcas Island! Check out our recap of the 2018 event below, and snag your tickets now!
"Our time in the islands came to a close all too soon. One thing is for sure, though -- we'll be back."
- Trails and Ales in the San Juan Islands blog entry, November 2017.
We made good on that promise the following year, returning to Orcas Island in 2018 for a beer fest known as Hops on the Rock. Come along as we share the ins and outs of this annual tradition in the islands -- and some of our favorite stops throughout the weekend. All aboard: it's island time!
The holidays are upon us once again!
This year, we've curated a list of some of our favorite beer and hiking gifts from around the northwest. From trail and brewery guides (ok, it's mostly guidebooks) to t-shirts and trucker hats, here's our 2018 Beer Hiking Gift Guide.
We recently received some hiking gear from KÜHL, an American outdoor clothing company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. To test it out, we hit one of our hometown favorite trails: Bellingham’s own Rock Trail. We wound up on the Rock Trail on a lovely summer day. Perfect weather to test out our new convertible pants!
Often people seem positively stumped by the amount of travel we do. “How can you afford to travel so much,” they ask. “Don’t you have jobs?”
TL;DR: we travel on a budget, taking advantage of deals, promotions, and occasional press trips/travel writer perks. We’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years by “travel hacking”. And yes, we both juggle multiple jobs — in true millennial form!
Of course, if you really want to know the answers to these questions, it’s a wee bit more complicated than that. In this post, we’ll outline some specific strategies we use to take advantage of cheap (and even free) travel. Happy hacking!
Confession: we don’t spend much time in Seattle. While we appreciate the city’s beer scene, we prefer to go out in Bellingham (less traffic, free parking) or sneak up north to Vancouver, BC for our big city thrills. On the few occasions when we do make it into the Emerald City, it’s for a damn good reason. Usually involving beer. We’d like to share one of those reasons with you today.
There’s a new beer festival in town!
Longtime readers of Beers at the Bottom and newcomers alike may have noticed: we don't do much blogging anymore. It’s not for lack of interest. Life has simply gotten in the way.
Our guidebook, Beer Hiking Pacific Northwest, was originally scheduled to release during May 2017. Nearly a year later our readers want to know: where the hell is it? Here’s what happened.
After our night out in Anacortes, we hopped the ferry to the San Juan Islands. Five years ago there wasn’t a single craft brewery in the islands. Now there are three, with a fourth opening on Lopez next year. Consider us convinced: it’s high time to visit the islands.
We just got back from a night spent in Anacortes for the Brewgrass! festival. Here's the scoop.
It’s a frozen Friday night in November. We’re in Anacortes for Brewgrass, an annual music-and-beer festival that has been going strong for 14 years. Three venues are involved -- H20, Rockfish Grill, and Brown Lantern Ale House — all of which are within a block of each other on the west side of Commercial Avenue. We begin at the brewery (Rockfish Grill & Anacortes Brewing) for dinner and drinks to the tune of bluegrass, played by the Rain City Ramblers.
While the west side of the mountains was being pelted by a river of rain, we escaped to sunny Eastern Washington in search of fresh hops, hikes, and fall colors in the Yakima Valley.
Four years ago we started Beers at the Bottom -- and writing about our Trails and Ales adventures. It's been an amazing time that has taken us not only across the Pacific Northwest, but across the sea to Japan and South Korea. Now, after dozens of published articles, hundreds of trails hiked and beers sampled, plus a book on the way -- it's time we took a moment to celebrate how far we've come.
And what better way to celebrate than with a giveaway?
There’s something about books that we can’t shake. Maybe it’s the heft — the physical space occupied by a book — or the timeless scent of bound paper and ink. Perhaps it's the low-tech, battery-free operation that we find so appealing. As hikers, backpackers, and travelers, we believe books are worth the weight. You’ll always find one in our packs.
Because of our longstanding love of books, we’ve added a new section to the site: Book and Brew Reviews. Here, we’ll review hiking, beer, and travel-related books while enjoying a beer or two along the way.