The Great Outdoors…With Beer

You are probably psyched to camp by now. There are hundreds of great camping spots in Minnesota and everyone has a favorite. Mine is the campground in Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, 40 miles or so north of Duluth. Of the 26 sites nestled along Lake Superior, four are hike-in sites and 20 are cart-in. Sites 19 and 20 are my huckleberry. Book long in advance friends—it’s worth it. These sites are on a wooded bluff overlooking the lake and are private and relaxing—I wish I were there now. For a long weekend of camping, my three Minnesota beer choices are Indeed Let It Ride IPA, Surly Hell, and Dangerous Man Chocolate Milk Stout. For dessert, August Schell Framboise Du Nord. I know that’s four but come on, it’s three whole days.

Deep Thoughts with Dave Hoops: Back to the Beginning

Next up is my favorite family hike. My wife Laura and I have two children, aged 15 and 11. At their age, they do not always want to have “family time.” Tischer Creek Falls, just four blocks from our house in the Congdon Park neighborhood, is the prescription for mellow hiking along a merry river in a deep forest. The big flood of 2012 tore apart the blacktop path along the river so now it’s all about bushwhacking. When we stop for sandwiches, it’s a bottle of Borealis Fermentery Mon Cherries for me and a Bridge Jumper IPA from Excelsior Brewing for my wife.

Park Point, Duluth // Photo by Laura McLean

Park Point, Duluth // Photo by Laura McLean

I seem to have overlooked swimming and biking. My two favorite swimming spots are the famous “deeps” at Lester Park and the French River on Highway 61. Best post-dip beers are Barley John’s Rosie and Town Hall Mango Masala Mama. Both of these beers will help you end your day with a huge grin on your face.

Last but not least, the bike. For me it’s all about Highway 61, right on the lake. Make a day of it, stop for lunch at the New Scenic Café

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