PAIRINGS // Beer n’ Boards


This guide to board sports and beer will keep you busy year-round

Story by Emily Hutto

What’s better than a cold beer after peeling off a sandy wetsuit or a snow-caked pair of snowboard pants? Skate sessions no doubt give you a hankering for bitter hops and sweet barley, and beer seems to lessen the pain after taking insane spills. Luckily for West Coast boarders, where there are some of the best waves, mountains, and skate plazas in the country, there also happens to be great beer. We don’t advise drinking while actually partaking in your board sport of choice, but we do have the low down on where to drink beer afterward—unless, of course, you’re the designated driver. Check out our suggestions for rad board sport destinations paired with post-activity brews at nearby alehouses.


Hood River, OR + Everybody’s Brewing //

Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge is one of the world’s most popular kiteboarding destinations. A short drive from Mt. Hood to Hood River, Oregon, there’s a strip of the river that yields shallow, flat waters—perfect for beginning kiteboarders. Every novice will take a couple nosedives and dunks on their first try, so only seasoned kiteboarders should attempt to cross the river. This area averages 20 mph winds and can sometimes reach up to 35 mph in warmer months.

Seasoned microbrew drinkers will want to cross the river, too. Even though this section of the Columbia conveniently borders a strip of breweries in beer town Hood River (Big Horse Brew Pub, Double Mountain Brewery, and Full Sail Brewing), the bridge toll into Washington and a drive up the hill is well worth your while to check out Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon, Washington. A stylish gastropub with a down-home vibe overlooking the river, Everybody’s is famous for afternoon pints on the deck watching a kite show in the river below or gazing at Mt. Hood. Don’t miss the rotating local art on the walls, live music on Friday and Sundays, or brewer Doug Ellenburger, who believes the number of stickers covering your kite board determines your cool factor.

Also Try /

Jetty Island, WA + Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. //

Double Bluff, WA + Port Townsend Brewing Co. //

Stevenson, WA + Walking Man Brewery //

Sauvie Island, OR + Amnesia Brewing //

Santa Monica, CA + Venice Ale House //

Huntington Beach, CA + Huntington Beach Beer Co. //


Mt. Baker, WA + North Fork Brewery //

The Mt. Baker downhill ski and snowboard area took the world record for most recorded snow in one year in 1999 with 95 feet of snow. This active volcano will also go down as the birthplace of the legendary Banked Slalom snowboard competition, established by trailblazing snowboarders Bob Barci and Tom Sims in 1985. At that time, snowboarding wasn’t very popular, and many ski areas didn’t even allow it. The first ever snowboard can be credited to Sims, who called his creation “the skiboard.” In the documentary film Platinum, he tells filmmakers, “We were just surfing in the mountains.”

Die-hard, beer-loving bettys and bros can carve fresh powder on their wedding day with a ceremony at North Fork Brewery, located between Mt. Baker and Bellingham. Their tagline: “Pizzeria, Beer Shrine, Wedding Chapel, Microbrewery.”

An on-site minister will perform the ceremony in front of the brewery’s stained glass window or in the backyard beer garden. Wedding guests can grub on beer-crust pizza and sip English-style dry stouts and scotch ales, and if it’s Friday, treat themselves to special cask-conditioned ales.

Also Try /

Mount Pilchuck, WA + Lazy Boy Brewing Company //

Crystal Mountain, WA + Trade Route Brewing Co. //

Mt. Hood, OR + Mt. Hood Brewing Co. //

Mt. Bachelor, OR + 10 Barrel Brewing //

Bear Valley Mountain/China Peak, CA + Big Bear Mountain Brewery // //

Mt. Shasta, CA + The Goat Tavern //

Mammoth Mountain, CA + Mammoth Brewing Company //

Alpine Meadows, CA + 50/50 Brewing //


Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, CA + Island Brewing Co. //

You’ll have to battle the crowd—and maybe some sea lions in the winter months—to catch a wave on Carpinteria Beach in Santa Barbara, California. Spanish settlers gave the beach its name for its booming carpentry business by canoe-building Chumash tribes who used the waves’ naturally occurring surface tar to seal their boats. (You can still see the tar at nearby Tar Pits Park.) These days though, sea-goers are more likely to be paddling belly-down on boards than with oars. The beach has become widely known for its gentle sloping waves, where even novice surfers can avoid gnarly wipeouts. This bustling beach made traveling surfer Rod Sumpter’s list of prime surf spots in his book 100 Best Surf Spots in the World. It’s also one of the most picturesque, with an array of classic beach activities, like volleyball, barbecue, and bonfires on extensive stretches of white sand.

“There is constantly sand in here,” jokes Island Brewing’s brewer Sean Crowley. “The beach is ingrained in us,” he says of the staff, all of whom participate in some sort of surfing or sailing when they’re not making brewery favorites like their fall Avocado Honey Ale for the annual Carpinteria Avocado Festival, made with honey from local avocado orchards. The beer usually sells out in about two weeks. In winter you can expect the seasonal Starry Night Stout and Big Island IPA on draft and in 22-ounce bottles. Despite their beach location, this brewery isn’t all fun and sand; their Big Island bourbon barrel-aged double IPA took a gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. Totally tubular.

Also Try /

Fort Canby State Park, WA + Fort George Brewing Co. //

Cannon Beach, OR + Bill’s Tavern and Brewhouse //

Pacific City, OR + Pelican Pub and Brewery //

Mavericks, CA + Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. //

Long Beach, CA + Belmont Brewing Co. //

El Porto, CA + Manhattan Beach Brewing Co. //

Redondo Beach, CA + Redondo Beach Brewing Company //

Solana Beach, CA + Pizza Port //


Burnside Skate Park, OR + Hair of the Dog Brewing //

Shred the gnar at Portland, Oregon’s most covert skate park, located underneath the east side of Portland’s Burnside Bridge. In 1990, four guys seeking a skating space safe from rain and destruction by vandals spent late nights stealthily mixing concrete to develop this infamous skate haven, which in its inception was not authorized by the city of Portland. Twenty years later, the Burnside Skatepark has become a nonprofit organization, and attracted a worldwide audience from appearances in video games and feature films. Prepared to get thrashed on Burnside’s concrete wave—the skaters you see on TV just make it look easy.

Underneath another bridge just south of Burnside, is the new Hair of The Dog Brewing Company tasting room, where you can munch on local foods, including Voodoo Doughnuts and chocolates from Cacao, in addition to flights of HOTD beers: Ruth, Adam, Fred and Doggie Claws. The brewery has been around almost as long as the Burnside Bridge, and brewery founder Alan Sprints has been around almost as long as skateboarding itself. He grew up in Southern California skating the Mogul Maze in Carlsbad, the world’s first-ever skate park, which has since been destroyed. “[The Burnside Skatepark] is great because it was made by the people who use it,” he says. “That’s an old school thing. I like things that are done that way.”

That’s also the approach Sprints takes to making beer. He barrel ages, skips filtering to preserve flavor, and bottle conditions for a few weeks before the beer hits the shelves. “If you like robust beer, drink it young,” advises Sprints. “But you can also appreciate it five to 10 years later when the hops fade away.” Sprints saves a portion of each batch of beer for his vintage menu.

Also Try /

Orcas Island, WA + Island Hoppin Brewery //

Ellensburg Skatepark, WA + Iron Horse Brewery //

Milton Skate Park, WA + Trade Route Brewing Co. //

Bend Skatepark, OR + Old Mill Brew Werks //

Florence Skatepark, OR + Wakonda Brewing // Florence

Ayala Skatepark, CA + Dale Brothers Brewery //

Coronado Skatepark, CA + Coronado Brewing Co. //

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