River Runners Pale Ale, Eddyline Brewing, Buena Vista

Style: Pale ale

Serving Type: 16-ounce can

ABV: 6 percent

Malty? Hoppy? More hops, but some malty flavors.

Reviewed: August 2013

If summer means strapping on a life vest and floating down a tumbling river in a [fill in the blank: kayak, tube, canoe, paddleboard], chances are that you’ve landed in Buena Vista. And if you’re lucky, you stopped in for a brew at Eddyline Brewing and sampled the crisp and hoppy River Runners Pale Ale.

The beer has been on tap at the brewery since 2009—and a favorite of mine since then—but it gained notoriety after winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival last year. When I heard that the brewery, as a result, was planning to can River Runners, I was elated (less travel and more great beer).

In a can, the brew delivers all the fresh hops—nicely balanced with some malty overtones—that a Coloradan could want while still being approachable for folks that don’t like bitter beers. If you pour it, the brew is a golden honey color with a short head. Drink it from the can, though, preferably beside some bubbling water (whether that’s a river or a backyard water feature).

Would we buy it again? Absolutely, for my next rafting trip.

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