The point is not to drive around to a bunch of tap houses and get hammered, but to explore North Lake Tahoe, California, by foot, bike or boat with a frosty-beverage destination as a reward for a day well spent -- outside. More treat, less tour.The North Tahoe Ale Trail map identifies 16 trails, routes and waterways designed for hiking, mountain biking, road biking and paddleboarding/kayaking, with 12 food and craft-brew stops along the way. Outdoor adventures range from a sampling of the world-renowned Flume Trail to a pleasant paddling route that takes you away from the crowds.
In the winter, the Ale Trail could translate to snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or just touring the famous shoreline of Lake Tahoe.
The fun, interactive trail map is designed to give outdoor enthusiasts more of what they already say they love: a day of adventure followed by a cold one among friends.
"We wanted to really look at connecting the dots between our human-powered sports concept -- that active outdoor lifestyle," Chapman says. "We started looking at trails and the natural 'watering holes' as the benefit at the end of the trail -- a cold beer at a nice location."Kevin Drake, who owns Alibi Ale Works, one of the two official breweries on the map, says it's already helping both visitors (and locals) find more places like Alibi, a production facility/public tap house, that are off Tahoe's main highway.
"It's helping people discover some of the less-obvious places, like us. We're on a side street that no one is going to find unless they are storing a boat at our neighbor's house," Drake laughs.
Other Ale Trail establishments range from lakefront cafés to a saloon-style spots to a tapas joint, but all have a focus on craft drinks, from local beer to inventive cocktails to a signature rumrunner.Chapman calls the map, available in digital form online or as a hard copy at visitor centers in Incline Village or Tahoe City, a "living document," meaning it will expand as more craft-beer-style watering holes open up. Drake admits Tahoe is a little behind the times and that a true brewery scene is still emerging. The North Tahoe Ale Trail map is also set up to assist visitors with gear. So if you fly in, choose a mountain bike ride and plan on lunching at Tunnel Creek Station, that café also conveniently rents bikes.
We'll drink to that.
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