This year, Colorado Springs based artist Eric Steen will have the participants of The Long Walk literally ingesting the landscape.
Eric is producing a short run beer – with help from Courtney Ford, a brewer at Snoqualmie Brewery, and Jim Demetre, The Long Walk’s intrepid plant expert – crafted with plants that grow along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
Since 2011, Eric has been creating Beers Made By Walking, a project that invites brewers to craft beer inspired by nature hikes and urban walks. Each walk is different, each beer is a portrait of that landscape. The program happens in multiple cities each year.
Eric conceived of the program during a trip to Scotland when he built a pop-up pub for an art festival that served home-brewed beer to the public. While in Scotland, Eric visited Williams Bros. Brewing in Alloa and was inspired by their line-up of historic Scottish beers that used ingredients from the landscape- like heather flower, gale, Scottish pine, and seaweed. Another inspiration came from British artists, like Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, who use walking as a means of understanding our relationship to the world. Beers Made By Walking, in some respects, is the intersection of botany, environmentalism, art, geography, and beer making.
Photos © Stephanie Ellendt