Jim Demetre and Courtney Ford sample some Thimble berries

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.

Courtney samples the trail











Photos © Stephanie Ellendt