The 5 Best Adventure and Ale Pairings in Klamath

October 20, 2020 Family Friendly, Food, Kid Friendly 0

Oregon knows beer. It’s as easy to find as rivers to explore and mountains to climb. Southern Oregon’s Klamath Falls has been at the forefront of this hoppy trend since its first brewpub opened in 1997. And with its 300-plus days of sunshine and easy access to incredible outdoor adventure—including Crater Lake National Park—Klamath Falls is quickly becoming the perfect place to explore trails and enjoy a beer at the end of a day of fun. After all, there is nothing quite like sitting down with a cold drink in hand, laughing and relaxing with friends and family after a hike, mountain bike ride, or paddling trip. While there are no wrong options of where to go, we have paired up a few classic adventures with spots where you can celebrate with a drink when you’re done. Cheers!

1. Inside the Crater and Beers with Pizza

Let’s start with the region’s most acclaimed outdoor’s attraction and Klamath Falls’ oldest brewpub. Located 43 miles north of town, Crater Lake is Oregon’s only national park and well worth the trip whenever possible. While many adventures can be had in the park, one must-do experience is to tour Wizard Island. Accessible from late June to early October, Wizard Island is reached by a hike down to the water, a boat to the island, and then another hike to the top of the island. In total, you’re talking about three miles of hiking, but the trails gain a total of 1,500 feet of elevation. But don’t let that stop you enjoying one of the signature views in the park.

After your adventure to Wizard Island, you deserve a great meal and great beer, which is why you must stop by Mia and Pia’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse. Opened in 1997, Mia and Pia’s is the town’s oldest brewpub, and it’s still renowned for its pizza and beer selection. With seasonal beers on tap, each trip here will give you something new. Take advantage of the outdoor patio to relax and recount the day’s adventures.

2. A Day in the Basins

If you love alpine lakes and well-crafted brews, this pairing is for you. As one of Oregon’s most scenic wilderness areas, the Sky Lakes Basin is full of adventure. While early summer days are known for mosquitoes, a late summer/early fall hike here will reward you with wonderful views and a mostly bug-free experience. You’ll find a wide range of trails in this impressively large reserve. For a moderate hike, consider the 5.3-mile Cherry Creek Trail, which will take hikers from the trailhead to multiple high alpine lakes. If you want more, continue on when you reach the Sky Lakes Trail or hop on the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs north-south through the whole wilderness.

After your hike, head back to town and Klamath Basin Brewing Company. Housed in the iconic 1935 Crater Lake Creamery building in downtown Klamath Falls, the brewpub has been slinging suds since 2001, quickly becoming a favorite for locals and visitors alike. This family-friendly place serves American cuisine and pub favorites, as well as a rotating menu of fantastic craft brews made with regionally sourced ingredients. Try the Crater Lake Amber Ale or the Hard Hat Hefeweizen, both favorites that are on tap year-round.

3. Double Skyline

The panoramic views around the region are truly spectacular, which is why this next pairing is perfect. We start yet again in Crater Lake National Park, this time with a hike up to a mountain top. Known as Garfield Peak, this trail is just 3.4 miles round trip but gains almost 900 feet in elevation. The views of Crater Lake and the region’s mountains from the top of this 8,000-foot summit are amazing and should not be missed in the snow-free months.

Head back to Klamath Falls to enjoy a different kind of skyline. Started from an old milk farm, Skyline Brewing Company has emerged as yet another favorite in town. While you won’t be able to drink at the brewery, their beers are found all around town, from the Basin Martini Bar and the Running Y Ranch Resort to Gino’s Sports Bar and the Chicken Shack. When you see Skyline on the menu, don’t think twice—order it. It offers a half dozen different choices, you can’t go wrong with its IPA, which is full of hop flavor and aroma.

4. Kayaking and Pizza

Year round, Klamath is a fantastic place to explore via kayak, and few places are better than the Upper Klamath Canoe Trail, which runs for 9.5 miles and showcases the beauty of the Upper Klamath Wildlife Refuge. Here you’ll find impressive views, incredible birding opportunities, and solitude.

After a quiet paddle, head back to town and feast with a few drinks at Rodeos Pizza and Saladeria. Another family-friendly option that’s open every day but Monday, Rodeos is a local favorite. Offering delicious slices and salads, Rodeos features a large rotation of microbrews from around the west. Your taste buds will enjoy every moment here.

5. Explore Klamath like a Local

Not every great adventure and beer spot needs a full day. Starting at the northwest part of town, the Klamath Ridgeview Trail is easily accessible after just a few minutes in the car. But don’t let the proximity to town fool you, this trail still offers incredible views of the lake and surrounding landscape. Stretching 4.1 miles one way, the trail is perfect for those hoping for a somewhat easy walk with tons of scenic beauty.

After the short hike, the can’t miss local spot is the Portland Street Market. Offering great food options, the star of the show is the huge variety of microbrews (and wine!) found here. This is a hidden secret for most visitors to Klamath, and it is a real gem if you are looking to get some truly unique and fantastic beers.

Written by Douglas Scott for Matcha in partnership with Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau.