Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: South Lake Brewing Company’s Trail Builder Pale Ale |

Lake Tahoe Drink of the Week: South Lake Brewing Company’s Trail Builder Pale Ale

Rob Galloway
South Lake Brewing Company’s Trail Builder Pale Ale is brewed in support of the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association.
Rob Galloway / Lake Tahoe Action

One of the largest components of Tahoe’s nightlife is the mix of countless breweries, bars and restaurants that offer unique drinks difficult to find outside the basin.

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try around the basin.

This week’s drink (SLBC’s Trail Builder Pale Ale) actually comes with a purpose. Brewed in support of the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, this beer is the perfect compliment to a day out on the trails.

The Trail Builder isn’t just a riff on an American Pale Ale, it goes full Jimi Hendrix Voodoo-Child-intro-riff on the classic brewing.

The addition of crystal malt (no relation to crystal meth) and flaked wheat are what make this an instant favorite and sets it apart from other pale ales. The result is a bright pairing between hints of fruit and that grainy richness from the malt.

The floral, but not overly hoppy, aftertaste wraps you up like a sleeping bag and much like when you’re camping, begs you to stay just a little while longer where it’s warm and comfy.

Clocking in at 5.4 percent ABV, it’s just enough to dry the sweat off your brow after a long trek, but well enough to position you to take on the night and what ever shenanigans await — even if its just more Trail Builders.

I might argue that in addition to complimenting spokes in the dirt, this beer would definitely compliment a fishing trip. Cast away, bask in the sunlight, pour one of these, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a nice afternoon. Perhaps even so nice the fish get jealous and use some hops of their own — right into your net.

Learn more about SLBC online at The taproom is located at 1920 Lake Tahoe Blvd., and is open Mondays through Thursdays 2-9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays noon through 11 p.m., and Sundays noon – 9 p.m.

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