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Old 04-19-2014   #11
jspoon14's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 115
First I would l divide up the beer into separate coolers and number them 1 through what ever. Then freeze a portion of it with dry ice, I like the idea of wrapping it in paper and a zip lock. Once the coolers are frozen and full duct tape them closed. Only open cooler #1 until it is empty then open #2 and so on. Also keep the coolers covered and out of the sun. This should keep them well frozen and cold for more than a week. I have done this on the Grand and had ice after 21 days.

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Old 04-19-2014   #12
TapStyx's Avatar
West Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 45
Corny Keg it

Another option may be to get your hands on a 2.5 gallon Cornelius Keg. They are small and light weight. Do you know anyone that is a home brewer and kegs their beer? For the amount of beer they hold it may be a solution to explore. This is what I've done with some pros and cons. The Corny keg's dimensions are cylindrically 8.5" w by 17" h holding 320 ounzes of your precious brew. Once pressurized with a CO2 tank tightly you don't need to bring a large tank with you on the river to keep pressurized. You'd need a tap handle or tap hose and would need a small CO2 soda keg cartridge charger. This forces the beer out of the keg should you loose pressure. Depending on how many people are going you'd empty the keg in a matter of a couple days or hours depending on your thirst. You can either store it in a dedicated cooler or in a marine cooler if you need more. The river current acts as a great heat exchanger and can cool it down in a short amount of time hung over your boat. This can also be achieved with aluminum cans too. I like a 2.5 gal keg because it's short and shallow enough to dip into the river. When you run rapids haul in the precious cargo put back in when calmer water appears.

Once you have these kegs then go to your neighborhood brewpub. Tell them you want to buy 2.5 or 5 gallons of beer and they should give you a discount. Seal it up pressurize it and hit the river. Don't forget to bring your favorite drinking container. Like I said it's just another option of many good ones and if you have access to this stuff it makes bootlegging your brewed bev a breeze. Cheers!

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Old 04-19-2014   #13
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jackson, Wyoming
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Posts: 164

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Old 04-19-2014   #14
Owner: Class 5 Carvings
Paul the Kayaker's Avatar
The Fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 498
Any one of these options works, but a mashup of a few, or all works the best...

1. Freeze cheap beer and load it into your big cooler around a frozen gallon of water or two, then pack full with all your pre-frozen food. Freeze everything. Then top with ice and don't drain the melt. Only beers should be on the bottom layer or two so frozen food wont get wet. Cover with wet towel while on the river, put in shade at camp.

2. Use option one and don't get into that cooler until your cook day and later in the trip (back-up beer), have a second cooler totally dedicated to beer and freeze more cheap beer, put on the bottom and around a frozen gallon of water or two and load really cold, partially frozen good beer on top, cover with ice, shut and cover with wet towel while on the river, put in shade at camp.

3. Have a smaller day cooler in your captains bay and every morning put about 20-40 cool beers in there and stay out of the other coolers, fill with ice the first day and dont ever drain any of the melt until its warmer then the river water then replace with river water.

4. Any beers that couldnt fit in a cooler, but in mesh duffel and put on the bottom of your gear pile in the back or under your table in your front bay's drop bag, they stay out of the sun and are constantly splashed with cool river water in the bottom of your boat. Keep out of sun and every day at camp dump the whole bag (be sure to connect it to your raft) into the river for the evening and throughout the night.

5. Dry ice methods and the option of freezing your whole cooler in a walk in before your trip are great ideas, but one is spendy and the other is tough to pull off unless you know someone with a walk-in cooler and plan to have your cooler there for a few days before you leave. But on a GC trip I could see filling a 150 with only beer, filling the whole thing up with water to the rim and freezing the whole lot and not opening it until week 3, that would rock, but these options are not as easy to pull off at 1-4.

6. The easiest and most likely, drink warm beer... Any beer that sits in the river all night is pretty chilled in the mornings, so just recool every evening/night, make it the last thing you pack in the am, takes up no cooler space and no ice is required.

Oh also, no matter what, its a good idea to have a layer of foam or silver packing bubbles inside every cooler on top, sides too if you're really into it, but at least on top, keeps things a little cooler even when getting into and out your cooler a lot and will sink with your diminishing cooler load as the trip goes on, minimizing the space you want to cool drastically by the end of your trip.

Good thread, the ever important question. I, like you, love to drink beer, so this is important, but when you have to transport over 2K beers for a group of 18 on the middle fork it becomes impossible to keep them all in coolers, and all icy cold, I guarantee no one ever said, nah I won't have your luke cold beer when offered on day 6, 10 or 20 of a rafting trip...

Edit: wow didn't realize I got so carried away there, sorry...
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Old 04-19-2014   #15
Cortez, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
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Posts: 151
Or....(I know I'm gonna get flack for this) could buy really good beer that doesn't taste like crap when it's a little warmer.....

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Old 04-19-2014   #16
Owner: Class 5 Carvings
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The Fort, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Posts: 498
Ya you'll get crap for that for sure. If you can't enjoy cheap beer on a river trip you'd have a major problem going on a river trip with anyone I know... Warm IPA vs warm PBR no brainier there... But to me "really good" beer usually tastes like crap by the end of the first can anyway, kinda like the Pepsi challenge, Pepsi only won in the blind tests where consumers were only drinking a sip or two, but for a full can the majority of people still preferred Coke (and there's your 1970's random marketing fact of the day).
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Old 04-19-2014   #17
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8
MMMM Beer!
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Old 04-20-2014   #18
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Park City, Utah
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 51
Not all beer freezes the same. Miller high life and tecate freeze well without much loss from broken cans, I think Heineken freezes well too. Modelo not so much.

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Old 04-20-2014   #19
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Craigamerica, -
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 129
Most non-light beers freeze well I've found Bush and MGD freeze best for me. Light beers have to much water and Coors Original have to thin of cans to freeze. Seems to work the best to put the beer in the deep freeze door. The beers closer to the coil that freeze faster and more solid seem to be the ones that split. Or be a real man and just bring whisky.
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Old 04-20-2014   #20
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 493
People, people people. It's only six days for god's sake. We usually have frozen margs on day three. That is, if they last that long. Depends on how many Southern Baptists are on the trip.

Here's what we do. We use the HVAC bubble wrap around the inside of the cooler and on top of the stuff in the cooler. We divide the cooler into 1/3-2/3 and use a 1.5'' foam divider and a 3/4'' foam lid to make a freezer section out of the smaller section. Throw about 7-10 lb/ of dry ice in there with your frozen margs and frozen vacuumed sealed pre-cooked meals.

.......but, this thread was about beer. Back to the subject at hand. We use a couple of 14'' x 11'' x 6'' storage bins from Wally-world and freeze our own blocks. I usually freeze about 1/2 gallon a a time. Approx. and 1'' of water. Three of these will fit in most coolers. Use a drag bag. Even in Aug. it pre-chills the beers. We usually add a days worth of pre-chilled beers to the cooler in the morning and we have some ice even after 8 days on the Main. All of the previous advice applies. Shade, paco pad on top, wet blanket, etc.

We have enough 3.2 beer here in Utah. When we go out of state, we only drink the good stuff. Grumper 13 is right, real IPAs taste better if they are not ice cold. Not warm tho. When we go into the Albertson's in Hailey......aaahhhh, nirvana!

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