Presented by Samuel Adams
We hate to break the news to you, but winter isn’t over yet. And while you could spend the season curled up on your couch watching Netflix, this year we’re making a case for getting outside and embracing the cold.
You don’t have to be a bonafide adventure lover to participate in cold-weather activities. For serious shredders and city dwellers alike, the winter offers up a wealth of outdoor fun.
To help guide you, we enlisted top outdoor experts to weigh in on everything from how to have the perfect game of snow football to creating the ultimate cold-weather outdoor set up for game day. (Of course, when embarking on these activities, be sure to wear a mask and stay six feet away from friends who aren’t in your immediate household.)
We paired every activity with our favorite winter drinks. While you may automatically reach for something warm, this winter we’re leaning into the cold with crisp, refreshing beers—like Samuel Adams’ stellar Cold Snap White Ale and their other seasonal brews—that you can sip into spring.
So read on, bundle up, crack a cold one and get outside.
Sled Down a Hill
This one’s for you city folk: sledding is a great entry-level winter activity. Minimal gear is required and with no time commitment, you can head inside as soon as you start feeling the chill.
But remember we’re older now. Those bumps and jumps on the hill will spell out more aches and pains for you in the morning. Scope out the terrain for any obstacles, rocks, or asphalt. Keep your hands inside the sled and if you do see trouble approaching, roll off the sled a la a stunt double—trying to slow yourself by sticking a leg out is more likely to leave you in a yard sale situation.
While you’re outside, crack open the ever-so-appropriate Samuel Adams Cold Snap. The lively unfiltered white ale channels fresh powder and brisk winter days with an exotic blend of fruits, florals, and spices, particularly orange zest and vanilla. The fresh orange notes and warm malty finish pairs well with outdoor adventures.
Watch the Game Outdoors
After months of stay-at-home orders, make the most of football season by moving game day viewing outside. All you need is a blank wall, a projector, and a decent internet connection. Blankets and layers are a requisite, but skip the cooler and pile up snow next to your seating area for a convenient home bar (or, go full throttle with a snow bar like this TikTok family). For the full (social distancing) game day experience, pop open Zoom and loop in your friends.
Bonus points if you all pick up Samuel Adams’ Gameday Variety Pack for a virtual cheers; the variety pack has an all-new assortment of cold-weather-ready beers with something for everyone, including fan-favorite Boston Lager, the lively Cold Snap White Ale, brisk & smooth Alpine Lager and crisp & refreshing Golden Ale.
Even if the game’s not on, break up your outdoor activities with an outdoor tailgate. “Tailgating is one of the best parts of our ski days,” says Whitney Scott, the CMO of KOA. “There’s nothing better than the tailgate scene in winter. Dig a small “snow cooler”(make sure to mark it), in the morning and stock it with your favorite beverages. At lunch, get the tunes going, use your summertime camp stove and a jet boil to grill some hamburgers and brats and make hot cocoa.”
Toss the (Snow)ball Around
Or instead of watching the game, lean into the weather with a game of al fresco football. It’s low-key the perfect winter sport: the snow levels the playing field so players of all abilities and fitness levels can join.
“A critical step with this is checking the field for any bumps or holes that can cause falls or more serious injuries. Guarantee rocks, litter, or glasses are not on the field,” says certified personal trainer Brandon Nicholas. Pick up a high visibility ball over your standard pigskin to make it easy to spot in the snow.
Fill your cooler with something fitting for the weather like Samuel Adams Alpine Lager. This new, limited-release from the brewer is a hazy, bright lager with fresh floral and citrus aromas and a crisp, sweetness from the combination of honey malt and pale malts—refreshing enough to celebrate both wins and losses.
Take a Polar Bear Dip
Everything in your head will probably tell you not to jump in winter waters. “As soon as you hop into the frigid water, every instinct will be screaming, GET OUT!” says adventurer and athlete Chris Brinlee, Jr.
“However, the magic happens when you work past those feelings. While submerged, the body will begin to move blood from capillaries in the extremities into the core vital organs. When this begins to happen, a zen-like state is achieved. Revel in it!”
But do so with caution. Jumping into icy water can be extremely dangerous without experienced supervision. “Don’t cut a hole through the ice and jump in—it can be hard to spot the hole again from underwater and currents might sweep you away;” adds survival gear designer Doug Peaker.
Instead, look for local Polar Bear Dip clubs and follow the lead of experts. “And be sure to have some dry clothes for after,” says Peaker. “You’d be surprised how many forget this step!”
Skip reaching for liquid courage beforehand—alcohol lowers your body’s temperature. Instead, cheers to success and defy the chill with a warming Scotch or a Samuel Adams Boston Lager that is sure to keep you warm with its bold, rich and complex flavor profile.
Build a Snow Fort
Technically speaking, an igloo is a snow structure with a domed roof, reaching up to 10 feet wide—not so easy to build on a casual day of snow play. “It’s unlikely you’ll finish the igloo before you’re already freezing your butt off,” says Diane Vukovic, author of Disaster Preparedness for Women.
Instead, opt for building a structure with no roof—pile up walls then top them off with a blanket or a canopy of branches. Or, she recommends making a quinzee by shoveling snow into a large, hard-packed pile and digging into it.
Whatever structure you craft and how well it turns out, pack a waterproof speaker and bring libations: Samuel Adams seasonal brews like Cold Snap and Alpine Lager are the perfect chilly-weather inspired beverages to have on hand for lounging in your new snow fort or to fuel any outdoor activities you partake in this season.
The key to enjoying the cold weather is being prepared. Nepalese climbing expert and author Pemba Sherpa recommends you “Start with a good base layer of clothing that will wick sweat away from the body and then layer up from there.
Getting wet from the ice, snow, or sweat will in the end make you miserable or cause you to suffer from hypothermia. I always recommend dressing in layers so you can adjust their warmth level by putting on or removing items as conditions change.” He recommends materials like wool over cotton, and always carries an extra protective layer in his bag for good measure.
Adventure photographer Viktoria North advises “starting your winter activities feeling cool! You’ll be surprised at how quickly your body warms up once you start moving. Remember that you can always layer up!”
Safety is key to enjoying a winter day, from dressing for frigid weather to following safety precautions in these difficult times. Keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask, stay six feet from folks outside your immediate household, avoid crowded spaces, and monitor your health daily.