Picture the scene: you’ve been trekking hard all day in the great outdoors, enjoying everything nature has to offer. You’ve set up camp and your canned cheeseburgers are bubbling gently on the fire. As you watch the sun sink slowly behind the mountains the only thing missing is a cold beer. Well… (beer aficionados, you may want to stop reading now) Katadyn, the Swiss-based company behind the Trek’n’Eat canned cheeseburger and other high-tech, freeze-dried foods, has developed a world first – powdered beer – to wash it all down with.

Not a beer as such, the beverage powder will have a beer flavor and is non-alcoholic (though we understand that an alcoholic brew is on the way next year). If you really can’t do without the alcohol content you may wish to try Trek’n Eat’s red wine (there is also a mulled wine for cold winter evenings), which has an alcoholic content of 8.2%, similar to a light bottled wine. Both the wine and the forthcoming beer powder work along the same lines as the company's other products - just add water and enjoy.

The high-selling wine, however, has apparently been angering Italian winemakers who say the company has been copying their Chianti. German newspaper Spiegel Online today published a story claiming a Tuscan farmers association said the product was a 'terrible copy' and that wine-from-powder kits 'risk fooling less expert consumers on the real contents of the product on sale and damages the image of Italian and European production'.

A representative of Katadyn’s general management, Stefanie Dietrich, told Speigel, 'We are well aware that we're not even permitted to call the product wine. No grapes were used in its production, it's simply a product that is flavored to taste like wine.'

The product has been on the market for eight years, however Deitrich said the company will take its wine powder off the market next year when it introduces the beer powder.

Trek'n Eat offer a range of products that can be enjoyed with wine or beer, so mountaineering gourmands won't have to go hungry or thirsty.

View gallery - 6 images