If you decide to hike Blossom Lake Trail don’t forget to let your parole officer know that you are leaving the state of Idaho.
I heard Madonna on the radio today and I became inspired. Now you’re probably thinking WTH does Madonna have to do with a beer post? Well, she does and but she also doesn’t.
It was early in the summer season and the dogs and I decided to venture out on a hike that I had always wanted to do, but never got around to. Mostly because it was in my own backyard. And when you’re a traveler, you tend to travel away from your backyard. But this summer we made a commitment to stay in the area and explore all that North Idaho has to offer.
Last week I wrote about the closing of two of my local breweries and the importance of drinking local as well as trying our best to give our money to small breweries and businesses as opposed to the big beer conglomerates like Bud, Coors, and Miller.
In the spirit of carrying on this support for drinking local, I am sharing my favorite local breweries in North Idaho.
As I write this my stomach is in knots. These knots are not the result of me being sick or that I have consumed too much beer but that in the last two weeks I have learned that two of my local craft breweries are shutting their doors forever. It is a crushing blow to them but also to my local craft beer world. It is why it is important to drink local beer.
Last year I lost a dear beer friend of mine. The Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA from Firestone Walker. Firestone discontinued the beer last fall and I went into full-on prepper mode hoarding any bottles of Wookey Jack that I could find. I collected a small stash that kept me going for a few months. My last Wookey Jack was enjoyed on May 18th, 2017.
So I am going to admit something about myself. Sometimes I can become annoyed while hiking because the trails wind around the endpoint. Perhaps a little aimlessly in my opinion. I can see the end of the trail, such as a lake, but yet the trail continues, dancing around the end, not quite leading you there until several footsteps later.
Sometimes the beer world can be small. As I sat at Barbarian Brewery, 500 miles away from home, I ordered myself a tasting flight and glanced to the left as I waited. I locked eyes with a familiar face. But this face perplexed me as it made no sense to see this face 500 miles away from home. The face belonged to the owner of my local brewery. Then his brother appeared, the head brewer from the same local brewery. And then the manager of the same local brewery’s beer hall. We were all in town for the weekend and one thing was clear… we should have carpooled.
I heard the rumble of gravel as my hiking boot skated across the rocks. Gravity, like a bitch, began to yank me down to the ground. I heard a loud popping noise as my ankle flexed the wrong way. It was the kind of noise you never want to hear a body part make. As I continued to fall to the ground I thought to myself “this was it, I was going to break something today”
As I was zipping along I-84 on my way to Portland Oregon, I pulled into the town of The Dalles Oregon. I was greeted by quaint brick buildings that lined the streets. Although I enjoy brick buildings of any age, some of these buildings have been around since the Oregon Trail days of the 1840’s to 60’s, making them a bit more admired. Even if you do not have time to stop for a beer, a quick drive down second street is worth the sidestep off of I-84, to take in the buildings. But if you don’t have time for a quick beer, we seriously need to talk.