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Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

As noted in an earlier post, I had the opportunity to spend a few days recreating in and around Wallace in northern Idaho. After flying down the ski slopes, soaring along the snowmobiling paths and zooming around single-track mountain bike trails, be sure to cool your jets with a trip to the beautiful town of historic Wallace where the local history, quenching brews and delightful eats will give you a full-body experience of what makes this mining town a hidden treasure.
As a buy local type of guy, I look forward to the local digs that only small towns can offer. To my pleasant surprise, there are two outstanding breweries in Wallace. Walking down the well-known Bank Street, just down the road from the center of the universe, I noticed large brew kettles (coppers as they say in the “biz”) through the glass windows.
Wallace Brewery, a three year old brewery that prides itself on keeping the history of its beer relevant to Wallace. Rumor has it that there were a handful of extra special women who worked in the Bordellos during the early 1900s. Therefore, the coppers include scandalous names like Stella and Roxy to signify the different types of beer being brewed. Also in spirit of the bordellos and mining history they’ve named their beers as such; Dirty Blonde, Jackleg Stout, and Orehouse Amber to give each drink an extra special feel to historic Wallace.
I also visited the North Idaho Mountain Brew on the opposite side of town. Established in 2008, North Idaho Mountain Brew finally brought a dream to reality after years of home brewing in Alaska. They have five brewed delights on tap that relate to Northern Idaho including Mountain Top Amber, Summit Gold and Loft Honey, which have significance to the local ski resorts. Both breweries have their beer in pubs across Northern Idaho and are host to several home brew get-togethers; stop in for a sampler (bring in some of your own personal masterpiece to share) and please your taste buds with these flavorful beers!
My final hours in Wallace took me through the south side of town. When looking for the finest local breads, cakes, and espressos look no further than D&G Bakery for a fresh home cooked treasure (as if your mom was in the kitchen). After finishing a mouth watering chocolate chip cookie I made my way down 5th street where an invigorating scent filled the air. A large, old fashioned smoker sits outside the Smoke House BBQ and Saloon to bring in empty stomach’s looking to combine the sweet aroma with their barbecued entrees. If not to delight in the food, be sure to jump inside for a beer and admire the history within the building. In 1980, artist John Hart painted a 100 foot wildlife mural on the back wall and is said to have been compensated with beer for this work; sounds like a great deal to me!
With the sun going down, creating a beautiful sunset glowing over the hills it was time to grab dinner at the 1313 club, a local bar and restaurant. Uniquely enough, its name came in two fashions: first, its original bar was 13 feet high by 13 feet wide and secondly, being the 13th bar in Wallace it needed a snazzier name than “The 13th bar”. The 1313 club serves the local brews of Wallace and has a large menu to satisfy anyones appetite. Great food, fun atmosphere, and the historic nature of the restaurant will speak for itself.
Don’t miss the opportunity to venture around the small town (4 blocks long by 9 blocks wide) of historic Wallace. While I only had the opportunity to spend one full-day and visit a select few breweries, stores and restaurants, there are many other hidden treasures in town that I look forward to visiting on my next trip to historic Wallace.

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No freaking way, is he really doing that…in public?

A sublime, transcendent and pleasing feeling consumes me – I feel as if thousands of eyes are touching me from head to toe as I attempt to walk seamlessly. What are they thinking? I silently ask myself. Why would he be doing that…here…in front of everyone? With a confident mindset I continue, trying to recall if I’ve EVER seen anyone else do this. I feel new, unique and slightly scandalous about my behavior but now that I’ve began I simply cannot stop.

I’ve just returned from a 25 mile bike ride, Cartwright Loop as we like to call it, consumed fiercely by a handful of muscle aching climbs and exhilarating descents. I’m thirsty and dehydrated, in desperate need of what one may call the ideal “beverage,” after being torched by the 95 degree Boise rays for nearly two hours. After separating from my coworker and riding partner, I made my way to the college student’s saving grace in Winco.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do it, without locking it up? Well, on this day, I unclipped my pedals, jumped off my bike and attempted just that in front of hundreds of people! As I entered Winco my emotions were racing, everything from apprehensive to energized. There I was, going against what I previously believed, feeling slightly strange and on the verge of totally badass.

What was I attempting? Well, if you pictured me walking through Winco with my road bike because I didn’t have a bike lock, you’re absolutely right! Fully equipped in my bike gear, yes, delicious bike shorts and everything, I made my way past the impulse purchases, produce department and candy section relentlessly calling my name. Then I arrived, still utterly parched from the ride to the gorgeous, mouth-watering and delightful area that I like to call the “fridge of beer.”

Why would I do this, or better yet even care to write about such a subject you ask? Curiosity of course! I was wondering how a typical person in Boise would react to me walking my bike around the store decked out in cycling gear. Utterly shocked and pleased I came to realize three reactions and comments as I roamed the aisles. First, I had a couple guys and gals, probably mid 30’s ask “how was the ride?” with legitimate interest and curiosity. Second, 98% of people I walked by had absolutely no reaction at all – it was as if I was walking around with a shopping cart in a t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops on a warm summer evening. Third, I did get a couple laughs, but I attribute that to carrying a 22oz bottle of new Pyramid, Fall Red Ale through the store.

Not only were people completely content with what I was doing, they admired it. Boise, you’re awesome, the bike community here blows me away a little more everyday and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it!

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