Way Back Machine: Beer

So Peter is off in Montana for the week on his annual snowboarding trip with some guys he’s been friends with since he was a wee little Intern Boy at Apple back at the dawn of time.  My only condition for him taking this vacation while his INVALID WIFE is HOME ON BED REST while gestating HIS CHILD is that they were to sit in hot tubs and drink good beer so that I could live vicariously through them.

Today, I find out that they are drinking….Busch Light.

Busch Light! This was not what I had in mind! No one wants to drink vicariously through someone ingesting Busch Light.

And so to purge my sadness, today’s Way Back Machine takes us to beers I have known and loved on my travels.

I was thinking of going chronologically but that’s dumb, as the number one spot in any road-beer list of mine can only be taken by Main Street Brewery in Cortez, CO.

Inexplicably, I didn’t take any photos inside of the brewery, perhaps so that it can live on in my mind, unencumbered by reality, as the pinnacle of all beer experiences.  From my trip report: “I finished the day there with a Maibock that tasted heavenly after dry counties and Michelob.  I have to adore a place whose dessert menu says ‘Try a Schnorzenboomer Amber Dopplebock for dessert — delicious and healthy!’ ”  It had been a fantastic day of riding through New Mexico and into Colorado; the weather was wonderful, the scenery was gorgeous, I adore the Southwest and here was a microbrewery with a Kokopelli mascot…

A close second for awesome beer was earlier on the same trip, in South Dakota.  From the trip report: “I stopped for lunch at the Mt Rushmore Brewing Company in Hill City. I couldn’t pass up local beer, but of course I was on the motorcycle, so the server creatively poured me one of their sampler glasses (essentially, a tall shot of beer). It was a very good amber, made better by an excellent spicy buffalo meat chili. The restaurant also had full cell coverage, allowing me to be a total nerd with my hiptop and highlighted map. Truly, my life gets no better than this.”

When Jenny and I ride together, we share a common love for the beer.   I have a very fond memory of coming out of a hotel room shower in Mojave, CA in July, when it was about 15,000 degrees hotter than the sun, to find Jenny running in with ice cold beer from the neighboring gas station.  For some reason we had no bottle openers (this was since remedied) and I think we wound up popping them open against the hotel dresser drawer pulls.

Here’s Jenny and I on a different trip, our ride on the XT225 and her F650GS up to Seattle in August 2007.  This is at a Black Bear Diner, which could be a whole ‘nother blog entry.  I eat at them a lot.

Speaking of Alaskan Amber….no beer blog entry is complete without talking about the  Alaska trip.

The brewery of choice was definitely the Yukon Brewing Company and Tony and I sampled their wares well up into the Arctic.  I was particularly fond of their Arctic Red, and bought a T-shirt for it, too, which sadly still smells of hot sauce to this day after an unfortunate event with a glass bottle of Roadkill Cafe sauce in my Givi bag outside of Las Vegas a few years later.

When Peter and I rode home from Wisconsin in 2008, it was imperative that we bring Sprecher with us.  I grew up in Milwaukee, I’ve taken the Sprecher tour, I own a Sprecher sweatshirt that I wear with slightly disturbing regularity…it was never a question as to how to use that precious Givi space.  Well, maybe if there had also been some Leinie’s and New Glarus….

Obviously beer tends to happen at the end of a day’s ride, and what better time for beer than after a dual sport ride that threatened to kick your ass six ways to Sunday?   Another memorable ride with Jenny, the Pacific Rally camping trip in September 2005, in which our dirt biking eyes were bigger than our stomachs, as it were.

The Eel River Brewery is loved by all West Coast Sport-Touring.net members as it’s the annual site for the West Coast Regional Meet dinner.  I’ve been there no less than half a dozen times and the beer is always awesome (and organic!).   Here’s Diana and I enjoying amber ales at the 2006 meet:

Similarly, the annual San Simeon meets always make me think of Firestone Brewery.   I first had Firestone Pale Ale in San Simeon and now I try to get it whenever I’m in the area (whether San Simeon, Cambria, Paso Robles…).  You can buy it up here in Bay Area grocery stores, too, but it never tastes as good in a six pack as it does, say, on the balcony of the Paso Robles Inn while you watch the sun set over the town square as your motorcycles rest in the parking lot below.

I’m sure I’ll think of further deserving beer entries, but for now, we’ll close with the latest beer near and dear to my heart — if not, temporarily, my stomach — the local Devil’s Canyon Brewery.  They’re just a couple of miles from our house and their beer is excellent.  You can find it at local restaurants, or stop in to get growlers filled at their weekly Beer Fridays.  I recommend the Silicon Blonde and the Hades Habanero.   There will be Devil’s Canyon for me shortly after childbirth, oh yes, there will.

And so now you can see why the vicarious drinking of Busch Light is not acceptable.  There is even a brewing company at the same resort town that they’re staying in!!   I am very disappointed.  I may never let him go anywhere unescorted again.

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