Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Camping with a Side of Beer - Part II

Welcome back to the story. If by chance you haven't read the first part, check it out here.

The coolest dumpster ever.
Our first stop in downtown Boise was 10 Barrel Brewing. While not of interest to me due to the change in ownership I was happy to accommodate Chris' desire to stop in and say hi to his friend, Shawn. Shawn Kelso, a former Barley Brown's brewer, has been at 10 Barrel since well before the buyout and while they were chatting I happily took advantage of a bit of a beer break knowing there was plenty of day left. Before we headed out Shawn told us that the best way to get to our next destination, Bittercreek Alehouse, was to go through Freak Alley. Had Shawn been a stranger I would have thought he was pulling our leg but we took his word for it and it turned out to be the coolest alley I've ever been in.

After a couple blocks of marveling at the artwork in Freak Alley we found ourselves deposited directly across the street from Bittercreek Alehouse. It isn't a brewery but a well respected bar with 30+ taps and a place which Mag had actually been to while in Boise on a work trip. There were plenty of great beers to choose from, as I'd had and enjoyed the majority of them, so I went with a slightly unorthodox option in terms of the purpose of our trip, ordering up New Belgium Very Cheers since I hadn't had it. The sour beer was exactly what I needed to refresh my palate.

Looping back towards the car we visited Woodland Empire, the smallest place we'd been into so far. Here we ordered up the first sampler tray of the day consisting of Neon Golden (hefeweizen), Someone Gave Me Crabapples (gose), Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free Ginger (berliner weisse), Close to Home (strong ale), Moon Dog (amber) and Green Tea Saison. The Green Tea Saison was easily my favorite of the bunch but if you're not a fan of green tea, pass on it. The same should be said for the ginger berliner weisse. On our way out we considered ducking into PreFunk Beer Bar for a quick pint but with one eye on the clock and the other eye gauging our stamina we decided to head out of downtown and start working our way west again.

Barbarian Brewing was a place that had been recommended to us and was in the same strip mall area as Meriwether Cider, an easy one-two punch for us to finish up our time in Boise. Hitting up the cidery first we bellied up to the bar, getting samplers of all seven of their ciders and learning from our server that they are a family operation (mom, dad and two adult children) that are new in the cider game, just nine months old. All of the ciders were enjoyable, something made more impressive considering they've really just started. I'd happily have had more of any of them but as it was getting late in the afternoon we finished up and headed to our final destination.

Barbarian wasn't too busy by the time we got there but it was easy to tell that they probably would be packed later on, being a Friday night an all. We sampled 13 of their beers (good thing there were three of us) and as you might guess with that number, they were all over the board in terms of styles. It's no surprise that my favorites were a double IPA named Big Bad Wolf, a 9% ABV beer with cedar, Mint Lime Gose and two sours - Beta Wolf 2.0 and Sour Noir. If we didn't have a 90 minute drive (ok, "ride" for three of us) ahead I would have easily stayed for quite some time. As it was, we packed up with a great final stop in Boise to keep smiles on our faces as we made our way back to Farewell Bend.

Huge thanks go out to Chris and Lyn for inviting us and to Lyn, a special thank you for allowing us the opportunity to fully enjoy the Boise experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment