Thursday, 6 September 2018

Birds and Brews

Howdy folks! It is good to be back in Texas! The weather is starting ever so slightly to cool one degree at a time which is a pretty big deal around here really. We promised ourselves an immediate trip to the Colorado property when we got home from Alaska, expecting the shell shock we did indeed receive, but Abby's ability to stay focused on a project until completion has granted me a new outdoor kitchen instead! I can't complain about that! I leave this picture, but she can fill you in on all of the details...

We have put out several humming bird feeders and are now inundated with the bee like buzzing around our heads every time we go out of doors. Literally, as soon as you walk out of a door. This is the first time that I have ever witness the true activity of humming birds outside of captivity. The swarm of them feed mostly from one feeder at a time until it is drained, no matter how many we have out. This is counter intuitive to their natural skipping around one flower to the next flower blossom. Without having done any research, I think that putting humming bird feeders out, is somewhat akin to providing a water cooler at the office. It creates a natural environment for engagement, controversy, bidding, personality distinction and all out drama. Abby and I joked about naming them, which would mean creating some sort of identification, but by the time we had them wearing their individual name tags, a new group would move in with no name tags at all! So for now, it is the loner that sits on the fence, the jerk that pokes everyone in the head, the little piglet that never moves sucking the life out of the nectar and the fifteen others that dance around each other endlessly.

I have to admit, I am going through withdrawal. In addition to hikes and boat rides and moving from one land of Alaska to the other, we visited many breweries. As you's kind of a thing. In looking at some of our pictures the other day, I realized much of the reporting on said breweries was omitted from social media posts or bragging on the last blog. So, with due diligence, I will sneak in a couple of my favorite breweries on our Alaska trip. To be fair, it wasn't always about the beer.

The 49th State Brewing Company located near Denali was more than just a brewery. I highly recommend a stop at this indoor restaurant with outdoor venue. The bar hosted a selection of liquors of every caliber that had me staring and trying to memorize some never before seen players. Seating was plentiful inside and cozy, including a bar style seating area which wrapped around a sort of fireplace. We sat at the bar initially, had a beer and small bite, then moved outside to the more than ample area which hosts music and some not so music events.

Another set of breweries we were lucky to visit was on a trip we took into Soldatna and Kenai. Two breweries here roused my suspicion, that indeed, Alaskan's know their beer. The Kenai River Brewing Company was our first stop in Soldatna. Once again, the brewery was also an eatery and Abby and I did munch on some mac n' cheese and French onion soup. The beer was good enough to stay and enjoy a second round. That is not always the case!!
Our second outing was further down the peninsula at a brewery called Kassiks Brewery. Now this was interesting place with a "Now Hiring" sign on the door, something for consideration after a beer down my gullet. I got the impression that the owners were on sight and the very people serving the beer that whet my pallet and made the short/long drive, worth the trip. If you are heading down to the infamous Homer, no reason not to stop at Kassiks!

While there were MANY other breweries on the way to and from Alaska in those OTHER states, I am sticking to these few to keep it simple. I do however want to give a special shout out to a little place in Tok, that while not a brewery, was one of my favorite stops along the way. Mostly because the AMAZING bartender made our arrival in Alaska feel safe and fun with lots of talk about fishing and hunting and more fishing.... The place was called the Bears Den Lounge, I believe and while I could not find a website for them, I will leave you with this homey, loungy, picture....

If all goes well I will be reporting next time on a super short trip we are taking to the Colorado property. Hopefully we will make it over to Pagosa Springs this time. It's been raining cats and dogs here so we are looking forward to a little dry air and sunshine!!

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