beer

Searching for Grizzlies with Huckleberry Wheat!

We were on the tail end of two great days in Glacier National Park and we still hadn't seen a grizzly bear. We didn't exactly want to come face to face with a 500lb claw ball but we still wanted to see one nevertheless. Our best shot was to go out at dusk in the car and scour the wilderness. In order to do so it was essential to have both the binoculars and a beer with a picture of a bear on it.

We headed into the local store not only in pursuit of a beer but a beer with 'a picture of a bear on it' - not easy to do in most large retail establishments! However, this was bear country so I was hopeful. I looked at the selection of singles in the cooler. There were four beers and surprisingly one of them pictured a bear! I picked up the chilled bottle and read 'Huckleberry Wheat.' I wasn't impressed. I generally don't like wheat beer or fruit beer so a combination of the two seemed like a bad idea but a bear's favorite fruit are huckleberries so I took it to the counter!

The kit for finding bears! 

The kit for finding bears! 

I chilled my Huckleberry Wheat and headed for a ranger event in which we had the privilege of attending a talk called 'Native America Speaks' - an hour of singing and information from a very inspirational character called Jack Gladstone about his life and the history of the Blackfeet Tribe. He sang a song with his guitar about 'a bear that stole the chinook.' Yet more bear related material leading us to believe that this was our night.

The scene was set. It was dusk. We had our huckleberry wheat beer from the Great Northern Brewing Company, we had been singing songs about bears who stole the wind and we had our binoculars. In order to find a bear I had to feel like a bear. We drank the Huckleberry Wheat and shivered, not because it was cold but because the taste wasn't to our liking and we began to search the mountains from the road for signs of bears.

We looked for some time and we still couldn't find one. To be precise we couldn't find anything, not even a chipmunk. I couldn't understand it, it was dusk, I was feeling native and I had my 'bear goggles' on! Rather sullenly Haley began the drive back to the campsite and I was left contemplating why fruit beers always leave a weird taste in your mouth when all of a sudden a bear ran across the road in front of our car! It was brown and it was fairly big! Could it have been a grizzly?! Or was it a lighter colored black bear? It all happened so quickly. He lumbered across the road 50 yards before our eyes and disappeared into the bushes! We were both super excited! Perhaps the bear was feeling sorry for us because we didn't enjoy the beer and he had heard of our search. Maybe he had decided to give us a quick glimpse to make us feel better! What a sight to see! The beer was ok but the bear was great!

Beer-o-meter rating: 5/10

Bear-o-meter rating: 10/10

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Trois Pistoles - Petted by a Canadian whilst watching the footy!

And so the beverage bashing begins. Although, you can’t bash a beverage and truly enjoy it so perhaps alcohol analyzing would be a better word. But now that sounds too in depth….

Whatever. I was out in search of a beverage to watch with the football. Beer and football just go together, there is no science behind it and yet I’m certain that it is written in some ancient text somewhere that you just simply cannot have one without the other. England were playing in a highly tense, patriotic but let’s not fight kind of match against Slovakia in which we had to do well not only to keep a respectable position in the group but also to beat Wales! Therefore I was on the hunt for something strong and bold that would reflect my football team’s performance (like I say football and beer are linked). 

I’m no beverage expert but I have a wide palate so I had an idea of what I was looking for. After a short peruse round the beverage section I spoke to the gentleman in the shop, let’s just call him ‘Dave’ because that is his name! Dave knows a lot about beer, you can just tell. After a short amount of deliberation, Dave recommended ‘Trois Pistoles’ a dark, Canadian beer that looked incredibly inviting. I felt the weight of the 750ml bottle and looked at the label in which a black horse was jumping over three spires. I squinted at the 9% alcohol content and the fact that it was brewed with spices and immediately knew this was the beer for me and for the game. I thanked Dave and put the beer on the table at home (after paying for it of course!) in preparation for the televisual feast I was about to witness from my home team. There was no need to refrigerate this beauty, it could just sit there until the game began, looking all noble with it’s fancy cork.

Fancy cork!

Fancy cork!

The game began, the cork popped off, England had possession and the beer tasted great! Trois Pistoles is an easy drinking beverage for a dark ale. It’s all encompassing on the palate, it’s fruity and the aftertaste is brilliant. If the game was going to be as good as the beer then I was going to be in for a treat! The only thing that slightly worried me was that the beverage was a little more mellow than I had expected and ‘mellow’ is not a term you want to describe England’s performance in a European Cup. 

I didn’t finish the beer until the 72nd minute of the game, including the 15 minute break where I shouted abuse at the half time commentators. There was no pausing the game to go to the fridge to get another beer with this dark ale, it was simply perfect for the occasion. I spent the last 15 minutes of the match biting my nails, hoping that we didn’t let a random goal in and end up getting eliminated. England were unimpressive, didn’t create much and the game finished in a 0-0 draw. On the other hand, Trois Pistoles or ‘Three Pistols’ was delightfully delightful and not a bit like England’s performance. Perhaps beer and football aren’t so closely linked after all…

Note to self: Write to the England manager requesting he gives the boys a Trois Pistoles before the game in order to spruce them up.

Beer-o-meter rating: Bloody good, 9/10, cheers Dave!

Meant to be together?!

Meant to be together?!