This year celebrated 24 summers of hot air balloons over the Boise skyline. Over four dozen hot air balloons launched from Ann Morrison Park during Labor Day Weekend. There were plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the balloons during kids day when pilots offered 4,000 children tethered rides and at the Night Glow where 12 balloons remained grounded and lit up like giant Chinese lanterns. I had a chance to check out Saturday's launch and caught these shots on the balloon field.
Well needless to say, the last couple weeks have been insanely busy and I've fallen behind in my brew countdown. That doesn't mean I haven't been hopping around town enjoying a cold one every opportunity I get! And now that fall is approaching, I'm eagerly awaiting the return of one of my favorite beers from Crooked Fence, the Evil Harvest Pumpkin Ale!
Crooked Fence Brewing
It’s hard to tell what the minds behind Crooked Fence are more proud of their beer or the hand drawn art that wraps their bottle. This brewery promises to always be “perfectly unusual” with their only goal being to make good beer and have fun doing it.
That may mean some good natured ribbing of local politicians. Crooked Fence released their “Little Bitch Otter” not long after Governor Butch Otter appealed a District Judge’s decision to overturn Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban. The label featured an otter dressed suspiciously like the governor and read “unfortunately brewed in Idaho.” The brewery donated 10% of the sales of the India Brown Ale toward equality causes like Add the Words Idaho. The brewery has also created Idaho centric beers like the Pedal Pusher Ale (an ode to bikes on the Greenbelt and a brew that benefited the Boise Bicycle Project) and Potato Porter.
They have three locations including the Brewery Tasting Room, Barrelhouse and Crooked Flats where something unusual is always going on. Whether it’s wake skating and boarding on land, the Brew O’lympics or a belly flop contest you know that Crooked Fence plays as hard as they work.
Visit The Brewery
- 5242 Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID (Brewery)
- 5181 N Glenwood Street, Garden City, ID (Barrelhouse)
- 3705 Idaho 16, Eagle, ID (Crooked Flats)
As more and more Oktoberfest beers are popping up on store shelves and America On Tap: Fall Harvest approaches, I've become increasingly grateful for the amazing craft beers brewed right here in the Treasure Valley. That's why I'm celebrating the best breweries in Boise each week. This week it's all about one of the breweries most likely to quench my post race thirst!
I had my first can of Sockeye beer after the Les Bois 10K trail run and it was love at first sip. In fact, don’t be surprised if you do a local road race and end up enjoying a Sockeye beer as your recovery drink. Valuing anything that encourages healthy lifestyles in the Treasure Valley, they provide beer for Final Kick Events, Zeitgeist Half Marathon and Blue Circle Sports after parties.
Sockeye’s Big Six beers embrace Idaho with names like Dagger Falls IPA, Galena Gold Hell-Diver Pale Ale, Angels Perch Amber, Powerhouse Porter and Woolybugger Wheat. You can get them in cans or either of the two Sockeye Grill & Breweries.
Sockeye just racked up some serious heavy medal, bringing home six medals from the 21st Annual Mountain Brewer’s Beer Fest proving that Idaho knows a thing or two about craft beer!
And a note from the Twittersphere: Sockeye is working on what I can only call brilliant beer mad science. They tell me their latest creation, the Velvet Falls Cream Ale in Cherry and Apricot should be ready to roll out in the next week or so! Who's joining me for a pint...or two?
Visit The Brewery
- 3019 N Cole Rd, Boise, ID
- 12542 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID
If you know anything about me at all, you know I jumped on the craft beer train long before craft beer was king in the Treasure Valley. One of the first big social events I went to after I moved here was the Boise Beerfest when it used to be at Ann Morrison Park. A year later, my Team in Training training partner had me dive head first into the World Beer Tour at Old Chicago. (I've now finished it twice.)
As fabulous as summer's been, I'm looking forward to cooler weather and the things that come with it. You know, beer things like tailgating and Oktoberfest! So to prep you for those very important dates, I'm counting down the 10 best Breweries in Boise over the next 10 weeks. Let's start with the first Treasure Valley brewery I ever visited, shall we?
Payette Brewing Co.
The word Payette goes hand in hand with Idaho’s love of year-round outdoor adventures and Payette Brewing Company’s brews live up to the name. They love camping, hiking, kayaking and cycling so much, that on Tuesdays from 3-10 you get a half price beer just for riding a bike to the tasting room off of Chinden.
Their claim to fame? They’re the first ever Idaho brewer to can beer. Their Payette Pale Ale and Mutton Buster are now staples in local grocery stores.
The brewery believes in “Payette Forward” and gives back to the community through their Kegs4Kause Monday nights. Each Monday, the brewery donates 50% of their tasting room beer sales between 3-10 PM to a local non-profit cause. Look for them to undergo a $4.5 million expansion opening in the old Bronco Elite Athletics building on Pioneer Street early next year.
Visit The Brewery
- 111 W 33rd Street, Boise, ID 83714
I'm moving so slow this morning but it was totally worth it! Last night Train, The Fray and one of my favorite artists of all time, Matt Nathanson played Taco Bell Arena. The tickets I blindly purchased during the pre-sale back in January ended up being some of the best seats I ever had! We were 10 rows back, dead center so I got some great pics and video of the show.
These three artists are some of the most talented live performers I've ever seen and really make you feel the power of music and how it can save a life. Matt's music has been with me through virtually every trial and triumph in my life for the past nine years and when you see him perform it live the world just seems to make sense for once. As soon as he opens his mouth the stress and anxiety of the real world completely melt away. Each one of his shows I've been to is just so cathartic!
Before I fan girl even more, here's the photos and video from last night!
What do you get when you put 65,000 of your closest friends, 106º temperatures, Nick Jonas, Red Foo and Shaggy together?! The single biggest one day party in Idaho! Boise Music Festival took over Expo Idaho on Saturday, June 27th in the midst of a Treasure Valley Heat Wave.
While getting to see Nick, Red Foo, Shaggy, Rob Thomas, Gloriana and the Plain White Ts was well worth gutting out the sun, I'm just happy I got to spend the day with the real superstars of Boise Music Festival...YOU! Here's a look at what I saw that day!
It was 94º in Boise yesterday and there's no doubt that summer has arrived early in the Treasure Valley. Summer wine tastings, road races, outdoor live music, beer festivals, local food and cocktails on downtown patios, floating the river...I can't wait to do it all in this beautiful city I get to call home.
So many of my friends and family back in Ohio don't realize that Boise offers tons of opportunities to play hard. They get off the plane at BOI and instantly ask "Where's the potatoes?" I just shake my head at them.
When I was home for Christmas two years ago, they showed this video during the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl that I was watching at a restaurant with my dad and his girlfriend. People sitting around us probably thought I was losing my mind because I was over joyed and yelled "that's my Boise!" It's a great reminder of why I love this city so much. I just had to re-share it as summer approaches!