The featured beer painting of the day is of Denali Brewing Company’s Single Engine Red, which is an Irish-style red ale. Even the brewers in Talkeetna know that if you don’t get a chance to fly around Denali while you are here in Alaska, you are going to have to make another trip back. My wife, Maria, made four trips this summer, landing three times on the Ruth Glacier. She claims it is the highlight of the trips she guides during the summer here. I have not gotten to land on a glacier on Denali yet, although this summer I flew to St. Elias in a smaller private plane that was probably way more exciting. My friend, who pilots a juiced up Piper Cub, let me open the window to get better pictures, but said we don’t have the power to execute backcountry landings, more importantly the takeoffs. Flying around the big one would be a dream job for him. An old hand with the mountain, he says he is tired of walking up the mountain as a guide. I can understand why, as the success rate for making the summit is 50%. Flying seems like a way better option for me. I don’t like being stuck overnight, huddled in a tent on the side of glaciers. Warm, snug woodstoves and a big thermal mass of logs appeal to me. On our trip to St. Elias we only flew halfway around the pyramid pinnacle, as we didn’t want to enter Canadian airspace. So for the next trip you book to Alaska, really consider a flight seeing trip around the Great One in one of the little red planes pictured in this painting! When you make it back to Talkeetna, the Single Engine Red will taste incredible.
Cheers to the Single Engine Red, and to Alaskan pilots!