Today is the first day of March, which begins my favorite stage of Alaskan winter — early Spring. We’re still in winter mode, but we get extra daylight, and with a bit of luck the snow is in perfect condition to get outside and play. Here in Anchorage we have a big festival known as Fur Rendezvous. Dating back a bit longer than 80 years (originating in 1935), local Alaskans (miners and trappers) traditionally met up for a huge fur auction and a bit of fun. Today we still don our furs (or fur like garments) as it is still cold outside, only 2 degrees above zero this morning. The fur auction is still on, but there are so many great events and traditions that it’s hard to name them all. Maria always buys a Rondy pin, but my favorite tradition is to buy a Rondy Brew from Anchorage Brewing Co. This year available in pint-size cans and served up in a four pack as well as on draft around town. I am impressed with this year’s recipe, a nice IPA at 6.4% with 55 IBUs. Brewed with Mosaic (one of my favorite aroma hops) and Idaho 7, which is new to me, but seems to be just right for drinking while watching the fireworks display. Maybe don’t have more than one before getting on the Tilt-a-Whirl at the annual Rondy Carnival. Best save that for afterwards! This weekend is the end of the festival, and also the beginning of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. The ceremonial start is this Saturday in Anchorage on 4th Avenue, right in front of our studio building. If you are in Anchorage, stop by the Real Art is Better headquarters (333 W. 4th Ave, Suite #4) this Saturday, March 3 for some fresh baked cookies, or to warm up. We’ll be open 10 – 5pm. Running of the Reindeer, another epic Rondy event is to be held at 4pm. Don’t delay getting your Rondy-Brew on, as this is a once a year beer, and next year will be changed. Who knows? Gabe Fletcher may make a sour lemongrass saison again (also very good, but decidedly different).
Cheers to Rondy — a great festival, and to Rondy Brew — a great beer!