We spent the weekend in Talkeetna for the 7th annual Trio Fatbike World Championships. I’m not sure why it’s called the Trio, but I’m going to say it refers to fast, friendly, and fun!Unlike during the Susitna 100 race, this time I wasn’t concerned about getting a fast time —I was more interested in having a good time in the backwoods of Talkeetna. I got to hang out on the 21-mile trail, and enjoy the spirit of trail camaraderie! I swore off racing after the Susitna 100, but I had already paid and registered for the short version of the Trio.So I raced without trying to go too fast. This was not a problem, as the first 12 miles were a mix of biking and walking.I think I was on my bike 50% of the time due to soft, squishy snow from higher than normal temps. It sure was nice not to carry that emergency gear the Susitna 100 requires. I arrived to the trail party nicknamed “Shangri-La” about 3 hours into the event. I spent about an hour enjoying the sweet bonfire, and the company of beer-loving cyclists. I avoided the whisky and drank an Anchorage Brewing Rondy Brew, and then refilled my 16 oz water bottle from the keg of Denali Brewing’s pilsner,which was very refreshing during the last 9 miles.The second half of the trail was a dream! I felt like I was riding on clouds all the way back to Talkeetna on a hard-packed trail. Hard to imagine, but the temps hovered around the high 30s all day!I love that ridge-line trail, and if I lived in Talkeetna I would make it my regular ride.
The afterparty was a blast as usual. This year Denali Brewing brewed a Brut IPA for the official Trio race beer. After the awards ceremony the Last Train (featuring Ted Rosenzweig of Turnagain Brewing on base) rocked the party and I danced until my rubbery legs had to stroll on home! Overall this is a quality event and I would encourage anybody who likes group riding, with a bit of a racing edge, to sign up next year.Good job everybody who went and participated! A huge thanks to Greg Matyas, from Speedway Cycles (home of the Fatback), Shawn Thelan from North Shore Cyclery in Talkeetna, and Sassan from Denali Brewing for the immaculate trail grooming and great hosting of this super fun event!!!
That’s a lot of lichen!
The checkpoint about halfway down the race course.
This week’s featured Thirsty Thursday beer painting is of Denali Brewing Company’s Louisville Sour, which is a Sour Barrel Ale. You may ask, what a Sour Barrel beer actually is. There is not really a guideline for this style, but I’ll do my best to describe this particular beer. This tart and zangy beer is fermented in oak barrels, which introduce a boatload of critters (micro-organisms) into the fermentation process. Namely, Pediococcus, Lactobacillus, and Brettanomyces; each bringing a particular flavor. The strongest flavor in this beer is the sour Lactobacillus. Denali’s stub-bottled beer is as refreshing as a tart lemonade on a warm summer day.
If you love baseball, nothing is sweeter than going to an Alaska Baseball League game on a sunny day. Alaska may not grow lemons, but we home-grow some great college, minor-league, wood bat baseball. Catching the last few innings of a double-header under the midnight sun at one of the five stadiums in Alaska is an experience. The mountain views can be distracting. Keep your eye on the ball, because some of these kids can hit! There is nothing worse than getting a foul ball right in your beer cup. This year the Mat-Su Miners are the league champions, which is very fitting as Louisville Sour is brewed an hour and a half down the road in Talkeetna. You won’t find this beer at the ballpark, and may have to be at the right place, at the right time to find it anywhere else, for that matter. Once it hits the shelves, it sells out fast! Sour beer fans will tell you, Denali Brewing hit Louisville Sour right out of the park!
On the fifth day of AK Beer Week, and the 14th day of Year of Beer, I painted Chuli Stout from Denali Brewing Company in Talkeetna, Alaska. The canned stout is pictured on the Chulitna River with majestic Denali in the background. This stout is the real Alaska deal, as bold as the Great Land, and as fresh as the snow falling from the sky as I write this blog post. Not to be underestimated this beer comes in at 6.5%, so it will keep you warm during winter in Alaska. I love looking at Denali in Talkeetna while sitting on the river sipping a stout!
The original painting sold. You can purchase a limited-edition print at myEtsy Shop.
Year of Beer 01.14, Chuli Stout from Denali Brewing Co. Oil on panel, 8″x10″.