Snowshoe!!

Every year for President’s Day weekend, Novak organizes a huge group of our climbing friends and rents an equally huge cabin in Snowshoe for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding.

The house was really big, big enough to easily sleep 17 of us, and of course it had a hot tub!

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The first night there, while many people were still on the road, we had a quiet night and some beers around the fire!

I started off with the Allagash Black by Allagash Brewing Company of Portland, Maine at 7.5% abv.

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Allagash really produces quality beers. A lovely dark pour, rich and sweet Belgian dark ale. Smooth with chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Moderate, tingling carbonation. Heavy on the malts but with a dry finish. Such a good beer to enjoy in front of the fire!

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Since it was only the four of us we called it an early night to get ready to go skiing the next day. Over night we had about 6 more inches of snow!

The skiing the next day was actually really good! But it was bitter cold! After quite a few runs, I called it quits in the afternoon. A hot shower later and I was back in front of the fire with another beer!

I saw this beer in Total Wine and was really excited to try it! Again it’s a beer from Italy, and my last couple of beers I had from Italy really surprised me. I was hoping this one would as well.

It was the ‘na Biretta Nera by Birrificio Ostiense Artigianale (OBA) of Rome, Italy at 5.5% abv.

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Even before opening, the bottle catches your eye, its not completely round, its oval or oblong shaped, somewhat reminiscent of a flask.

I felt like this was a pretty decent Schwarzbier, roasted malts, slightly bitter. A little chocolaty, toast, with a slight smoky finish. It may be dark but it had a light body and a light mouthfeel.

I also had the Dark Truth Stout by Boulevard Brewing Co of Kansas City, MO an American Double/ Imperial Stout at 9.7% abv.

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Good, full bodied, smooth and silky stout. Tastes of milk chocolate and roasted malts, a light bitter tang of coffee. More carbonation than I would have guessed, but not over powering. Not overly sweet.

Next, I decided to try something light and not something I usually drink at all. I suppose ginger beers are better mixed with other types of alcohol, but this one already contained alcohol. It was Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer of Scotland at 4.8% abv.

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No, I didn’t have it over ice with a lime like it suggested, but it was super enjoyable and refreshing. I cant believe there was alcohol in it! It would truly mix well with just about everything. You could really taste the real ginger, a nice little bite to it!

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This is what climbers do when they’re indoors, they measure their Ape Index. Ape Index compares your height with your wingspan. Having a longer wingspan than height is very desirable for a climber.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I found out I have +1.5 inches! Now I have no excuse to not climb better!

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Even though skiing is the main draw for the weekend, I love just sitting around the house chilling!

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To finish off the night, I opened another “exotic” beer. I grabbed this beer because it was a style I like, but also because it was from Iceland! I don’t think I’ve ever had an Icelandic beer! I had the Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús of Selfoss, Iceland at 9.4% abv.

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Very much a Russian Imperial stout. Quite roasted, quite a bit of coffee, dry and slightly bitter. Hints of chocolate help soften it, a smoky charred woodiness. Brown sugar and molasses, smooth. Warming and a slow sipper.

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Its thick body and the slightly bigger bottle had me sipping on this beer for quite a while, it was the perfect night cap and the perfect end to a great day of skiing and house antics!

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