Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 20 - Beer & Fly Fishing

It was a hot and muggy day. It was one of those days where you take a shower, walk outside, and then you had to take another shower. I had just put in a good day of fishing the Kinni (the Kinnikinnick River) in River Falls, Wisconsin. As I trudged my way back to the parking lot, I managed to meet up with a few other anglers who decided that the world of AC would be better than dying of dehydration on the stream (yes I'm aware of the irony).

As I set on the tailgate of my SUV's, pondering who in the world thought neoprene stocking foot waders were a good thing, a magical thing appeared out of a cooler of their truck. It was a beacon of hope in that hot miserable world, a thing that could inspire a thirsty man (or woman). It was an ice cold beer, and the ppssshtt sound it made when the cap was removed was sweeter than Mozart. And I was left without, as I didn't have the brains to think bringing a cold one to the river was a good idea. Lesson learned.

Today I spent the better part of the day brewing up a batch of Scotch Ale. When the process is said and done, I'll have about five gallons of beer. Let me tell you, that's music to my ears. The hardest part is waiting the three weeks before trying it out. During the process of brewing (which involves a lot of watching a pot of water boil), I happened to think about how much beer and fishing seems to go together. Or better yet, how much fly fishing has influence beer.

Two Hearted Ale comes to my mind first. Actually, it was the first beer that I remember seeing with a trout influence. Obviously this trout labeled beer was heavily influenced by Ernest Hemingway's story "Big, Two-Hearted River." This ale comes from Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI.

After Two Hearted Ale, I recall Trout Slayer by Big Sky Brewery in Missoula, Montana. I think I purchased the beer just for the label. It just screamed marketing, but that didn't make a difference. Once I saw that beautiful water color-esque label, I knew that it was going to grace my shelf. Empty of course, that would be a crime not to drink the beer.

Just recently, I've discovered a new fly fishing brewery. It hails from Atlanta, Georgia and is called Sweet Water Brewing Company. The logo incorporates a jumping rainbow trout. As I scanned their web page, I was immediately set upon images of fly fishing. A trout on the left side of the page is pursuing a wet fly on the right side of the page. The entire web site screams dirty trout bum angling. I was rather pleased to view it. Check it out!

It seems that no matter what we do in life, our passion follows us. I can only guess that the brewmasters of these beers feel quite comfortable on the trout stream as they do in the brewery. I only hope that one day, I can incorporate my passion into my work (whatever that might be).

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