Adventure: Hell Roaring Lake, Sawtooth Wilderness, Idaho
Beer: Grand Teton Brewing: 208 Session Ale; Sun Valley Brewing: everything
For 4th of July weekend we wanted to go camping someplace that wouldn’t be too crowded. We succeeded by driving up, emphasis on up, a dirt road in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Idaho and backpacking four miles to Hell Roaring Lake. We weren’t the only people there, but other campers were only distant lights from our camp spot. We reached the lake at dark, had a little trouble scouting a good spot, and accidentally pitched our tent in the middle of the trail. It didn’t matter though since our only visitors were mosquitoes and the bats swooping down to eat them. The trail is pretty easy, but there is a spot where we had to cross the river on a log which was a bit challenging for our Malamute, Boo, who kept trying to jump in the rapids.
Our trusty growler was filled with Grand Teton Brewing’s 208 Session Ale, and we drank it under the stars at the edge of the lake surrounded by the silhouettes of mountains. The beer was warm from our hike, but it was still delicious, light and spicy with just enough hops to not be overwhelming.
In the morning we fully saw the snow-capped mountains and tried to swim in the lake. It was freezing, but Boo enjoyed cooling down in it. With some regret we hiked back to civilization, and ended up in Sun Valley to try Sun Valley Brewing. It was a bit disappointing. They wouldn’t allow dogs on the outdoor patio so one of us had to constantly walk Boo around in the hot sun. If we weren’t so dedicated to exploring new beer, we probably would have left. Instead we tried a flight of all their beers. They had many styles but they were all just OK. After trying each one I was like, “Yep, that’s an IPA,” or “Mmm, porter-y”, but there was nothing that stood out, except the blonde which tasted like straight-up water. The best was the White Cloud Amber ale, which was light and refreshing with a hint of citrus. Overall, it wasn’t the best but it had a wide variety of beer for anyone wishing to try different styles and see what they like.