Don and I decided to record a podcast while I was out visiting with him in Idaho a few weeks ago. We didn’t have a topic in mind before I got there, but one struck me like a herd of buffalo when first set eyes on Big Sky Country.
You see, Idaho still has a frontier vibe. Travel a few miles out of Boise, and you’re in the middle of nowhere. Keep going, and it’s even more remote. Go a little further and you’re at Don’s house.
Yet craft beer is thriving in these vast expanses of land. Don has a fridge full of world class beer despite the fact that he’s surrounded by bean farms and orchards and, therefore, farmers. You wouldn’t think craft beer would take off in these parts.
But spend a little time at Brewforia Beer Market in Boise and you’ll witness a steady stream of men and women who have come to browse and buy really great beer. And the Boise Beer Fest, just two years old, is already the second or third largest beer event on the west coast, drawing folks from around the country (and one dude from Japan). Good things are happening in Idaho.
At the center of all this activity is Brewforia’s owner Rick Boyd, a beer nerd who was so frustrated at the lack of good beer in Boise he did something about – he started hunting down and selling the best craft beer he could find, first on the Internet, then in a brick and mortar store. Rick is also the driving force behind the Boise Beer Fest, a festival he’s determined will be one of the finest in the country.
We decided to record our latest podcast at Brewforia and have Rick as our guest to hear how it all got started, and to get his thoughts on what the future holds for good beer on the frontier. It’s pretty cool to hear how one guy’s elbow grease is helping to make craft beer a success in the rural West. He’s a great guy.
We were also joined by Chad Brusse (you may know him as @BeerPoet on Twitter), who helped us try some amazing beers, including Pliny the Elder, New Glarus Enigma and a Schlafly Reserve 2006. We even popped open a homebrewed Belgian Quad sent to us by our pal in Washington Evan Burke and backed it all with the latest from Maker’s Mark, Maker’s 46.
I hope you give it a listen, as I think it’s one of our best efforts yet. I especially like the part when we figure out that Don might look manly on the east coast, but he’s actually Idaho’s version of a metrosexual!
You can click here to find it in iTunes, or just search “beer and whiskey” in the Podcast section of the iTunes Store.