My friends and I spent Thanksgiving in Haines this year. We thought we would catch some fish, drink some beers and see some bears.
Only one of those panned missions out. The fish weren’t jumping, or running, or whatever fish do. We saw a few dead coho on shore, but that was it.
And we weren’t the only ones snookered. One dude had been in Haines for a month, but had only caught four fish. So, the fishing rods remained in the back of the truck. No fish means no bears, so we didn’t see any of those.
Luckily, Haines is rich in beer. One of my missions was to find a decent beer my friend Diedre Davidson could drink. Her beer as a teenager was Budweiser and she hadn’t strayed too far in adulthood. Lagers and hefeweizens are her standards.
So, as we watched football and played Boggle at the Fogcutter on Sunday afternoon, she was rehydrating with Rolling Rock. This beer is ubiquitous. The guy in the liquor store said it is a favourite of Canadians, but apparently none of the Americans drink it. It mostly tastes like wet air to me.
Rolling Rock is brewed in New Jersey, but that’s all you’re going to figure out by looking at the label. It has been brewed since 1939 and is now made by Anheuser Busch-Inbev. It weighs in at a 4.6 per cent alcohol by volume and calls itself a pale lager. I can only recommend it as a slightly beery club soda substitute.
I tried to tempt Diedre with a Wailua, the Kona Brewing passion fruit beer from Hawaii. It has a very interesting exotic fruit character with a slight twang from the addition of wheat. Even if you don’t specifically like passion fruit, you might like it. It is subtle, low in bitterness and highly drinkable.
It failed to impress Diedre.
On Sunday, we ate lasagna and drank wine for Thanksgiving, so I wasn’t able to pass on any more beer suggestions. Besides, by that point, karaoke at the Fogcutter and beer pong at the Harbour Bar on Saturday night had done us in.
The day was a sleepy one full of reading and napping before we got on to the business of giving thanks.
I failed to find a new beer to excite my friend, but we found other ways to enjoy Haines.
The Mount Riley hike is a lovely tromp through the forest. The Chilkoot River, while devoid of bears, was a peaceful hangout.
On Monday morning, we all filled our beer quota to take back to Canada. The great thing about Diedre is that she is happy to take back all the orphaned beer left in our fridge over the weekend. There’s no way I was going to use up my beer allowance to haul back an insipid lager, so, it made me appreciate my friend’s taste in beer.
Plus, she drove, arranged the ferry, supplied the hip-hop and was just a cool travelling companion.
Thanks Diedre. I’ll try again next time.