Andean potatoes and Andina IPAs

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Around the Thanksgiving celebration we hold at the ranch, we usually Winterize the garden and dig up the root vegetables. It’s also a time to stack firewood (which we didn’t get around to), and occasionally drink the odd can of beer. It turned out that we had many types of potatoes in the ground, and I’ve decided that one of them must be Andean in origin…I mean some are purple!

potatoes-3.jpgSo it was with all that extra logic applied that I chose Andina Brewing Company‘s Monita Blonde IPA to pair with the potato acquisition experience. Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert potato farmer. In fact I had to shift from using a shovel to a pitchfork because I was routinely cleaving perfectly good potatoes in 2 with every shovel load. But switching to a pitchfork wasn’t exactly a flawless exercise either – see below:

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But the beer – let’s not forget what this blog is all about and, while I prefer to carry tallboys, I was excited that Andina had begun canning at all and I was happy to get a 6-pack of this one to bring up. I actually made it to Andina for a tasting flight and remember calling out the Monita as the star of the show. But that was there…and this is here. In the Cariboo. Where beer can taste different. And even better.

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And this is a great IPA. Does it need to taste clean while I’m digging potatoes? Nope. Are the citrus notes pleasing while washing the mud from a basket of potatoes? Yep. Is it a crisp beer on a crisp day? Yep. And is it more than just entirely possible that I’m the first – the very first person in all the Cariboo to quaff this 6.5% hoppy nugget of liquid joy? Most definitely.

So while I support you stopping by Andina to grab a 6-pack of this liquid pleasure, I strongly advise you to consider packing it somewhere special to enjoy. And maybe even share. One.

My Knotty Blonde Experience

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I was heading down to see why the 1972 25hp Mitsubishi tractor wasn’t turning over when I stopped by the roadhouse beer fridge (there are plenty of beer repositories on the ranch property – 3 fridges, a bar fridge, and the creek). Fishing amongst the bombers I pulled this answer to a hot day from Old Yale Brewing.

Blonde ales usually interest me and while I’ve been disappointed on many occasions, the times I’ve been completely satisfied have all outweighed the let downs. Which is partly why I took a chance on this one. The other reason is that it wasn’t until we’d reached Hope that I’d made the mental calculation that I wasn’t carrying enough beer for the weekend. Fortunately I know of a cold beer & wine shop that occasionally carries Old Yale products amongst their towers of unpalatable offerings. So that’s how this one came to be with me – partly out of lack of choice, partly out of interest.

So back to the tractor that I know nothing about. I know it takes flaming ether to get it going. And I know well enough not to play with ether or…fire. I also know that with it’s little lean-to shelter, that tractor is a mighty fine seat to take, looking out on pasture areas with elbow propped on the steering wheel, imagining all the years of work ranchers have done with this old rig. And with a stalk of hay lazily dangling from my teeth and a crisp, flavourful craft beer in hand, I get to have an amazing moment of appreciation. For the beer. For the setting. For the beer in that setting. And sensing that while I may be the 200th guy to sit in this old torn up seat, I’m also the first guy to quaff this brew in all of the Cariboo. And at 28 degrees out while I’m working up a sweat by just sitting still, it’s a hell of a good thirst quencher.

So if you are ever somewhere really hot and have an inoperable tractor to sit on and a place out of sight so your inlaws can’t see you shirking responsibilities, this is a great beer to have in that moment.