Madison River Brewing Company is definitely for the river rats of the world. The labels featured on this Original Craft Beer Club selection depict various pastoral scenes of running water. For me, these beers evoked the satisfaction of cooling off a warm beer by nestling it in a pile of smooth rocks in a cold river while camping or climbing in the heat. There’s nothing more satisfying than a bottled beer brought to the perfect chilly temperature by the fresh running water of a river.
In Crested Butte — the small town I call home — the snow is slowly but surely melting from the mountaintops. Day by day, the foothills of the mountains look slightly greener. And finally, I’ve retired my big down Patagonia jacket as temperatures warm. It’s springtime in Crested Butte (even though it still occasionally feels and looks like winter!) And I couldn’t be more excited to drink and write a Beer of the Month Club Review for a pair of summery Madison River Brewing Company beers. Finally, summery beers to match almost-summery weather!
My favorite time to drink beers is probably after some intense physical activity in the summertime when I feel I’ve truly earned it. In the winter, after a day of skiing, it’s sometimes a little too cold for an immediate post-activity beer. But in the summer, it’s a way to cool off. A reward. A thirst-quencher. A way to tide over hunger until the sun gets a little lower in the sky and its time for dinner.
Join the Original Craft Beer Club and you too can enjoy a summery microbrew after a bike ride in which you (like me) might take a few falls and generally get your butt kicked. Or after a long climb when you can finally relax your hands around a nice, cool bottle. Ahhh….
Fisherman and boaters can mimic the colorful illustrations on the Madison River Brewing Company’s labels and pop one open right on the water.
The Hopper Pale Ale is a pleasantly mild ale that I truly enjoyed. It definitely has an edge to it, but was not too bitter for me. It is crisp and will leave your tongue with a refreshing aftertaste of lemon and orange flavors.
The Salmon Fly Honey Rye tastes exactly as it sounds: a hint of pure sweetness, a dash of bitter rye flavor. It goes down easily and deliciously, but isn’t too heavy and definitely won’t fill you up. It is one of the best beers that I’ve experienced through my Original Craft Beer Club Journey. I wonder if I’ll be able to find it in Colorado stores…
This week, I didn’t quite design a meal around the beer but I did pair the beer with a meal! If I had planned in advance, I would have paired the Salmon Fly Honey Rye with (you guessed it!) a salmon burger on a brioche bun with a roasted red pepper aioli. And some sweet potato fries to echo the sweetness. Instead, I enjoyed the beer with a simple summery pasta dish. Tri-color rotini with feta cheese, sausage, kalamata olives, basil, sauteed kale and minced orange bell peppers aside a small salad.
Stay tuned for the next Original Craft Beer Club review when I will begin matching homemade meals to specific brews.