Heading to Massachusetts most definitely means you’ll probably be heading to “Beantown”. Boston is one of the most exciting cities on the eastern seaboard and offers something to everyone. Whether you’re looking for fine art and performances, or just want to explore the city streets and absorb the city at its grittiest, there is truly something for everyone.
If you’re more inclined to spend time outdoors, the Emerald Necklace is a chain of parks between Boston and Brookline. The consist of 1,100 acres that are on the National Historic Register. It’s a perfect walk after breakfast before heading off for a day of breweries. Nearby, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston houses one of the most extensive art collections in the U.S., ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary American works. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a great spot for people watching, as well as a consolidated place to pick up souvenirs from local artists.
Just south of Boston in Dedham, MA is McGolf, a driving range, mini golf, and simulator facility. It’s a great outing for the family, or for a release smacking some balls. When you’re hungry again, make sure to check out Nebo. They are an Italian restaurant with a gluten free menu in downtown Boston. The Mad Monkfish is a fantastic sushi restaurant in Cambridge that has a gluten free menu as well as standard fare. All in all, don’t be afraid to let yourself get a little lost in Boston. They have some of the most amazing architecture and it’s a culture unlike any other in the United States.
Boston Fun Facts
1. Boston is actually named after a town in England
Little Brewster Island is where the first lighthouse was ever built in what is now the United States. While that lighthouse is long gone, the current island resident pictured above is actually the second-oldest working lighthouse in the United States, dating back to 1783.
3. Boston is home to the oldest public park in the U.S.
In January 15, 1919, a storage tank holding more than 2 million gallons of molasses burst, sending a giant wave of the hot syrupy substance through the North End of Boston. It killed 21 people and several horses and injured more than 100 others, making it the worst molasses-related accident in history.
9. In turn-of-the-century Boston, you didn’t need to take a test to receive a driver’s license
Massachusetts started issuing driver’s licenses and registration plates in 1903, but didn’t make people take a driving test beforehand. In 1920, Boston began requiring a driving test before issuing someone a license.
This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of Mountaineer Magazine and on www.mountaineers.org.
Leave it to a Mountaineer to find a mountain!
This was my thought as I finished reading an email from Web Chang, a staff member at Mountaineers Books. Web’s message arrived shortly after Ghostfish released our third packaged beer of 2015: Shrouded Summit Belgian White Ale. In this case, the mountain Web had found was on the side of our can, which vibrantly depicts two trekkers stopping for a moment to take in a majestic view of cloud covered Mt. Rainer (designed locally by Kevin LeDoux).
Web wanted us to know that he appreciated the can design of Shrouded Summit, and as one of three co-founders of Ghostfish Brewing Company, receiving this message was extremely gratifying. Looking back, this early brush with The Mountaineers was foreshadowing of an incredible partnership to come, focused on supporting your nonprofit mission in the most delicious way possible.
Ghostfish Brewing didn’t start out as a dedicated gluten-free brewery. While many people now associate Ghostfish as “the gluten-free brewery”, we’ve always considered our focus to be making the highest quality beer that also happens to be gluten-free. We don’t make beer for people who are gluten-free – we make beer for beer drinkers!
I joke now that in the beginning (2013) we were setting ourselves up to be yet another one of the 7,000+ craft breweries across the United States. The plan was always to be innovative by providing an environment that encourages individual contribution, artful aesthetics, and challenges norms. Sometime into the planning phase, we decided to become a dedicated glutenfree brewery to support our vision and contribute to a more sustainable model of production.
What we didn’t necessarily grasp at the time was that we were pioneers in a growing, yet small segment of the craft brewing movement. When you think about beer made from barley, wheat, and rye, you don’t necessarily think about how much tinkering and transformation has occurred over centuries in beer engineering to get to where we are today.
There was no history of gluten-free brewing, nor a playbook that existed, when we started Ghostfish.
We create our beer using traditional brewing methods, but grains we use are most certainly non-traditional by today’s standards. You’ll find plenty of millet, brown rice, and buckwheat (unrelated to wheat) in our grain room. These grains were used in the creation of beer around the globe for centuries, and in fact, millet predates barley in beer brewing history! All these grains are naturally glutenfree and don’t contain the proteins that cause harm in people with Celiac Disease.
While each of our primary grains have amazing sustainable qualities, millet is particularly drought and heat tolerant. It is a highly nutritious cereal grain that sustains more than a third of the world’s population. Buckwheat, which is a fast grower, thrives in poor soil conditions, and is a wonderful cover crop that maintains soil health, reduces soil erosion, and supports a healthy proliferation of honeybees. If you want to bring bees back to your garden, plant some buckwheat!
I’ll admit that I knew very little about The Mountaineers prior to starting Ghostfish Brewing. Growing up in rural northwest Ohio didn’t lend itself to thinking much about mountains, not unless you count watching the von Trapp family escaping Austria into Switzerland. My first exposure to mountains came during a family vacation to Gatlinburg, TN, right in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. It wasn’t until I moved from Ohio to Colorado in my early 30s that I began to appreciate mountain pursuits.
Summiting “14’ers” was something that a low-lander like me could handle and appreciate. If reaching the top of Mt. Elbert (14,440 ft) was one of my proudest outdoor achievements while living in Colorado, summiting Long’s Peak (14,259 ft) gave me serious bragging rights amongst my friends and family. Okay, so I know what you are thinking: ”Yea, but you started at an elevation near 10,000 ft.” Well, you’d be right, and I’ll also admit that none of my 14’er adventures were considered technical feats, but they did give me a deep appreciation and respect for mountains and how unruly they can be.
When I moved to Seattle, my mind was blown once again by the outdoor recreation possibilities of our region. In researching new objectives, I stumbled onto The Mountaineers and was drawn to its mission.
CREATING KICK STEP IPA
I was intrigued by the idea of creating a beer with The Mountaineers from the first mention. In discussing the details with The Mountaineers CEO Tom Vogl over a few Ghostfish beers in 2017, we both grew even more convinced. While I like to think that we were chosen because of our environmentally sustainable grains, our pioneering spirit, or the fact that we already boasted a few mountain-themed beers (Shrouded Summit Belgian White Ale and Peak Buster Double IPA), in the end I believe the decision had everything to do with shared values and alignment of our mission to develop community by fostering a sense of teamwork and a place of belonging.
We got right to work, starting with a name. It might seem easy, but choosing beer names has become extremely challenging in today’s overcrowded craft beer scene, and the last thing you want to do is step on another brewery’s toes by duplicating or replicating an existing beer. We brought a group together to brainstorm name options to convey climbing heritage while being modern, edgy, authentic, distinctive, aspirational, and cool. Fortunately, we landed on Kick Step, a technique true to the outdoor community that also lent itself well to a can design (and avoided the standard mountain-themed clichés).
While I can’t take credit for the “romance copy” printed on the side of each can of Kick Step IPA, I will say that it sums up in every way possible why it makes sense for Ghostfish Brewing and The Mountaineers to work together.
Ghostfish and The Mountaineers were both founded on the idea of transcending limits. We thrive on a spirit of wonder, a sense of adventure, and a commitment to the wild places of the Pacific Northwest. We’re powered by strong, passionate communities who support our missions. Whether it’s distinctive craft beer made from high-quality, low-impact grains, or unique, life-changing experiences in the outdoors, we believe life is meant to be lived and lived well – no matter who you are. This is Kick Step IPA: a liquid representation of our shared values.
A DELICIOUS WAY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Any good brewer will tell you that there’s always room for improving a beer. To that point, we’ve been tinkering with the Kick Step IPA recipe over the past 5-6 months, making small adjustments to improve the overall taste, flavor, and aroma. The goal from the beginning was always to create a uniquely Pacific Northwest-based IPA to celebrate the place we call home. To accomplish this, we chose a trio of Washington grown hops to accentuate the blend of millet and brown rice malts that comprise the base of the beer. A healthy dose of Bravo, Cascade, and Simcoe hops creates a pleasant bitterness profile with distinct flavors of candied orange, sweet fruit, and pine. Kick Step IPA is crafted with a sessionable spirit in mind to keep you light on your feet after any adventure.
Today, Kick Step IPA distribution is growing across the U.S. and Canada, and people in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and many other areas not only get to enjoy Kick Step IPA, but get exposed to The Mountaineers mission.
I am extremely proud of the relationship we have with The Mountaineers, a nonprofit organization committed to connecting people with the natural world, and I am honored to support the incredible work you do. That’s why 10% of Kick Step IPA cases and kegs sold go to The Mountaineers. It gives me great pleasure knowing that our contributions, nearly $20,000 and growing, will benefit future generations of outdoor enthusiasts who desire to explore the wild places of the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
The next time you are out adventuring with purpose, reward yourself with an ice-cold Kick Step IPA!
When visiting the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia is a must. One of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes is located just a 2.5 hour drive from Seattle via I-5. Whether you’re going to mingle with art patrons and eat fine food or you want to get your boots muddy on a trail, British Columbia has got it all. One of the most beautiful attractions in Canada, if you like plants, is the Butchart Gardens. They house many species, are on Canadas national historic register and see more than a million visitors a year.
The Richmond night Market is a great place to browse and people watch. For a great view of the vastness of British Columbia, take the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, just north of Vancouver. If something more active is up your alley, check out Yoho National Park, just across BC, near the border of Alberta. Visiting this area will give you the huge mountains, lakes and giant skies that BC is known for. While in this area the Lussier Hot Springs are worth checking out. If you feel like heading towards the Pacific Ocean rather than further inland, check out the Great Bear Rainforest.
This is a huge temperate rainforest that is the home to many bears, including the sacred spirit bear. If you are not comfortable or familiar with bears, do some research or hire a guide for your excursion. If you’re staying in the city and won’t have time to get out and explore the rest of British Columbia, that is not a problem. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is located just 2.5 hrs north of Vancouver, and just west, the archipelago Haida Gwaii is a beautiful collection of islands with remnants of a centuries old Haida Nation village. The islands are full of trails, wildlife and old totem poles to appreciate all the history the PNW has to offer.
British Columbia Fun Facts
-British Columbia is the third largest and most westerly province in Canada and it is four times the size of Great Britain. The length of BC’s coastline is over 27,000 kilometres.
-Half of all British Columbians live in the metropolitan area of Vancouver.
-BC has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, six National Parks and over 400 provincial parks, recreation and conservation areas.
-Two-thirds of British Columbia’s land base (we’re speaking of an area larger than France!) is forest land, and more than half of that area has had little or no human contact.
-Among all provinces and territories of Canada, British Columbia has the mildest climate. It has the longest frost-free periods of Canada and flowers often start blooming as early as February.
-British Columbia is one of the top 3 producing regions of cranberries and blueberries in the world.
-Did you ever wonder what the BC flag stands for? We have the answer: On the top part there is a Royal Union Flag, reflecting British Columbia’s British heritage. It is marked by the King Edward crown in the centre, which represents the Royal Family. The lower half shows a setting sun, representing the western location of the province. The blue and white lines behind the sun symbolize BC’s location between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains.
-BC is home to the world’s largest hockey stick! It was originally created for the Expo 1986 and then acquired by the city of Duncan, BC, where it is on display today. The stick is 62.48 metres long, weighs 28.12 tonnes (62,000 lb) and is therefore 40 times the size of a regular hockey stick. Make sure to take a look on your next trip to Vancouver Island!
Where to Find Ghostfish in British Columbia – Link Here
Thanks to Beer Thirst for making our BC distribution possible!