We’ve been here and there. Roamers and loungers. A nice mix for us. A little bit of home and a little bit of away for the day. Then usually home by dinner. The days are getting longer, brighter, and warmer. These are the days, really good days.

Small patches of weathered grass have begun to appear along sidewalks and alleyways. Magpies and Robins are making their way back to the valley. People are bustling about, sporting shorts already. With days like these, I long for late summer nights, picnic parties, long bike rides and climbing. Soon, those days will be among us. Soon, we too, will be wearing shorts.

For now, our weeks have been long and busy. Incredibly busy. We often look forward to free and relaxing Fridays. This past Friday was no different. We generously poured ourselves two new brews: The Pike Auld Acquaintance Hoppy Holiday Ale and Anderson Valley’s Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout; both heavenly and delicious. Snow was in the weekend forecast. Dramatic clouds and intense hues of grey filled the night sky. Relaxation and big beers was a must.

Saturday was surprising. What was supposed to be windy and snowy turned out to be a cloudless, bright, and brisk day. The combination was still too cold to go rope up or boulder, however, it was more than perfect for spending some time around Hailey. I can’t remember a cozier, nicer, more pajama-clad morning: sipping on coffee, perusing the web-o-sphere for brewing supplies. I’d say our day was a success. We enjoyed a lazy morning and purchased an all-grain brewing setup. Whaaa?!

This lingering idea has become a reality.  We are psyched to brew again! The valley will benefit, too. For now, our garage brewery, The Big Wood Brewing Company, will need committed folks to sample our homemade adult beverages.

Meanwhile, the first craft brews on our Big Wood Menu will consist of a hearty Imperial IPA and a re-creation of our tastiest Alaskan beer, POW. Plans to ferment a semi-sweet batch of mead with local honey from Idaho are also brewing.

This glorious occasion warranted a casual bike ride over to Old Cutter’s Park. We nervously watched on as the skijoring festivities and fun commenced. If you’ve ever seen skijoring, you know this hobby is fast and dangerous! Those folks and horses are brave. They will certainly need a frosty beverage after the race. Maybe some artisan bread, too. A group effort in artisan bread making with our friend, Dave, took us late in to Saturday evening. These crackling beauties were delicious. This recipe will be one we use again and often.


homemade artisan bread with cheesy layers.

Sunday morning greeted us with more clear skies and sunshine. In keeping with the Big Wood theme, we tailored our morning around a long, healthy 13.1 mile run. We mapped out our run along a well-worn foothill trail. It led us to the tiny town of Bellevue (about three miles south of Hailey). It zipped in and out of Bellevue. Crossing Main Street, we hit Bradford Road, a quiet back road that travels from Bellevue to Hailey. Rounding the bend in to Hailey, we were achy and tired. We ran up River Street and over to Second Avenue. From here, we cooled down by walking the last quarter mile home. The first annual Big Wood Brewing Company Half Marathon will most likely take place again in six months, or so. All runners are welcome.

Showers and a pot of coffee soothed our aching bodies. We quietly chatted about the events that transpired this past weekend. With his big-bright-goofy grin, Ethan looked at me and said, ‘Go big or go home’, right?

And just like that, our adventurous weekend gave rise to the slogan for our garage brewery: The Big Wood Brewing Company: Go Big or Go Home.

3 thoughts on “Go Big or Go Home

  1. And so, 30 years later, whole grains complete the Great Circle and arrive again at a Davis household. “May the saccharomyces cerevisiae be with you” grasshopper(s). Welcome to brewing.

    1. PS! This step is so exciting! I can’t wait to pick your brain and get some feedback about all-grain brewing, what worked well for you, what didn’t work so well, and any other suggestions you may have! Did you ever try fermenting mead?

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