|Our tasting glasses from over the years. I think a few have gotten broken.|
The Beer and Barleywine Festival is one of the better attended events in Anchorage. Not only do the Alaskan breweries come and share their beers, many microbreweries from the Lower 48 attend as well. We had some of the big names there, like Deschutes, and there were also a few breweries I hadn't heard of, like Green Flash.
One thing that was a bit disappointing was that the current trend seems to favor beers I don't like as much, like IPAs. These are really popular right now, but they are frequently far too bitter for my taste. I tried one IPA that felt like a hop jumped up and punched me in the face. Another new trend is the vanilla porter, which to my taste buds, resembles a regular porter with a lot of vanilla extract added. However, it's fun to try new things, especially when there's a variety!
The cross country skiing has been a bit of a bust so far this year because of the weather. We got barely any snow for quite a while, even though the temperatures were reaching -10F in the mornings, and then we got about 15 inches, but it went right back to those cold temperatures. I'm a wimp, and that's too cold for me. Then it got warm, and everything melted. And it rained. But finally, last week we got about 8 inches of snow, so we decided to hit the trails.
For the most part, everything was good, although there were a couple of bits with horrible, really lumpy ice underneath. Skiing through the snowy forest is really pretty, and there are a couple of overlooks where you can stop and view Mt. Susitna or Denali (Mt. McKinley). At one point in the forest, someone had decorated the pine trees with Christmas balls, which was new.
I think it's supposed to warm up again, so I don't know how long the cross country skiing will last. I'm hoping we get more snow again, so I can enjoy it for the rest of winter. Winter is one thing we didn't get in Australia, so we might as well make the best of it!