Top fall intoxicants, by activity.
From a cold brew after splitting firewood to a whiskey-ditch on the heels of a long hike, autumn and alcohol go hand in hand. Here's a rundown of some good options for wetting your whistle this season, whether it follows leisure or labor. All these inebrients are made in the Rockies and can be found in supermarkets and liquor stores around Bozeman.
Bird Hunting – Ramsdell's Parrot Rum
After chasing grouse across the forested slopes of Gallatin Canyon, pour yourself a dark Ramsdell's on the rocks and replace all that sucrose you lost clambering around the mountains. Made by WildRye Distilling in Bozeman, this smooth-sipping rum needs no complement of cola to make it go down easy – and don't you dare dilute its lightly-spiced sweetness in a daiquiri or other frilly concoction. If you're chilled and need something balmier, mix up a Hot Buttered Rum and let this luscious grog warm your body from the inside out.
Raking Leaves – Upslope Craft Lager
The beauty of this mindless labor is in its flexibility. Paw away at a leisurely pace, letting your mind wander to a Zen state as the leaves slowly pile up around you. Or make it a workout, stroking furiously to engage your entire body and clean the yard as quickly as possible. Either way, you'll work up a thirst – and Upslope Brewery's Craft Lager offers a refreshing reprieve. Moisten your parched palate with this clean, light lager, admire your mounting leaf-piles, and then get back to it. Or not.
Fly Fishing – Bighorn Bourbon
"Fish in the morning, whiskey in the afternoon" – so says our former governor, Brian Schweitzer, and after a long day landing big browns on the Madison, you'll see the wisdom in his words. Fill your tumbler with Bighorn Bourbon from Willie's Distillery, fire up a stogie, and revel in a fine fall day on the water. Word of warning: this 80-proof palliative goes down easy, and you'll soon want another; best to wait till the truck's safe in the driveway before indulging.
Splitting & Stacking Firewood – Montucky Cold Snacks
What seasonal ritual can rival the building of a winter woodpile? A smooth axe-handle in your hand, the sweet smell of pine, that reassuring thwack from a good swing... this is the kind of work you actually look forward to. And after two hours and a full cord of wood – all neatly stacked and ready to bring your fireplace to life with its flickering, crackling warmth – you've earned a frosty treat. Reach into the fridge and pluck out a Montucky Cold Snack. This super-light, low-alcohol lager quenches the thirst without dampening one's spirits. Suck down a 16-ounce can – just one, mind you, lest you make a wild swing and wind up in the emergency room – and head back out for round two.
Mountain Biking – Wyoming Whiskey
The days are shorter, nights are chilly, and you're squeezing in a few more rides while you can. Good call – Old Man Winter will soon snuff out the last vestiges of autumn and cover the ground in impassable snowfall. After a mellow half-day ride up South Cottonwood, pedaling leisurely amid the explosion of fall color, head home and pour some Wyoming Whiskey over a few ice cubes. This satisfying spirit will help ease in the evening, especially if you throw in a good book in front of a roaring fire. This is fall, after all – so sit back, relax, and enjoy it while it lasts.