Sunday, December 14, 2008

ShotGun Lager

Forbidden Peak Brewery has made our first venture into the world of Lagers. The Alaska branch of FPB has been set up to brew the difficult lagers in their native habitat. Unlike Ales, which ferment between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit, lagers ferment between 45-55 degrees. Lagers also take twice as long to ferment, which means it is nearly 2 months of patient waiting until the first brew is ready for distribution to our loyal masses.

ShotGun Lager is a light, easy drinking beer. The straw colored lager has a very consistent crisp clean taste. ShotGun has flavor, unlike many American Macrobrews, yet is still an easy drinker. The best of both worlds (great taste and crisp easy drinking) come to you in this nifty 12 oz bottle. An unusual, old world yeast strain helps keep tabs on the crystal malt and subtle hop flavors. No rice extracts are found in this all-natural brew.

ShotGun Lager is named after one of the more infamous boats native to Auke Bay harbor in Juneau, Alaska. The vessel is known for a secret bait marinating formula, which has led to a bounty of fresh salmon and halibut brought home to happy families. There have been many captains and first mates leading the ShotGun crew, but all uphold the rules and traditions of the sacrifices made for the fish gods. In order to appease the fish gods, fishermen are required to abide by the following rules:

1) If a fish is successfully caught and landed on the boat, the lucky fisherman must Shotgun a beer in order to keep the boat in favor.

2) If a fisherman has hooked a legal fish and by operator error fails to land the fish onto the boat, said fisherman must take a shot of their choice in order to apologize for failing to accept the sacrifice made by the fish.

3) A simple splash of FPB beer over the side (for the homies) may be required periodically in order to avoid slumps.

There is one story of the ShotGun that has made the boat particularly famous. It was the fall of 2003. ShotGun had a full crew of 10 individuals ready for the annual Golden North Salmon Derby. After 3 grueling days of slaying the silvers and kings the crew had a tough decision to make - either risk running out of gas to try one last fishing hole for the derby winner or throw in the towel and play it safe.

The crew was split and a whiff of mutiny passed through the air. The only way to solve this dilemma was to circle around a table and settle this the old fashioned way - a grueling game of cards (the name of the game has been withheld to protect the innocent). As it happened, the game lasted an hour and three beautiful silver salmon were landed in that time. The game was wrapping up and the crew agreed to head home when the deep trolling line took off.

The gas was low and the captain (quick goat thinking) immediately shut off the engine, knowing what kind of a fight laid ahead, to preserve what little gas was left. The crew took turns on the rod for over an hour battling the legend of the depths of Shelter Island. The boat was being towed backward by the salmon (think Jaws, only not quite that severe). Finally after wearing out all hands on deck, the salmon was gaffed and pulled on board (it was too large to net, we tried). A whopping 69 lb King Salmon!

A sadness passed over the deck of the ShotGun as the captain announced the weigh stations were closed and the derby had ended. The glory, it seemed, would remain only with the Tenacious Ten themselves. The captain started the engine and headed for home - a look of both disappointment and accomplishment swept across his weathered face. The catch from the day proved too heavy, as the boat ran out of gas quickly and left the ShotGun drifting in uncertainty.

The sister boat to the ShotGun received the distress call and was able to pull off a successful rescue effort. The Coast Guard and Alaska State Troopers were called in to verify the size of the King Salmon. No one knows why, but the camera that captured the legendary King Salmon and the salmon itself was confiscated from the ShotGun and taken to Coast Guard headquarters. No one has seen evidence of either since.

Today the stories from that day are still echoed throughout the ranks of the Coasties. We know because we have sent an undercover operative into the Coast Guard to help retrieve the evidence from that flicker of glory on our favorite fishing vessel, the ShotGun. “I’ve often thought of joining the Coast Guard”, works every time.

FPB would like you to remember to boat and fish safely. Always have a sober driver, enough floatation devices (cushions don’t technically count) and remember to bring an extra camera. Happy Fishing, and Happy Drinking!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Winter Has Arrived!

The home-based FPB crew was happy to hear of the wintertime excursion of Brew Crew Member Rob to the tropical state of Hawaii. Here we see what happens when your FPB gear is put in the "other bag", which is currently on the way to Hong Kong. Remember to go in style, but if you have to improvise, we'll give you some points for that as well.