As people have seen, craft beer is shaping a huge part of this generation’s culture. Beer is more than just cracking a cold Bud. It’s an experience where there is something for everyone, from young to old, or cowboy hat, Wrangler wearing, George Strait loving country boy to the one-speed, $100 haircut, indie rock band hipster. You know who you are. Boise is the place where these two meet for a beer.
I’d better introduce myself right quick. My name is Duncan Pratt and I am one of the new-ish cousins to the family. I’ll be your “Blue Collar Beer Baller” for Idaho. I was born in Idaho Falls, but left the state at a very young age. Through unseen circumstances, or just fate, I ended up back here in 2010 and haven’t left since.
At 21 years old, I really started getting into craft beer and the culture as a whole. It started off with just trying whatever was cheapest, because as a typical poor college kid, if I had enough money to buy anything that didn’t say Keystone, you knew it was going to be a good day. Throughout my time here in Boise, it’s crazy to see how many breweries have popped up. Boise went from some city in Iowa (little joke for us in Idaho), to a legitimate craft beer center in the Northwest. We aren’t Portland or Seattle, but we are like their country cousin. Here are some cool facts about the Boise-Treasure Valley area:
• Population of Boise-Treasure Valley area is 664,422. Third in the northwest right behind Seattle and Portland.
• Boise was crowned the number one Adventurous City in America.
• Boise got its name from French Canadian fur trappers, “Les bois”, or “The City of Trees”.
• Boise once got famous for a city-wide ban on buying Nickelback tickets in 2012. I kid you not.
• Joe Albertson’s, founder of Albertson’s, and Aaron Paul, amazing actor who played Jesse in Breaking Bad, are from here as well.
• Lastly, when the football field, or “Smurf Turf”, isn’t being used, it has to be covered because birds will dive down thinking it’s water and unfortunately die. For any Oregon fans, Ducks do crash on the Blue.
Boise is more than just a place with some football team with a blue football field. It’s one of the greatest places for outdoors activities, especially biking. It’s a place where you can be lost in the mountains on a dirt trail, trying to find your perfect shot, either with a camera or rifle, then 40 mins later be downtown, walking the farmers market or enjoying craft beer at one of the 7 local breweries downtown.
They are over 25 breweries in the area, and counting. Along with the local breweries, (even if one of them is now bought out by Anheuser-Busch), there are multiple craft beer bars and pubs, like Bittercreek, Taphouse and Prefunk , where you can enjoy hundreds of different beers from the Northwest.
Boise is never trying to be another Seattle, Portland, or Denver. It doesn’t want to change into a traffic jam every hour of everyday. We want to stay small and be the best kept secret of the Northwest. With our fame, we grow, and soon the secret will be out. So please come here now and see a true beauty before it’s gone. And when you go back home, you must keep the secret of Boise to yourself because after all, we are just a city with a blue field and potatoes. Nothing more to see.