We Don’t Have Those “Exotic” Beers Here

This really happened.

In the summer of 2011, I made my nearly-annual visit to the Hanna Basin of Wyoming. I had two students with me who had never experienced the West before and were a little surprised by the difference in culture from western New York State.

I had explained to them one of the things that is a ‘thing’ in the West is drive-through liquor stores. To this day, I don’t know how this does not encourage drinking and driving, but whatever. There we were in the tiny, tiny town of Hanna. We had stopped to get water and check out the grocery store. Across the way from the grocery store was the tiny tavern and liquor store of Hanna.

Back “in the day” when I was a graduate student working in the Hanna Basin, the grocery store and the liquor store were kind of OK. I had even bought them out of (their only 6-pack) of New Belgium’s Fat Tire. Since I graduated, the town has dwindled horribly. The hardware store was gone and the grocery store was mostly bare shelves – but I could have bought some game meat there.

I had forgotten to pick up beer in Laramie before we left, so I decided to avail myself of the liquor store. This was a special treat, because this liquor store had a drive through. I was excited to pick up some Fat Tire. I could think of no good reason why Fat Tire would not be there, after all, New Belgium Brewery was only just across the border into Colorado – maybe a two and a half hour drive from here.

I drove up to the window and asked for some Fat Tire.

“Oh,” said the cashier, “We don’t carry those exotic kinds here.”

I must have gaped. ‘Exotic’? It’s not even an import. I finally asked what she did actually have. It was sad.

Coors Light. The best beer I could find that day in Hanna, Wyoming. Hence the doofus face. The horror.
Coors Light. The best beer I could find that day in Hanna, Wyoming. Hence the doofus face. The horror.

We drove off with a 6-pack of Coors Light. We were all stunned.

The only good thing (if you can call it a good thing) is that the temperature sensitive labels on the Coors Light were happy to inform us that the temperatures were sufficiently cold to be a good for drinking the beer. The sad part was that we were camping. And it was snowing.

And there was that coyote that ran through camp. Eek!

“Exotic”? Try “Craft,” silly.

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