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What's Hot This Winter On The Powder Highway
What’s hot this winter? If you consider yourself to be a trend-follower, you may have a good idea of what’s in for the upcoming winter season. If not, let’s get you clued in. Here are three ways to keep up with the times, Kootenay style!
BC CRAFT BEER
If you’re not drinking local for aprés, it’s time to update your tastes.
Outside of our snow, craft beer is the hottest thing going on the Powder Highway, and our brewers are delivering. This fall, in a competition against 97 other BC breweries, three Kootenay microbreweries — Backroads Brewing Co., Nelson Brewing Co., and Whitetooth Brewing Co. — took home awards in six categories at the annual BC Beer Awards in Vancouver, BC.
Photo by Gina Bégin
In fact, all three breweries have beer styles that draw from winter sports influences. Take Golden’s Whitetooth Brewing Co., for example, where owner Kent Donaldson says the beers in their High Gravity Series, which feature higher alcohol content, were “driven by beer culture and adventure sports.” Hence the seasonal “Truth Dare Consequence,” a beer that takes its name from local Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and its Freeride World Tour venue.
No better time than this winter to jump on a hot ticket trend.
From the BC's Rocky Mountains in the east to the Monashees in the west, the number of Kootenay breweries are steadily on the rise. That’s good news for you: No matter where you’re headed, there’ll be a brewery where you can fill up on local flavour. Pick your mountain town, then put your feet up for a post-ski pint or stash a growler in the truck for a tailgate sesh after your backcountry tour.
Photo by Brent Malysh
WOMEN'S ONLY COURSES
Many women are finding it’s easier to do when they take on new experiences in all-women learning environments. The same is true in learning or improving skills in outdoor sports. Following the lead of women such as professional skier and Revelstoke local, Leah Evans of Girls Do Ski, the outdoor industry is increasing the availability of all-women courses and workshops.
Within these environments, facades and defenses are dropped, such as the need to prove yourself or keep up. And no, it’s not that we women can’t keep up with the guys (of course). But when we’re with our female peers, the pressure to do so — which can hang over our heads in co-ed situations — dissipates.
Photo by Gina Bégin
In all-women groups, showmanship is often replaced by a supportive, we’re-all-in-this-together style of learning. It’s this encouragement that makes women’s-only courses work so well, and it’s this reason that women’s-only courses are rising in popularity.
Ski resorts were one of the early adopters of this learning environment. Check the events list or ski school calendar at most of Kootenay resorts and you’ll find at least one offering for women who are looking to push harder on the hill with their female comrades. If you’re still searching, clinics and events hosted by Girls do Ski and by Outdoor Women’s Alliance may help you get in on the trend.
Foodies, consider yourself alerted. Whole Foods published their list of food trend predictions for 2018 which has been republished by nearly every major media outlet in the food industry (and otherwise). Get a head start this winter by jumping in on one of those trends — start enjoying more tacos.
The prediction calls for more variety in the foods we’ll stuff into a shell, from breakfasts to desserts. Some tacos will even take shape in wrappings we don’t immediately relate to the food, such as seaweed. But there will also be a strong push toward the traditional, and in that vein, homemade taco shells — what Whole Foods is identifying as 'heirloom tacos' will shine.
The Kootenays has a perfect place to get ‘em.
Along the shores of Kootenay Lake is Kaslo, a tiny town surrounded by water and mountains (and Retallack Lodge, Powder Creek Lodge, Selkirk Snowcat Skiing, Stellar Heli Skiing and White Grizzly Adventures). Within the heart of that scenery-heavy location is Taqueria el Corazon, home of the most authentically-fresh Mexican food outside of the country itself.
Photo courtesy of Taqueria el Corazon
It’s here that Betty Gutierrez has brought recipes from her family’s homeland and inserted them into our Kootenay culture, including her handmade corn tortillas used for — you guessed it — tacos.
These aren’t your normal, everyday tortillas you’d get on the store shelf, or even the kind you see in most run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurants. If you haven’t had the from-scratch variety, heirloom style tortillas will be hard to imagine. But bear with me: think tortillas you can sink your teeth into, supple round discs of corn flour molded by your hand around the ingredients Betty and her family have woven together over generations. Each holds bitefuls of taco flavour that unleashes when hitting your tastebuds, but not before being preceded by aromas of spice and slow-cooked goodness.
“We use traditional recipes incorporating organic and local ingredients,” says Betty simply of the tortillas, and well, everything else on the menu.
Even more reason to #TacoTuesday (as if you needed an excuse).
Top (cover) photo courtesy of Taqueria el Corazon.