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Peak Beer A comprehensive guide to the golden age of beer — including the nation’s top brewmasters; the 20 best beers of 2016; and the 62 coolest places to drink a cold one. page 63
Waiting on a Whale at the End of the World Villagers on the Alaskan island of Kivalina haven’t caught a bowhead since 1994. But this just might be their year. BY SAKI KNAFO page 72
COVER: GETT Y IMAGES
Whaling captain Reppi Swan scans the horizon for signs of bowheads.
P h o t o g r a p h by C o r ey A r n o l d
Walking on Sunshine Lyndon Rive (and his cousin Elon Musk) want to bring cheap solar power to the masses. But is SolarCity’s embattled CEO ﬂying too close to the sun? BY BURT HELM page 80
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Contents Notebook 20 Adventure One man’s quest to save Europe’s last wild river. 24 Travel Eating, drinking, biking, and climbing through downtown L.A. 28 Record Book Summiting just one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks is a feat. This guy did all 57 — in a month. 32 Food Take your grilled cheese to a whole new level. 36 Style The leather jacket: An American classic gets an update. 44 Dispatch How a small Washington town launched the country’s ﬁrst city-owned pot shop.
Health & Fitness
56 Nutrition Concentrated plant and fruit powders give smoothies a major health boost.
A helmet that eliminates headaches, and goggles that increase peripheral vision
Gear Lab 87 Skiing Slope essentials that make shredding in bounds a lot more fun. 94 Cyclocross Everything you need to tackle cycling’s most exhilarating hybrid. 95 Apparel Featherweight down jackets that pack a ton of warmth.
Scrambling up Colorado’s highest peaks
A city-owned weed dispensary
The Last Word 98 Emeril Lagasse The famous TV chef on ﬁnding a mentor, drugs in the kitchen, and what he has to say to critics.
On the cover: Beer photographed by Jack Andersen.
CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: TR AVIS R ATHBONE; DINA AVIL A; FREDRIK MARMSATER
49 Lifestyle How to look younger — without looking foolish.
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While bikepacking (and packrafting) through Mongolia’s Altai range, pro cyclist Joey Schusler ran into Kazakh nomads, the last people to continue hunting with golden eagles, like the one seen here.
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Letters I enjoyed seeing the new Porsche 911 R in the Style + Design issue. It’s like a lighter version of the GT3 but with a manual six-speed gearbox. Porsche purists have got to love that. —MIKE WAGNER, BERKELEY, CA HONEY BADGER RISING I was working as an intern at a sports radio station in Phoenix this past summer when I was assigned to read the Men’s Journal article about Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu [“The Rebirth of Tyrann Mathieu,” by Paul Solotaroff]. I saw how long it was and thought, “OK, here we go.” But every word was worth reading. Mathieu’s story highlights both the man and the player, exposing the heart of an unlikely superstar. When it comes to his life story, adversity is far from being a cliché; it’s a part of the daily routine. It was a sobering, inspiring read. Mathieu is a beast. MATT LAYMAN PHOENIX
NAUTICAL PURSUITS Bravo to Hunter Atkins for the story “Drug War on the High Seas.” He did an outstanding job of proﬁling the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Bertholf, taking
readers along for the ride on routine drug busts. He also correctly pointed out how woefully outgunned the Coast Guard is in the war on drugs. It’s criminal that they can detect 90 percent of the drug shipments crossing the ocean but have only enough aircraft and cutters to intercept between 11 and 20 percent of the illegal drugs transiting the high seas. Newer and larger ﬂeets of aircraft and cutters would keep more illegal drugs out of the streets and school yards of the United States.
U.S. war on drugs — which hasn’t worked and never will. It’s too bad the mission has become skewed and is just another government paramilitary money pit. JON WILLIAMS
Tyrann Blows Up on Twitter Mathieu’s story received a huge response.
FAR- OUT AMERICA Abe Streep’s story about Adak [“Alaska’s Wildest, Weirdest Frontier”] brought back vivid memories of my U.S. Navy days, when I spent six months on the island in 1966. Our commanding officer said we could have a keg party every time the sun came out, so we were ecstatic! We also had exactly one keg party! I remember the salmon, the high winds, and the heavy rain. It was all worth it, though. Thanks for a great issue and a magazine that’s been fantastic over the years.
EDITOR, THE COAST GUARDSMAN’S MANUAL, 10TH EDITION
I joined the Coast Guard in 1970. Back then, our mission was “saving lives and property at sea.” I’m a little concerned about where the Coast Guard has gone since that time. The “Coasties” are still very dedicated professionals, but it seems like they’re just following the money that comes with the
ERIC H. PANGMAN
Is it wrong that I’m tearing up at work reading this? You deserve all of this and then some. Congrats! —@EMGOLDS22
A great story of perseverance. —@AJ_AULD
Unreal story. He should be everyone’s favorite player. —@CNAPES320
Stay humble, young man.—@PDIDIT09 Fantastic story and great writing by Paul Solotaroff on Tyrann Mathieu. —@RICHMCVEY
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Biking Mont Blanc hiking hut to hut in the Mont Blanc massif allows some two weeks for the classic trek — and it can take even longer depending on how often you stop to sample a raclette or sip a world-class Gamay along the way. Shredding it on a mountain bike certainly speeds things up. For pro riders KC Deane and Jonathan Maunsell and photographer Grant Gunderson, doing the near-100-mile route required just three days. “They were really big d ay s ,” s ay s G u n d e r s o n , wh o snapped this picture of Deane and Maunsell zipping around a trail above the French village of BourgSaint-Maurice. “And it was actually pretty ideal for biking.” Still, it’s rare to see a mountain bike on these paths, which can be sketchy at this altitude. “Each day was more than 6,000 feet of vertical climbing over 30 miles,” says Gunderson, “You’d probably want to break it up over more days, but we certainly did cover some terrain.”
T H E AV E R AG E A L P I N I S T
— S H AW N M c C R E E S H
NOTEBOOK TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
The Fight for Europe’s Last Wild River A renegade’s quest to save the Vjosa, the “Blue Heart of Europe.” by L O I S PA R S H L E Y
Outside the governmental offices in Tirana, Albania’s capital city, dozens of protesters shout in unison. “No dams! No dams! No dams!” Police officers form a human barricade in front of the demonstrators, a strange mix of local villagers and kayakers geared up in life jackets and GoPro’ed helmets. Many are lugging around boats and paddles, bumping into one another amid the throng. It’s like a Euro version of the Monkey Wrench Gang. This is the grand finale of the Balkan River Tour, a weeklong expedition that involved 500-odd people paddling 23 different rivers in six countries. Its purpose was to protest a series of proposed dams in southeast Europe, many of them on Albania’s Vjosa River. But the event also provided a perfect excuse to get on the water: Protesters camped along the banks, ran some burly whitewater, drank beer for breakfast, and collected signatures on a blue kayak, which they’ve brought to deliver to Albania’s prime minister. But as a gray sky threatens rain, police begin barking sharp commands. The crowd chants. The police hold firm. No one emerges from the building to accept the unorthodox petition. Undaunted, Ulrich Eichelmann, a buoyant man with a riffle of white hair, takes the bullhorn. “Jo diga!” he yells. “Jo diga!” A German environmentalist and f ilmmaker, Eichelmann, 55, has spent the better part of 30 years fighting to protect Europe’s waterways, starting his own nonprof it, RiverWatch, in 2012. What Jane Goodall is for primates, Eichelmann is for rivers. But for the last two years he has devoted nearly all his attention to blocking a series of dam projects that would f lood and destroy much of the Vjosa, Europe’s last big, wild river, often called the Blue Heart of Europe. For most of the 20th century, Albania, just north of Greece, was completely isolated, controlled by a series of dictators until
“J O D I G A ! J O D I G A ! J O D I G A ! ”
Eichelmann has devoted nearly his entire life to protecting rivers like the Vjosa.
refused to budge and threatened to sabotage the whole thing if construction started. Eventually the developers backed down. Eichelmann continued to advocate for that sort of confrontational policy at the WWF, a position that has earned him the label radical. “Real change is always started by clowns who don’t analyze on a f lip chart,” he says. In any case, he’s never been afraid of making enemies. “The overall problem of our times is that everyone likes to be pragmatic,” he says. “No one wants to be the aggressive asshole. But all the progress we’ve made in civil society came via conflict.” Eichelmann grew up in a small city in central Germany, where his father was a mason and his mother a housekeeper. He was one of the only people he knew to go to university, where he studied landscape architecture. His passion for rivers developed during an internship at a national park on the banks of the Danube, Europe’s second-longest river. The lesson he learned from his early fights is to keep going, even when all looks hopeless. “Most snowballs stay snowballs,” Eichelmann says, “but you never know what snowball will produce an avalanche.” In 2008, while fighting an internationally backed megadam on the Tigris River in Turkey, he enlisted Tarkan, that country’s version
SEAN MCDERMOTT (3)
1985, the most notorious being Communist leader Enver Hoxha. Hoxha’s isolationist paranoia was legendary, and his repressive regime viewed journalists and academics (even biologists and ecologists) as threats, which made research next to impossible. The result is that scientists now know more about remote stretches of the Amazon than they do about the Vjosa. The few studies that have been completed hint at an untrammeled Eden: a 168-mile-long, free-f lowing river with slate-colored canyons, whitewater rapids, braided river channels, and an extensive series of wetlands. A scientific expedition in 2014 identified 400 different species of animals within its footprint, 10 percent of which were endangered — among them the Eurasian otter, the Balkan lynx, and the European eel. “In Europe, the big rivers were devastated 100 years ago,” Eichelmann says. “The Vjosa is completely exceptional.” Stopping dam projects that have money and momentum on their side is nearly impossible. Eichelmann, however, has had more than a few successes. In the early ’90s, while working for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Vienna, he helped block a huge international project on the Danube in Austria after joining protesters at the site. The activists
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TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
“REAL CHANGE IS ALWAYS STARTED BY CLOWNS WHO DON’T ANALYZE ON A FLIP CHART.”
of Justin Bieber, to raise awareness. Tarkan wrote a song about the impending destruction of nature and made a music video. “Suddenly we were everywhere,” Eichelmann says. People began to protest the dam construction. As a result of the protests, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland canceled their contracts with Turkey and pulled out of the project, but the dam is still, slowly, moving forward, with the construction now 80 percent complete, despite near-constant protests. Eichelmann remains undiscouraged, though the Vjosa is a far greater challenge. In the developed world, countries have turned away from hydropower as scientists learn more about its devastating impact on ecosystems. But in developing countries like Albania, Brazil, and Pakistan, dams are still viewed as “nation-building” enterprises that bring jobs, cheap energy, and outside capital. (Many are funded by the World Bank or other similar interests.) In Albania alone, 440 dams have been approved, including 31 on the Vjosa and its tributaries. A big part of the challenge in blocking these dams is f ighting the disparate and entrenched interests funding them. According to one f inancial watchdog group, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development — an investment bank founded after the collapse of the Soviet Union — is the biggest investor in hydropower in the Balkans, supporting 51 projects with 240 million euros, including
Above: A remote stretch of a Vjosa tributary. Far left: An activist tries to deliver a signed kayak to Albania’s prime minister.
21 inside protected national parks or wildlife areas. Last year foreign investment in hydropower made up almost 10 percent of Albania’s GDP. Not surprisingly, these “nation-building” works can become easy targets for graft and corruption. One dam near the town of Kalivac has been an ongoing source of controversy, and the construction has stalled many times. The dam approval was one of hundreds granted during the tenure of the country’s previous prime minister. In 2015, one of the dam’s primary backers, Italian businessman Francesco Becchetti, was charged with money laundering and fraud. The charges were later dropped, but the dam was left in limbo and remains half built — a testament to how quickly these projects can go south in a politically volatile country. The current Albanian regime, at least behind closed doors, says it would still prefer to find ways to renege on many of these contracts. Such a move would raise its own issues. “Canceling means paying back money and risking damaging the security of foreign investments,” explains Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peloshi. So instead the government has tried to moderate the impact through mitigation efforts like fish ladders. Eichelmann, however, is totally unwilling to compromise.
“You can build fish ladders, but fish ladders are just bullshit,” he says. “Dams are bad wherever you build them.” To demonstrate, Eichelmann takes me trespassing to a dam above the town of Lengarica, near a three-mile-long slot canyon in the center of Hotoya Pine National Park. The dam, finished earlier this year, was initially denied government approval due to its environmental impact. But two months later an identical blueprint was approved — seemingly without any changes. After Eichelmann clambers over the retaining wall, he gestures disparagingly at a concrete side channel, which spits into the graveled plain of the former riverbed. Presuming a fish made it through this ladder, it would flop out onto rocks. “This is one of two fish passages in Albania,” he says. “The developers follow the words but ignore the meaning.” On the other side of the dam, Eichelmann leans out over the murky water, disregarding a security guard’s order for us to get off. “They built this in two years,” Eichelmann says. “And once it’s built, the damage is done.” The next morning he has one more battle to f ight before leaving the Vjosa. Eichelmann angrily tracks down an owner of the hotel he’s been staying at, to berate him for destroying a row of swallows’ nests above the patio. “I told him not to do it,” he says. “The birds will never manage to breed, because they build and build and build.” Eichelmann’s simple solution: Get the hotel owners to string wire under the eave so the birds construct their nests elsewhere. But when he returns to the car, he’s clearly unappeased, a feeling that is all too familiar to him. “Now the owners understand, but they won’t do it,” he says. “Still, I have to tell them anyway.” Q
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NOTEBOOK TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
F O U R - D AY W E E K E N D
Escape to L.A. Skip Hollywood. Downtown Los Angeles, once a wasteland, is back for its sequel. by M I C K E Y R A P K I N
Clockwise from right: lounging at the Ace Hotel pool; the Broad Museum; Oyster Gourmet, in Grand Central Market.
lights dimmed dramatically. Then, in the 1980s, much of L.A.’s garment industry fled to China, and Skid Row quickly settled in. So it was no coincidence that Kurt Russell chose L.A. to escape from in his 1996 dystopian satire: The formerly grand downtown appeared irreparably screwed. But in the late ’90s, a handful of visionaries squinted and saw possibility — it was a wild West Coast where a community of artisans began to smooth out the rough edges. Raan Parton, the creative director for the men’s store Apolis, was one of the earlier tenants on East Third Street, where the rent was rumored to be 30 cents per square foot. “Our first studio was a former heroin den,” he says. “There had been a murder in the space, so no one wanted it. We got in and power-washed the place, burned some sage, and crossed our fingers.” The gamble paid off. Today the streets still feel raw, and there’s an unironic sense of wonder, of not knowing what’s hiding around
every corner. Behind an orange door simply labeled BAR on East Seventh Street lies Everson Royce Bar, though you’d never expect the awesome hoedown happening in the patio out back. It’s like being invited to a friend’s barbecue, with twinkly lights, well-aboveaverage pork buns, and no velvet rope. This isn’t Raymond Chandler’s L.A., a sordid backdrop for lonely souls. This is more like New York in the 1970s, an alluring Venn diagram in which danger meets the thrill of the undiscovered. Chase Spenst, co-owner of the Wheelhouse — a new bike shop– coffee joint (which improbably manages to do both well) — says of his DTLA neighbors: “It’s a bunch of people choosing community and culture over convenience.” And now’s the time to visit. Here’s your road map.
DAY 1: COCKTAIL REVIVAL There may be no better neighborhood in America for drinking than Downtown L.A. To start, there’s Westbound, a dark, copper-
CLOCK WISE FROM TOP RIGHT: DYL AN + JENI; JESSICA SAMPLE; SPENCER LOWELL
power broker, a ripped personal trainer, and a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills walk into a Pressed Juicery. This isn’t a joke. It’s most people’s conception of Los Angeles, a company town where TMZ tour buses roam the streets of Hollywood like military surveillance vehicles, stalking B-list celebrities. But there’s another Los Angeles, a creative stretch of urban sprawl where locally owned restaurants are redefining the dining scene and world-class art galleries operate on streets that were littered with syringes five years ago. This is Downtown L.A., or DTLA, an electrifying two-mile radius, from the Staples Center to the upstart Arts District that may be the coolest stretch of graffitied warehouses in America. The neighborhood hasn’t always been this way. Downtown L.A.’s heyday was in the 1930s and ’40s, when the area was full of supper clubs and glittery marquees. But urban f light began in the 1950s, and the O A H O L LY W O O D
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TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
historic pub and sandwich shop that claims to be the birthplace of the French dip sandwich. The man who predicted all of this — and who opened most of the bars — is Cedd Moses, who made his money in f inance before turning to more colorful pursuits. He had always been infatuated with the area, and in the late 1990s, he heard about plans to convert vacant downtown buildings into residential lofts. Moses figured that if people were going to live there, they would need a place to drink. So he opened the Golden Gopher in 2004 and never looked back. He now owns and operates more than a dozen spots, all among DTLA’s best. “People thought I had lost my mind,” Moses says of those first years. “I might have lost my mind, but I found my balls.” Perhaps even more unlikely than a cocktail bar in an old storage room is a legit brewery corridor in the neighborhood. Arts District Brewing With spots like Everson Company — celebrated for its Royce Bar, Downtown L.A. vintage Skee-Ball machines, may be the greatest drinking hood in America. ping-pong table, delicious G erman pret zels, and, of course, beer — opened earlier this year in an old envelope factory on TracBurbank tion Avenue. Iron Triangle is harder to find Pasadena but worth the effort: The 3,500-square-foot tasting room on Industrial Street makes its DOWNTOWN Santa home in a former horse stable, built in 1904, Monica and keeps a dozen seasonal beers on tap. Iron Triangle Dark Ale is the clear favorite; despite LAX its cold-brew color, it’s crisp on the palate — and now also on draft at Dodger Stadium, just a few miles up the road.
clad bar on the site of an old Santa Fe Railway station that delivers a mean Sazerac with a fistful of popcorn. Seven Grand, a sleek woodpaneled den not too far away, stocks more than 700 varieties of whiskey. Bar Jackalope, a recently opened private room, is quieter, with a separate entrance inside and a stash of rare Pappy Van Winkle. The Varnish is a seven-year-old speakeasy-like bar installed in a onetime storage room at the back of Cole’s, a
Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art gallery
DAY 2: THE FOODIE SCENE According to a sign above the entrance, the Grand Central Market has been feeding Los Angeles since 1917, though never so well as today. Most every stall maintains a vintage neon sign, yet the sawdust-covered floors and bruised produce are no more — food trucks with no previous brick-and-mortar outposts have turned Grand Central Market into the hottest incubator of culinary talent in town. Chef Alvin Cailan’s wildly popular food truck, Eggslut, opened its first permanent space here in 2013, and there’s been a line ever since. Eggslut regulars craving coddled eggs with potato puree served in a mason jar line up early and often. A 20-something employee behind the counter tells me the longest line he’s seen was around 100 people. “But the wait wasn’t too bad,” he says with a straight face. “Maybe 45 minutes.” Here’s an
WHERE TO STAY When the Ace Hotel opened in the 1920s-era United Artists Building in 2014, it was a neighborhood turning point as signiﬁcant as the debut of DTLA’s ﬁrst supermarket, Ralphs. The key to the hotel’s vibe is its revamped Spanish Gothic theater, which has hosted a slew of artists from Wilco to Tig Notaro. Even if you don’t stay here, check to see who’s playing. The Sheraton Grand recently underwent a $75 million renovation that includes the farm-to-table lobby restaurant District on the Bloc. You’ll also get a front-row seat to The Bloc, a $180 million downtown office and retail project that involved tearing off the roof of a Macy’s (seriously) to create a sun-ﬁlled public plaza with local vendors, food trucks, and, soon, Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse’s ﬁrst L.A. outpost.
WHERE TO CAFFEINATE The Wheelhouse is a semi-hidden bike shop where ﬁxed-gear heads go for their coffee ﬁx. The hulking space (next to the L.A. Gun Club) is part sales ﬂoor for brands like Handsome Cycles, Rivendell Bicycle Works, and Heritage, and part serious coffee bar.
WHERE TO SNACK If you spot the Pico House food truck, ﬂag it down and grab an order of pickled red-onion rings served with herb-quark sauce — then lick your ﬁngers for the next two days. Chef Johnny Zone got famous with his Howlin’ Ray’s food truck, which brought Nashville hot chicken to L.A. and blew everyone’s mind. Zone just opened the ﬁrst Howlin’ Ray’s brick-and-mortar space, in Chinatown.
CLOCK WISE FROM TOP: COURTESY OF RJ GUILLERMO; ROSLYN WILKINS; DYL AN + JENI
TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
The Box, run by Mara McCarthy (daughter of the inf luential L.A. sculptor and video artist Paul McCarthy), has been a pioneering space for artists like the late painter John Altoon. Thanks to the recent revival, rich benefactors have come in and slapped their names on more than a few buildings, such as the Geffen, nearby. We’re partial to the Broad, the 120,000-square-foot gorilla in town, housing the private collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, which opened to the public in 2015. The Broad (rhymes with “toad”) is something of a greatest hits of contemporary art, where works by A ndy Wa rhol, Jef f Koons, and Jasper Johns rub shoulders. It’s the perfect place to breeze through on a Sunday afternoon, especially since the museum is free on that day. (Our tip: Those free tickets often get snatched up well in advance, so go online and buy a $12 ticket to the special exhibition, which includes entrance to the rest of the museum.) More pioneering is the new Hauser Wirth & Schimmel space, which opened in March 2016 in the old Pillsbury f lour mill on East Third Street. The galler y’s mission is to give international artists a home in the States. Here, Berlin’s Isa Genzken, Gerhard Richter’s Climbing at ex-wife and a celebrated artist L.A. Boulders in her own right, gets her first solo show in L.A. The building, painstakingly restored down to the D u r ing t hose f irst mont hs, wh i le original f lour-mill molding, is itself a work Menashe’s neighbors grew annoyed — even of art. At 116,000 square feet, Hauser Wirth throwing water balloons at customers once — & Schimmel is a straight-up compound, the inf luential Los Angeles Times food critic larger than the Whitney Museum of AmeriJonathan Gold flipped for Bestia’s steak tarcan Art in New York, which gives you a sense tar. The menu has changed daily since, but of its ambitions. the original chicken gizzards have earned a The gallery’s restaurant, Manuela, openpermanent spot. DTLA is a place to take risks, ing this fall, has a menu inspired by 39-yearnot just in real estate but in palate. The lamb’s old chef Wes Whitsell’s upbringing in rural neck, Menashe says, is always the first thing north Texas. “Smoking, preserving, fermentto sell out. Try finding that in Beverly Hills. ing, pickling,” Whitsell says. “I’m using the Old World techniques I was raised on.” ManDAY 3: THE ARTS uela is local and seasonal (prerequisites these True to its name, the Arts District is lined days, it seems), but Whitsell takes things with notable galleries. This isn’t kitschy one step further: He’s installing an on-site vacation art, either. In the 1970s, artists 700-square-foot urban farm that will include and musicians colonized the vacant buildf inger-lime trees, tomato plants, an herb ings, and a 1981 ordinance essentially garden, and a chicken coop (for eggs). The gave them squatters’ rights. Sonic Youth Downtown vibe, he explains, is about “letand Beck fine-tuned their music at Al’s Bar, ting the true beauty of a space reveal itself.” off Traction Avenue.
FROM TOP: WALTER BIBIKOW/GETT Y IMAGES; COURTESY OF L . A . BOULDERS
Eggslut hack: Come for an afternoon snack at 3 on a weekday and you can walk right up. Wash it down with coffee from G&B, a favorite of local music supervisor Zach Cowie. Cowie’s latest obsession is G&B’s Dark & Stormy. “An espresso shot with cold ginger beer doesn’t sound right at all,” he says, “but I’m hooked.” Chef Ori Menashe of Bestia, perhaps the hardest reservation to get in all of L.A., was 31 when he opened his restaurant in a dilapidated 3,000-square-foot warehouse on a side street with zero visibility. This isn’t an exaggeration. He installed streetlights on Santa Fe Avenue because so many customers’ cars were getting broken into. (Menashe still pays the electricity bill for them.)
The Bradbury Building
DAY 4: ACTION DTLA may be a gourmand’s paradise, but the neighborhood also has its share of adventure options like L.A. Boulders, a climbing gym next to the L.A. Gun Club. With 12,000 square feet of climbing space and 17-foot walls, L.A. Boulders is the largest such gym in Southern California, complete with steep overhangs.
“OUR FIRST STUDIO WAS A HEROIN DEN. WE POWER-WASHED THE PLACE, BURNED SAGE, AND CROSSED OUR FINGERS.”
Or better yet, explore the changing shape of the neighborhood courtesy of L.A.’s Metro Bike Share program. No visit to DTLA is complete without a ride through Grand Park. Another worthy stop is the Bradbury Building, an architectural wonder dating from 1893 that you may recognize from the climactic chase in Blade Runner or from Zooey Deschanel’s (500) Days of Summer, if that’s more your speed. Even the old U.S. Bank Tower is getting in on the fun: Take the elevator to the 70th f loor, where you’ll find the just-built OUE Skyslide, a glass-enclosed slide attached to the skyscraper’s exterior, a silly-enough attraction that earns its stripes at sunset, when the views are killer. Don’t worry about earthquakes. (I asked.) “You could hang a yellow school bus filled with children off the slide,” an employee tells me. “Or two blue whales.” And this being L.A., it may not be long before you see that happen — at least in a movie. Q
NOTEBOOK TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
Tagging Every Summit An ultrarunner summits 57 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks — in a month. by J AY M E M OY E
Joe Grant hopped on his bike and left his home in Gold Hill, Colorado, wearing only running shorts and a T-shirt. He looked like a typical bikepacker out for a weekend camping trip, with just two dry sacks, strapped to his handlebars, carrying the bare essentials: one sleeping bag, two pairs of socks, a f leece pullover, a raincoat, and a bivy sack to sleep in. But Grant, 33, would be gone for at least a month. His goal was to take on Colorado’s classic peak-bagging challenge: hiking the state’s tallest 57 summits, which are all higher than 14,000 feet. Grant was also hoping to complete the feat in record time, under entirely his own power, and without support. To get between peaks, he’d come down from a summit, hop back on his REEB hardtail mountain bike, and ride to the next.
N J U LY 26 , 201 6 ,
“I realize it might sound like a crazy idea to some, but I live at 8,400 feet and spend long days training alone in the mountains, both running and biking, so I’m comfortable there,” says Grant, who carried only antiseptic and duct tape for first aid, and a basic tracking device to allow for family and friends to follow his progress online. Thousands of people have climbed all 57 peaks and there are several ways to speed the distance between mountains. Many have skied off them all. And there’s even a well-known record for the fastest supported completion—last year Denver-based Andrew Hamilton set the record in nine days, 21 hours, and 51 minutes, using a car to shuttle between trailheads. But the Tour de 14ers, as it is called, had been finished in a self-supported speed attempt by foot and bike only once before. In 2014, Justin Simoni did it in 34 days and 12 hours. “I really connected to Justin’s style — by foot, but having the bike to move between pea k s while st ill being f ully humanpowered,” says Grant, a professiona l ultrarunner. The biggest challenge is the weather, especially in summer, when afternoon thunderstorms can blow in out of the blue with heavy, dangerous lightning. (Last year, on Colorado’s 14,065-foot Mount Bierstadt, eight people were struck simultaneously by a bolt, sending three of them to a hospital.) Thankfully, the weather mostly held out for Grant, and he set a record of 31 days, eight hours, and 33 minutes — beating the previous one by three days. “I got lucky,” he says, referring to the weather. “But there
were definitely moments when I had to wait it out at a tree line and then put in a lot of effort very quickly to get on and off the peak safely.” Grant, who has taken part in a number of endurance competitions — including the 750-mile Arizona Trail mountain bike race — climbed up to five peaks each day, biking from 20 to 100 miles in the morning or evening and staying active for 14-hour periods. On the road, he subsisted mainly on junk food, like Oreo Minis, which provide almost a thousand calories in a large bag. “I had to eat whatever I could get my hands on that was calorie-dense and easy to transport,” he says. Frozen gas-station burritos were also a staple throughout the month. “They f it perfectly into my dry sack, and they would thaw out as I rode.” In the end, patience proved to be more important than speed or efficiency. “There were big highs and big lows, but they weren’t linear. I could be coming off a big day, where I put in nine hours in the mountains, and somehow feel great. Or I could have an easy day and feel wrecked,” he says. “I realized that the key was to be patient and let the body just be.” Q
COLORADO’S MIGHTIEST PEAKS 100,000+
Height in feet of tallest peak summited, Mount Elbert.
1,100 Miles traveled by bike.
Miles traveled on foot.
20 Pairs of running shoes used.
Bags of Oreos consumed.
Total feet of elevation ascended.
PERFECT GRILLED CHEESE 2 slices of good bread, ½–¾ inch thick 3 oz cheese, grated or thinly sliced Mayonnaise, as needed 1. Heat a large sauté pan, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. 2. Meanwhile, spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread, enough to cover it from edge to edge. 3. When the sauté pan is hot, place the bread mayo-side down in the pan. (Open-faced cooking helps the cheese melt faster and more evenly.) 4. Divide the cheese over the tops of the bread, and cook until the bread is nicely browned and the cheese has melted, about 4 minutes. (If the bread browns faster than the cheese melts, cover the pan for a minute or two.) 5. Press together slices, cheese facing in, and eat. Optional: Before cooking, scatter 1 to 1½ tbsp grated parmesan or aged cheddar over the mayo side of each slice of bread. Cook according to directions above until pan-side cheese is crisp and browned.
Simple and delicious — it’s hard to improve on a grilled cheese sandwich. But why should that stop you? by F R A N C I S L A M H OW D O YO U M A K E a perfect sandwich even better? One word: mayonnaise. Specifically, leave the butter in the refrigerator and, instead, slather your bread with mayo before cooking. I learned this trick years ago from Gabrielle Hamilton, chef-owner of New York’s beloved Prune, when we volunteered to teach a kid’s cooking class, and it has never failed to deliver. Butter has a tendency to burn and scorch before the cheese inside melts. You’ve been there. I’ve been there. It’s not a happy place. But because mayo is mostly oil, it works to “fry” the bread to a perfect, crisp, golden brown when it hits the pan. Plus, mayo spreads on easily right out of the jar, unlike butter, which has to soften first.
Start with a crusty sourdough, sliced ½ to ¾ inch thick, to provide some tang and chew. As for the cheese, I like American, a sharp cheddar, a nutty Swiss — or even better, a mix of these. If you want to one-up the perfect, here’s another trick, this one from food writer Ruth Reichl: Grate a dry cheese like parmesan or aged cheddar, but don’t put it inside the sandwich — sprinkle it on the mayo’ed side of the bread before cooking. The cheese will melt, fry in its own fat, then crisp up into a crunchy crust. You heard me right: grilled cheese with a crisp cheese crust. It’s so delicious it might make your childhood memories of grilled cheese obsolete. MEN’S JOURNAL
TAKE THIS SANDWICH TO THE NEXT LEVEL For some variety, mix your cheese with one of these before cooking.
Some chopped walnuts, smoked almonds, or other nuts 2 forkfuls of sauerkraut
A handful of raw, shredded spinach, chard, or kale Sliced pickled peppers
1 tbsp ﬁnely chopped white or green onion A drizzle of hot sauce
p h o t o g r a p h by J O H N N Y M I L L E R
FOOD ST YLING BY MARIANA VEL ÀSQUEZ; PROP ST YLING BY CHRISTINA L ANE
Grilled Cheese Whiz
In-Ear Fitness Trackers Quantify your ﬁtness gains with Bluetooth headphones: The newly updated Jabra Sport Pulse is the ﬁrst set to offer a simulated VO2 max test, a measure of cardiovascular health usually reserved for elites. This feat is achieved through a 15-minute run, heart-rate monitors in the earbuds, and an app-based algorithm. Also included in the update is bigger bass — to keep you motivated. $160; jabra.com
The All-Terrain Three-Wheeler Thanks to its air-cooled 749cc engine, the two-wheel-drive Ural Sahara makes easy work of root-covered forest trails — as well as gravel, sand, and snow. (The company is based in Siberia.) The luggage rack will carry your base-camp setup, and when you don’t have a pet, kid, or signiﬁcant other riding shotgun, you can protect the sidecar with the tonneau cover. From $17,999; imz-ural.com
Pocket-Size Supervision To provide dramatic color and depth of ﬁeld, even at up to 10 times the magniﬁcation, Leica’s Noctivid relies on 12 pieces of glass, dilated eyepieces (so you’re not looking through pinholes), and lenses that resist moisture, grime, and glare. $2,699; us.leica-camera.com
The Atmosphere Regulator No device does more for your air quality than this one. Dial in your desired temperature and the twofoot-tall Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link will act as a space heater or a cooling fan. It mops up airborne ﬁlth with a HEPA glass ﬁlter, which eliminates odors, allergens, and pollutants as ﬁne as 0.3 microns. $600; dyson.com
The Special Forces Jacket for Civilians A collaboration between J.Crew and a British armed services supplier, the ArkAir TwoPocket Tactical Jacket is built for utility. The ripstop nylon shell can handle army-crawls through bramble, and the large pockets can hold a few tools and a set of gloves. If camo isn’t your thing, the jacket is also available in marine blue. $198; jcrew.com
NOTEBOOK STYLE & DESIGN
The Leather Report Four iconic ways to rock the timeless jacket this fall. by J A S O N C H E N E C A N F E E L YO U R apprehension about the leather jacket. Embraced as it is by biker gangs, fighter pilots, and their countless imitators, leather has always carried an air of borrowed machismo. But that’s changing. Designers are making jackets that go light on the brass fixtures and tough-guy accents and appear contemporary without trying too hard. Don’t worry: The new versions still have an edge, but they’re streamlined, so when you put one on, you won’t look like you’re heading to your next bar fight. Whether you go biker or bomber, these are the jackets to wear now.
1 | BELSTAFF MAXFORD BLOUSON JACKET ($1,795) From the British brand that’s been making motorcycle jackets for nearly a century, the Maxford hints at café racer culture, with reinforcement patches on the shoulders and elbows. If you have a little girth, back buckles can let out the waistline a couple of inches.
The jacket once championed by pilots who ﬂew in open cockpits takes on a subtler appearance by ditching the cargo pockets and switching to soft goat suede accented with rib-knit cuffs, collar, and hem. Just remember to waterproof your Penguin bomber before you step outside.
| GOLDEN BEAR BARRACUDA CKET ($998) The Baracuta, worn by Elvis in the 1958 movie King Creole, is a symbol of teenage rebellion. This version is more structured and features South African sheepskin that’s been drum-dyed for deeper color penetration. And yes, the collar is meant to be worn up.
p h o t o g r a p h by S H A N A N OVA K
ST YLING BY CHRISTOPHER STONE FOR HALLEY RESOURCES
NEWSBOY LEATHER COAT ($1,395) Because Ralph Lauren distresses these jackets individually, the leather comes out slightly different on each one. And unlike the boxy safari jackets you can ﬁnd in secondhand stores, this one will make you look good: It sports a tailored body, and the waist lands just below the belt.
NOTEBOOK STYLE & DESIGN
Call It a Comeback The American sedan is far from dead. Cadillac drives the point home with the CT6. by JESSE WILL V E R Y T I M E I H E A R the jangly intro to Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger,” I’m instantly transported to the shotgun seat of a big American sedan, scoping some busted Midwestern city from the posh confines of a domestic luxury car. Only there are a couple of problems with that daydream: The Michigan native wrote the song in Berlin, and America hasn’t done a high-end titanic sedan in a decade or more. Cadillac’s CT6 is changing that. In the brand’s newest bid for relevance, the 114-yearold company vies for drivers who may otherwise consider a BMW 7-Series, the Audi A8, or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But the CT6 is perhaps more unique. Maybe a little more threatening. And a lot more American. Aside from the prominent vertical LEDs and undulating hood, the CT6 sets itself apart with a linebacker-like solidity despite the sedan’s relative lightness. (The S-Class weighs a thousand-plus pounds more than the CT6.) Its multimaterial frame is about two-thirds aluminum; most of the other
third is ultra-high-strength steel that allows for more rigidity. And there’s another benefit: Underneath the cabin, “close-out” panels seal out noise like an assassin’s silencer. Word of warning: If you mumble something under your breath, whoever’s in the passenger seat will definitely hear it. Of the three current powertrain options, we drove the twin-turbocharged V-6, which delivers 404 horsepower and lets the allwheel-drive CT6 dispatch stoplight traff ic with distinction, channeling much of the sedan’s torque to the rear Pirellis. You could also opt for a two-liter four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter V-6. A hybrid version — like, a real one that actually plugs in — will be built in China, where Caddy sales are suddenly through the roof. It reaches our shores next year. Meanwhile, a much less green alternative, a ball-busting twin-turbocharged V-8 variant, is also rumored to be in the works. But the CT6’s handling is what will really make you think bigger is better. Cadillac’s special sauce continues to be its
CABIN TECH The CT6’s cockpit is as impressive as its sleek exterior. A 10.2-inch touchscreen provides access to a 360-degree camera that ﬁlms 24/7 and a Panaray sound system built by Bose. The optional 34-speaker setup costs $3,700, but it blows away other car audio systems — the sound is thunderous.
CT6 3.0TT AWD
0–60 IN 5.3 SECS
magnetically dampened shocks, which keep the car balanced on rough pavement without numbing road feel, so you can still sense the way your micromotions at the wheel are affecting your car. Here the shocks are paired with a kind of four-wheel steering that seemingly shrinks the big machine around you. The rear wheels pivot up to 3.5 degrees, shortening the radius of turnarounds and quickening lane changes at highway speeds. But will the CT6, in its near greatness, restore Cadillac’s glory after years of subpar sales? Probably not. Sedans simply aren’t selling these days, no matter how many auto writers loudly pound out treatises about the car’s superior handling. So what’s going to save Caddy? The crossover, of course. The brand has planned a product onslaught that will see up to 10 additional models arrive before 2020, more than half of them crossovers or SUVs. You can catch a glimpse of the coming offensive in the new XT5, a five-seat crossover designed to part yummy mummies from their Audi Q5s. In some ways, the five-seat XT5 is the antithesis of the CT6. Instead of the latter’s healthy menu of powertrain options, the XT5 gives you just one: a 3.6-liter V-6 with 310 horsepower, paired with an eight-
The crossover XT5 packs some of the sedan’s charm into a bigger package.
speed automatic. It’s capable, though it lacks the CT6’s bravado. But the XT5 also bears some of the sedan’s innovations, indirectly and directly. It has dropped weight, down 290 pounds (versus Cadillac’s outgoing SRX), features smart handling that feels settled but not indistinct, and offers a cosseting cabin cloaked in swaths of sueded microfiber and wood trim. The XT5 has also stolen some trick tech from the CT6, like a rearview mirror that shows a wide video view of what’s behind you, blindspot-free. Pretty cool, but we’ll still take the big, mean American sedan any day. Q
DISPATCH Like many guides on the Yellowstone, Jason Corbin has been leading trips for years.
Dead whiteﬁsh: one of the ﬁrst signs of an unhealthy river
The Day the Yellowstone Died A ﬁshing guide grapples with the closure of 183 miles of one of the West’s most famous rivers. by C A L L A N W I N K
how to swim. We walk to it at night when we can’t sleep. It’s the place for first dates and last rites. People I know have pledged themselves to each other on its banks. People I knew have lost their lives to its current. If you could somehow measure it, I think you’d find that the pulse of the river is inseparable from the pulse of the town itself. So it’s a strange feeling to wake up one morning and quite suddenly find the river gone. In mid-August, fishing guides, myself included, started noticing an unusual number of dead mountain whitefish. The species, a sort of unglamorous cousin to the trout, gets a grudging amount of respect from fishermen, especially guides, who appreci-
FROM LEFT: CHRIS DOUGL AS; WILLIAM CAMPBELL /GETT Y IMAGES
’ V E A LWAY S F O U N D I T H A R D to trust a town that didn’t have a river f lowing through it. Livingston, Montana, where I’ve called home for the past 13 years, seems to be an eminently trustworthy place. This is due in large part to the Yellowstone River. The longest undammed river in the Lower 48, the Yellowstone winds north from the national park named after it and makes a big eastern turn in Livingston before heading toward the prairie and its eventual conf luence with the Missouri. Most of the people I know here rely on it in one way or another for income, recreation, solace, or some combination of all three. We don’t often call it the Yellowstone. To us it’s just the river. We take our kids and dogs there to learn
ate their voracious appetite and willingness to eat the poorly presented offerings of the average client. Though not often the target of our serious piscatorial pursuits, the sudden appearance of dead and dying whitefish was of major concern. It is generally believed that whitef ish need colder, cleaner water than most trout, and thus they assume the role of indicator species — the canary in the coal mine. This past winter the Yellowstone drainage received lower-than-average snowfall and that, coupled with an early summer heat wave, resulted in near-record small stream flows. In such conditions — warm, low water, which has become increasingly common — some fish mortality is to be expected. But this year, as the days went by and the whitefish continued to line the banks in an ever increasing and stinking number, it became clear that something more was going on. When the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) weighed in, it was with unprecedented severity: The river and all its tributaries — from the boundary of Yellowstone National Park downstream to the town of Laurel (some 183 miles) — were now closed to recreation. In San Diego, this would be like roping off the beaches of Southern California. When the announcement came, I was on the river, guiding a group from the East Coast, an annual reunion of college friends, a trip that I’d been working for years. They’re all nice guys and each pays thousands of dollars for several days of fishing and lodging. We’d been having a decent morning of fishing when my phone started erupting, to the point where I could no longer ignore it. The FWP had released an email statement advising us on Governor Steve Bullock’s decision to close the river. Effective immediately. I read this email on my phone, twice, at first
THE SCRAMBLER™ 30 OUTDRY® The innovative waterproof liner allows you to play by your rules. Technically superior. Irreverent to the core. In a word, Badass.
M OUNTAIN HAR DWEAR
TRAVEL & ADVENTURE
the stories they tell about themselves, and it’s an important part of who they are. For every fishing guide in Livingston, there are hundreds of people who have busy lives in big cities who go about their day never fully able to get the river off their mind. O N A B E AUTI F U L SATU R DAY afternoon with
At a meeting in August, officials announced that “retraining” would be available for ﬁshing guides.
not believing it, sitting in my boat while my clients fished away obliviously. Eventually I had to break the news that our day was over. “Seriously?” one of my guys said. “They can do that?” Apparently so. We reeled up the rods, and I started the long row down to the takeout. One of the guys had a bottle of whiskey, and we broke that out. Each f loating whitefish corpse that washed by seemed like another repetitive verse in the same evil portent. Clearly this was bad.
a big kick out of that one. Most of us became fishing guides, in part, because we’ve been actively resisting training our whole lives. With the river gone, the repercussions began to pile up. Fishing and rafting guides, shuttle drivers, restaurant owners, and lodge proprietors — every one of their operations ground to a startling halt. Recreation brings in some $6 billion to the state’s economy, and this closure — painful but necessary — was a massive hit to everyone. In recent years there have been a string of similar closures around the country: hiking and hunting bans in national forests in New Mexico and Washington primed for megafires; beaches in Florida and the Gulf Coast closed off because of dangerous algae blooms. But there’s something decidedly different when it’s your forest that needs closing, your beach, your river. More than a few of us wandered around like we’d been gut-shot. Friends and family and f ishing clients from around the country began calling. What’s the deal with the river? Is it as bad as I read in the news? It was something I don’t often think about, but, as I heard the dismay in their voices, I realized that even people who live far from here care about the Yellowstone. They need to know that rivers like this still exist. They may only visit once a year, or less, but having that experience factors into
Callan Wink is the author of the short story collection Dog Run Moon; he’s been a fishing guide on the Yellowstone River for nearly a decade.
WILLIAM CAMPBELL /GETT Y IMAGES
T H E O F F I C I A L W O R D WA S that the whitefish were falling victim to something called proliferative kidney disease, a microscopic parasite that previously had been documented on rivers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, with the potential to cause a 20 to 100 percent mortality rate among certain species. The river would be closed indefinitely to prevent people from unwittingly spreading the disease to other rivers, via boats and waders, and to reduce stress on fish from fishing. The warm waters this summer had made the fish particularly vulnerable. The Murray Bar that night was full of fishing guides, as usual. The owner, Brian Menges — himself reliant in large part on fishing tourism — instituted an open tab. Despite this, the mood was decidedly somber. Half the crowd was on their phones canceling trips or trying to reschedule clients on other rivers, scrambling to salvage the wreckage of what is normally the most lucrative time of year in a strictly seasonal business. Soon after the closure, a state of emergency was declared, releasing public funds to help support those of us affected by this decision. In one meeting, the subject of “retraining” was broached. At the bar that night we all got
GUIDING IS LESS A WAY OF MAKING A LIVING THAN A WAY OF LIVING ITSELF.
nothing much to do I went down to Carter’s Bridge, one of the busiest boat launches on the river. In what would normally be peak season, it was eerie to see the parking lot nearly empty. There were a few other folks like me, standing beside our cars, watching the water go by. It was strange to see it there, still flowing. I hadn’t been out guiding on the river in almost a week, my longest stretch of the season, and I stood there experiencing something that must be akin to the phantom-limb pain amputees feel: an uncomfortable, simultaneous presence and absence. I know I’m not alone in my habit of taking my problems to the river. What to do then when the river is the source of the problem itself? What to do when it’s the very act of our loving these waters that is contributing to the fish’s demise? I don’t think I’m the only one who views the events of this season as a harbinger of things to come. The greatest concern among people I know is that this might become the new normal. Is low, warm water and all the problems that come with it going to become our yearly reality, a recurring symptom in a world facing greater global climate change? The river will reopen fully at some point — probably once the winter snows come — but a situation like this is a harsh reminder of both the fragility of our natural resources and the tenuousness of the jobs that rely on them. Deep down many of us realize that guiding for trout is not a sustainable occupation. But that doesn’t mean we want to do something else. A guide friend of mine stood up at the meeting that day and said, “Retraining? I don’t need retraining. I’m damn good at what I do.” I feel his indignation, too. We’ve devoted ourselves to learning the nuances of the river, to knowing the eddy lines that hold big fish and the bends that obscure upcoming whitewater. We find pleasure in sharing that knowledge with others, and those interactions fuel our existence. When it comes down to it, guiding is less a way of making a living than a way of living itself. In this context retraining is not an affront but an omen. It means learning to live without a river that’s become the heartbeat of our town. It means embracing an untrustworthy state of existence. It’s something I hope we never get comfortable with. Q
ON NEWSSTANDS ST OCTOBER 21
A board displays the most popular strains at North Bonneville’s Cannabis Corner.
Weedtown, USA In a small Washington hamlet, America’s ﬁrst city-owned pot shop is thriving. B Y J O E L WA R N E R N A W A R M L AT E - S U M M E R afternoon, Don Stevens steps out of the Cannabis Corner in North Bonneville, in southernmost Washington state. With a scruffy beard, wire-frame glasses, and receding gray hair that curls down to his collar, he looks like a hippie high school teacher, the kind who’d frequent a marijuana shop. It helps that he’s wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with HEAVENLY BUDS, a local cannabis producer. But Stevens is more than a pot aficionado; he’s also the city’s highest elected official. Just check out his license plate: MJMAYOR. That Stevens is known as the Marijuana Mayor isn’t the only funny thing happening in this town of 1,005. Inside the Cannabis Corner’s otherwise unremarkable brightgreen facility is a one-of-a-kind experiment. The shop, which opened its doors in 2015, is run by the city, making it the only government-operated cannabis store in the country.
By September 2016, it had generated $2.2 million in revenue, and once the Cannabis Corner covers its startup costs, proceeds will go to updating the local playground, bankrolling law enforcement, and other municipal expenditures. Not bad for a town that was nearly bankrupt in 2013. Outside sleepy North Bonneville, this endeavor could have far-reaching implications for the five states — California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine — voting on legalizing recreational marijuana this election. Currently every recreational marijuana market in the country is based around privately owned stores. Because the Cannabis Corner is a government entity, not only is it exempt from federal taxes, but all the proceeds go back to the town, keeping cannabis — and its profits — in the hands of the people. “In states that legalize, there’s no reason other towns can’t do the same thing,” says Pat
Oglesby, a North Carolina marijuana-policy expert and former chief tax counsel for the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. “It’s the greatest idea nobody is talking about,” says 59-year-old Stevens as he walks through the dispensary, passing cases packed with marijuana baggies and shelves displaying multicolor bongs and hand-carved walking sticks that double as weed pipes. Stevens was elected mayor in 2009, though the longtime marijuana enthusiast hadn’t planned to get into politics. In 2005, the former IT director moved with his wife from Hood River, Oregon, to North Bonneville for a sales job at a local fruit-bar company and for the mountain bike trails and snowboard runs in the Columbia River Gorge. But while North Bonneville boasts a striking mountain backdrop — “This is where God stopped creating,” locals like to say — it also resembles a town dropped in the middle of nowhere. Set far back
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from the highway, it has none of the retailers, breweries, or other revenue-generating businesses that have helped revitalize nearby towns like Stevenson and Cascade Locks. For years North Bonneville officials sold off city land to stay solvent, but after the 2008 housing crash, there was little of it left. North Bonneville teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. An unlikely solution came after marijuana was legalized in Washington in 2012. Council member Charles Pace, an economist who’d helped tribal governments navigate federal regulations, proposed the idea: Why not operate a marijuana store, with profits going to the city’s coffers? If it became a problem — say, fueling increased use among youths or contributing to auto accidents — the city could pull the plug. “The thought was, ‘If it’s going to be here, it’s going THE CANNABIS CORNER BY THE NUMBERS to be on our terms,’ ” says city administrator Steve Hasson. So the council voted to create the North Bonneville Public Development Authority and provided a $15,000 loan to get Average number of the store off the ground. customers daily Loans cobbled together by local citizens provided another $250,000. On March 7, 2015, the Cannabis Corner opened 65% for business, and within local four months it was attractTotal grams of marijuana sold between March 7, 2015, ing 100 or so customers a and September 1, 2016 Customer day. But not everyone was breakdown impressed, including local law enforcement. “When 35% tourismyou spend 30 years fighting related Average customer age marijuana, to just roll over and take marijuana money and say things are great, I can’t do that,” says county sheriff Dave Brown. the Cannabis Corner is now North Bonneville’s Critics are also waiting to see a real payoff. “If second-largest employer, with 11 workers earnthey could show something, like four shiny ing about $15 an hour (nearly $6 more than the police cars, this model would be enticing,” state’s minimum wage), along with benefitsays local pastor Tom Flanagan, who remains ing from health insurance. “What other smallopposed to the shop. “But in terms of financial town mom-and-pop offers that?” asks Legun. benefits, it has not been significant.” Maybe that’s why the vibe among locals is Stevens and other supporters of the venture generally positive. For a town without a single urge patience. Once the store pays off its loans coffee shop, the Cannabis Corner has become in the next couple of years, it projects annual a watercooler spot. Mothers and sons shop profits of around $75,000. While far from a there together, and “budtenders” ask locals jackpot, it’s still more than the town, which if so-and-so is still feeling under the weather has an annual operating budget of $1.3 million, and how the kids are faring at school. spends on law enforcement each year. Execu“Compared with other Washington stores, tive director Robyn Legun also points out that they have the best deals and quantity as well the store does not appear to be encouraging as quality,” says Terre Bluse, who recently use among youths or attracting undesirables moved from North Bonneville to a nearby and that it supports local growers, buying town and stops by the shop a couple of times marijuana primarily from farms within a a week. “Bonneville was broke a year ago,” 30-mile radius. “It’s become a farm-to-table, she says. “Our town should follow the model.” buy-local thing,” says Stevens. What’s more, For now no other municipality is con-
Marijuana Mayor Don Stevens, at left; below, a selection of the Cannabis Corner’s one-gram buds ($12 a bag)
sidering the North Bonneville approach. Possibly, says Oglesby, that’s because those pushing for legalization — diehard libertarians and liberals fed up with the war on drugs — aren’t likely to trust government-run cannabis. Elected officials also fear incurring the wrath of the federal government, which still considers marijuana to be illegal. So far, the feds have left North Bonneville alone. Which meant I had the rare opportunity to consume government-supplied marijuana with an elected official. After visiting the Cannabis Corner, Stevens and I take a pre-rolled joint of “Bluniverse 3” and pass it back and forth as we sit by the Columbia River, watching a paddle steamer of tourists chug by. “I’ve never smoked pot with a journalist before,” Stevens says. Soon he could be doing so a lot. The Marijuana Mayor aims to spread the word about what his city has pulled off, by speaking at cannabis conferences, reaching out to pro-legalization operations in California, maybe taking the news all the way to the top. After all, there’s a reason that, as part of the dispensary’s inaugural first purchase, he bought a gram of “Nobama Diesel.” “I’ve still got the [now empty] bag,” he says. “Someday I might send it to the president.” Q
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& Fitness POWERFUL POWDERS FOR SMOOTHIES + DR. BOB + HEALTH NEWS
getting older, most of us react in one of two ways: Fight it tooth and nail, surrendering a good deal of selfrespect in the process, or simply give in. There has to be a better way — a path to stay spry, healthy, even fashionable — despite the birth date on your driver’s license. To find it, we cast a wide net, consulting with wellness experts, trainers, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, health coaches, stylists, and barbers. Not one suggested plastic surgery, a daily dose of HGH, hair plugs, or CrossFit. What they did recommend were ideas that, done regularly, will not only reboot your health, fitness, and style — but will also change the way you feel about your age. Not that you’ll look it. WHEN IT COMES TO
GROOMING BY MATTHEW TUOZZOLI USING DIOR HOMME FOR ATELIER MANAGEMENT. T-SHIRT BY SPLENDID
“When you’re sleep-deprived, you have ashen skin and undereye circles, and you look puffy because you retain fluid — plus, you just feel run-down,” says Michael Breus, sleep specialist and author of The Power of When. You also miss crucial hours when the body produces growth hormone and testosterone. Here’s how to set yourself up for better sleep. Make mornings consistent Wake up at the same time on weekends as weekdays — no matter when you got home the night before. “It is the absolute best way to improve sleep,” says Breus. “You can’t force circadian rhythms to change because you had a late night. It’s better to wake early and nap later if you need to.”
Look Younger — Without Looking Like You’re Trying How to battle old age and still respect yourself in the morning. b y J E N N I F E R G O L D ST E I N , A L IC E O G L E T H O R PE , a n d M A R I S S A ST E PH E N S O N
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Enough with Facebook People who check social media the most are twice as likely to have disturbed sleep as those who log on the least, according to recent research. Constant checking creates a vicious cycle: “When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” says researcher Gloria Mark. “If you’re distracted, what do you do? You go on Facebook.” Log on at speciﬁc times — say, on the way to and from work — and leave it at that. Cut caffeine after 2 PM Caffeine can take up to 10 hours to clear your system. Nix it after midday. Take a hot shower right before bed Rapidly cooling off increases the natural drop in body temperature that happens at night. This cues the body to release sleep-inducing melatonin.
[ FITNESS & DIET ] Health &Fitness
TWEAK YOUR TRAINING
ADVICE FROM THE AGELESS
Aging means facing an increasing number of physical foes — a deteriorating body, a sluggish metabolism, gravity. But exercise can vanquish the most common enemies. Here’s how.
“PROGRESS IN FITNESS COMES FROM FAILURE . AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK, PUSH YOURSELF HARD ENOUGH TO FAIL — SO YOU CAN’T DO ANOTHER REP OR ADD MORE WEIGHT. THAT’S HOW YOU SEE RESULTS.” —LAIRD HAMILTON, 52, WATERMAN
FAST FOR A BIT
Intermittent fasting, or cutting way back on calories a couple of days a week, can help keep a middle-aged gut at bay. “On days you fast, your body taps fat for energy — and the ﬁrst fat to get used is belly fat,” says Mark Mattson, chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. “Don’t worry about losing muscle; that’s the last thing your body depletes for fuel.” To fast properly, two days a week, eat about 500 calories. That doesn’t mean one Big Mac. Try hard-boiled eggs, nuts, and fresh vegetables. Fasting this way is also proved to boost energy levels, lower blood pressure, and increase your heart’s ability to handle stress.
ADD MORE TURMERIC
The two most effective ways to slow the rate your body breaks down is to quell inﬂammation and oxidation. Turmeric does both. “It ﬁghts degenerative diseases, as well as aging of organs, cells, and tissue,” says nutritionist Jonny Bowden, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. Sprinkle it on eggs and veggies, add it to smoothies, or try a daily supplement.
FOUR STRETCHES TO DO DAILY
HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
Lunge forward deeply on right leg, dropping left knee to ﬂoor. Keeping torso tall, shift weight onto right foot and press hips forward, hands on right thigh. You should feel a stretch in your left hip. Hold 30 seconds; repeat on opposite leg.
Stand facing a wall and raise one arm to shoulder height, straight out and perpendicular to body, forearm against wall. Rotate torso away from wall until you feel a stretch in chest. Hold 30 seconds; repeat on opposite arm.
LOWER BACK ROTATIONAL STRETCH
Lie faceup on back, legs straight, arms out to sides. Lift right knee to chest, then across body to left side, straightening leg; rotate head to the right. Hold 30 seconds; repeat on opposite leg.
KING COBRA STRETCH
Lie facedown with legs extended, hands planted on ﬂoor near shoulders. Slide left knee up and out to the side. Push through palms to straighten arms, keeping hips on ﬂoor. Turn head to left and hold 30 seconds; repeat on opposite side.
STRETCHING ILLUSTR ATIONS BY JASON LEE
Stiff joints aren’t inevitable as you age (despite any evidence you’ve seen at family reunions). “Release tight muscles and take your body through its full range of motion and you can regain flexibility,” says physical therapist David Reavy. His moves take only five minutes.
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[ GROOMING ] Health &Fitness
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO GETTING WORK DONE Not all nips/tucks are deplorable. Here, a trio of worthwhile procedures — and three to avoid. CONSIDE R
HOW TO LOSE 10 YEARS
ADVICE FROM THE AGELESS
“WHEN IN DOUBT, STRAIGHTEN YOUR SPINE AND THROW YOUR SHOULDERS BACK. THE BETTER YOUR POSTURE, THE BETTER YOU LOOK.” —TIM GUNN, 63, STYLE CONSULTANT
“WHY I GET BOTOX
s ago, I lost 27 pounds, including a lot of volume in my face, which made me look old. A dermatologist suggested Botox yes and forehead. At the time I had four-year-old twins who kept me up nights, and after the treatment, I felt like I didn’t ts said I looked refreshed, too. But upkeep was a commitment, and I fell off the wagon. Six months ago, my kids w there would be a lot of photos, so I got it done again. My goal isn’t to have zero lines on my face. tter.” — Michael Ruff, 58, vice-president of sales for a women’s apparel company
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[ STYLE ] Health &Fitness
UPDATE YOUR LOOK 1 2
FROM ’90S TO NOW
Some items never go out of style — but nothing on the left makes the list. Replace them with these modern classics.
ADVICE FROM THE AGELESS
1. A FITTED LEATHER JACKET Look for a minimal design and lightweight leather, as with this Schott jacket ($750; schottnyc.com). 2. A WELL-MADE TEE Nothing gets as much wear. Invest in quality material and a size that doesn’t billow or hug. Our pick: Splendid Cotton Crew Tee ($58; splendid.com). 3. DARK-WASH DENIM The antidote to acid-washed ($70; levis.com). 4. LOW-PROFILE TENNIS SHOES You don’t want to look like you’re wearing your kid’s Jordans. Try these Cole Haans ($150; colehaan.com).
1. OVERSIZE BOMBER JACKET A too-big bomber in distressed leather screams dated. Leave the relic to Goose and Maverick. 2. THE FREE T-SHIRT Typically made of rough, cheap cotton and two sizes too big, it’s no way to commemorate the 5K you ran in 2006. 3. SHAPELESS, LIGHT-WASH JEANS Suburban moms have stopped wearing these. So should you. 4. CHUNKY SNEAKERS The boxy shape makes you look more square, and no foot needs a pound of cushioning.
THE NEW DRESS CODE
“YOU WANT A FORMFITTING SUIT WITH PERFECT CUFFS. MICHAEL JORDAN — THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME — SHOULD BE THE MOST FASHIONABLE MAN ON THE PLANET, BUT THE GUY WEARS BAGGY SUITS. ”
You don’t have to overthink what you wear or squeeze into jeans made for a Jonas brother. But banishing a few passé and sloppy items in favor of clothes that actually fit will go a long way to help you look your best.
• WHITE TUBE SOCKS — EVER
• CARGO SHORTS, PANTS,
• ARGYLE OR STRIPED SOCKS
• CHINOS THAT FIT WELL
• SQUARE-TOE DRESS SHOES
• CELLPHONE CLIPS; FANNY
• BROWN LEATHER BROGUES OR WINGTIPS
• A VINTAGE WATCH
PACKS OF ANY KIND
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ST YLING BY CHRISTOPHER STONE FOR HALLE Y RESOURCES
CARE LE SS
—REGGIE MILLER, 51, SPORTSCASTER AND FORMER NBA PLAYER
as healthy as you want them to be. And now there’s a simple hack to create an even more nutritious shake: Add a plant or fruit powder. Found on juice-bar menus and in health-food stores, these extracts are made from foods with intense concentrations of nutrients. “Add a scoop of one and you elevate a normal smoothie to superfood status without spending a fortune on exotic, hard-to-find ingredients,” says New York City nutritionist Lisa Hayim. “And they pack in nutrients and minerals that you may not otherwise be getting.” You can add any powder to any kind of smoothie, but the health perks depend on which extract you choose. We help you game them below. These benefits aren’t new age voodoo; they’re all backed by rigorous research. Note, though, that doubling or tripling up on powders in one smoothie would be not only expensive (the extracts can run as high as $25 for 3.5 ounces) but also unwise — your body can absorb only so many nutrients. And because a powder’s benefits come with regular consumption, it’s best to pick a lane and stay in it. Buyer’s tip: If camu camu hasn’t hit your neighborhood grocery yet, check online retailers like Thrive Market or Vitacost. SMOOTHIES CAN BE
Crank up the nutrition in your smoothies with these extracts. by P E R R I O . B L U M B E R G
L O O K H E A LT H I E R
This dark purple berry’s through-the-roof antioxidants (four times the number in blueberries) help increase immune function and ﬁght age-related inﬂammation, says New York City nutritionist Rebecca Lewis. Maqui’s tart ﬂavor makes it a good swap for any berry.
Found in the Amazon, this lemon-size fruit packs more vitamin C than any food in the world. “Vitamin C is critical for the growth and repair of all tissues,” Lewis says. “If you have an injury of some kind — be that a cut or torn muscle — take this powder to speed healing.”
“This plant is ﬁlled with phytonutrients, healthy fats, and amino acids and has been used for centuries to enhance energy,” says Annie B. Kay, nutritionist at Kripalu Center, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Studies show that maca also increases circulation and sexual stamina.
If you could add only one health-boosting powder to your diet, RDs agree it should be this ﬁber-packed plant protein. “It’s great for keeping appetite and blood sugar in check,” says Kay. “And it’s also rich in anti-inﬂammatory omega-3 fatty acids.”
p h o t o g r a p h by J O H N N Y M I L L E R
FOOD ST YLING BY MARIANA VEL ASQUEZ; PROP ST YLING BY CHRISTINA L ANE
B U R N M O R E F AT
Derived from green tea, matcha is full of catechins — antioxidants proved to better the body’s natural fat-burning ability. That means if you consume matcha regularly, it may help you lose weight, says New York City nutritionist Kayleen St. John.
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Ask Dr. Bob
Our in-house doc answers your questions about health, ﬁtness, and living adventurously.
I’ve seen mixed reports on fish oil for heart health. What’s your view? I continue to take ﬁsh oil regularly, as I’ve always believed in its ability to help lower the chronic inﬂammation that contributes to heart disease. And a new report bears this out. Harvard researchers grouped patients who had just suffered a heart attack and put them on either omega-3 supplements or a placebo. Two months later, those who took ﬁsh oil had less heart scarring and lower body-wide inﬂammation, and the heart itself was stronger. While this research was on heart-attack patients, the study authors say that it bolsters the case for anyone who consumes ﬁsh oil to prevent the risk of an attack. (This report is also stronger than past research that looked at healthy people who took omega-3 supplements, because here the researchers could clearly see the effects ﬁsh oil had.) Plus, your heart isn’t the only reason to opt for omega-3. Fish oil’s connection to bettering cognitive health and lowering depression risk is also well established.
Why does the first mile of a run always feel awful? The second you start any kind of exercise, your muscles require more oxygen to keep you moving than you have on hand. In response, your body has what you could call a minor meltdown. It quickly tries to pull in oxygen: Your breathing quickens, you start to pant. This is the dreadful part. The more intense the exercise, the more pronounced the feeling. But after a few minutes, your breathing regulates and you feel better. My trick is to start with a speed that seems incredibly slow and spend five minutes building to the pace I want. This way, the oxygen debt isn’t so pronounced and my legs have a chance to warm up. PILL PROBLEMS
Any advice to prevent eating too much at mealtime? I always wind up feeling too full. Drink water with your meal. An interesting new study from the Netherlands found that tipping back 12 ounces of water nearly doubles the size of your stomach, compared with having only a couple of sips with your food. This helps signal to your brain that you’re full, prompting you to put the fork down faster. (To discover this, the researchers observed simultaneous stomach and brain MRIs on hungry men, which provided a realtime snapshot of the belly-brain interplay — the first study of this kind.) Sure, a can of
soda or beer might yield this same effect, but the extra calories that come with it can lead to a more permanent belly bloat. DENTAL DEBATE
Where do you stand on flossing? Since a recent spate of health headlines have called flossing into question, I’ve had countless people ask whether f lossing your teeth is a sham. My answer: Of course it’s not. The debate started because the evidence we have actually is mixed — many f lossing studies show inconclusive results. But much of that is due to the short time periods in which those trials were conducted; gum disease progresses slowly, and to know what really helps prevent it, we need research that spans years. The real reason you should continue — or start — f lossing is that food builds in the space between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach, leading to decay. (And do you really want gunk stuck in your teeth?) You don’t have to f loss daily or even use f loss — try dental picks or water f lossers. But at least two or three times a week, do something to clean those spaces.
THE DOC IS ONLINE Email your questions for Dr. Bob Arnot to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OBERT KIRK /GETT Y IMAGES
Lately I’ve seen ads for a generic Viagra you can buy online. Can I trust this stuff to work? No. Pharmacies or companies offering a “generic” version of prescription Viagra are likely using a counterfeit product that’s either
a severely watered-down version of the real thing, a sugar pill, or worse: a tablet filled with unregulated herbs and supplements. While it is tempting to choose a pill that you can buy online for $1 to $4 a pop versus the $50 a tablet for actual Viagra, it’s a recipe for disappointment. It’s true that insurance plans often won’t cover regular prescriptions for erectile dysfunction medications, but many will cover six to eight pills a month, so talk to your doctor about a limited Rx. And keep a lookout for the real generic version of Viagra, which is due to hit the market in 2017.
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Health &Fitness b y M E L A I NA J U N T T I
Health News This month’s most important discoveries, updates, and advice.
DEMYSTIFYING POST-WORKOUT PROTEIN
We know that we need to consume protein after strength training to build and repair muscle. And for decades nutritionists have believed that body weight dictated how much you need (so bigger, stronger guys should be getting more of it), and that no matter who you are, more than 25 grams of protein isn’t necessary. A new study flips all of that on its head. In comparing brawny lifters with scrawnier exercisers, researchers at the University of Stirling in Scotland discovered that not only does body mass not influence protein intake, but we all probably need a lot more protein than we’re getting. They found that men, regardless of body type, need 40 grams of protein after a total-body strength routine. That’s the equivalent of a whole chicken breast, or a Greek yogurt and a cup of trail mix. To best recharge muscles, you’ll want to eat within an hour after your workout.
How much longer people live, on average, if they don’t smoke or binge drink, aren’t overweight, and eat well and exercise, compared with those who fall short in all ﬁve areas. That’s according to a new study in the medical journal PLOS Medicine of 90,000 people. The point? If you’re not a smoker or a big drinker, the best thing you can do for your health is make positive day-to-day decisions about diet and exercise. Think of it in terms of adding nearly two decades to your life. Those aren’t just extra years: With the right lifestyle, they’re better years, too.
Obesity linked to risk of eight more cancers
The worst time to roll down car windows Cruise with the windows down on the open road, but roll them up when driving in cities. A new British study found that the amount of toxic particles in the air is 29 times greater at stoplights and intersections than on the open highway, a factor that can lead to an increased risk for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
F A C T Drinking after lifting limits strength gains. OR FICTION Have a post-gym IPA or two and you’ll F I C T I O N get just as strong, just as fast, as you would if you didn’t drink, say researchers at the University of North Texas, who recently conducted a study on alcohol and muscle recovery. There is a threshold, of course. After four drinks, alcohol begins to block testosterone receptors, which prevents muscle repair. As ever, the takeaway here is moderation. “This is good news for people who like a drink after the gym,” says lead researcher Jakob Vingren. “Alcohol is not as bad for your muscles as the rap it gets.”
It’s increasingly clear that carrying excess weight is carcinogenic. Last year the World Health Organization linked obesity — having a body mass index of 30 or higher — to ﬁve cancers, including colon and kidney. Now, after reviewing 1,000 additional studies, WHO has added eight more cancers to the list: stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, thyroid, and several blood cancers. There’s a simple physiological explanation: “Fat releases inﬂammatory substances, and it promotes cell growth,” says Alice Bender, head of nutrition programs at the American Institute for Cancer Research. “So if you have cancer cells, fat creates an environment where they can really thrive.”
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From the champagne powder on our slopes and the grandeur of the Tetons, to the five-star dining and stunning wildlife that call this place home, you’re sure to discover your inner wild in Jackson Hole.
INCLUDING: THE 20 BEST BEERS THE MOST IMPORTANT DRINKERS THE GREATEST PLACES TO GRAB A COLD ONE* p. 63
*Like here, Oregon’s Pelican Brewery
P h o t o g r a p h by JOE PUGLIESE
by M AT T A L LY N J O S H UA M . B E R N S T E I N DAV I D B R OW N E ETHAN FIXELL RYA N K R O G H R I C H A R D RYS C A R LY E W I S E L
WA N T A N I M P E R I A L I PA with a f loral hit and a blast of hops? Portland, Oregon, has 195 of them. Looking for a farmhouse ale brewed with juniper berries and spruce boughs for added kick? Your local bottle shop probably sells a dozen good ones. Dive bars and minimarts now carry such a vast selection of brews that it’s practically impossible to decide what to get without a printed menu. Even big brewers have been converted to the craft gospel: The two behemoths, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller, recently created divisions devoted to buying and selling their own craft beers like Goose Island. We are now awash in great beer — so much that we’ve forgotten just how amazing this all is. Currently, nearly 5,000 breweries in the U.S. churn out 165 million barrels. By any measure there’s never been a better time to be a beer drinker, no matter what type you drink. Sure, an impending merger between the corporate giants could rattle the industry, and a seemingly unlimited dump of VC money into less-than-stellar brands means that some breweries will probably go bust. But the era of beer diversity is here. So what better way to celebrate than by, well, drinking up. From the most influential drinkers to the best brews and the greatest places in America to grab a cold one, here’s your guide to the wide, wild world of beer.
The BEST Places to Drink Beer
Dogﬁsh Inn, the Beer Nerd’s Nirvana
Gun Flint Tavern
Dusek’s Board and Beer
GRAND MARAIS, MINN. In an old brick building on the shore of Lake Superior, this North Woods staple has a roof deck overlooking a harbor that seems like it’s straight out of Maine. There’s live music every night of the week in summer, and the tavern has a homemade pale ale and IPA in addition to an impressive craft selection.
CHICAGO Inside one of those narrow, 1890s tin-ceiling buildings is a killer restaurant, and above it, one of the city’s best music halls. You can catch the likes of Steve Earle or Lake Street Dive while downing a Chicagobrewed Moody Tongue. “We want you to go into a concert with more options than just Bud,” says co-owner Bruce Finkelman.
Beer-Drinking Vessels: The deﬁnitive compendium
Industrial Way PORTLAND, MAINE This industrial park is the Silicon Valley of beer. Local standouts Rising Tide and Bissell Brothers got their start here. Now the area is anchored by veteran shops like Allagash and Geary’s, and you can stroll from brewery to brewery sampling the wares, including from newcomer Austin Street, which makes a deliciously citrusy Patina Pale ale.
The Tourist Club MARIN COUNTY, CALIF. Tucked among the coastal redwoods north of San Francisco is a century-old chalet built by the Nature Friends club. Getting there requires a two-mile hike, but the reward is cold beer on a deck fronting Muir Woods. Unless you’re a member, you’ll have to visit during one of the club’s public festival days. (Check its online calendar.)
Howard’s SHINER, TEXAS This is Texas in all its weird, wondrous glory: a gas station–convenience store turned kick-ass music venue (there’s a wooden stage out back) run by a former dentist. Howard’s may also be the only place in the country where you can ﬁll up your tank, pick up some ammo, and order a $2 pint of Shiner Bock (from nearby Spoetzl Brewery) to go.
PREVIOUS PAGE: ST YLING AND PROPS BY DOMINIQUE BAYNES . PRODUCTION BY JENNIFER RESIN PROJECTS . BEER AND ACCOMMODATIONS PROVIDED BY THE PELICAN PUB AND BREWERY, PACIFIC CIT Y, OREGON . TOP: PHOTOGR APH BY DUSTIN COHEN
It’s Saturday evening, and the faithful are gathered in front of a beefy guy in a MR. INCREDIBLE T-shirt with a growler in hand. “We’ve got Fall on Me here, so please try it,” he says, raising the offering skyward. If you know suds — specifically, the quirky concoctions of Dogfish Head, headquartered just a few miles away — this is a big deal. The saison, sweetened with Red Delicious apples from a local orchard, isn’t yet available to the public, and the groups’ eyes widen, all wondering the same question: Dude, how’d you get the hookup? “I know a guy,” says Mr. Incredible, nodding to his brother, Dogfish distribution manager Justin Brunda. We’re at a weekly fireside chat at Dogfish Inn, the beachtown motel in Lewes, Delaware, that’s become a sort of nirvana for discerning beer geeks. The 16-room inn, with its surfer-chic design, opened in 2014 as the brainchild of Mariah Calagione, the wife of Dogfish founder Sam Calagione, an English major who fell in love with craft beer in the early ’90s, ditched his Norton anthology for a fermentation tank, and never looked back. The motel, the brewery, and the company’s two restaurants on the main drag in nearby Rehoboth Beach create a sort of Bermuda Triangle of beer that you’d gladly get lost in forever. Guests often need to book two to six months in advance for the chance to sit around the fire and share the rare beers they’ve brought. Sam Calagione, now a cult figure in the craft world, lives just a few blocks away and usually leads the weekly talks — loose conversations about beer and heady musings on life’s great mysteries. Today guests bond with innkeeper Andrew Greeley and a band of affable Dogfish insiders: a new product R&D honcho, a microbiologist, and the architect of their new distillery program. Around the fire pit, a different Sam — this one a middleschool math teacher from southern New Jersey — is here with his bride on a mini-honeymoon. “This place feels like a reverse intervention,” he says. “Like I need to have a beer in my hand at all times.” Mr. Incredible plays cornhole with his kids, while three middle-aged pals finish off their 60 Minute IPAs before walking to dinner with their families. Chase McLean, one of the inn’s employees, tries to explain what makes the Dogfish enterprise so addictive for its devotees, who come from as far away as Chile and Australia. “A lot of people make good beer,” he says. “But there’s so much more to the Dogfish experience.” Let’s not underestimate the beer, though. Someone notices my empty bottle. “Need another cold one, man?” Absolutely.
AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BEER DRINKERS
PROP ST YLING BY PETER TR AN FOR ART DEPARTMENT
PRESIDENT, AB INBEV’S THE HIGH END Plenty of brewers can toil in their basements, perfecting an award–winning oatmeal stout, but only a very few have the means to turn one into a nationwide phenom. As the head of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s The High End division, Felipe Szpigel’s job is to identify craft gems, then bump up their batch sizes by a factor of 50 — or 500. Szpigel, from Brazil, has always been a beer man — he started pushing pints from behind a neighborhood bar at 18 — but it wasn’t until InBev’s $39 million purchase of craft darling Goose Island in 2011 that he realized the power of great beer. “I would say 99 percent of what I drank then was something similar to Bud,” says Szpigel. At dinner with his co-workers shortly after the takeover, “it was basic food paired with beers,” he says, “and I remember trying the barrel-aged Soﬁe and Halia — it was a religious experience.” Szpigel, who was working as a marketing exec at the company, offered to lead a division devoted to acquiring small beers with huge potential. Since The High End was formalized in 2014, it’s grown to include eight U.S. breweries (among them, Goose Island, Blue Point, 10 Barrel, and Elysian) and a portfolio of premium imports. Today you’ll have a hard time ﬁnding a sports bar or pub that doesn’t have at least one High End beer on tap. And by pushing their own beers, Szpigel’s team is spreading the overall gospel of better brew. The High End works with the same American retailers that sell more than 30 billion AB InBev beers (Budweiser, Corona, Michelob, etc.) last year. So when the bars and restaurants that have never heard of a 60 Minute IPA or a Ruination begin to think beyond just the Bud, well, all beer drinkers win.
The greatest brews 6 million barrels per year or under. A| Boat Beer CARTON BREWING, New Jersey Boat is a beach beer. Literally. Mineral-laced waters supply this American pale ale with a slightly salty undercurrent. B| Pivo Pils FIRESTONE WALKER BREWING COMPANY, California Lavish amounts of herbal, zesty German hops give this classically inspired pilsner a bouquet as gorgeous as any West Coast IPA. C| White ALLAGASH BREWING, Maine Judiciously spiced with coriander and orange peel, this Belgian-style witbier is perfect for
sipping with seafood. Consider it the lobster roll’s ﬁnest friend. D| Le Terroir NEW BELGIUM BREWING, Colorado and North Carolina In 2003, New Belgium seasoned a puckering, wood-aged ale with peachy Amarillo hops, creating the tart, fruity Le Terroir, the original dryhopped sour. E| Hefeweizen LIVE OAK BREWING, Texas Canned for the ﬁrst time this year, the Texas Hefeweizen uses a distinct strain of yeast to achieve its complementary clove and banana ﬂavors.
Pint p h o t o g r a p h by S H A N A N OVA K
F| Pale Ale SIERRA NEVADA BREWING, California and North Carolina Life’s three constants: death, taxes, and the ﬂawless consistency of Sierra Nevada’s pale ale. It was one of America’s ﬁrst to feature Cascade hops, cherished for its ﬂoral, grapefruit ﬂavor. G| 2 x 4 DIPA MELVIN BREWING, Wyoming Despite its heft (10 percent ABV), this dank, tropical double IPA goes down as easily as a beer half its strength. H| Milk Stout Nitro LEFT HAND BREWING, Colorado Left Hand spent two-plus years cracking
the code for bottling its milk stout with nitrogen. The result: a creamy sipper that tastes like liqueﬁed chocolate cake. I| Saison-Brett BOULEVARD BREWING, Missouri Bring on the funk. Boulevard doses its peppery, potent Tank 7 saison with wild yeast, which lends it an earthy complexity. J| Head Hunter India Pale Ale FAT HEAD’S BREWERY, Ohio For years the Midwest lagged behind the country when it came to quality brew. Head Hunter is a boldly bittered billboard for Ohio’s beer excellence.
Just because they’re big doesn’t mean they’re bland.
A| Guiness Foreign Extra Stout, Ireland The name derives from its history: The beer was originally fortiﬁed with extra hops to survive sea transit, creating a roasty, resoundingly bitter concentrate. B| Miller High Life, USA Initially brewed in 1903 with corn to impart a distinctive light body, it’s an American icon.
C| Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Bohemia Clásica, Mexico Skip the lime: This century-old lager has enough ﬂoral aroma and bitterness without the fruit. D| Hoegaarden, Belgium Back in 1966, milkman Pierre Celis revived Belgium’s witbier with this tart, citrusy version made with orange peel, coriander, and wheat.
E| Lagunitas IPA, California and Illinois Thanks to Heineken buying a 50 percent stake in 2015, Lagunitas’ perfectly balanced IPA is almost certain to become a global hit. F| Miller Lite, USA It’s not the original light beer — that’s Gablinger’s Diet Beer — but there are few things as satisfying when manning the grill.
G| Pilsner Urquell, Czech Republic First brewed in 1842, this is the world’s foremost pilsner, and it remains a benchmark of crisp. H| Genesee Cream Ale, New York Cream ale is one of America’s few homegrown beer types, and Genesee achieves its signature crispness through cold, lager-like fermentation.
I| Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout, Illinois This high-octane imperial stout is rested in bourbon barrels to achieve an intense proﬁle of char, vanilla, and oak. J| Coors Banquet, USA For a beer you can ﬁnd anywhere, it’s damn good. Plus, farmers in Montana, Idaho, and Colorado grow the barley for this crisp classic.
Walt Disney World
FROM TOP: SHANA NOVAK; RICHARD T. NOWITZ/GETT Y IMAGES
We know what you’re thinking: Disney World is better known as a source of parental PTSD than as a place to sip a cold one. But this massive complex in Orlando, Florida, comprising four theme parks and more than 25 resorts, also has some 600 different beers on offer — 600! — making it one of the best draftswilling destinations in America. You can grab a Yeti Imperial Stout at the base of the Expedition Everest roller coaster, sip Gulden Draak Dark Triple Ale in the magician-themed AbracadaBar lounge, or order the St. Bernardus Abt 12 at the Indiana Jones–ish Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar. Plus, Disney has two exclusive brews: an Anheuser-Busch–brewed Safari Amber lager and Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale, the latter created for Animal Kingdom’s upscale Tiffins restaurant. There’s even a dedicated app, Beers and Ears, devoted to tracking what’s on tap and where. And Disney provides one experience you can’t get anywhere else: a global drinking tour, on foot. At Epcot, each of its 11 World Showcase pavilions features native brews: Boddingtons in an imitation British pub; La Fin du Monde on draft next to a mock Canadian waterfall; Estrella Damm outside an intricately tiled Moroccan city; and Warsteiner Premium Dunkel in Germany’s Biergarten Restaurant (which sells Oktoberfest-worthy brews by the liter). After three or four countries, you might even start enjoying that song from Frozen again.
Shake Shack Over the last decade, Danny Meyers’ chain has become a sure stop for solid craft beer. While each of its 95-plus restaurants in 14 states offers a selection of local selections, every location also carries the crisp, hoppy ShackMeister Ale, made speciﬁcally for them by Brooklyn Brewery.
AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BEER DRINKERS
Bob Pease 1 3
CEO, BREWERS ASSOCIATION
A Beer-Obsessed Inn
PHOTOGR APH BY MATT NAGER
Ebenzer’s Pub LOVELL, MAINE If there’s a better small-town beer bar, we’ve yet to ﬁnd it. Owner Chris Lively comes from a family of collectors that runs seven generations deep, and he’s decorated his pub with a treasure trove of beer artifacts. Plus, he serves worldclass aged sours and Belgians from one of the greatest cellars in existence. How great? He has more than a thousand beers from around the world, with a rotating cast of 35 fresh ones on tap.
It’s not often a beer geek gets pulled in front of Congress to testify. But last year Bob Pease did just that. As head of the Brewers Association, which represents thousands of independent breweries around the country, he appeared before a Senate judiciary committee to make a case against a potential $107 billion megadeal between the industry’s two behemoths, Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller. If the merger went through, Pease argued, one company would control more than 70 percent of U.S. beer sales. Sure, there are now a staggering 4,600 craft breweries in the U.S., but they represent only a 12 percent market share. “You go to a football stadium or a ballpark and you see 10 beers on tap, and it looks like a great selection,” he says. “But really all those beers are owned by one company. Most beer drinkers don’t know that.” So to ensure the corporate powerhouses don’t drown out the little guys with strong-arm business tactics — AB InBev is also the country’s largest beer distributor — Pease and the Brewers Association hired its ﬁrst-ever D.C. lobbyist in 2015 (thus his appearance before Congress). Pease, the David in this Goliath ﬁght, basically fell into his role as craft champion. After earning a poli-sci degree, he started his career in the customer service wing of the Brewers Association in 1993. He slowly worked his way up, soaking in the craft gospel. Now he’s tasked with serving as an industry watchdog for issues like this merger, which he says will make it harder for independent brewers to get their beer in front of consumers. “We’re going to do everything we can to ﬁght against that,” he says. “Goose Island [owned by InBev] is a great beer, but you can’t tell me that’s what everybody in the country wants to drink.”
24. The Crawford Hotel D E N V E R
26. Blackberry Farm
This 112-room inn, tucked inside a grand 19th-century train station with massive arched windows, is as cool as it gets. And you can enjoy the city’s best beer spot, Terminal Bar, with 30-plus taps, without stepping outside.
Nestled in the Smoky Mountains, this retreat is one of America’s top resorts for everything from f ly-fishing and clay shooting to f ine dining. It also has an awardw inning brewer y, which features delicate Belgian ales and limited-release culinaryinspired brews.
25. McMenamins Kennedy School
WA L L A N D, T E N N .
P O R T L A N D, O R E .
27. Hotel Vermont
On t he edge of t he most brewery-dense city in the world, t his f unk y (naturally) converted elementary school has its own brewery, Concordia, which covers classic American styles. Plus, you’re only a short spin from Stumptown’s 64 other great breweries.
B U R L I N G TO N , V T.
This hotel in dow ntow n Burlington employs a beer concierge to lead brewery tours that hit the likes of Hill Farmstead and Lost Nation. He’ll also help you get your hands on hard-to-find brews from the Alchemist (maker of Heady Topper) and Lawson’s Finest Liquids.
It’s the South’s most dynamic beer mecca, now home to 30-plus breweries, both homegrown (Burial Beer Co., Wicked Weed) and transplanted (New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada). There are great bars here, such as the Thirsty Monk, which has three locations, and world-class bottle shops like Tasty Beverage. And there’s even Beer City Bicycles, a full-service bike shop that serves draft ESB and Sierra Nevada, so you can crush a pint while your derailleur is tuned. To see just how beer-soaked Asheville has become, check out the crowd at Wedge or Green Man. “The beer community here is like a family,” says Sierra Nevada’s Brian Grossman. “It’s not unusual to step into a tasting room and ﬁnd the bar deep with brewers from other breweries, all sharing stories over pints.”
Any Professional Soccer Stadium Beer and baseball go hand in hand, but no sports venue in America offers a wider selection of beer than those stadiums in which fútbol is played. At Seattle Sounders home games in CENTURYLINK FIELD, you can choose from nearly 40 different brews, including those from Northwestern staples like Deschutes, Fremont, and Elysian Brewing. The stadium even features an exclusive beer from Seattle’s Redhook Brewery, a collaboration with the team’s independent fan club, Emer-
ald City Supporters. Widmer Brothers’ Hefeweizen is the Portland Timbers’ official craft beer, available on draft on a massive Widmer-themed deck in Portland, Oregon’s PROVIDENCE PARK . But for the best international selection, head to the 18,000-seat AVAYA STADIUM , home of the San Jose Earthquakes, which has dozens of beers, as well as a Beers of the World stand with suds from Spaten, Smithwick’s, and a half dozen other brewers from around the globe.
SIERRA NEVADA BREWING “When I want a break from the hoppy, I really enjoy Allagash White. It’s a refreshing, consistent, dependable beer.”
ALLAGASH BREWING “I’m in Colorado right now, and Left Hand’s Milk Stout has been my go-to. I love the creamy texture, the thick, light-brown head, and the nice mocha character.”
LEFT HAND BREWING “I recently found myself marveling at the wonderfully balanced NOLA Rebirth Pale Ale. It has a great malt foundation and citrusy hops in a combination both classic and modern.”
NOLA BREWING “Zebulon Artisan Ales Batch No. 1, a traditional farmhouse saison, is now one of 12 batches. From what I know from that ﬁrst batch, I’m sure the other 11 are phenomenal.”
ZEBULON ARTISAN ALES “The interplay between the funky Brett yeast and the dank hops in Anchorage Brewing’s Invasion Farmhouse IPA was a revelation. I said, ‘This is the kind of beer I want to make.’”
ANCHORAGE BREWING “My mom ﬂew up this week and greeted me with a delicious bottle of Hill Farmstead Arthur. Shaun Hill has a way of creating soft and complex beers that inspire me to be a better brewer.”
HILL FARMSTEAD “Cory King’s most recent iteration of Side Project’s Bière du Pays features a more restrained acid proﬁle, and I found myself impressed by its depth. I could drink it every day.”
SIDE PROJECT BREWING “Sante Adairius Rustic Ales’ Capitola Sunset is just lovely — bright, vibrant, and airy but complex. It’s exactly what a stainlessaged beer should be.”
SANTE ADAIRIUS RUSTIC ALES “At the Festival of Farmhouse Ales, I was blown away by Cambridge Brewing Company’s Remain in Light, a simple but elegant pilsner. It’s a fantastic interpretation of the style.”
CAMBRIDGE BREWING “Jester King Brewery’s Le Petit Prince packs amazing complexity in a seemingly simple beer, with superb attenuation and balance — one of the few beers I wish I had an unending supply of.”
JESTER KING BREWERY “Wicked Weed’s Fille de Ferme hits all the notes: minerality, rustic malt character, bitterness, acidity, funk, fruitiness, and drinkability. I could drink this beer every day. It’s superb.”
WICKED WEED BREWING “The dryness of the ﬁnish and hop character don’t detract from the soft, doughlike taste of Russian River’s STS Pils. The beer ends with a perfect bitterness that ﬁnishes clean.”
RUSSIAN RIVER BREWING “The ﬁrst time I had Creature Comforts’ Athena Berliner Weisse it just blew me away. Hands down one of the best kettle-soured beers I’ve ever had.”
We asked the nation’s top brewers to name the last beer that rocked their world, then asked the same question of that beer’s maker. The result: A taxonomic tree of insanely tasty craft beer, beginning with one of the legends who started it all.
ANDY MARLIN/ USA TODAY SPORTS
What Was the Last Beer That Blew Your Mind?
AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BEER DRINKERS
Dale Katechis FOUNDER, OSKAR BLUES
K ATIE OSBORN/IMAGEBRIEF.COM
In 1997, when Dale Katechis opened a tiny Rocky Mountain brewpub, in Lyons, Colorado, the only canned beer available was from the big boys — Miller, Budweiser, and local industry giant Coors. Canned beer was viewed by craft brewers as watery swill. But Katechis saw an opening. “Early on we got laughed at a lot, all the way until four or ﬁve years into the project,” he says. Today, Katechis’ Pale Ale is a canned-beer powerhouse, with additional breweries in North Carolina and Texas churning out 192,000 barrels of beer per year. And now Katechis is extending that innovative vision into the company’s ever-expanding lifestyle division, which includes Reeb Cycles mountain bikes (Reeb is beer spelled backward), Hotbox Roasters coffee (packaged in cans, of course), and the B. Stiff and Sons soda line. Katechis has even opened a resort in North Carolina, Oskar Blues Reeb Ranch, which hosts festivals and weddings and is adjacent to the bike trails of Pisgah National Forest. Investors might call the side projects diversifying, but Katechis thinks differently. “We’re just doing what we love,” he says.
Just Off the Lift Not long ago, drinking slopeside at a ski resort meant a selection of two beers and a well-used shot ski. But resorts are finally opening onmountain bars with epic views and great beer. Telluride’s GORRONO RANCH (above) has a massive outdoor deck that, when the sun is shining at least, is ideal for sipping Telluride Brewing beers while taking in 14,252-foot Mount Wilson. Even more stunning are the views
The Answer Brewpub!
Von Trapp Brewing
RICHMOND, VA. Mekong, beer trailblazer An Bui’s Vietnamese eatery, hooked Richmond on pho and craft beer. At the Answer, his new, brewpub next door, crusty bánh mì provide ballast for the superfragrant house-brewed IPAs and brawny imperial stouts.
STOWE, VT. When you’re taking a break from skiing or biking at Stowe, there’s no better place to stop than the Sound of Music family’s lodge. Its new brewery serves a Bavarian-style white beer (made with pale malt wheat) and a Vienna lager, which, after a long day on the mountain, will probably become two of your favorite things.
at BIG BLUE VIEW BAR , Homewood Mountain Resort’s mid-mountain outpost, which is perched 7,100 feet above Lake Tahoe (“Big Blue”), where you can sip Outlaw Milk Stouts from the Great Basin Brewing Company, Nevada’s oldest. And then there’s THE ICE BAR AT ULEY’S CABIN , at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, which serves Colorado craft brews atop an outdoor bar quite literally made of ice.
ATLANTA, GA. Over the last 116 years, the beaux arts Victor H. Kriegshaber House has been home to a Protestant church, a dance studio, an antiques shop, and now a pub brimming with Southern hospitality. Snack on beer-boiled peanuts while sampling pints of crisp Breaking Bob Kölsch and tropical Victor IPA, a nod to the mansion’s namesake.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Most Belgian beer bars serve potent monk-made concoctions and call it a day. The Sovereign, with big wooden communal tables, has heavenly, rare elixirs such as De Dolle’s vinous Oerbier and De Ranke’s extravagantly hopped XX Bitter, poured from a custom-built tap system. It’s as close as you’ll get to Brussels without a passport.
Superior Bathhouse HOT SPRINGS, ARK. The only brewery in a national park, this historic bathhouse turned restaurant and alehouse makes its Hitchcock Spring Kölsch with thermal water from Hot Springs National Park. Plus, as many as a dozen other craft brews are available on tap from around the country.
Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre NEW YORK Where else can you knock back the Northeast’s best beers — including Bronx Summer Pale Ale and Blue Point Toasted Lager — and watch some of country’s funniest improv, from the comedy troupe co-founded by Amy Poehler.
Tired Hands Fermentaria ARDMORE, PA. Housed in a former trolleyrepair shop on the edge of Philadelphia, Tired Hands specializes in oak-aged ales and impossibly smooth IPAs. Next door at its cafe, they serve cold-brew coffee and homemade draft sodas — something for everyone.
A Great Airport Bar If you have to be stuck in an airport, make it one of these: Nashville International, where Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge serves barbecue and live country music with a healthy selection draft beers; Detroit Metropolitan, where the hockeythemed SlapShotz bar has a ﬁrst-rate beer selection; and Denver International, where Boulder Beer Tap House carries all of the brewery’s beers, including Hazed Hoppy Session Ale and Mojo IPA.
At the Source Itself
mer horse farm, where Belgian-style beers are brewed in stables and served beside a crackling fireplace. BERRYESSA BREWING is hunkered in the heart of California wine country, where it produces tropical double IPAs among rolling vineyards and orchards. But perhaps the most scenic place in the country to drink beer is Pacific City, Oregon’s PELICAN PUB AND BREWERY (above), planted in the sand on the majestic Pacific coast. Order a crisp, fruity Kiwanda Cream Ale before taking in the killer Technicolor sunset bathing Haystack Rock, a 327foot monolith that recalls the horn of a craggy creature surfacing from the ocean’s depths. Instagram it, sure, but #nofilter is needed.
Your Favorite Barbershop It’s one of those obvious ideas that’s ﬁnally here: smart salons — like our favorite, Persons of Interest, in Brooklyn — have begun stocking fridges with complimentary craft beer. At Birds Barbershop, in Austin, waiting customers can sip Shiner Bocks on tap while playing video games, and Hair M, in Portland, Oregon, offers draft beer from Widmer Brothers.
PHOTOGR APH BY JOE PUGLIESE
Breweries rank among the nation’s best drinking venues, not because of their superb IPAs and stouts — well, at least not just because of their beer — but because they’re located on some of America’s most epic estates. SIERRA NEVADA’S North Carolina digs, situated on the French Broad River in Mills River, features 190 forested acres, a lushly landscaped amphitheater, and guided nature hikes. OXBOW BREWE RY sits in rural Newcastle, Maine, amid 18 acres of woods dotted with a pond, remote logging roads, and a sunny farmhouse that visitors can rent out, then saunter over to the rustic taproom for saisons. Central Ohio’s ROCKMILL BREWERY occupies a pastoral for-
AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL BEER DRINKERS
Jason Perrault CEO AND HEAD BREEDER, SELECT BOTANICALS GROUP Ever sip an IPA that tasted like mango or smelled like a Christmas tree? Chances are that’s thanks to Jason Perrault. As CEO and head breeder at Washington’s Select Botanicals Group, he’s helped cultivate many of the hops — the green ﬂowers that bestow beer with ﬂavor — that have transformed American brewing. Among the hits: Citra hops, which has inspired a whole category of citrusy beers, and the fruity, tropical Mosaic. Creating a new hop is not for the easily discouraged: Only about one of every 40,000 cultivars will come to market. “I always joke that breeding is a depressing job,” Perrault says, “because you throw away 99.999 percent of your life’s work.” Perrault sends out experimental hops to brewers, soliciting feedback that’s rarely uniform. Promising varieties include one offering a minty aroma and another imparting a woody, vanilla-like ﬂavor that mimics barrel-aging. “We’re just starting to scratch the surface on hop ﬂavors,” Perrault says.
5 4 . Woo d s I s l a n d C l u b
Think Texas barbecue joint merged with Austin City Limits. Each week Banger’s (above) cranks out 30 types of homemade sausages — to go along with 100 beers — with live music playing in its picnic-table-filled, string-lightbedecked backyard.
S A N F R A N C I S CO
NEW ORLEANS The Big Easy’s best 24/7 bourbon bar, which stocks more than 200 whiskeys, is also its greatest place to grab a beer. Set in a late-1800s house with a wraparound balcony, the pub has 40-plus draft brews that owner Polly Watts is uncompromising about presenting correctly — superbly fresh and in the appropriate glassware — even at 4 AM.
5 5 . V B G B C H A R LOT T E , N . C .
One-third bar, one-third restaurant, and onethird organic Japanese garden, complete with lush greenery and trickling water fountains: Stone’s one-acre outpost, with 36 taps and an eclectic food menu, is one of the most gorgeous places on Earth to savor a drink.
North Carolina brews are this 12,600-squarefoot beer mecca’s specialty, with nearly every brewery from Charlotte to Asheville represented on 30 rotating taps. Out back you’ll f ind cornhole, volleyball, and six-foot-tall Jenga games.
Veterans Memorial Club
At Someplace Dark
BAKER CITY, ORE. VFW halls are an American drinking institution — one we fully endorse, but none more than this hall, which has a shooting range in the basement (get a perfect score during a competition and you win a turkey or ham) and $4 pints of local favorite Pallet Jack. “But if you’ve been drinking,” says the hall’s Gary Young, “you don’t get to shoot.”
We’re not referring to how many lights it has; this is all about a place’s embrace of the macabre, like Brooklyn’s Pine Box Rock Shop, a casket factory turned vegan-friendly punk-rock beer bar. There’s also Seattle’s Pine Box, a former funeral home that specializes in craft beer, and Brewery Vivant, which makes beer in a onetime mortuary in Michigan.
Set along 4,000 square feet of sandy beach, this used to be an old airplane hangar. Now it’s the Bay Area’s best pace to drink alfresco, pairing epic views of the new Bay Bridge with a rotating cast of California beers such as Yerba Mate IPA and Morpho Herbal Ale.
5 3 . St o n e Wo r l d B i s t r o & G a r d e n s E S CO N D I D O, C A L I F.
T YLER MALONE
5 2 . B a n g e r ’ s AU S T I N
PORTLAND, ORE. As we’ve established, Portland, Oregon, is lousy with great beer. But one of the best deals in town is this no-cover strip club, ﬁlled with tattooed talent and offering nearly 30 draft beers, including the hard-to-ﬁnd Double Mountain IPA and Boneyard RPM IPA, all at the insanely cheap price of $2.50 until 6:45 PM.
Bridgewater’s Pub PHILADELPHIA Stumbling onto this narrow pub inside the city’s 30th Street train station is the drinker’s equivalent to ﬁnding the platform to Hogwarts: Obscure imports are served alongside local standouts from Victory and 2ST, and the food is also exceptional. And if you need to catch a train, they sell cans to go.
Under an Open Sky
Native Alaskan JoeJoe scans the horizon for safe passage over melting ice.
ON WAITING A WHALE
AT THE END OF THE WORLD
EVERYTHING ON KIVALINA IS HARD: THERE ARE NO ROADS, FEW JOBS, AND RISING WATERS THAT WILL SOON SWALLOW THE ISLAND WHOLE. BUT EVERYTHING GETS BETTER WHEN THE VILLAGERS CATCH A WHALE, WHICH HASN’T HAPPENED SINCE 1994. THAT’S NO REASON TO GIVE UP. THIS JUST MIGHT BE THE YEAR.
bove the Arctic Circle in Alaska, a half-day’s journey by snowmobile from the nearest paved road or tree, a village called Kivalina sits on a slip of permanently frozen earth bracketed by water — a lagoon on one side and the Chukchi Sea on the other. Every spring, when daylight returns to the village after months of darkness, people stand in the snow outside their storm-battered cabins and look out at the sea, hoping this will be the year. Some Alaskan villages catch a whale every year. Kivalina was never that lucky, partly because it occupies a spot on the coast that’s farther from the migratory path of the bowhead whale. Still, there was a time when villagers could reasonably expect to land a whale every three or four years. Those days are gone. Last March, as the bowheads were beginning to head north on their spring migration, I flew to the village to accompany a group of villagers on a quest to catch a whale. It had been 21 years since the last successful whale hunt, 21 years of futility and disappointment, and yet, for reasons I didn’t fully understand, the villagers hadn’t given up. When I asked Reppi Swan why they still did it — why they still risked their lives and spent so much of their time and money pursuing a goal that always eluded them — he was succinct. “It’s who we are,” he said. Reppi is one of the village’s nine whaling captains. He’s 42. He has a copper tan shaded black on the cheekbones from frostbite, and the kind of ropy physique you get from chopping wood and shoveling snow. His jaw starts just below his ears and narrows sharply, giving him a wolfishly handsome look despite the fact that he has lost all his teeth. If you’re a whaling captain in an Eskimo whaling village, you’re a big deal, something like the coach of a smalltown Texas football team. But Reppi doesn’t carry himself like anything special. He never brags. He doesn’t say much more than he has to. When I first spoke to him on the phone from New York, I nervously pressed him for advice on what to wear. What kind of boots?
BY SAKI KNAFO • PHOTOGRAPHS BY COREY ARNOLD NOVEMBER 2016
How many layers? “Bring your warm stuff,” he said. A different sort of man might have a hard time coping with life in Kivalina. Outsiders who spend time in the village sometimes feel as though they’ve traveled in time to some not-too-distant future in which the government has finally imploded after years of dysfunction, leaving the people to fend for themselves, like Mad Max but with snowmobiles. In most of the houses, the toilet is a bucket. Kivalina’s 468 residents have no running water, so Reppi drives his Polaris 550 snowmobile to the town pump twice a week to fill a pair of 55-gallon garbage bins for the family. The people of Kivalina have become as reliant as the rest of us on certain perks of modernity — smartphones, stupid TV — even as they lack many of the things we take for granted. There are no restaurants or coffee shops in the village, no libraries or f itness centers, no police officers. The homes are as crowded as the tenement apartments of the Lower East Side at the turn of the last century. In the village store, the Pepsi boxes are stacked halfway to the ceiling, but there is no dentist or doctor within a hundred miles. There are no roads connecting Kivalina to anywhere else. If you don’t have a snowmobile or an ATV, the only way to get to and from Kivalina is by boat or on one of the nine-seat planes that touch down on the airstrip most days. The closest neighboring village, Noatak, lies 50 miles inland. To travel there for basketball tournaments, young people from Kivalina ride their snowmobiles or ATVs over the tundra and through the mountains. The island once served only as a staging area for the whale hunt that took place, as it still does today, each spring. In the early 1900s, the Bureau of Indian Affairs came and built a school and told people they would get thrown in jail unless they sent their kids there year-round to learn English. So the people gave up the nomadic ways that had sustained them for generations and moved into a permanent settlement on the island. Punished, sometimes physically, for speaking their native Inupiat in school, children who grew up in that era became parents who hesitated to speak Inupiat to their children. But one Inupiat word everyone still uses is tammaq, to lose or to get lost. People in Kivalina have lost many things, big and small — boats, gloves, much of the Inupiat language itself. Someday soon the villagers may lose their homes. Over the last decade, as the oceans have grown warmer, storms have been hurling powerful waves onto the island, causing the land to gradually wash away. The villagers have been trying to relocate for years, but none of the relevant government agencies have agreed to foot the estimated $400 million it would require. The U.S. Army Corps Saki Knafo is a writer based in New York City. This is his first story for Men’s Journal.
Kivalina, population 468, a town with no roads, police, or doctors
of Engineers predicts t hat K ivalina has about 10 years before it disappears. Many of the villagers seem to think it’s too late to save Kivalina, or for that matter, the world. Spend enough time on the island and you’ll hear about the inugaqalligauraq, a primitive race of superstrong little people said to be hiding in the Alaskan bush, armed with b ow s a nd a r row s , t heir bodies and minds uncorrupted by exposure to gasoline, Pepsi, and reality TV. “The elders say when the world ends, when Jesus comes, these little people will come back,” one middle-aged woman told me. “And people have been seeing them around, here and there.” Whatever’s coming to Kivalina — whatever’s coming to all of us — the villagers may be better equipped to deal with it than most. The values Eskimo culture advocates and teaches — cooperation, vigilance, an ability to improvise under duress — have allowed its people to withstand some of the harshest conditions on Earth. In the old days, a stranded hunter could build a makeshift sled out of only caribou skins, fish, and water, rolling the fish tight in wet skins so that the rolls would freeze solid and could then be used as sled runners. Reppi, for one, seems to long for those days. “I think I would have loved to live back then,” he told me one evening, “but we’re too used to modern conveniences.” As if to illustrate his point, three of his kids were huddled over a phone, ignoring the reality show playing on the TV. “They discovered MEN’S JOURNAL
Rising sea levels will overtake the village in the next 10 years.
the movies on my phone,” he said, shaking his head. “Now I never see it.” Eskimo hunters hitch their sleds and a small boat to their snowmobiles. Then they travel over the ice that stretches across the sea for miles. They head out in the spring, when the plates of ice begin to break apart, and drive until they come to a crack or a channel — an uiniq. There they set up a big canvas tent and wait — for days, sometimes weeks — ready to jump into the boat, harpoon gun loaded, at the first glimpse of a whale coming up for air. There are countless ways to get killed doing this. You could drive over thin ice and fall in. Your harpoon gun could jam and explode in your face. You could get too close to a walrus, a whale, a polar bear. One teenager told me a story about ambushing a sleeping walrus from a boat. As the gun went off, the boat’s motor died, leaving him and his uncles to watch helplessly as the wounded walrus streaked toward them through the water and rammed a hole in the bow, snap-
TO C ATC H A W H A L E ,
Eskimo dancing, his caring nature. No one said anything of how he died until one of his uncles, staring out at the crowd, confessed that he too once tried to take his own life. “And for what?” he shouted hoarsely, his raw voice ricocheting against the bare walls of the church. There was a heavy silence as the mourners waited for him to go on. When he spoke again, all he said was, “You have to live.” “the whale,” they mean only one kind: the bowhead. Every spring the bowhead’s northward migration heralds the return of life to the Arctic after months of some of the most inhospitable weather on Earth. When hunters kill one, the whole village drags it onto the ice and butchers it. Then everyone feasts and parties for three days straight. The meat, skin, and blubber of a single whale, divided among the hunters and friends and family in accordance with a set of age-old guidelines, can feed a village for more than two months. Almost every part of the 60-ton animal is used. (The head is returned to the sea so that the animal’s spirit can live on.) According to the traditions of some Eskimo groups (Inupiat is a more historically accurate term, but people in Kivalina usually refer to themselves as Eskimo), the whale operates on a higher plane of intelligence and spirituality than most human beings. When you see pictures of the powerful animal, with its deep frown and small, sad-looking eyes, it’s hard not to feel that this is true on some level. Not long ago, biologists examining a dead bowhead found old harpoon fragments buried in its f lesh. Research revealed that the harpoon was of a kind last manufactured in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the 19th century. The scientists conjectured that bowheads can live for up to 200 years. In other words, some of the whales still undulating through the icy waters off Alaska may have already been fully grown by the time Herman Melville wrote Moby-Dick. Today, international law allows Eskimo whaling crews to catch a limited number of bowheads each year. One night, three days after the funeral, Reppi and the other captains lugged their harpoon guns to the church so the preacher, Enoch Adams Jr., could bless them for the hunt. Adams surveyed the pews, many of them empty, and told the captains what they all already knew. “A lot of people out there are saying, ‘What’s the point?’ ” God had given the captains a choice, Adams said. If they surrendered to apathy and stayed home this year, no one would starve. At the village store, you could use cash or food stamps to stock up on Top Ramen and frozen burritos. But cash or food stamps wouldn’t keep the community together, wouldn’t give the people pride or joy or a reason to keep struggling through the long, dark winters to come. “Choose life!” Adams shouted, his voice booming through the chapel. “Choose life!”
W H E N E S K I M O S TA L K A B O U T
Reppi at home with his wife, Dolly, who joins on whale hunts. They have six kids together.
There are countless ways to get killed: A harpoon gun could explode in your face; you could fall through thin ice or get too close to a walrus or polar bear. ping off a tusk. They managed to restart the engine in the nick of time and quickly piled into the stern, driving home with the damaged bow raised just above the waves. A whaling captain is responsible for the safety of the men and women in his crew. This calls for the equivalent of an advanced degree in the ancient Eskimo art of survival. Reppi began whaling with his father, a captain, when he was five and inherited the position only five years ago. Before he could prove himself worthy of the job, he had to learn all about the seven types of ice and how the combinations of wind and current affect them. He had to learn that if the crew got stranded on the ice pack, they should always walk east, using the stars as their guide, and that if they encountered a sleeping walrus, they could talk as loud as they wanted but never whisper because it would wake it up. He had to learn how to draw on his knowledge as danger closed in, weighing the pros and cons of each possible course of action before making a last-second decision that could save people’s lives. Judging when it’s safe to be on the ice is one of the most difficult decisions a captain has to make. Over the last two decades, the same forces that have been eating away at the island have been causing the sea ice to melt away earlier and earlier in the season, shrinking the window of opportunity for whaling from about two months to a couple of weeks. Last year, Reppi’s crew stayed out too long and had to race back to land at full speed as a
powerful wind began to tear the sheet of ice where they’d been camping from the shore. If they hadn’t made it off in time, they might have ended up in Siberia. This year, at the start of the season, climate change seemed to be working in Reppi’s favor for once. When I called him in early March, he said a channel had opened in the ice right outside of town, something he couldn’t remember happening so early before. His voice rose with excitement as he told me that someone f lying overhead had actually seen a whale. His crew just had to get the gear ready, and then they’d head out on the hunt. I made plans to arrive in Kivalina in late March and stay for a little less than a month. I assumed I would spend most of that time out on the ice with the hunters as they tried to land their first whale in more than 20 years. But in Kivalina, as I would soon learn, it is pointless, perhaps even foolish, to make many assumptions about the future. As Reppi put it, “Something always comes up.” The f irst delay came up before I even arrived. Days before my departure, Reppi told me that there had been a death in the village. We’d have to stick around at least until the funeral, he said. Reppi, the whaling captain, is also the village gravedigger. Five days after, I watched mourners stream into the church, past the young man lying in an open casket. Friends and family stood before the congregation and spoke of the boy’s passion for traditional NOVEMBER 2016
Reppi looks for an open passage in the shifting ice from the roof of a cabin north of town.
O N E O F T H E M O S T S U C C E S S F U L captains in Reppi’s father’s day was a man named Oran Knox. I kept hearing stories about him while we waited to go whaling. People said he had been a postal worker for a time, delivering the mail by dogsled, and had raced in the first Iditarod, the thousand-mile dogsled race from Anchorage to Nome, in 1973. One day someone invited me to his home. I half expected to find some intimidating figure, an Eskimo Ahab, flames of vitality dancing in his eyes. But a recent bout of pneumonia had taken a toll on him. Now in his late seventies, he was slumped back on an overstuffed couch, struggling to breathe as he watched North Carolina pummel Syracuse in the Final Four. As he watched the game, he launched into an unprompted reminiscence about the leader of his old dog team.“Tough, smart,” he recalled between heavy breaths. “Find his way home in a storm.” Later I asked one of his eight children, Oran Knox Jr., what happened to the dogs. A sad smile came over his face. “I killed them,” he said. It was the late ’70s, and his father had found work on a construction site farther north and moved his family there. No one could take care of the team, so the father asked his son to do the deed. “The dogs knew,” the son said. “They looked at me, then down at the ground.” By that point in Alaskan history, some enterprising salesman had introduced Eskimos to snowmobiles, or snow machines, as they’re called in Alaska. They could cruise three or four times as fast as a dog team, shortening a hunter’s journey over the ice or
Some of these whales may have been fully grown by the time Melville wrote Moby-Dick. tundra by hours and days. “Snowgos” had other advantages, too. They didn’t fight over food. You didn’t have to train them or feed them sacks of trout. But there was also a new class of disadvantages. The machines ran on fuel and oil, which is to say they ran on money, something much harder to find in Kivalina than trout. And they were always breaking down. In a way, the machine was like Western civilization: People came to rely on it but could never depend on it. It was two days after the funeral when I realized Reppi’s snow machine would be an issue. We were sitting at Reppi’s kitchen table, drinking coffee. Earlier that morning, he had gone out in search of a polar bear that someone had seen on the ice outside of town. Instead of the bear, he’d encountered a problem with his snow machine. He didn’t think it would be able to pull a boat very far. But when I asked how he planned to get out on the ice, he just shrugged. “Gotta take it day by day,” he said. Then he spread some shredded caribou and mayo on a Nabisco cracker and leaned back in his chair to eat it, like a man who had never known a moment’s anxiety. There had been several setbacks already, and I was beginning to worry that he would miss his chance to go whaling, never mind MEN’S JOURNAL
catch a whale. I asked if there was any way he could fix the engine. Or if he could borrow someone else’s snow machine. For every question he had an answer, and the answer was always “No,” and the “No” was always followed by a persuasive explanation. Tiring of my questions, he eventually said he could see only one solution: buying a whole new engine for $800. I wondered how he would afford that. People in Kivalina who earn any income at all tend to work in one of two places: the store or a sprawling zinc mine about 50 miles northeast of town. Reppi works at both, but not very often. The store employs him on an as-needed basis, paying him just enough to keep him from qualifying for food stamps and cash assistance, and the mine, which pays better, typically needs him for only a few weeks in the warmer months, during shipping season. Like other native people in northwest Alaska, Reppi and his wife, Dolly, receive an annual check from something called NANA, one of the 13 economic development corporations entrusted with managing the money and lands “given” to native people as part of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the federal law that saw native Alaskans relinquish their
claims to vast swaths of Alaskan territory coveted by the oil and mining industries. In good years, Reppi got a check worth about $1,000. But in the last few years, NANA has struggled and people throughout the region were feeling the effects. It takes a lot of money to fund a whaling expedition. Last year Reppi and the crew spent $10,000 on food and fuel, with some of the crew members chipping in what they could and Reppi and several relatives covering the rest. This year Reppi and Dolly were having a tough time paying for things like diapers for their three-year-old. At one point I overheard Dolly quietly telling Reppi that they didn’t have enough on hand to buy a cake for their daughter’s birthday. Reppi cheerfully replied, “We’ll make one out of snow.” what the ocean looks like when it freezes, imagine a sparkling, ridged, lunar surface stretching as far as you can see. Off in the distance, near the horizon, you may spy a band of bluish gray — an uiniq. That’s where the bowheads are, and the seals and belugas. If you’re a hunter, that’s where you want to be. The question is how to get there. The answer is very carefully or not at all. The real hazard is the sikuliaq — the thin ice. Up until about 20 years ago, the ice was as thick as six feet in some places, and hunters could travel across it without falling in. This year the sea ice in the Arctic has been melting at an unprecedented rate, and by Kivalina it was just inches thick, if that. Camping on it would be risky, even for someone as experienced as Reppi. Reppi eventually figured out a way to repair the snow machine himself. But it took a few days — enough time for the ice to get even thinner. So he decided to try driving about 10 miles north, around a bend in the coast, to look for thicker ice and open water. This plan had some drawbacks. The section of the coast where he wanted to camp lay in the direct path of the fierce north wind, which could blow a plate of ice and whoever happened to be camping on it out to sea. Also, getting there would require more time on the snow machines, which would mean more fuel, more money, more problems. I started worrying out loud that we’d never make it out on the ice to hunt. What if the trip didn’t pan out? “Now’s not the time to start thinking negative,” Reppi said. I stopped asking questions, and we went to the store. About half the food Reppi and his family eat comes from animals Reppi shoots. He keeps the caribou in the snow in front of his house, frozen with their hooves sticking up in the air. Whenever he and Dolly feel like eating one, Dolly flattens a cardboard box on the living room floor and butchers the animal on top of it. Then it’s caribou all week — roast caribou with carrots and onions one night, boiled caribou with broth the next, shredded caribou on Nabisco crackers for lunch. The family eats seal, too, and maktak, I F YO U H AV E N ’ T S E E N
a delicacy of navy-blue whale skin and pale-pink blubber sent to them by relatives in other villages. I tried it with Tabasco. The fat melts in your mouth, and the skin is tough and chewy. You need only a few small pieces to feel full. The rest of the food comes from the “Native Store,” the only store in Kivalina apart from a candy shop that a family runs out of the front room of their house. I don’t know why it’s called the Native Store. It’s owned by a company based in Seattle, and nearly all the products come from Kraft and PepsiCo. The prices are amazingly high. A tourist trap in Midtown Manhattan would seem reasonable by comparison. We loaded a cart with OvenJoy white bread, Foster Farms Variety Pack sandwich meats, and a $10.45 box of Entenmann’s glazed doughnuts. At the last minute, Reppi threw in two cases of Pepsi. Reppi drinks about one six-pack of Pepsi a day. He says he wants to quit, but his hands start shaking when he goes too long without one.
We set out from the village the next afternoon, driving four miles north along the coast before veering west onto the ice. A distant sliver of open water came into view, an encouraging sight. Reppi’s 12-year-old son, Sakkan, sat proudly on the back of his father’s snow machine, a rifle strapped across his back. I rode in a sled behind him. Riding a sled across the frozen ocean is like bouncing down a rutted dirt road in a junker with no shocks. It wasn’t comfortable, but I was thrilled to get out of the village, to see the water gleaming like the blade of a knife. I was staying positive, like Reppi had told me to. Suddenly the sled rattled to a stop. Reppi climbed off his snow machine. “The crack,” he said, pointing to something behind us. At first I didn’t understand. Then I saw it: a narrow depression snaking through the ice just behind the sled. To me, it didn’t look much different than the ice we’d been driving on, but it wasn’t ice at all. It was a strip of water concealed under a treacherously thin layer of snow.
People in Kivalina have come to depend on snow machines over dogs, even though they are more expensive and less reliable.
JoeJoe, 24, is part of Reppi’s crew.
Reppi, 42, has been hunting whales since he was ﬁve.
Reppi unhitched the sled from the snow machine, turned the vehicle around, opened the throttle all the way, and practically flew back over the channel. Then he repurposed the sled as a little footbridge, which I wobbled over to safety. We drove back toward shore until Reppi deemed the ice thick enough to sit and have lunch. He opened a Pepsi. From where we sat, we could still see the shining band of water way out beyond the snow-covered crack. “Wa-ter,” he said, like someone dying of thirst in the desert. A smile creased his face, but I could tell he was disappointed. If we had tried to camp beside the open water, on the other side of the crack, the crack might have opened wider and stranded us at sea. I asked what he would have done if we had fallen in. “Sakkan and I would have got pinned down by the sled,” he said. “Maybe you would have survived.” B A C K I N T H E V I L L A G E , the waiting continued. Reppi seemed to think that if the wind started blowing in the right direction, it would clear away the thin, weak ice, leaving only the quality stuff. But the wind refused to cooperate, as wind does, I guess, and soon the last of the food was gone. We went back to the store. More cold cuts, more Pepsi. To save money, I moved from the floor of a guidance counselor’s office at the village school, where there was internet and a shower, to a one-room shack that used to serve as the jail. About a week before I was scheduled to go home, I was picking up a few things at the store when the cashier told me that Reppi and the crew had been trying to find me, but they’d left town. They were headed north with the boat and sleds. They’d gone hunting, finally. And there I was at the store. I had been in the village for about three weeks by that point. As I marched back to the jailhouse, muttering to myself, my thinking, I have to admit, was not at all positive. It seemed likely that I would soon return to New York without having seen anyone even look for a whale. As I approached the cabin, I ran into one of Reppi’s crew members, JoeJoe, a friendly, soft-spoken guy who, at 24, had taken up hunting only recently and was still basking in the glow of his nascent romance with the lifestyle. JoeJoe and two of his friends, Jake and Kenneth, were standing around JoeJoe’s snow machine and staring down at the exposed engine. I asked JoeJoe if he could drive me north to join the rest of the crew. “If I can get this working,” he said. Fifteen minutes later, JoeJoe knocked on the door of the jailhouse: We were good to go. I climbed onto the back of the vehicle, and we headed north, past the cabins, past the airstrip, past the ravens drifting over the dump. We were about a mile outside of town when the machine puttered out. JoeJoe opened the hood and performed some mysterious procedure on the engine, and it rumbled back to life. We drove maybe another
Most of the time we sat in the tent, drinking Pepsi and joking around. A lot of the joking was about me. 50 yards before it died again. “Motherfuck,” he said. He fiddled with the engine again. Nothing happened. “Motherfuck!” he repeated, more emphatically this time. He looked back at the town, a smudge of black in a world of white. “At least we’re not as far as I was the last time,” he said. “The last time?” In the casual, plainspoken tone of someone recounting, say, the ordeal of getting off at the wrong exit of the New Jersey Turnpike, he related the story of a recent misadventure that, from the sound of it, had nearly cost him his life. A few weeks ago, the same snow machine had broken down 20 miles outside of town. Unable to fix it, and lacking any means of contacting anyone back home, he had been forced to trek back to town through a windstorm, the snow gusting up from the ground in such thick swirls that he could barely see more than a few feet ahead. Eleven hours after abandoning his vehicle, he reached the edge of the lagoon that abuts the village. By then, however, he was so exhausted that he could not keep going without resting after every 15 steps. He would collapse in the snow, count to 15, then stagger back to his feet and take another 15 steps. Somehow, while relating this story, JoeJoe had managed to restore the engine to a fragile state of functionality, and so we got back on and returned to the village. His two pals were standing exactly where we had left them. They didn’t seem surprised to see us. For days one of them had been telling me about the virtues of Alaskan weed. He said it grew in greenhouses on the Kenai Peninsula. He said Snoop Dogg was a fan. “Wanna take out your depression on a toke?” he asked now. I told him I admired his persistence. “Never give up,” he said, grinning. They got the engine working again, and then JoeJoe and I got back on and headed north, past the houses, past the airstrip, past the dump, past the spot where the engine died. I tried to think positive. I said a prayer under my breath. I told the snow machine I believed in it. Maybe, just maybe, we would get out on the ice. Maybe I would even get to see them catch a whale. We spotted a group of riders heading our way. No, I thought, it couldn’t be. But it was. Reppi and his crew pulled up alongside us. “It’s too windy up there,” he said. “Too dangerous.” We followed him back to town. MEN’S JOURNAL
O V E R T H E N E X T F E W DAY S , the weather got warmer and the snow began to melt in the village. Soon the ice would melt, too, and then whaling season would be over. Scrolling through Facebook on his phone one night, Reppi learned that a village to the north had seen a whale. I think the idea of another village catching a whale while he stayed home was more than he could take. “Soon I’m gonna start taking chances,” he said. We drove north again the next day. This time we spent three nights on the ice, the cold wind pummeling the walls of the tent. We were just a short walk from the water, but we barely spent any time outside. The weather was just too harsh, even for Reppi, who has hunted wolves at 60 below. People came and went throughout the week. There were between five and 10 of us on any given night. We spent most of our time just sitting in the tent, waiting for the wind to subside. We drank Pepsi. We ate bowls of caribou stew that Dolly heated up on the rusty camp stove. We joked around. A lot of the joking was about me. Probably most of it. One of the jokes was that I was always forgetting where I’d put things — my sunglasses, my socks, the coffee thermos, the Tabasco. Dolly, laughing affectionately, gave me an Eskimo name: Tammaq, “Lost.” I certainly felt out of place. Once we were walking across a sketchy stretch of ice when I stepped in a crack, submerging my leg nearly to the knee before yanking it out in a panic. “Always carry a knife on your belt,” Reppi’s brother Dennis called out. “You fall in, you can stick it in the ice and pull yourself out.” A wood-burning stove in the tent was pretty much the only thing that kept us from freezing at night, so keeping it hot was a critical task. Normally this would have been a job for the youngest boys on the crew (the “boyers”), but since I was basically an infant in Eskimo terms, it fell to me. One night as the others slept, I pulled on my boots and parka and went out into the night to replenish the dwindling woodpile. I must have hacked away at a single log for more than an hour, sweating and freezing in turns. I swung the ax until my back screamed at me to stop, then swung some more. Now and then I looked around for polar bears. The men had left a rifle by the door, not that I would have known what to do with it. After what felt like an eternity, I found myself staring down at the last hunk of log. I brought the ax down until the wood surrendered with a satisfying snap.
Whale bones from the last successful hunt, in 1994, glint under the aurora borealis.
I threw back my head and let out a triumphant roar. A ghostly green mist was swirling through the sky — the aurora borealis. did not get a whale. Neither did anyone else in Kivalina. Still, Reppi had not lost faith in the tradition. Next year, he said, he would try to get out on the ice at the very beginning of the season. With luck, the crew would not run into too many “situations.” After three weeks in Kivalina, I did not have to ask what he meant by that. By the time I left the Arctic, after nearly a month, I had seen only one animal get killed. Oddly enough, I was the one who’d killed it. It was the day after JoeJoe’s snowmobile broke down outside of town, a Saturday. He knocked on the door of my cabin to see if I wanted to go fishing with him and some friends. We spent an hour crouching on a frozen river, holding rods made of willow-bush branches over holes that JoeJoe had hacked in the ice with a metal pole. The fish weren’t biting, so we got on our snow machines and rode off through the tundra in search of larger prey. We drove around for hours without seeing any animals apart from ptarmigans and the occasional fox. (Foxes, too small and foul-tasting to excite the passions of the local hunters, might be the luckiest animals in this part of the Arctic.) JoeJoe’s friends took
REPPI AND HIS CREW
off, but he wasn’t done trying. He smashed two more holes into the ice and we sat and dangled our rods over them. Still nothing. Around nine, the light began to fade, and it got very cold. We headed downriver, our eyes on the banks, watching for f lickers of movement in the willow bushes, until we came to the place where the river empties out into the lagoon. On the opposite shore, the lights of the village were glittering invitingly. The time had come to accept that the day — like all the days I’d been in Kivalina — had been a failure, in hunting terms anyway. Just then, JoeJoe shouted something unintelligible and the snow machine lurched forward and then we were tearing across the tundra, the snow machine bucking over every bump, so that I had to squeeze the seat between my thighs and wrap my arms around JoeJoe to keep from falling off. And then I saw them, in what was left of the light: three small caribou racing away from us across the lagoon. JoeJoe handed me his rifle. There was no scope, and the back half of the sight had broken off. The stock and barrel were held together with electrical tape. I had fired a rifle only once in my life, and that was almost 10 years ago, at a can. I pulled off a glove and squeezed the trigger. The wind grabbed the glove from under my arm and tossed it away. Soon my hand was so cold that I couldn’t feel my finNOVEMBER 2016
gers. I was firing wildly, and the shots were missing. Then a splotch of blood appeared on the left hindquarter of the caribou, and I shot again, and some fur came f lying off. And then I shot again, and she fell. JoeJoe made a whooping sound and we ran over to where the doe collapsed in the snow. She was struggling to get up on her forelegs, looking me right in the eyes. JoeJoe told me to shoot her in the back of the head, so I did. Then he slit her belly with his knife, and her steaming guts spilled out onto the snow. We strapped the carcass to the back of the snow machine and headed back for the village in the dark. My heart was beating hard and fast. My knees trembled. I was stunned and exhilarated and, if I’m being honest, a little proud of having done something that just about everyone there regarded as a basic requirement of manhood. As the glittery blur of Kivalina resolved into a jumble of individual homes, JoeJoe shouted over the roar of the engine that we were passing the spot where he had begun to collapse on his epic walk across the tundra through a windstorm. A few days earlier, when he’d first told me that story, I hadn’t managed much more than a dumbfounded “wow.” Now, as I rode with him back to the village, I asked if he thought he would die that night. “I thought about ending it myself,” he said. “But I never gave up.” MJ
RIDING TO BURNING MAN IN 2004, ELON MUSK TURNED TO HIS COUSIN LYNDON RIVE AND SAID TWO WORDS: SOLAR POWER. NOW HEAD OF THE EMBATTLED SOLARCITY, RIVE WANTS TO SEE PANELS ATOP EVERY ROOFTOP IN AMERICA. BUT IS HE FLYING TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN?
Within 12 hours of meeting Lyndon Rive, I was in the San Mateo Medical Center’s emergency room, right eye swelled shut, spine supported by a neck brace, blood seeping from the side of my face. The cause of trauma: an evening mountain bike ride with Lyndon Rive. The perfect way to unwind after work, he’d had assured me. Unfortunately, we hadn’t discussed our relative ideas of relaxation. Minutes into the ride, while Rive was gleefully careening down the precipitous rocky trail, I was flying over the front of my handlebars. Thankfully, someone from Rive’s office had supplied me with safety glasses beforehand (which may well have saved my cheekbone and eye socket, a doctor told me later). Over the years, apparently Rive’s comrades have grown accustomed to this sort of thing. I hadn’t traveled to Menlo Park, California, to mountain bike. I was there to talk to the 39-year-old entrepreneur about the company he co-founded and runs — SolarCity, America’s leading residential solar company. Since launching in 2006, it has raised billions of dollars and installed hundreds of thousands of home solar systems, more than anyone in America. But lately SolarCity is in deep trouble. Customers aren’t signing up in the numbers they did two years ago, back when oil was trading at more than $100 a barrel. U.S. lawmakers are investigating the company’s financial practices. Earlier this year, in the span of two months, the company’s stock lost 70 percent of its value. Most recently came the announcement that SolarCity would be acquired by Tesla, the electric-car company founded by Elon
BY BURT HELM PHOTOGRAPHS BY
PETER YANG Musk, for $2.6 billion in stock, a move largely decried on Wall Street as a nepotistic bailout. The finance types were suspicious because in addition to being Tesla’s founder, Musk is also SolarCity’s chairman and largest shareholder — as well as Rive’s first cousin. What is it like to be Rive at this moment, I wondered. Here he is, an ambitious and driven CEO, f ighting for the life of his company. If he prevails, SolarCity will be a global power giant based entirely on clean energy and he’ll be celebrated as the guy who brought cheap solar power to the masses. Yet even then, his achievements will be overshadowed by his cousin Elon’s, a man widely touted as the greatest entrepreneur of his time, whom Rive has admired and sought to please ever since they grew up together in South Africa. How does a man cope with that kind of pressure? Rive always makes time for cycling. It’s part of how he manages his stress. So after 6 PM, we met up at a little house he owns near a trail in nearby Belmont. He’d already changed out of his chinos and SolarCity polo shirt and into bike shorts and a SolarCity technical shirt. His office had delivered his
Specialized Stumpjumper and an Enduro for me. As we mounted up, his eyes were bright, his smile wide: Let’s crush this. Ten minutes later, Rive was killing it and I was hurtling ditchward. I had learned the first rule of Rive: You can get hurt trying to keep pace with the man. It turned out that I had joined a dubious fraternity. His chief financial officer, a serious rugby player back in France, tore up his leg on the very same bike trail. Other SolarCity executives have crashed while skiing tree runs behind their boss at Lake Tahoe. Rive also finds time to kitesurf and play on the U.S. national team for underwater hockey, a sport that sounds ridiculous but is actually physically grueling and strategically mind-bending. His days at SolarCity are intense in a different way. The company, in fact, could be one of the most risk-laden in operation today. To install solar systems across 27 states and Mexico, SolarCity takes on gobs and gobs of debt — billions of dollars a year. The eventual goal is to create a massive network of home solar systems. The problem is, if customers stop paying their SolarCity energy bills or investors stop lending, the company will blow up like the subprime housing bubble. “We have to get off fossil fuels, and I don’t think there’s any way you could do it differently,” Rive told me. SolarCity’s grid can produce as much as 8 million kilowatthours in a day, enough to power more than 267,000 homes, energy that would otherwise require burning 4,160 tons of coal. “If we don’t do it, who does it?” he said. “There
Lyndon Rive next to the solar panels on the rooftop of his Belmont, California, home.
From left: Peter Rive, Elon Musk, and Lyndon Rive, following SolarCity’s IPO in 2012
“Yeah, it’s stressful. That’s why we mountain bike and kitesurf. It’s a great way to vent.”
is no one. There is no one pushing transformation at this level.” Despite the stakes — or perhaps because of them — Rive says he’s in his element. “When things are going good, I feel, like, this is boring. When things are rough and you’ve got to focus on the business, that’s fun.” That’s the second rule of Rive: To his family, fear is not a deterrent and risk is a type of fuel.
Burt Helm is a New York–based freelance writer.
MARK VON HOLDEN/AP IMAGES FOR SOL ARCIT Y; COURTESY OF LYNDON RIVE
room was my first real chance to chat with Rive, who had offered to drive me over. He took the wheel of my rental Hyundai Sonata and slid back the driver’s seat to accommodate his 6-foot-2 frame as I eased into the passenger side, a hand towel pressed against the side of my face to keep bloodstains off the upholstery. I decided to use my head wound as a conversation starter: What were his worst injuries? He smiled, shrugged, seemingly reluctant to reply. “Huh,” he said with the slight honk of a South African accent. “I’d say I’ve been pretty fortunate.” There’d been two motorcycle accidents — as a teenager, he’d smashed his whole leg while flying over the top of a car that had cut him off. “But I came out pretty undamaged,” Rive said. He changed the subject to his sister, a competitive dirt bike rider. “She’s wrapped herself around trees,” he said, almost abashed that he had mentioned his comparatively minor shattered leg. Once I was safely squared away with medical staff at the hospital, Rive rushed off. He had several more hours of work that
T H E T R I P TO T H E E M E R G E N CY
night, ahead of the following day’s board meetings. No one in Rive’s family works a normal 9-to-5. The seven children of Rive’s mother, Almeda, and her twin sister, Maye, have gone on to become independent filmmakers, restaurateurs, rocketeers. In 1952, years before Rive was born, his grandmother and grandfather became the first amateur pilots to f ly a single-engine plane from Africa to Australia. Rive’s mother, now 68 and living in Calgary, Alberta, remembers family expeditions to uncharted regions of the Kalahari Desert, spending nights amid lions and hyenas. “Africans would tell us they’d bite our faces off when we were sleeping,” she told me. Rive may not be facing hungry hyenas, but the business climate at SolarCity these days can seem just as vicious, with sniping short sellers, stubbornly expensive operational costs, and lawsuits. Jim Chanos, the billionaire hedge-fund investor who is most famous for betting against Enron, has said that SolarCity’s business likely is doomed. “ T he pr oble m with SolarCity is they’re losing money on every installation and making it up in volume,” Chanos told CNBC in May. Mean-
while, in Congress, Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain have launched an investigation to find out whether SolarCity is juicing its numbers — overstating the cost of its solar systems in order to get bigger tax credits and cover the spread. When Musk announced that Tesla was acquiring SolarCity, observers on Wall Street wondered if the latter company was already in danger of missing debt payments. All that doubt damages the faith of investors, whose money SolarCity desperately needs to keep going. Even for a Rive or a Musk, it’s enough to set the heart racing. “Fuck yeah, it’s stressful,” says Peter Rive, one of Rive’s two older brothers and a SolarCity co-founder. “That’s why we mountain bike and kitesurf and hang out with family,” he told me. “You try to get out in nature and do sports. It’s a great way to vent. If you’re doing a big climb together, you’re constantly talking about work — you talk through the stress.” The Rives grew up in a sprawling house in an upscale neighborhood of Pretoria, a city of 700,000 in the north of South Africa. The home doubled as their mother’s holistic health institute. When the kids were growing up, she had a rule: No giving up. That’s why Lyndon Rive attained a brown belt even though he was sick of karate by the time he had a yellow. She also had a motto: “Business must always come first.” It was common for her to work from 7 in the morning until 11 at night, with only a few breaks to take care of the children (a nanny tended to them the rest of the time). When her children turned nine, she enlisted them to distribute f lyers for the business. If the office phone rang, the children were to be quiet immediately. Even today Almeda Rive says proudly that Lyndon instinctually respects the rule when she speaks with him. “If the phone goes in the middle of the sentence, he’ll just go quiet,” she said. Growing up, Rive struggled with reading and spelling; these days he would likely be classified as dyslexic, his mother believes. Determined to help him succeed, she set aside two hours every afternoon for tutoring. When he turned 14, she began holding “business meeti n g s” w it h h i m every week, where Lyndon and he presented an his pet crow, idea for a new Arthur, in South Africa business and they would discuss it. R i v e ’s old e r brot hers, Russ and Peter, hung out w it h t heir cousin Elon, who l i v e d n e a r b y, of t en en g a g i n g in entrepreneurial exploits. One year t hey sold chocolate Easter
“You learn how to push yourself under all conditions. You’ve just got to push further than the next person.”
eggs to their parents’ friends; later they almost signed a lease on a retail space to build a video arcade near school. Lyndon, the youngest of the brood, tended to be excluded, too small to join in. But he was determined to compete. He started playing underwater hockey because his older brother Peter had taken up the sport. As a teenager he practiced constantly in the pool of his then-girlfriend and now wife, Madeline. By the time Lyndon was 20, Peter had long moved on, but Lyndon and Madeline had both made South Africa’s national underwater hockey teams. “He always thought he was equal to his brothers,” said Almeda. “I would tell him he was much younger than his brothers, but he wanted to be in charge.” Rive barely graduated from high school. By then he was focused on one of the ideas he’d developed in his mother’s business meetings: a line of homeopathic medicines (lavender cream for arthritis; an ointment for muscle stiffness) that he distributed through her institute and other locations. “The principal wanted to expel me, but then I showed him my financials,” Rive says. Says Almeda: “He was making better money than the teachers.” In 1998, Rive and Madeline traveled from South A frica to the Bay Area to compete in that year’s underwater hockey world championships. They stayed with Musk, who had been in Silicon Valley since 1994 and was already at work on his first startup, a Web software company called Zip2. Rive fell in love with the promise of California and convinced his brother Russ to move to the Valley. In 1998, with the tech boom in full swing, the brothers started a company called Everdream, which offered an early version of IT software that allowed tech-support staff to access computers remotely to f ix problems. Musk pitched in, extending advice and giving Rive and Madeline his old San Francisco apartment to live in. The idea for SolarCity grew out of a road trip the cousins took to Burning Man in 2004. Musk had fronted the money for the
Brainstorming at SolarCity headquarters
RV and let his cousin and his wife take the master bed. As the trio drove to Black Rock Desert, Rive told Musk he was getting bored with selling small-business software. He wanted to do something bigger, something that might impact the world. Musk told him that solar power was a no-brainer. The world would have to get off fossil fuels — if not to prevent global warming then because oil, coal, and gas were finite and expensive resources. Bringing down the costs and pricing solar the same as fossil fuels would be a tipping point. The whole world would go solar. If they started now, they might rule the market. On July 4, 2006, SolarCity launched with Lyndon as CEO, Peter as chief technology officer, and Elon putting up the majority of the original $10 million investment and acting as chairman. Their original plan was modest, akin to a renewable-energy Groupon: They asked customers to rally their neighbors; if enough of them signed up, SolarCity would negotiate a 30 percent discount for the panels and install them. But few neighborhoods had the motivation or the cash to go solar en masse. So in 2008, SolarCity switched to the no-money-down model, where anyone with a sunlit home and a decent credit score could get a solar system installed. Thanks to rising oil prices and generous federal tax credits, they offered lower prices than most conventional utilities, and customers flocked to SolarCity. In the next six years, the company expanded operations to 21 states. As they built solar systems on one rooftop after another, they also burned through more and more cash. To attract more lenders, the company packaged and resold the debt to banks as complex bonds and other financial products that handed the financiers shares of SolarCity’s tax credits. The business became a whirlwind of signing up solar customers, followed by endless investor meetings. Rive’s life became more and more frenetic. By this time the Rives had two small boys (they’re now seven and eight). Madeline grew concerned that Rive was missing out NOVEMBER 2016
on spending time with his children, and her. She had long known the Rive philosophy, “Business must always come first. But when the boys could speak and ask where Daddy was and why he wasn’t there, that was when I pulled him in and said, ‘Let’s talk about it,’” she told me. “And he listens. He can listen.” Rather than relax, Rive solved the problem in a classically Musk-Rive–ian way: He reengineered his work-life balance. He picked what he thought was the optimal number of weekly quality-time hours with his children — 16 hours — and instructed Nikki Marasco, his assistant, to build that time into his calendar and work backward. Then he reclaimed the time elsewhere. Instead of driving himself, he now uses Uber so he can work on his laptop in the backseat. Rather than long sessions at the gym, he gets out of bed, walks a few feet to a treadmill, and sprints — the most timeefficient way to get in his cardio. Then he walks another few feet to the shower. He has standardized his breakfast so he doesn’t waste time with that meal, either. Hence, a kale, spinach, blueberry, banana, celery, and cucumber concoction known in the company cafeteria as “the Lyndon,” which he consumes three times a day. Nothing is untenable or impossible — it’s just a logic puzzle to be solved. after a full day of board meetings, Rive meets me at the Burgess Pool in Menlo Park for the U.S. national team’s underwater hockey practice. I’m supposed to participate, but I’m in a neck brace and my right eyebrow has 13 stitches, and I’ve got a chipped bone in my neck. Rive isn’t practicing tonight either. Too much work for tomorrow’s meetings, he says, but he wants to show me the sport. We stand at the pool’s edge and peer down. It’s after sunset. The underwater lights glow a ghostly blue. Beneath us, human bodies writhe and chase one another like eels. Other than the occasional splash of a surfacing player, it’s quiet. It’s hard to make out what’s happening.
T H E DAY A F T E R M Y B I K E W R E C K ,
“In the water it’s much better,” Rive says. “It’s probably one of the reasons people don’t know about it.” Here’s what I gathered: Just as in ice hockey, underwater hockey players push a rubber puck into a goal with a stick, except the sticks are f lat plastic batons the size of paint stirrers, and the players are clad in f ins and masks. There are six players on each side, not f ive, and games comprise two halves of between eight and 15 minutes, depending on the tournament. The game, originally known as Octopush, was started in 1954 in England by a group of deep-sea divers looking for subaquatic entertainment during the cold winter months. Today teams from 17 nations, from Argentina to the Philippines, compete in a biannual world tournament. Underwater cameras stream the matches over the internet. Rive fell in love with the sport’s complexity. Because you can make plays from above or below another player, it’s fully threedimensional. And then there is the matter of holding your breath. Underwater hockey tests your limits as a land mammal. It pits you against the voice inside your brain begging you to come up for air. “You learn to do amazing things by holding your breath when your body’s telling you that you need to breathe,” Rive explains later. “You’re having this debate,” he says, and then he dramatizes it: “I have to score.” “But you need to breathe.” “No, no. I want to score.” “OK, I’m giving you a warning. I’m going to turn the lights off.” “No, keep the lights on just a little longer.” “I’m going to turn the lights off.” “No, no. I need to score.” In these situations, a heated contest for the puck in front of the goal can stop, suddenly and noiselessly, as one competitor quits in the name of oxygen, leaving an open target. “You learn how to push yourself under all conditions,” Rive says. “You’ve just got to push yourself further than the next person.” What’s true in the pool also holds in the boardroom. The solar-power industry may well be on its way to that asphyxiation point. SolarCity’s biggest rival, SunEdison, filed for Chapter 11 in April. Meanwhile, SolarCity has more than $3 billion in debt on its balance sheet. Analysts have openly wondered how much longer the company will be able to pay its bills — even after Tesla’s buyout. The Rives and Musks prefer to think through this fear rationally. “We’re superlogical,” says Peter Rive. “If I try and I fail, that’s not so bad. If I succeed, holy shit. But if nothing is done, it’s worse than having tried and failed. You think through the iterations of action and nonaction and compare all the worst-case outcomes.” As they see it, doing the thing everyone else thinks is crazy is the only rational way to behave. And anyway, adds Peter, how bad is it really? “Think
about the truly hard problems that Elon is working on,” he says. In the eyes of the Rive brothers, and everyone at SolarCity, Elon Musk is the smartest, most capable. The best. His strategic vision is honored above practically anything else, including available information. Rive has compared his cousin to Neo in The Matrix — “He can see the zeros and the ones,” Rive told EE News, adding that he believes Musk steers the company away from “the invisible walls,” or obstacles that only his cousin can foresee. “He may be wrong 100 times,” Rive told me. “But I’ll be wrong 500 times.” The result is that Rive and SolarCity put their faith in Musk’s vision even as others slam those plans as ill-advised or reckless. It was Musk’s idea for SolarCity to build a massive $850 million solar panel factory in Buffalo, New York, a move that plunged the
“Lyndon is a very thoughtful person, but Elon Musk overshadows anyone who works for him.”
company into a completely unfamiliar business. It was Musk who urged the company to expand as fast as it did and to develop exotic financial products to provide the fuel. Those outside the Rive-Musk bubble look on with a combination of shock and awe. “I think Elon Musk is a genius, and I don’t use that word lightly,” Charlie Munger, the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, told a conference audience in 2014. “He’s also one of the boldest men to ever come down the pike.” Indeed, it is Musk who ends up garnering all the SolarCity headlines, even though he’s not a co-founder of the company and Rive is the company’s CEO. WHY YOU MIGHT BUY ELECTRICITY FROM ELON MUSK SOME DAY was the title of an article in The Atlantic, which did not once mention Lyndon Rive’s name. “Lyndon is a very thoughtful person,” says Ben Kallo, a senior analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., who covers the alternativeenergy industry. “But Elon Musk overshadows anyone who works for him.” Rive says he has no problem with that. “Elon is one of the greatest people in the world,” he told me. “His vision and commitMEN’S JOURNAL
ment to helping humanity is off the charts. I’m fortunate to help him.” the going has gotten even tougher for SolarCity. At the end of August, the company announced plans to lay off 108 employees from its offices in San Francisco and San Mateo. The Rive brothers announced they planned to cut their own salaries to $1 a year. In the past three months, the company had lost $55 million, less than in previous quarters but a long, long way from turning a profit. The company now has $3.25 billion in debt. Rather than give up, SolarCity is doubling down — not unlike the way Musk refused to back down at Tesla. In a filing in August, the company announced that its latest bond fund would seek money from consumers, not just banks. To get things going, Musk pledged $65 million of his own money to the $124 million fund. Peter and Lyndon Rive each pledged $17.5 million. Yet critics continue to pounce. They point out that the company, which installs fewer and fewer solar-energy systems each quarter, will need to break all records in the fourth quarter to meet even the low end of its 2016 goal. And critics have continued to criticize the Tesla acquisition as a bailout of a failing company. “The insiders are perpetrating a cruel joke on the non-insider Tesla shareholders,” wrote a f inancial blogger on seekingalpha.com, in a post titled MUSK FIDDLES AS SOLARCITY BURNS (yet another dispatch that makes no mention of Rive). “Tesla will be overpaying for SolarCity even if the latter were to be given away for free.” Rive seldom loses his cool, but you can hear the agitation and impatience in his voice when responding to his critics. “I’m not angry — that’s the wrong emotion,” he says. “But people don’t understand the financials of SolarCity.” Besides, Rive and Musk’s ambitions are so much bigger than mere survival. They still plan to open the massive panel factory in Buffalo, maybe not as early as originally planned, but soon. And instead of just solar panels, they now propose to build entire solar rooftops paired with Tesla-built batteries. “All the naysayers will realize that in four to five years, we’ll no longer build power plants the way we do today,” Rive says. Rather, municipalities will be able to tap the energy gathered on rooftops and stored in all those batteries. Excited now, he goes full wonk, speaking in nearly impenetrable technical terms. As I struggle to keep up, I suddenly recall that this is a guy who barely graduated high school — he’s a total autodidact. SolarCity will struggle, of course. Investors will continue to doubt them. Critics will continue to harangue Musk and dismiss Rive. But Rive believes there’s still plenty of oxygen left before the lights get turned out. He’s only just started holding his breath. MJ IN THE TIME SINCE I MET RIVE ,
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Downhill Edge The best gear gives you an edge, to help you perform better than you ever thought possible. The Kästle MX84 (kaestle-ski.com; $1,300) — a wood-core ski fortiﬁed with two sheets of aluminum alloy — does this with weight-reducing ﬁberglass cutouts in the tips, which make initiating turns and slaying mogul ﬁelds easy. The Zeal Forecast (zealoptics.com; $259) goggles wrap wide to boost peripheral vision, and a photochromatic-lens option adapts to light, darkening as you emerge from a shady pass. Together they’ll put you at the top of your game.
p h o t o g r a p h s by T R AV I S R AT H B O N E
Slay the Slopes As snowfall becomes less predictable, the biggest thrills will be on groomed trails. So for those resort days, we’ve collected our favorite skis and apparel with the tech to boost in-bounds skiing.
G E A R L A B
Leaders of the Pack Who needs powder? Carving skis keep you shredding even on groomed and packed snow. by GORDY MEGROZ BEST FOR EXPERTS
BEST FOR SPEED
BEST FOR INTERMEDIATES
BEST FOR TIGHT TURNING
K2 Super Charger
Dynastar Speed Zone 12 Ti
Stockli Laser AX
Nordica GT 84 Ti
The Laser AX performs admirably at any speed and grows increasingly stiffer as you gather momentum. The trick? S-shaped slits laser-cut in the core of the ski’s tip and tail. As you apply pressure, the slits squeeze together and become more rigid. The result: buttery lowspeed turns and rock-solid fast arcs. stockli.ch $1,200
The GT 84’s 134mm-wide tips provide enough ﬂoat to keep you cruising conﬁdently over chop. But because Nordica cut weight-saving geometric shapes out of the ski’s aluminum-alloy core, it’s still light and nimble. We simultaneously ripped quick turns and crossed over hard, deep grooves. nordicausa .com $1,099
A solid reliance on carbon and paulownia wood makes the Super Charger stable and light, helping experienced skiers reach bomber speeds on packed snow. And the camber gave us a sweet pop out of turns, allowing for energetic carves that didn’t throw us off balance. k2skis.com $1,300 (with binding)
These ﬂuid, quiet, ultra-poised skis give you the ability to carve through groomers like a Cadillac. Credit the sidewalls that enable snow-melting speed by layering metal, plastic, and — most important — rubber, which delivers a smooth ﬂex. dynastar.com $1,000 (with binding)
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G U I D E B U I LT T O P R E V E N T C H I L L S AND ENCOURAGE GOOSEBUMPS OUR FOU ND E R, E D D IE , WAS A N OU T D OOR GUIDE. T HAT ’S WHY, FOR 96 YEARS, WE’VE CONT INUED TO WO R K W IT H G U ID ES TO M A K E G E A R TO MEET T HEIR RIGOROUS NEEDS. WE MADE OUR T EL EMET RY F R E E R ID E JAC K E T TO D U M P H E AT W ITH FORWARD FACING VENTS WHIL E ST IL L KEEPING YOU P ROT ECT E D F RO M T H E E L E M ENTS WIT H ADVANCED 3L WAT ERPROOF FABRIC.
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G E A R L A B
The Five-Star Resort Kit The right apparel keeps you warm and sweat-free, and it makes a good impression at après-ski. by MICHAEL FRANK
1 I Lightweight Shell Thousands of heat-reﬂecting dots along the interior lining of the waterproof, breathable Columbia Shreddin’ Jacket lock in warmth with minimal insulation. If you ﬁnd yourself steaming, just pop open the pit zips to dump heat. columbia.com $400
2 I Stink Fighter We tested Patagonia’s R1 Pullover while ski-touring Norway for days, and thanks to silver-impregnated Polygiene, an embedded antibacterial treatment, the midlayer remained odor-free all week. And that was without washing it. patagonia.com $129
3 I Cranial Comfort To eliminate headaches, the Oakley MOD 5 helmet adjusts to relieve pressure points and offers a removable liner, in case you prefer your own beanie. We also dig the multiple brim options, which ensure a snug ﬁt with any set of goggles. oakley.com $200
4 I Mitts That Move
Made with ﬂexible waterproof goatskin and a ﬂeece liner, the Helly Hansen Vor Gloves are so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing them. Plus, we love the old-school work-glove look. hellyhansen.com $95
5 I Back-Saving Bag The panel in POC’s VPD 2.0 Spine Snow Pack 20 is ﬁlled with a soft “dough” that instantly hardens on impact to protect your spine if you take a spill. The bag also features external straps that secure your skis to your back. pocsports.com $240
6 I Temp Regulators Most breathable apparel doesn’t vent until steam pressure builds up beyond a set threshold, but the Mountain Hardwear Hellgate Pants act quickly, releasing moisture the instant you start to sweat. And when you’re hiking in direct sunlight, full side-zips let the breeze blow through. mountain hardwear.com $350
No need to buy new boots every year. The First Chair 10 is built to last — nearly every part is easily replaced with a screwdriver.
7 I Soothing Performance The trend toward narrow boots has put a painful squeeze on wide feet. But the Full Tilt First Chair 10 Boot gives you a wide toe box supported by a heat-moldable liner. Not compromised: pro-level stiffness. fulltiltboots .com $800
The life-changing call
YO U’V E B E E N WAI T I NG F OR.
Your Inner Wild Is Calling. “I like to think that images of people doing amazing things may open people’s eyes to the human potential, to the idea that people can do the extraordinary when they set their minds to it.” visitjacksonhole.com. Photo and quote, Jimmy Chin, Jackson Hole local
G E A R L A B
Tame Any Beard Now that you’ve committed to facial hair, you need the gear to control those whiskers. by DAN O’SHAUGHNESSY
BEARD LEVEL 1
The battery-powered Philips Norelco OneBlade (philipsusa.com; $35) has waterproof housing and three stubble-length guards, which let you sculpt a 5 o’clock shadow even when you’re in the shower. But remember: Growing facial hair means you’re no longer routinely exfoliating your skin with a razor blade. So to prevent dry, ﬂaky cheeks — or worse, beardruff — use a product like Brickell Renewing Face Scrub (brickellmensproducts.com; $22) every day. Pumice stone and jojoba beads grind away dead cells and uproot ingrown hairs.
PRO TIP: Draw the Line Trim your cheeks so the hairline runs parallel to your jaw, says Michael Gilman, owner of groominglounge.com. Then shave your neck, creating a slow-curving line that crosses just above your Adam’s apple and, if extended, skims the bottom of your earlobes.
BEARD LEVEL 2
Anything over a quarter inch — just long enough to tug — requires a more powerful motor. Our pick: the Wahl Lithium Ion+ Stainless Steel trimmer (home.wahl.com; $72), a sleek machine with twice the torque of other Wahl shavers. The battery lasts for four hours and charges quickly — one minute of juice gives you three minutes of buzz time. And after a shower, massage in a quarter-size amount of Kiehl’s Nourishing Beard Grooming Oil (kiehls .com; $27). It will help you through the itchy phase and keep your facial hair looking healthy.
PRO TIP: Avoid Patches If you have denser hair on your chin and upper lip, hit it with a guard that’s a size smaller than the one you use elsewhere, says Chris Salgardo, Kiehl’s president and author of the grooming guide Manmade. So if your ﬁrst pass is with a number 5 guard, use number 4 on the thick stuff.
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BEARD LEVEL 3
Once your beard reaches half an inch, use scissors to trim ﬂyaways and mustache hairs that tickle your upper lip. For precise control, look for a ﬁnger rest, like the one on the Suvorna Scissors (amazon.com; $25). And every morning, pass a comb through your beard. We like The Art of Shaving’s Horn Comb (theartofshaving.com; from $40). Use the wide teeth to detangle, then switch to ﬁne for a ﬁnal pass.
PRO TIP: Enlist an Expert By shaping your facial hair, a good barber can thin your face or hide a weak chin. So if you hope to grow a beard worthy of a Portland bartender, schedule a trim every three to four weeks. MEN’S JOURNAL
p h o t o g r a p h by S H A N A N OVA K
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G E A R L A B
Riding Dirty A muddy mix of roadand mountain-bike racing, cyclocross doubles the thrill of both sports. Here’s the gear to get you started.
by BERNE BROUDY Cyclocross is as cool as it looks: Racers pedal drop-handlebar bikes with trail-ready tires through a course that often includes pavement, dirt, mud, and grass, as well as obstacles that force you to dismount and sling your bike over your shoulder. “All you really need is to be tough and have a good attitude and a desire to suffer a little bit,” says Stu Thorne, founder and director of the Cannondale professional cyclocross team. The right gear helps, too.
BEST FOR ENTRY LEVEL
Cannondale CAADX 105 What you sacriﬁce with extra weight you make up for with a highly capable aluminum frame that you’ll want to keep riding between races. A carbon-blade fork helps eat up some of the pounding the courses can dish out. The dependable 2x11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain powers through any grade, and TRP cable disc brakes perform well even in mud. Meanwhile, the 35cc tires and stable geometry make the CAADX a superfun commuter if you’re looking for a bike that can multitask. cannondale.com $1,570
BEST FOR EXPERIENCED CYCLISTS
Specialized CruX Elite X1 If you already log long miles on a premium road bike, this should be your new cross rig. The carbon frame is as forgiving as it is light. A low bottom bracket and relatively slack head angle, which make it stable, helped us sail through rocks and roots and corner quickly. The tires can be run tubeless to better resist ﬂats, and extra clearance means they spin freely when caked with mud. The CruX Elite is playful and fast — and something you won’t outgrow as you collect medals. specialized.com $3,000
Find a race or cyclocross training series in your area by checking out the event calendar at usa cycling.org.
Craft Shield Glove
Darn Tough Micro Crew
Park Tool Brush Set
Rapha Arm and Leg Warmers
Topeak SmartGauge D2
The cross season typically runs from September through February, so you’ll need hearty gloves like these, with a ﬂeece lining and a waterproof shell, for warmth on wet race days. craftsports.us $75
Unlike other bike races, cyclocross requires you to be on foot at times. So light, strong socks are key. These aren’t likely to wear out, but Darn Tough will replace them if they do. darntough.com $18
The mud, dirt, and grime that builds up during off-road rides can damage key components. This kit does more than just keep your bike looking fresh; it keeps it healthy, too. parktool.com $20
These merino layers, which have a bit of Lycra for stretch, peel off easily when the weather warms up. And they dry quickly, whether you sweat profusely or get caught in a sudden squall. rapha.cc From $70
For peak performance, adjust your tire pressure to suit the terrain. (On soft trails, lower pressure gives you better grip.) The SmartGauge makes it a snap with a fast, readable result. topeak.com $40
G E A R L A B Eddie Bauer, the entrepreneur and adventurer, patented America’s ﬁrst down jacket in 1936.
Skinny Layers, Fat Warmth Bye-bye, bulk. These insulated jackets are so thin, you’ll barely notice you’re wearing one.
by RYAN STUART
BEST FOR LONG HIKES
BEST FOR VALUE
BEST FOR CAMPING
BEST FOR WET DAYS
1 I Black Diamond First Light Hoody
2 I Eddie Bauer Super Sweater
3 I Westcomb Blaze
The Hoody proves that breathable insulation isn’t an oxymoron. Most down is wrapped in a tightly woven heat-trapping shell, but because this jacket uses a synthetic downlike insulator that comes in a single sheet, it can be paired with a more porous outer fabric. On a frosty ski tour, it worked like a thermostat, dumping excess heat as we grunted up switchbacks and locking in the warmth at rest stops. blackdiamondequipment .com $249
For the Super Sweater, Eddie Bauer dusted off a 1957 design, modernized the fabric, and stuffed the goose down into square baffles. The company kept the snap buttons and rib-knit collar and cuffs but added durability and weather resistance by using a water-repelling ripstop. Even though the result looks a lot like the down jacket our dads wore, this one ﬁts better and doesn’t get soaked. It’s the best deal on this page. eddiebauer.com $129
4 I Columbia OutDry Ex Gold Down Hooded Jacket
p h o t o g r a p h by S H A N A N OVA K
At ﬁrst glance the Blaze appears to be more about style than substance: a thick collar, buttons down the front and at each wrist. Even the available colors are tasteful and muted. But the jacket packs a lot of function, too. The 900-ﬁll Polish white goose down’s warmth is especially impressive considering the whole thing weighs a backpack-worthy nine ounces. Prepare to be the best-dressed — and the warmest — guy around the campﬁre. westcomb.com $350
This jacket is made for fending off the cold, soggy winters of Columbia’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. The 650-ﬁll down feathers lock out the chill; welded baffles reduce cold spots; and a waterproof, breathable outer shell deﬂects the wet. We found the ﬁt to be versatile — it’s just right as a layer under a shell, and it even worked over a ﬂeece without looking too bulky. It’s the most useful layer in our test. columbia.com $250
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G E A R L A B
Clean Machines The robot vacuum is no longer a novelty. We tested four top-of-the-line units to see if they’re worth the steep price tags. by ERIK SOFGE
For our test, we tossed ﬂour around a room and gauged each bot’s ability to access hard-toreach spaces and thoroughness.
Everything about the Dyson 360 Eye is gorgeously designed, from its sleek frame (the nine-inch diameter makes this the smallest of any model here) to the dock, which sits flush against the wall. The look may not seem important, but it is. Robot vacs are supposed to be left in the open, not tucked in a closet, so they can clean on a preprogrammed schedule — even when you’re away from home. We were able to tell the Eye to clean remotely via phone and even view its route afterward. Unfortunately, it left some areas of flour-soiled carpet and hardwood, but more granular dirt was impressively sucked right up. dyson.com $1,000
RATED (1 to 10)
The Smart Vac With a Sense of Style
Neato Botvac Connected
iRobot Roomba 980
Samsung POWERbot Turbo
The relatively quiet Botvac moved faster than the competition, ﬁnishing a bedroom run two minutes quicker than the Dyson and iRobot models. But the Botvac left behind the most ﬂour, sometimes failing to pick up powder that it had passed directly over. At the price, it’s still worth considering as a second vacuum for touch-ups. neatorobotics.com $699
The 980 aggressively hoovered carpet (it boosts power when it detects rug ﬁber) and did something no other model could: It slid under our bed. Its width, however, prevented it from getting under some chairs. It left behind about the same amount of ﬂour as the Dyson but managed to ﬁll the dustbin with dirt we couldn’t spot with the naked eye. irobot.com $900
Getting this bot synced to WiFi and ready to respond to smartphone commands (all models here are phone-controlled) was a hassle, and it’s large and the least attractive of the group. But it was the best cleaner by far: Though it had some trouble where the ﬂoor met carpet, the Turbo otherwise left the room nearly spotless. samsung.com $1,199
p h o t o g r a p h by S H A N A N OVA K
The Last Word Can you walk into a restaurant and know if it’s going to be good? Immediately. Some indicators are the smells, the attitudes, and the cleanliness of the bathrooms. Once you’re seated, though, I think the quality of the soup is the giveaway. If somebody is going to go out of their way to pay attention to the details of making a truly great soup, you know you’re going to have a good meal. At the end of the day, you have to like people to open a restaurant. If you don’t, you’ll be unhappy, and that will come across. Many chefs develop drug and alcohol problems. How did you avoid that? I’ve just seen it fuck up too many people. Whenever I would look back on my life, I’d realize that so many of my old friends were either dead or in prison because of drugs, and that would make me think about what I was doing.
Emeril Lagasse The king of TV cooking on his early days in New Orleans, travels with Charlie Trotter, and dealing with critics. What’s the best advice you ever got? A friend once said to me, “You have to have a mentor, because then you’ll always strive to be better.” That turned out to be so true. I found mentors in people like chef Paul Prudhomme and Ella Brennan. They helped me become a better chef when I was still young and temperamental. One night we were in the middle of service at Commander’s Palace and I was carrying on. Ella wrote a note on a little piece of paper and handed it to me. “Do me a favor and leave your ego at home,” it said. That hit home.
You’ve been a chef in New Orleans for 35 years. What’s the key to cooking there? When I first took over Commander’s Palace, I had tremendous shoes to fill, replacing Paul Prudhomme. I knew I was fond of CreoleAmerican food, but I realized I didn’t actually know a whole lot about it. I wasn’t really able to make my move in that city until I understood the traditions and culture of its people. That’s true of understanding food anywhere, whether you’re in South Korea or on the Amalfi Coast.
What have you learned about work? I got my strong work ethic from my parents. My dad is in his late eighties and he still opens the restaurant every morning. The restaurant business is so cutthroat. What has competition taught you? I think it’s healthy, but I don’t get up every day and worry about other chefs. This is basically how I feel about critics as well. I stopped cooking for them and started cooking for me, and it made me a better chef because I wasn’t worried about what everyone was thinking. I’ve been cooking for nearly 40 years, and I just try a little harder than I did the day before. —INTERVIEW BY SEAN WOODS
Lagasse’s new series, Eat the World, streams on Amazon Prime. He owns 13 restaurants and has authored 19 cookbooks.
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Much of your new show, Eat the World, is about travel. Was there a trip that changed your life? In my younger chef days, I had the pleasure to travel around Europe with the late Charlie Trotter, particularly to France. Charlie was
always looking for the best, and we didn’t just go there to eat — we went there to learn. A lot of what Charlie did was self-taught, yet he had one of the most successful restaurants in the United States. He would come back from these trips and test and test and just keep striving for perfection.
What role does music play in your life? Music runs in my blood, just like food does, and I think it’s what made Emeril Live so lively. It was not easy to pick one over the other. I turned down a full scholarship to a music school to go to cooking school instead. I thought my mom was going to have a stroke. She just couldn’t imagine that after playing music as a young boy, I would turn down such an art form for an opportunity to sweat in the kitchen.
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