Grizzly Adams Uncovers a Gentle Brown

- by Bill Craver

“A wiser fella once said, sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, the bear eats you.”

  • The Big Lebowski


The onset of Fall brings cooler days, colder nights and terrific beer-drinking weather. Not just any beer will do though – this time of year, people naturally gravitate toward darker, maltier brews. As a seasonal brewery, Legion’s Brew Staff has naturally been on the case. Joining our Breakfast Stout (Dark Intentions) and Farmhouse Red (The Little Red Hen), we are pleased to now add a brown ale to the current lineup.

We’re calling this brown bear of a beer, Grizzly Adams (American Brown Ale; 5.8% ABV; 28 IBUs), named after the fictional mountain man, James “Grizzly” Adams. His legend was popularized in a 1972 historical fiction novella and television series of the same name. In each telling of the story, the title character was a frontier woodsman who fled his hometown and set out to make a life for himself in the mountains.

While struggling to adopt to wilderness survival, Adams rescued and adopted an orphaned grizzly bear cub. Ben, his new family member, rapidly grew to its huge adult size, becoming Grizzly Adams’ gentle friend and trusty companion. Originally a hunter, by virtue of his burgeoning friendship with Ben, Adams developed an extreme affection for wildlife, resolving never to harm another animal. Consistently kind and gentle, the pair developed an uncanny ability to gain the trust of a wide swath of the wildlife in the region.

At Legion Brewing, we believe that our version of Grizzly Adams shares many of the same laudable characteristics as the original mountain man. This brown ale was brewed with a combination of specialty grains from regional malt houses, Epiphany and Copper Fox. Chocolate, caramel, biscuit, and toasted grains give Grizzly Adams deep notes of caramel, subtle cherry, and toasted bread crust. And much like the brown fur of the grizzly itself, this beer sports a rich, mahogany hue that shines through in both color and flavor.

“When you first look at this brown beer, it appears to have a harsh and gruff exterior,” notes Associate Brewer, Scott Griffin. “However, this first impression belies the fact that Grizzly Adams is a warm, approachable, drinkable, and even friendly beer. The local malts that we selected give Grizzly Adams a toasty depth that is perfect for the current season. The place I’d most like to drink this beer would be sitting on top of a boulder overlooking a mountain stream, an old musket slung across my back…”

All of us at Legion Brewing are delighted to share a pint of Grizzly Adams with our customers. While we can’t provide vintage muskets to go, we are sure that our friends will find their own special places to enjoy a glass of this seasonal brown ale.