Words & Deeds

Don’t stare at the sun. (Or drink yourself blind!) 5 eclipse-themed local beers, wine

Sockeye Brewing’s Line of Totality IPA
Sockeye Brewing’s Line of Totality IPA Redfish Lake Lodge/Facebook

Let’s shed some light on beers and wines that celebrate the eclipse.

First of all, that headline is serious. Please drink responsibly when staring directly into a hot plasma star.

Secondly, eclipse beverages? They’re all a marketing ploy!

“Yes, I created a gimmick label to capitalize on the eclipse,” confesses Eric Smallwood, winery manager for Holesinsky Vineyard and Winery in Buhl.

But wait — Sockeye Brewing’s new Line of Totality IPA? “It’s made with real moon dust,” deadpans Mark Breske, Sockeye’s marketing director.

Marketing ploy or not, it’s fun to have a special beverage commemorating the Aug. 21 phenomenon.

And Idahoans appear to have an unquenchable thirst for the eclipse.

“This wine has been the biggest hit we have ever released,” Smallwood says, “... and at the rate we are selling it, I expect to be sold out by the end of this week. I have had inquiries from all over the country, shipped it as far away as Florida.”

Raise a toast to the black hole sun. Before these special beverages sell out.


Like Smallwood says, it’s a gimmick, folks. It’s also a fine-looking bottle of wine. “I blended the best stuff we had on oak so people are getting a premium product,” he says. “The wine was a reserve blend of four barrels of Syrah and one barrel of Cabernet Franc.”

Holesinsky hand-bottled 112 cases. The wine is entirely local to Idaho and the Snake River Valley American Viticultural Area, he says.

“The Syrah came from our vineyard and the Cabernet Franc came from the (Jamie) Martin vineyard in Hagerman. The label design was done by Randy Thaemert Design out of Boise. The glass was screen printed by Precision Bottle Decorators in Garden City.”

▪ Holesinsky Winery, available at retailers including Boise Co-op Wine Shop and City Center Wines, suggested retail $30.


Turnaround, bright eyes. I’ve got an Idaho beer for ya.

When it comes to eclipse exploitation, Hailey-based Sawtooth Brewery wasn’t about to get left in the dark. The brewery has unleashed a Mosaic hop-based extra pale ale — Total Eclipse of the Hop.

The name is fun. And the jet-black label with its giant hop is, well, somewhat awesome.

Available on draft and in cans.

▪ Sawtooth Brewery, available at area stores such as Albertsons, WinCo and Stinker, as well as various stores statewide.


This limited-release, seasonable beer from Sockeye Brewing is only 4.0 percent alcohol by volume, so you really could drink a couple responsibly on the day of the eclipse.

Sockeye says it’s “crafted with pine and citrus flavors and aromas of an American-style IPA.” IPA junkies will appreciate the hop recipe of Centennial, Magnum, Simcoe and Idaho 7.

▪ Sockeye Brewing, available only at Redfish Lake Lodge, Stanley, on draft or in cans.


Jackson, Wyoming-based Snake River Brewing also has jumped on the eclipse bandwagon, releasing its Eclipse Ale with enough time to rack up some sales.

Six packs of cans of this “easy drinking” extra pale ale cost $10.49 at the Co-op.

▪ Snake River Brewing, available at area stores including Boise Co-op.


In the first cooperative beer effort from Boise’s Payette Brewing Co. and Nampa’s Mother Earth Brew Co., the local heavyweights decided to have some fun. Behold the marketing language: “Inspired by a magic centenary event, Mother Earth collaborated with like-minded brewers at Payette Brewing to create a beer that will bend space and time.” LUNARtic is “an anti-gravity ale with Comet, Galaxy, and Mosaic lupulin dust.”

All cleverness aside, “it’s really good!” promises Payette marketing director Paige Coyle.

▪ Draft only, starting at a launch party from 6 to 10 p.m. Aug. 9 at Payette Brewing. Pints will be $3. Bonus: Wear Boise will be at the brewery with limited-edition eclipse-inspired merchandise for sale.


Did you miss out on Blackout from Idaho’s Holesinsky? You can always turn to Oakville, California-based 7 Moons, which is available year-round. It describes itself as “a smooth, easy-to-drink wine that celebrates the seven phases of the moon with its blend of 7 grape varietals, moon phase label, and made for the moonlight mantra.”

7 Moons says the 2015 red blend “opens with aromas of chocolate-covered cherries, baking spices, and vanilla bean. Flavors of strawberry preserves, cherry cola, and milk chocolate follow through to a fruit-forward, lingering finish.”

7 Moons Wine Co., available widely at wine retailers and grocers such as Albertsons. Suggested retail: $12.99.

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