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Great Divide's hairy mascot talks about his namesake brews

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I sat in the back room of the Federal on Main Street in Durham nursing a Nosferatu from Great Lakes Brewing. It is a medium-bodied imperial red ale with a biscuity backbone and an ABV of 8 percent.

It seemed like a fitting choice for what was about to transpire.

My interview subject arrives, almost 7 feet tall, body fully covered in hair. He smells better than expected. The lore says his kind carries a unique stench. He is a Yeti. When I comment on his odor, or lack thereof, he claims he took a dip in the Eno River to clean up for this interview. "But on any other day, yeah you'd smell me a mile away," says Yeti.

"People stare at me," he says. "They want to believe in my existence but are afraid to," he says. "Non-believers will always be non-believers, ya know?"

I ask if Bigfoot and Sasquatch were relatives. "Absolutely," says Yeti with a nod of the head. "They came across the land bridge and like to live in the woods. Like most relatives, we don't get together as much as we should," he says.

PHOTO BY GREG BARBERA
  • Photo by Greg Barbera

"Living in Nepal, I rarely make it into the city limits," he says. On this day, he was on a quest to quench his thirst. "I need some craft beer. I am tired of yak's milk," he explains. A being of mythical proportions, it's not surprising that he has a line of beers named after him. The flagship Yeti is an imperial stout brewed by Great Divide Brewing in Colorado. But you also can find a barrel-aged version, oak-aged versions in chocolate or espresso and an oatmeal stout offering. That is the one we drink. The Yeti drinks with a straw, by the way.

These creatures are known to be nocturnal, so it was surprising to see him, even if it's in a bar, in the light of day. "Great beer brings us out," he says before another sip of his namesake stout.

"So you are telling me that after all this time trying to be track down the Yeti, people simply need to set a trap with craft beer?" I ask. "It's possible," he replies. "But you don't always catch the mouse with cheese if you know what I am saying."

PHOTO BY GREG BARBERA
  • Photo by Greg Barbera

Of all the beers named after him, the Yeti can't bring himself to choose a favorite. "The chocolate and espresso are neck and neck. Choosing one over the other would be a disservice to either of them," he says. "So I won't do it."

If the Yeti is asking people to believe in him, I had to wonder, "What does the Yeti believe?"

"Hmmmm ... What do I believe?" he says repeating the question. "That's very philosophical. He obviously believes in himself. The Yeti is a loner but not so much an introvert."

And beer. The Yeti believes in craft beer.

This article appeared in print with the headline "Snow joke: Yetis love beer"

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