Payette Brewing COMPANY: OFFICIAL BEER OF NORTH FORK CHAMPIONSHIP
A quick rundown of the rowdiest whitewater weekend of your life
Once again, and now in its 8th year, the North Fork Championship descended upon Highway 55 along the Payette River just outside of Banks, Idaho. Competitors from all over the world gathered to tackle some of the gnarliest whitewater stretches the U.S. has to offer along the North Fork of the Payette looking to be crowned not only the King and Queen of the North Fork but also World Champions. Sponsoring the event since its inception, Payette Brewing Co. was there to support and quench the thirst of athletes and spectators alike alongside sponsors like Red Bull, GoPro and NRS.
Kicking off the week of whitewater excitement, Payette Brewing held the NFC Wild Rivers Symposium. Showcasing the conservation and impact work done by the river community to raise awareness of the many problems our river ecosystems face on a global scale. It was a great turnout that brought the rafting and conservation communities together for a worthy cause.
As if the symposium wasn’t reason enough for a gathering in our beer garden, Payette Brewing was also celebrating the release of our super limited edition, Jacob’s Ladder Lager. Brewed specifically to honor our partnership with the North Fork Championship, it quickly became the official beer of NFC weekend as it is a crisp refreshing lager that was made to be enjoyed riverside after a rowdy whitewater session. Needless to say, many Jacob’s Ladder Lagers were crushed throughout the weekend. Come get a taste for yourself for a limited time in our Tap Room at Payette.
After the River Symposium at the brewery, the official start of the kayaking portion of NFC VIII went down the next day as competitors began running the river in both head-to-head and timed competitions in order to cut down the field leading up to the main event. The winners of the first day of qualification runs were announced later that evening at the Whitewater Awards held at the Egyptian theater in downtown Boise.
Following the Whitewater Awards the rest of the weekend would be spent split between the small town of Crouch, Idaho and the banks of the North Fork of the Payette River. With many of the spectators and athletes spending their days on the banks watching the competition and retiring to Weilmunster Park and the notorious Dirty Shame Saloon for some after hours fun. Disclaimer: this is where photos from the Dirty Shame would normally be inserted but we were recently reminded that “What happens at the Dirty Shame, stays at the Dirty shame” so if our readers have never experienced it, they may just have to use their imagination. Coincidentally, most of the Payette Brewing marketing, sales, and production teams were on hand to help rehydrate festival goers throughout the weekend.
The main event turned out to be as gnarly as advertised with several top competitors either not being able to make the runs they intended or simply being unable to qualify. Initial reports suggested that even the most season athletes found this stretch challenging enough but were tested even further with the addition of gates that were required checkpoints for each kayaker to reach in order to navigate toward certain obstacles.
When all was said and done we were left with a new King and Queen of the North Fork and two newly crowned world champions. Event veterans and crowd favorites Dane Jackson and Marianne Saether took it home for the men and women, respectively.
And just like that, the sun had set on another edition of the North Fork Championship, and what we believe to be the biggest year yet. You better believe that we at Payette Brewing Co. and those in the international kayaking community are already looking forward to the ninth edition of the NFC in 2020.