While a crackling fire may provide warmth, there're two things you can never get back after you start one: 1) the wood, and 2) your dream of being in Billy Joel's posse. Sparing his fire wood so you can toss 'em back-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack-ack, the guy behind Old Bear Creek.
From the hands of a 30-year woodworking veteran in Minnesota, OBC peddles cabin-vibed drinking vessels hand cut from a variety of exotic woods originally destined for his fireplace, because Minnesota screams "exotic wood fires". The stein-y collection starts with tapered hexagonal beasts made from logs hollowed & sanded on a lathe, and shined up with three coats of food-grade epoxy, ranging from a rugged 32oz Pirates tankard cut from 100 year-old walnut, to a 24oz job made of contrasting strips of maple and purpleheart, to a strikingly rich 24oz cedar job boasting loads of natural swirls, a look best described as Knotty By Nature. There're also rustic "straight from the forest" pieces made from hollowed pieces of willow that still have their (now glossy) bark, including a 12oz "Shorty" with a deer antler handle, and a larger 16oz version touted as a "great way to have a drink in the woods [without] leaving home" -- if you can't find your way back afterwards, you're dumb.
If the current lineup doesn't scratch you, he'll work up a custom piece letting you pick everything down to the type of handle, but don't go too obscure, or else your mug won't show up for "The Longest Time".
Published: October 20, 2010 at 4:00am EDT
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