Jump Right InCragjumper's Alehouse sits in the common part of the town of Blackstone. Cragjumper's Alehouse has served that part of town all the way back to when it was the only part of town. The only real rival to the alehouse is the Blackstone Inn which stands in the fancy part of town built for all the wealthy who come to Blackstone. It would probably be a shock to those finery folks to know that the inn's special brew, Peak Ale, is made in Cragjumper's.
The BeginningCragjumper's Alehouse began as a simple tavern where the Mudrunner Clan served up the ales, wines, and spirits it had taken in raids, back in the days when the town was simply their permanent camp. Back then, the tavern had no name as it was just a pole building. As the permanent camp turned into a town, the people took to farming more than piracy. With less raids there was less spirits to be had at the pole barn tavern, so folks began brewing their own. The competition to have their brew sold at the pole barn quickly heated up. The elders, who ran the tavern to fund town works, decided to put an end to all the rivalries before things got bloody. They decided to hold a competition during the spring planting. The best brew would get the tavern. The competition quickly became a festival where the townsfolk sampled brew after brew. If they liked a brew, they dropped a painted stone in a basket by that brew. Finally, it came down to two brewers. One with a wonderful honey mead made by Ahzlo and the other with a mighty fine dark ale made by Merko. It was so close the town was split evenly on whose was best. The elders then declared a brew off. This second brewing would prove who had the most consistent brewing style and the judging would be held during the fall harvest.
The FinaleMerko was determined to beat his rival, Ahzlo, and he carefully tended his hopps fields, waiting for the mid-summer harvest when they would be ready. Ahzlo, too, was determined to win. As Merko's hopps were ready to be harvested, Ahzlo set fire to Merko's fields. He snuck back home and into bed, just in time to awakened by the ringing of the muster bell. He went out with the other men to put out the fires before they burned more than Merko's fields, all the time pretending to be concerned. Though there was no way to prove who had started the fires that ruined his fields, Merko felt certain it was Ahzlo but there was no time to get justice. At least, not if he wanted to win. Tossing aside his fury, Merko headed into the hills, looking for wild hopps. That was where he had found the first plants he had started his fields with years ago. With time against him, Merko roamed those hills. He took great risks, like jumping from one side of a steep peak to the other to save time by not going back down and around. Herders in the hills watched him and in the evenings they amused the townsfolk with Merko's escapades. Everyone took to calling him Cragjumper because of those shepherds. Merko was too busy to care. Finally able to start his brew, Merko worked hard until every drop that could be barreled was barreled. He spent the rest of the summer guarding his barrels and good naturedly accepted folks calling him Cragjumper. Then, it was the fall harvest. Time for the festival. Ahzlo was certain his brew would win, and he strutted around like he had already won. As people sampled both brews, more and more choosing stones went into Merko's basket, frustrating Ahzlo. It was not until he sampled some of Merko's brew that he realized why. This was the very best brewed ale he had ever tasted. When the end of the festival came and Merko was declared the winner, Ahzlo slunk home in defeat.
PosterityMerko swore to his family that the hopps on the slopes added their own special flavor and, from that day on, all their ale would come from the slopes. He named his ale Peak Ale and named the simple tavern Cragjumper's Alehouse after adding a brewery barn. To this day, the family name is Cragjumper and their hopps come from farms on the tall sloping hills.
"Hear ye! Hear ye! The contests have ended in a tie! We must have a winner! To that end, it has been decided that the top two brews shall compete in a run-off to be held at the fall harvest. May the best brew win!"
Ahzlo by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge
"Nothing will beat MY honey mead. I'll see to that."
Merko by Dazzlinkat on HeroForge
"My brew will win even if I have to scour every slope of every mountain for the hopps!"
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