In October Made Here! held a virtual contest to decide what is the coolest thing made in Idaho. The stipulation for nomination was simple: The product had to be manufactured in Idaho. Last week the winner was announced: Sawtooth by Black Sage. What is it? The Black Sage website describes it as "a multi-mission short range air defense solution combining high performance sensors and effectors with the latest generation of automated command and control software." My tiny brain doesn't really know what that means, but you can click here to take a look at this thing and learn more about it.

I'm not going to lie, I'm less than enthused by this choice for winner. It's not that I don't think it's important technology we need (we need it, right?), but I was hoping something more civilian would take the prize. I combed through the nominees list and there are two that would have gotten my vote for the top spot.

44° North Mountain Huckleberry Vodka immediately caught my eye because I'm a lush, and also I've had it before! 13th Street Pub & Grill uses it in one of their signature cocktails. I specifically ordered it because I'm obsessed with huckleberry ever since I moved to Idaho. My server gave me a little spiel about it being made here. Seriously, it was one of the best cocktails I've ever had. Smooth and scrumptious.

I've heard of shipping containers recycled as homes, but I didn't know we had that going on in Idaho. indie DWELL builds "affordable housing solutions that are energy efficient, sustainable, healthy and durable." They're also partnered with a non profit to provide low income housing. Basically they're helping people and the environment in a quintessentially hipster way. Here for it.

Next year I'll be sure to do my research and make my own nomination to the contest. I get that technology is cool, but I refuse to believe it's the coolest thing. Probably because I'm not tech savvy and still want to consider myself cool.


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