Trout Slayer will be reborn tomorrow at approximately 9:30 a.m., the time at which Company B, out of Kalispell, likely will OK the nameless beer already brewed by Big Sky.
Here’s what I know:
At 8:30 a.m., the owners of Big Sky will sign a very official document stating they will produce a beer called Trout Slayer, the name, owned by Company B and formerly licensed to Bayern, which is now brewing the old Trout Slayer recipe as Dancing Trout. Wow, that’s confusing. I’m not sure if Big Sky will own the name outright or have a similar deal to that of Bayern, but I’ll find out more tomorrow.
At 9:30 a.m., Big Sky will begin rolling out Trout Slayer beer and merch.
Here’s where you come in:
At 11:00 a.m., the public can get a first taste of the reincarnation of Trout Slayer at the Old Post.
And, Bjorn informs me, Trout Slayer will be available on tap at the brewery tomorrow.
Please let me know what you think of the new brew, the art, the whole shin dig.
This week in Beer town
I don’t like making lists of things I’m going to blog about, but there is just so much going on these days.
So, here’s a list of things I’d like to talk about this week:
- The release of Trout Slayer by new-name owner Big Sky Brewing Company. (scheduled for Wednesday)
- The Bitterroot Microbrew Fest – I didn’t get to go, but I’d love to hear from those who did. Tell me about the beers, the atmosphere and the quantity of the pours. (That’s how I judge a good brew fest)
- The Testicle Festival. Yes, it’s fun just to say, but I plan to spend at least a few hours at the dirtiest little festival in the
Rocky Mountains. We’ll check out the beer scene to see if we spot anything more colorful than straw yellow.
- The Great American Brew Fest – I’d love to know if any local brews will represent
, or the rest of Missoula , at this year’s GABF. The Grizzly Growler will look into it and get back to you with an early list. Montana
- July Beer Tasting – If I can pull this thing off before Wednesday, we’ll have a July Beer Tasting featuring beers from here and there and the combined tasting notes of a small army of beer lovers.
So stick around and check back frequently. I’ll be posting frequently and furiously to get you the latest beer gossip, the newest brews and notes on those you might have passed over during your last stroll down the beer aisle.
If you are observant, you might have noticed the video that was formerly here is gone. This is because until one of those programming geniuses who knows how to to create a video player based on Macromedia’s Flash Player 7 and Sorenson SparkH.263 video codec comes along, I’ll be blogging from the dark ages. That’s all right though, it’ll just mean I’ll have to be more interesting in print. Sorry for the inconvenience, and if you’re one of those people who knows all that complex coding, the Missoulian is a great place to work. I’ll even let you sit by me, and we can taste beer after work. Anyone interested? Anyone?
I don’t drink dark beer during the summer. The reason I don’t is probably psychological — dark beer means heavy beer. While that’s often true, there are a few beers out there that offer a dark complexion, good complexity and light body. Sounds like a description out of a romance novel doesn’t it? Here’s an article about schwarz weissbier, German black wheat beer, that sheds a little more light on dark beers you can drink during the summer. Read it here.
We have some really good breweries in Missoula. We’ve got a regionally renowned brewery in Big Sky, a local favorite in Kettlehouse, and there are days when I’m really glad we have a traditional German brewery because I can try a schwarz weissbier right here in town. That’s right, Bayern Brewery’s schwarz weissbier is on tap. I haven’t tried it yet, but after reading this article I’m going to head over to Bayern’s tasting room and have myself a taste of the dark side. Why don’t you join me.
It’s that time again beer lovers. It’s 5 p.m. in Missoula, and Missoula is somewhere. Peel yourself off your seat and go get a beer. This Friday’s beer-O-the-day is Red Seal Ale from North Coast Brewing Company. This copper-colored pale ale is a great barbecue beer, one of my favorite summertime ales . The spiced-hop finish pairs perfectly with barbecue sauce, grilled chicken, salmon or sausages. Your grilled veggies shouldn’t suffer the indignity of being overpowered, because this beer’s a bona fide pale.
If you are observant, you might have noticed the video that was formerly here is gone. This is because until one of those programming geniuses who knows how to to create a video player based on Macromedia‘s Flash Player 7 and Sorenson SparkH.263 video codec comes along, I’ll be blogging from the dark ages. That’s all right though, it’ll just mean I’ll have to be more interesting in print. Sorry for the inconvenience, and if you’re one of those people who knows all that complex coding, the Missoulian is a great place to work. I’ll even let you sit by me, and we can taste beer after work. Anyone interested? Anyone?
Like I said, this is not a complete list. There are just way too many good beers out there. But these are beers that stick in my head for some reason. Some are seasonal, some don’t exist any more, and some of these beers require a lot of travel to enjoy. But here’s the first beer list on grizzlygrowler.com.
Terminal Gravity’s IPA
Why? I think it’s the best IPA on the market.
Kettlehouse’s Eddie Out Pale Ale
Why? It has a certain je ne sais quoi, but something that is wholly Missoulian. Could be the water, could be the brewery’s proximity to the Clark Fork River, but this is a good example of pale ale done right.
Bayern’s Unfiltered Pilsner
Why? Because it’s pure German lager with a just a little somethin’ somethin’ left over. I like it on days when it is over 100 degrees, or even days when it’s 90 degrees. Heck, I’d drink this stuff on an 80-degree day and be happy for it.
Lagunita’s Eye of the Hairball (though you won’t find this on tap anymore)
Why? This has to be the most legendary beer on tap I’ve ever had. It was Santa Rosa, California in 1996 or 1997, and my best friend discovered Lagunitas Brewing Company. Back then they were just a bunch of young punks in a tiny brewery. But they always gave us a pint glass when we visited with the invita-tion to fill it up and try all their beers. Eye of the Hairball was, I believe, a barley wine.
Anderson Valley’s Poleeko Gold Pale Ale
Why? I love IPAs, I mean I’m absolutely in-love with big hop bombs out there, but I’ve come to appreciate some of the finer qualities of the lesser beers, like being able to consume them with a meal. Beer is great with food, and I’ve been dying for a good microbrew to have with sushi or other raw-fish meals. Poleeko Pale Ale is it. It’s dry with enough acidity to stand up to bigger flavors. It doesn’t stand on the tongue too long, so it can really rinse your mouth after a hot bite, and it isn’t too malt heavy so that it masks those delicate vinegar-rice flavors of your favorite sushi.
In the Bottle
North Coast’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
Why? It’s a meal in a bottle. And it’s a dry-hopped stout, something I think really brings out the flavors in the heavier beers.
Bridgeport’s IPA bottle conditioned
Why? Bottle-conditioned beer is good because it’s a little chemistry experiment in a bottle. Bridgeport Brewing has been doing this for a long time, and the consistency of their product is hard to match. Other bottle-conditioned ales can be all over the board in terms of flavor. This one hits its mark each time.
Full Sail’s Session Premium Lager
Why? We don’t have any good session beers anymore. These were lighter beers designed to slake a good thirst. In other words, you could sit down and drink a few of these without feeling too much in the way of a buzz. Full Sail’s Session Premium Lager is flavorful without relying on high alcohol and hops to produce taste. They do it the old-fashioned way, they balance their brew with a medium body, a fresh-hop nose and just a tad more alcohol than you’d find in a beer from, oh, say Utah.
Why? I can’t really describe this monster any better than John Maier can.
Brewer 2006 Specifications: Plato 17.6 degrees, ABV 7.33 percent, IBUs 106.9, Srm 66.4.
Malts: French Pale malt, Great Western C-120 & C-75, Weyermann Melanoidin and Baird Chocolate malt.
Boiling hops: Newport, Chinook, Horizon, Simcoe and Summit.
Dry hopped @ 1# per bbl. with Summit, Amarillo, Centennial and German Saphir hops.
Unfiltered, Unfined, and Uncompromised ~ prost!
Lagunita’s Hairy Eyeball
Why? The name says it all. But this really is a good beer.
From Across the Pond, or Ponds
Hoegaarden – Belgian White Beer
Why? In a word, this is trendy in big beer cities like Portland and Seattle. I’m a fan of the white beers for their spice and their color. There is a Ukrainian white beer out there that took top honors at a worldwide event several years ago. It’s a lot easier to get Hoegaarden than the Ukrainian stuff, so it’s on the list.
Warsteiner – German Pils
Why? My dad introduced me to Warsteiner the last time we were in Europe together. Germans will tell you it’s the Budweiser of Europe but the quality is outstanding and it’s about the only affordable beer in Europe these days.
Pilsner Urquell – Czech Pils
Why? I used to work at a pub that kept Pilsner Urquell on tap for one customer, Henry. He was a Czech dissident and one of the proudest beer drinkers I’ve ever known. It was many times Henry and I sat around and talked about the “old country” over a cold pilsner.
Bucanero – Cuban strong beer
Why? It was 98/98 in Cuba when I was there. That means 98 degrees and 98-percent humidity. My beer of choice was Cristal, a light beer that managed to quench your thirst for all of 15 minutes. But Bucanero is a completely different animal. It’s a malt bomb that is extraordinarily smooth so that it masks the sweetness. I know Cuba is the land of the mojito, but that’s because no one who hasn’t been there knows about the beer. Soon, Cuba, soon.
Guinness Extra Stout – Irish stout
Why? This doesn’t really need an explanation.
Fiji Bitter stubbies – Fijian light ale
Why? I discovered Fiji Bitter stubbies just after social unrest shook the islands in the early 90s. I lived with Fijian Indians and islanders, the two main inhabitants of the islands. It was a very tense time, but the evenings were given over to feasts of fish, cassava and Fiji Bitter stubbies. I’d like to buy the world a beer and teach it how to sing. Then maybe we’d have some peace.
This is not a beer list. I hate beer lists. That said, many people enjoy the beer list. Grizzlygrowler reader Mike has asked for a beer list, so I’ve decided to indulge him. However, I need some time to process my selections. This will simply be a list of beers I’ve enjoyed recently, and which I’d like to share with all of you. It is in no way a complete list or an endorsement of these over other great beers. Good lord, do you realize how many beers I’ve yet to try? I would be insane to write a definitive beer list. So Mike, in my next post you shall have your beer list, but do be careful with it, and don’t condemn me for my choices. The beauty of beer is that if you don’t like something one time, try it again in a different frame of mind. If you still don’t like it try it again just to be sure. Pretty soon you’re at the end of the six pack and you realize it’s not so bad. Just kidding, this is not a way to try beer, unless you are in college. The real beauty in beer is that there is almost always a beer for every taste and quite likely a taste for every beer.
I realize this is premature, (sorry Brian, this is a beer blog) but in case you didn’t see Bjorn Nabozney’s comment on the last blog, Big Sky Brewing Co. will be marketing a beer called Trout Slayer soon. We don’t know what incarnation Trout Slayer will take when it re-emerges as a Big Sky ale, but now we know that Big Sky will resurrect the popular name that once graced the bottles of brew from Bayern Brewery. Personally, I’d love to know what you think of the switch and what this means to beer drinkers locally or anywhere Bayern or Big Sky are available. Send me your thoughts my fellow beer enthusiasts.
Or is it the resurrection? That’s the question for fans of the beer name once marketed by Bayern Brewery. Jurgen Knoller, owner of Bayern, recently changed the name of Trout Slayer, which he was licensing from Kalispell businessman Brian Beck. But that’s not the end of the story. Rumors are swirling around Missoula about just where the name Trout Slayer might surface next. My favorite rumor is that Big Sky Brewing Co. bought, or will buy, the rights to the name and market it as a fruit beer. This is a serious blog dedicated to the craft brewing industry and beer lovers the world over, so beginning Monday I’m going to get to the bottom of this controversy. But I need your help. Tell me what you know and why you know what you know. Send me an e-mail or leave a comment on this post about what you’ve heard and we’ll see if there might be a little life left in Trout Slayer.