Anybody seen these around town lately?
Jurgen told me we might see this happen at Bayern Brewing, but I heard nothing more. Now I see them around town, and I’m wondering if you like them.
I almost picked one up for a party last weekend, but I opted for the relative safety of a six pack.
Mini-kegs are great for summer, and much less work than hauling a full-size keg around. They’re much better than class when you’re up on the river too. My problem is they don’t fit well in my refrigerator.
Sad fact folks. Read the Dear John letter here, and then send me your thoughts. I’ll make sure the big bad brass hear you loud and clear.
Mussels are the national dish of Belgium, and though Belgium is not too far from the rich mussel beds of the North Sea, Missoula is about as far away as you can get.
Thanks God for Costco. My wife found a five-pound bag of Penn Cove mussels for $2 something a pound. So on Friday, I picked up some Belgian beer and set out to enjoy one of my favorite types of seafood.
I suffered from the remains of a head cold on Friday afternoon, so I made the decision to spice up our mussels with a Cajun recipe. Because the traditional method of cooking mussels Belgian style calls for beer, shallots, parsley and butter, a Belgian blond is a perfect match so as not to over power the subtleties of the dish.
I was in a bit of a dilemma because I bought some Belgian blond ales to have with the mussels, but I knew they wouldn’t hold up next to my Cajun heat.
So we used these for an appetizer while the mussels simmered and sweat on our stove.
It was a toss up whether to try a strong pale ale, or a Biere de Noele, a leftover Christmas ale.
We decided on the Delirium Tremens from Huyghe Brewery in Melle for the main course, and we enjoyed a bottle of Noel des Geants for dessert. After all, it’s January in Missoula, and Christmas-like weather is probably in the forecast for another few months.
The bigger pale ale, with an eight-percent abv and a little sweetness matched the spicy mussels perfectly. The alcohol, normally, would bring out the spice, which is what I wanted for my ailing nose. But, in this case, the sour and yeasty flavors actually flattened the spice somewhat and brought out the sea-salt flavors of the mussels in their shells.
The Noel des Geants was perfect for after dinner, if not a bit heavy. With raisony notes and hints of cinnamon and clove, this beer brought out some new flavors in the mussels I shucked later in the evening. I’m now debating whether the Noel des Geants would have been a better match with the meal.
Oh, well, that’s why it’s fun to experiment.
I picked up these beers at Worden’s Market.
This was still fermenting during my last visit to Bitterroot Brewing Co., but I’m all excited to head down and try this.
From Nicol Bozik:
The Belgian Trippel is officially on tap. This strong, Belgian ale is fruity and spicy with a sweet finish. It was brewed with Belgian yeast and Belgian candy sugar and weighs in at 8.73% alcohol content. This beer is DELICIOUS! Ask your beer server for a sample!
Oooh, yeah, save some for me,
This was from Dave in Polson:
Do you ever visit and write about Montana breweries north of Missoula (like in Polson or Lakeside or Woods Bay or Whitefish or west of Marion)?
Dave in Polson
I’m glad you asked. Yes, in fact I have visited the breweries in Polson, Woods Bay and Whitefish. Tamarack in Lakeside wasn’t open at the time. You can read a later Lakeside post here. I would really like to get out to Marion to visit Lang Creek Brewing Co., but they are the most remote microbrewery in America.
I had a video tour of the other breweries that I shot with a small digital camera, (not a video camera) so the quality is not very good. But here it is anyway.
But I do need to get back up there, and now that I’ve featured all the Missoula-area breweries in Missoula.Com magazine, it’s time to check out all those great breweries around Flathead Lake. Part of the problem is that I have responsibilities that keep me busy in town much of the time, so brewery tours are often on my own time. My spring and summer plans include checking out the breweries around the state that I haven’t visited yet, as well as reviewing as many Montana beers as I can.I’d love to start a growler exchange program, you know, like if you plan to visit Missoula and wanted to trade a growler of Kettlehouse IPA for a growler of Peg Leg Porter from Flathead Lake Brewing Co. That kind of thing.
Turns out Kettlehouse Brewing Co. will jump into the barrel-aged beer fray in February with the release of a new specialty beer, according to brewer Paul Roys.
Roys told me about a pint night at the Rhino last week, but I wasn’t able to make it. So, I’m in the same boat as the rest of you. I’m waiting around and salivating for another taste of wood-aged goodness.
All right Bayern, the ball is in your court. How about a wood-aged Faceplant?
When I explained that this stuff has the alcohol content of an imperial IPA, but with the drinkability of a lager, she agreed that people were out of line to complain about the price.
I guess this brings up an interesting point. Are you willing to pay more for high-octane beer? Or, what about specialty beer, like Big Sky’s barrel-aged IPA. (currently on tap at the tasting room) It’s the same IPA you would pay the normal growler fill price for in terms of alcohol content, at least I think it is. (I could be wrong here) But it’s much more rare in that only a little has been aged in wood.
I hear people complain about beer prices, but then I find Bayern six packs on sale at CVS for $5.99. (CVS is a pharmacy off Brooks that has an awesome wine selection and great beer deals) It used to be that beer drinkers looked for cheap beer prices to buy more beer to get tanked with. Now, with good, high-end beers more the norm, and super-specialty imports more available, less is more.
What say you?
Red Bird has this interesting tripel from Kerkom brewery in Belgium. It’s called Bink, and it’s hoppier than most tripels. At first I was a bit surprised by the deep, earthy taste of this beer, but then the hop profile expanded once the beer warmed up a bit. Turns out this was a whole new tripel experience for me, and it wasn’t disappointing at all.
Where: Red Bird
Price: $22 for a 750 ml bottle
Thoughts: Rich, earthy with honey notes and caramel apple. Hops come on strong after the beer has warmed and give the beer a floral and earthy, almost grassy taste.
Hankering for a beer festival? Check out the Cool Dog this Friday:
Annual Micro-Brew Review & Cool Dog event will be at the Helena Civic Center Ballroom from 6:00 to midnight. This party is way too cool to miss out on and it is a major fundraiser for Race to the Sky. Come support the race and sample some amazing microbrews and come listen to some great dance music of Big Mumbo Blues! The Big Mumbo Blues Band made their Helena debut at the Mount Helena Music Festival. For this performance they will add both their sax and trumpet player to the mix to accompany Northwest Inland Award Winning band.
The event is limited to the first 1,500 participants and tickets are available at Bert & Ernie’s, Topper’s Market, The Overland Express, Staggering Ox and the Downtown Helena Office. So get your tickets early before they run out!
Over thirty-two of the finest micro-beers from Montana and the northwest will be featured. Montana breweries participating in the Brew Review include Blackfoot River Brewing and Lewis & Clark Brewery of Helena, Big Sky and Bayern Brewing of Missoula, Bitterroot Brewing of Hamilton, Harvest Moon of Belt and Lang Creek Brewery of Marion. In addition to the micro-beers there will be wine, non-alcoholic beverages and a variety of entrees and appetizers available for purchase. Taste tickets for a six ounce beer samplers are $1 each or six for $5.
I found this posted here.
All right, for those of you who don’t know, Kettlehouse Brewing Co., will be opening a new brewing facility on the Northside sometime this year. The process has been long and arduous, but good things are starting to happen.
Here’s the latest update from Kettlehouse owner Tim O’Leary:
We’re closing in on a permit set of plans. (electrical, mechanical, site plan and structural) Hopefully that will happen by end of week and we can get the building permit process going. That could take three or more weeks. We’re concurrently submitting state and federal brewery licensing as well as local and federal food manufacturers licensing. Conservatively it could take 4 months or as long as 8 months for licensing to be processed.
Brewery equipment is ordered, boiler ordered, possibly ordering a grain bin this week for Montana grown barley (when the crop’s right) and other pieces of equipment. We have demo’d out some of the floor which will be rebuilt stronger once we get our building permit. That part of the brewery will house the brewhouse and cellar.
It is important to note that our goal is to get the brewery producing Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, Double Haul IPA, followed by Eddy Out Pale Ale for our wholesale business as soon as possible. The taproom on the Northside may not open right a way. It will depend on how the construction budget plays out. Again the primary purpose of the Northside is to increase our production of our wholesale business, so the taproom will open as the budget allows. It will be much more scaled down than Myrtle street, as we will only have the three beers that are produced there available for sampling. We will however, have more room for special tastings, Wednesday night promos, (which we use to raise funds for local non profits but had to discontinue due to occupancy issues) and other marketing events. It will serve as a fall back location should we lose our Myrtle street taproom for whatever reason.
Thanks for asking and I am trying to keep our BrewNews page at www.kettlehouse.com current with updates whenever anything happens.