I’m curious what you like to drink on the 4th of July. It seems like a pretty epic beer holiday. However, I don’t always hear back from you. So here’s what I’m going to do.
I’m giving away a collectible growler full of beer to one lucky member of the craft beer group on Speakupmissoula.com. So, if you’re not already signed up and contributing, do so by midnight on Thursday, July 2. If you do, I’ll pick the name of one lucky winner and announce it on Friday, July 3. You have to be fairly local too. I can’t send beer through the mail here.
Here’s the trick. To get your name in on the drawing, you gotta comment, vote or otherwise participate in the beer discussion.
Oh, and the contest rules are subject to change.
To register, click on the box below.
The two lives of Michael Jackson.
One was a freak of nature, a tour de force of child-like love of simple things. And one was a wild-haired creature of mirth and merriment with a penchant for blondes. I’ll let you decide which is which.
I loved how whenever I mentioned the renowned beer guru Michael Jackson, people inevitably blinked and asked when the gloved one began writing about craft beer. “Oh,” I’d tell them, “It was right after he did that Pepsi commercial that burned up his hair real bad.” “Oh,” they’d say and smile and take another sip.
Michael Jackson the pop singer died yesterday at the age of 50. Michael Jackson, the journalist and beer writer, passed away in August of 2007. It seems both died from heart attacks.
And though I’ve never heard a negative word about Michael Jackson, the writer, much has been said about Michael Jackson, the singer, songwriter and dancer. But each contributed something lasting and worthwhile, no matter the outcomes of their individual lives.
That’s why I gotta make a toast to the two Michael Jacksons, their respective legacies and their work to make the name Michael Jackson a household name. At least the gloved one became a household name. The other Michael Jackson found his way into the hearts of millions of craft brew lovers.
What would I drink to a musical and dance artist and a beer and whiskey writer who shaped public sentiment toward quality craft beers?
Why a Michael Jackson Malheur of course. Aside from the name meaning misfortune in French, the beer is a perfect send off in many other ways.
For every wound, a balm.
For every sorrow, cheer.
For every storm, a calm.
For every thirst, a beer.
I’ve always said that if I were to wake up suddenly allergic to seafood, I’d go to Boston, gather up all the ingredients for a fine bouillabaisse and go out in style.
But if that were a hop allergy, I’d search out the best medical doctors, read up on the latest convergence of science and medicine, opt for a total-body transplant, anything to be able to continue to consume beverages with hops in them.
Why the sudden fear about hop allergies? I’d never met someone allergic to hops until yesterday. A co-worker told me a horrific story about her 21st birthday, which ended with her blue in a bathtub suffering anaphylactic shock. From hops no less.
So what is a person to do if they’re allergic to hops? Drink an Oregon IPA and go out in style? Not necessarily. Think back, way back to when people brewed without hops. Never, you say? Actually, hops haven’t been around nearly as long as beer has. Early beers were often brewed with gruits, mixtures of herbs and other plants that had medicinal and preservative qualities.
Called gruit or grut ales, these bad boys could be anything from aphrodisiac to cancer-curing libations of the gods. Offering a different kind of buzz than hopped ales, grut ales gradually went out of style after the reformation and something called the purity laws.
The American craft beer revolution certainly did its part to bring back that tradition, and there are a few examples available today. But your most likely source of gruit ales is your local homebrew club or these fine British examples.
Check out this site for other great gruit ales and other historic beers with and without hops.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. There is a beer for everyone, even people with hop allergies.
I could really use your help. If you’re in Western Montana and you love craft brew, heck even if you aren’t in the area, consider becoming a member of SpeakUpMissoula.com. It’s a great place to raise your voice, and, if you join the craft brew group, to raise your glass. Here’s a little survey for my summertime beer research project.
We don’t like ties. Taking ties off is the first thing we do when we get home, and putting them on is the last thing we do before we leave for work. We don’t like socks either. Some of us take those off as soon as we get home too. In fact, I would venture to say that most dads day gifts are fairly utilitarian. Some dads like tools, most dads would prefer to be appreciated another way. Get them beer.
Take me for example. I don’t really like my wife or kids to buy me tools, recreation equipment, clothing, computer supplies, music, etc., etc. I have my own tastes, and I prefer to pick out my own underwear, thank you very much.
I can’t speak for most dads, but that little tear in dad’s eye when he opens that new Makita drill package you got him is probably for the hours he knows he’s going to spend hanging pictures of his kids. And there is one picture from every age and grade.
Get dad beer. He’ll appreciate it, savor it, spend time with it and mostly, it’ll make him feel appreciated. A new coffeemaker is not for dad. A new lawnmower means hours of work. A new grill might be fun if dad could get the stainless steel, four-million BTU unit on sale at Home Depot. But no, dad will get the economy model that he’ll have to replace next year when the damn thing burns a hole through the bottom of itself.
Get dad some beer and show him how much you really love him.
My top 5 picks:
1. Get him something local
2. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
3. Grand Teton Organic Double Red Ale
4. Malheur Black Chocolate
5. Lost Abbey Devotion Ale
Few of these are easy to find, but dad will soooo appreciate the effort.
Here’s the good word from the folks at Bitter Root Brewing. I plan to pick up a growler of this on Saturday.
Paul’s latest Single Hop creation is now on tap!!
Amarillo Single Hop Ale (6.31% ABV): An unfiltered Pale Ale brewed and dry-hopped with Amarillo Hops. Amarillo is a relatively new American hop variety that has been described as “super cascade”. The flavor profile is very citrusy, especially leaning toward a distinct orange flavor and aroma. This hop was reportedly discovered and introduced by Virgil Gamache Farms, Inc. and resulted as a mutation of another hop variety.
I’m sure you all know my feelings about Tamarack Brewing Co. It’s gotta be one of the coolest microbreweries in Montana. Scenic, with a light-hearted staff, a big menu, great beer and one of the best outdoor patios anywhere around, Tamarack is one place I’d dearly love to spend some time on that day that is supposed to be dedicated to me.
Instead, I’ll likely end up mowing the lawn, fixing a bike, hauling the family off to some awful brunch with enough fat calories to significantly hasten my demise. But that’s what being a dad is all about, right?
Here’s what’s going on at the Rack this Father’s Day:
Lanny and Andra
When I asked my dad what he really wanted this father’s day, he said “I just want to hang out with my kids. Oh, and a winning lottery ticket. And do you think that maybe Seal will let Heidi Klum out of the house for a day?”
So… Dad… one outta three ain’t bad! I can’t guarantee Heidi but I can guarantee beer. We are giving away A FREE PINT TO ALL DADS ON FATHER’S DAY at TAMARACK, in honor of my dad, who is hands down, the best dad on earth.
And while you’re there, check out Craig’s newest brew. It’s sentimental, but then again, shouldn’t beer always be sentimental?
…or something like that
My dog, Carter, the farting slobbering wonder, headed up to heaven this past winter. Like my 5 year old said, it took a lot of angels to get him there because he was so darn heavy. In the big dog’s honor, Craig brewed a beer as bold as Carter’s – uh – presence. And it is not to be missed! A bit o’ rye and a lot o’ red, El Rojo rocks. Hurry up and try some before I drink it all.
You know where this is going, right. My dear friends and beer buddies, the Lewis’, showed me this innovative product. Normally I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon over every new thing, but I gotta admit that this stuff is too cool for taking your favorite beverage along where beer and wine bottles are not allowed.
The other thing I noticed is that there is no way that either of these models could or would drink this much alcohol. They look like they’ve been on a low-carb diet for awhile.
This cool piece of art is courtesy of beer-buddy Shawn, who’s father makes these cool fishing lures. Coolest thing is that they actually catch fish. “I’ve thrown those lures in every mud puddle from here to Great Falls, and I catch a fish every time.” Shawn said.
The Missoulian newsroom tends to like its craft brew, and a couple reporters seem to have a fondness for Saison, that light, seasonal French libation. The good news is that the judges at this year’s Mountain Brewers Beer Festival in Idaho Falls, Idaho. They picked Bitterroot Brewing’s Saison as the Silver Medal winner in its category, while the porter brought home a gold. Bitterroot’s Old English Style Ale took home a silver medal as well.
Congratulations, and here’s to hoping that Bitterroot Brewing puts out some more Saison this summer.