Bitterroot Brewing just announced they will be pouring they’re one-year-old Barley Wine starting Sept. 5. I suggest we all show up and keep them accountable.
Date-flavored beer? Of course. Why not? Broaden your perspective my friends. You can put anything in beer, and as long as it improves the basic tastes of water, malt, hops and yeast, it’s a fine thing in my book.
That said, I enjoyed the pomegranate-flavored Shmaltz Brewing Co. beer better. I don’t know if it was just this bottle, but there was a general funkiness and not too much fun in this beer. I shared it with a buddy, and we both had the same reaction. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t terribly memorable either.
Chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain visited Livingston, Montana for his show, “No Reservations,” which aired August 24. Of all the Montana beers to have with a freshly caught brown trout? He chose Bayern’s Dancing Trout, or, rather, his fishing guide served it up with the fried trout.
And while that short segment of the show was absolutely fascinating and fun to watch, I was actually more curious about what kind of whiskey Bourdain was drinking with legendary author Jim Harrison at variouis bars in Livingston.
I would’ve killed to be fly on the wall or to see footage they didn’t show for the copious profanities. Harrison is an amazing poet, and his love for Montana and big, brown trout is almost as legendary as his barroom antics.
It’s nice to see a Montana brewery get some great product placement on a national television show. Good on ya, Bayern.
I’ve been reluctant to publish this bit of information, because the Betty’s For Beer classes, put on by Big Sky Brewing Co., are so popular, they fill up fast. However, I believe in the product, as they say, so here’s the info for any of you Grizzly Growler lady fans or for you guys who want to treat your wife, girlfriend or acquaintance to something special.
The Women’s Beer Education Class will have another session September 15, 17, 22 and 24. The four class series will take place at the Wingate Inn from 7-9PM. Betty’s for Beer classes are informational beer tastings where you can interact with other women who share the same passion for beer. Big Sky Brewers teach about a wide variety of beers and what to look for when trying new styles. If you are interested in signing up for the next course, just call the Taproom at 549-2777 ext. 120 to be added to the waiting list. The classes usually fill up right away, so act soon!
I’ve watched this organization grow in the last two years, and I’m really excited about all they are doing. They currently have 18 of the 24 operating breweries in the state as members, and they’ve put together their first Brewers Festival this October. Here’s some more info:
Montana Brewers Association Announces First Festival
The Montana Brewers Association announces its first annual Brewers Festival to be held October 23 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. With Oktoberfest in the air, come meet the brewers, enjoy good food, good music, and sample Montana’s finest craft brews. 17 Montana Brewers will attend and over 40 Montana made brews will be available for your tasting pleasure. Proceeds will benefit the Montana Brewers Association, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, and KGLT.
Music will be provided by Little Jane and the Pistol Whips, Skavocado, and The Dirty Shame. Food will be provided by Old Chicago and the Montana Fish Company. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and are available at the Bozeman Brewery, the Madison River Brewery, Old Chicago, the Montana Fish Company, Cactus Records, and online at www.montanabrewers.org (online sales coming soon). Entry includes 3 samples, and an MBA pint glass. Additional samples are $1 each.
The Montana Brewers Association is a non-profit association devoted to the development of a strong and growing craft brewing industry in Montana. Support your local brewery! Think globally, drink locally!
Is on tap at Big Sky Brewing Co. Now most of you know that dry hopped, nitro and cask conditioned can be buzz words for marketing. What you may not know is that if you like your local beers and want to try a slightly different interpretation of them, these techniques can offer a fun way to see how new flavors play with your favorite tastes. And if you’re a big, manly man, and you don’t tend to try Summer Honey based on its name, remember this, it’s the driest beer on tap, and with the dry hopping, it gives off an incredible aroma and a deep, hoppy taste that brings it into the realm of pale ales.
When I started this blog in the summer of 2007, the temperature in Missoula was 105. It stayed that way for 10 days and ignited forest fires around the state and smoked us out of town for the month of August. When I wasn’t donning fire-safety clothing and cruising around covering the three fires burning within site of these fair hills, I was happy to be exploring the city’s great beer scene and poking away at the keyboard in an air-conditioned office. It was a summer made for light, flavorful beers like Eddy Out Pale Ale and Trout Slayer. (the first incarnation from Bayern Brewing)
It is a different story this summer. Our long, cool spring dripped into a playful but sometimes chilly summer that hides behind big thunderheads for days at a time. And while a sprinkling of 90-degree days is cause to grab a growler of Big Sky’s Mexican Lager or a six-pack of Trout Slayer, (the new, Big Sky version) I’ve found myself leaning toward cool-weather beers more and more lately.
That said, here is a list of beers I’m looking forward to trying this fall, especially as the allowable alcohol content law changes to give brewers more leeway in brewing big beers.
1. Slow Elk Stout -Big Sky Brewing Co.
2. Hemptober Spliff – Kettlehouse Brewing Co.
3. Oktoberbest – Bayern Brewing
4. Juggernaut Real Ale – Pyramid Brewing Co.
5. Lip Stinger Farmhouse Ale (with cracked peppercorns) – Mac Tarnahan’s Brewing Co.
6. Festbier – Victory Brewing Co.
7. The Kaiser Imperial Oktoberfest – Avery Brewing Co.
8. Night Owl (pumpkin beer) – Elysian Brewing Co.
9. Chocolate Oak-Aged Yeti – Great Divide Brewing Co.
10. “Saison D’Erezée – Automne” – Fantome
Montana definitely is a whiskey state. You have your Scotch clubs and your rye lovers. You’ve got small-batch distilleries opening up left and right, and you have a cowboy and adventurer spirit that goes back generations. And as much as we like beer and don’t mind humping new, light-weight cans into the Bob Marshall, a flask of whiskey is a much easier traveling companion on those long hikes.
While some of you pack along really expensive Scotch whiskeys for that 10-day survival trip, I’ve been looking for the best-camp-whiskey-for-your-buck that I can find.
And I think I found it. A bottle of W.L. Weller Special Reserve goes for $18 at Griz Liquor, and if you think that’s a bargain, the price recently jumped from $15. Apparently people are on to the fact that this is a really decent bourbon for the price.
Here’s a breakdown for those of you who follow bourbon tasting etiquette:
Color: light brown in comparison with bolder bourbons, clears at the edges.
Nose: Pleasant, medium, slightly floral with a hint of sweet
Flavor: Nutty with some caramel, hint of pine, but not medicinal.
Overall: Great bourbon for the price. Makes a perfect bourbon and Coke, while still able to stand alone as a nice camp sipper after a long hike. Won’t burn you out either, which is nice when you might be slightly dehydrated.
I can remember thinking that the word, Hebrew, would make a good name for a microbrewery when I first discovered the wonder of craft beer 15-years-ago. Little did I know that Shmaltz Brewing Co. would do just that with a line of their Kosher beers. The latest version of Hebrew Origins is an Imperial Amber Pomegranate Ale.
If you’ve never had an infused ale, this might be the one to start with. The delightful pomegranate, with its sweet disposition and tangy tangent, is perfectly at play within the confines of this imperial amber. Light alcohol notes and a firm malt component give great structure for the floral and sweet tones of the ancient pomegranate seed juice.
Somewhere on the back of the mouth, all that is legendary in this fruit that has influenced so many civilizations produces a familiarity likely bred of the fact that this can’t be the first time pomegranate and beer have come together in such harmony.
Dark amber with a creamy, beige head, this Origins Imperial Amber Pomegranate Ale delves into heavy territory with a big body and strong flavor helped along by some of the finest names in hops: Willamette, Centennial, Cascade, Warrior, Crystal and Mt. Hood. Not exactly a lightweight in the world of hoppy beers, this beer triumphs in a great balance of fruit sweetness and hop bitterness.
This beer is big enough and with enough fruit on it to balance a nicely roasted pork loin or glazed short ribs. And the best part is that it is available at The Good Food Store in Missoula.
Many people write me in support of craft breweries. They want to contact a state senator or representative about the oppressive brewery laws here in Montana. And while contacting your various politicians might make you feel good, it’s but a drop-in-the-old-pint-glass compared to some other options.
And here’s one I think you’re going to like from Jason Goeltz at Bitteroot Brewing:
Join the Brew Crew! Support the Montana brewing industry, become an individual lifetime member and get a free beer at 16 participating Montana breweries…for $25! When you become a lifetime individual member of the Montana Brewers Association you will be the proud holder of the new Brew Crew card, which you may present to…hopefully all, of the 16 participating breweries for a free beer. You can sign up at the brewery and get your card immediately, or you can visit: http://www.montanabrewers.org/default.asp to learn more about the organization and become a member online.