What happens when BrewFest, MaggotFest and summer hours at Big Sky Brewing Company collide? Best Weekend Ever!
Yes, it’s BrewFest time again. I’ll be performing judging duties with the great folks from the Zoo City Zymurgists once again, and I’m looking forward to catching up with all the brewers who are pouring their beers here. If I don’t find you, swing by the table and say hi, and let’s catch up.
Besides the Garden City BrewFest, there are some other things a goin’ on around here.
In the big news category, Big Sky Brewing Company is changing to summer hours tomorrow. Here’s when you can visit:
M-F 11-7PM, Sat 11-6PM and NOW OPEN SUNDAYS 11-5PM! Come in and see us this Sunday!
Sunday taproom hours are probably my favorite thing ever.
Oh, and lest I forget, there’s also this little sporting event known as MaggotFest going on too. Can’t find a thirstier group of athletes in the world than rugby players. Cheers fellas!
Have a safe craft beer weekend everyone,
I’ve been wanting to put together one of these tastings myself, but someone beat me to it. No matter at all. What matters is that people are getting the word out about Montana craft distillers, which is creating a lot of buzz about the state’s newest distilled products.
Check out this great post and review of all or most of Montana’s craft distilled products. I learned that we’ll have an absinthe soon, which is really exciting, as well as some gin and some new batches of whiskey. Keep you eyes open and remember you can get most of these products at Grizzly Liquor.
For those of you who don’t know the Art of Manliness, it’s one of my favorite websites. Since I discovered it last year, I’ve wanted to write something manly for AoM as it’s called. The dedication to the lost arts of manliness is admirable in this day and age.
Well, the opportunity arose, and the Growler is officially part of the AoM archives.
Here’s a snippet.
It could be said that beer was the downfall of the hunter gatherer, the man of the woods, mountains and streams, the man with spear in hand whose need for meat was matched only by his need for shelter. After all, it was likely the propagation and harvest of the materials required to make beer that caused the famous bipedal wanderer to settle in one location. Or, you can think of it like this: Beer changed the world.
Read the entire Beginner’s Guide to Craft Beer here. And spend some time checking out AoM for all kinds of tips on everything masculine.
Betty’s For Beer, this does not necessarily exclude you. AoM is a great place to find gift ideas and a good, basic understanding of the things that influence men.
Did you know there is a parallel between coffee and beer? I did. But after watching this Ignite Missoula presentation by beer buddy Jon, I now understand that parallel much more.
Why am I pushing a coffee video on this blog? Because beer buddy Jon and I share a lot of the same opinions about coffee, tea, beer, wine, spirits, you name it. If you can drink it and it brings people together, we think about it.
Besides, all you have to do is substitute beer every time he says coffee in the video, and you’ll see exactly what I mean. But this is about coffee, so watch it and learn.
From BeerNews.org, comes the news of a brand new seasonal from Anchor Brewing Company. This just after the notice that the brewery’s pioneering owner Fritz Maytag is selling the brewery to a couple of investors.
The most notable thing about this beer is that it’s brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops, a currently popular variety of hops from New Zealand. It’s also brewed with a lower ABV, which could make this a very popular summer ale.
But, the real reason I wanted to bring this up is the fact that through all this, I happened upon a new-for-me beer blog and video blogger in the U.K.’s Zak Avery. He’s a beer writer and the general manager of Beer Ritz. Here’s a blog post of him reviewing Anchor’s newest beer, Humming Ale:
GrizzlyGrowler friend and taproom favorite Angie Oakins was injured in a skiing accident at Snow Bowl on Easter Sunday. She was Life Flighted to St. Patricks Hospital and is currently working hard to recover from numerous injuries.
Missoula is one of the most tight-knit communities I’ve ever lived in, and the Angie Oakins Benefit/Fundraiser is just another great example of how this community gathers around one of its own.
Check out the Facebook site for a complete list of raffle items.
And for those of you who’ve been looking for a way to get your hand on the priceless Millennial Mugs, this is your chance. Tim O’Leary will be donating one mug, good for three servings of beer at $1 each at the Southside only until the end of the current millennium. (rumor has it that this is Tim’s own mug)
Here’s how you can get raffle tickets:
You may also contact Deirdre Howell or Isaac Miller about getting your ticket(s) or adding a raffle item.
firstname.lastname@example.org / 406-728-4235 — email@example.com / 210-569-4445
Come on out and support Angie’s recover on May 20 at the Kettlehouse Brewing Company Northside.
The name EKU 28 isn’t a whole lot different than Colt 45. Well, ok, it’s one letter more and 17 letters less but both are malt liquors and who is counting anyway? The trouble with the term malt liquor is that it brings up connotations of cheap, high-alcohol beer served in 40-ounce glass bottles or tall boys often hidden inside a paper bag.
When is the last time you went to a high-end beer cafe and ordered a malt liquor served in a brandy snifter? It’s probably been a while if ever.
On Saturday, I slipped into Cafe Dolce to check out the latest beer offerings at this growingly popular Missoula beer spot. After checking out a great Japanese craft beer from Baird Brewing Company, I decided to try a bottle of the EKU 28, a product of the Kulmbacher Brauerei in Germany. Not a traditional eisbock or ice bock, the EKU 28 actually is a very strong bock that gets classified as a malt liquor for its soaring ABV.
Aside from the large MALT LIQUOR designation on these bottles, everything about this beer smacks of class and sophistication. The first sip showed this beer to be extremely well structured in spite of its high ABV. Hints of apricot, dried peaches and brandy dominate this very nicely balanced beer. Rich malts like bread pudding or fruitcake give a super dense feeling to this beer, which sips like a fine sherry.
Known for being a great apertif or a strong winter beer, EKU 28 is one of many European-produced malt liquors that are available in the states. Don’t let the MALT LIQUOR designation scare you off of trying one of these beers. A $6 bottle at Cafe Dolce can be shared easily by two people, and paired with one of their delightful pastries, it can make for an amazing dessert experience as well.
On the horizon, I see much potential for this style and that of eisbocks to become staples of American craft breweries as well. With our thirst for bigger, stronger beers, craft-beer malt liquors should only gain in popularity over the next few years. There is already one American craft brewery looking for label approval for an eisbock, so good things are in store.
Looks like Bayern Brewing will introduce a new summer beer at this year’s Garden City Brew Fest. The Dump Truck Extra Pale Summer Bock is a lighter bock, but it should retain the typical bock alcohol strength, according to the company’s Brewsletter.
Check it out on Saturday and in bottles as our Missoula summer kicks into high gear…oh, what in July or something like that. Just kidding, the bottles should be available long before summer starts.
Big Sky’s Bjorn Nabozney sent me this SFGate article first thing this morning.
It looks like the father of modern craft brewing has sold the iconic San Francisco Anchor Brewing Company to a couple of investors. Fritz Maytag, who invested some capital in the struggling Anchor Brewing Company in the mid 60s, became an iconic figure in craft brewing circles after his brewery paved the way for craft beer to move from the garages and kitchens of home brewers to small-production pubs around the country.
At 72-years-old, I can respect a many wanting to let go of the day-to-day operations of a brewery. Maytag, after all, has been involved with Anchor Brewing for 45 years now, and that’s a long time and why we honor him as a pioneer.
But on a personal note, I’m a little saddened by the news. For one thing, guys like Maytag and Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman still are instrumental in advocating for the craft brewing industry and for their larger-than-life roles they play in world of craft beer.
The fact that the San Francisco-based investors want to keep Anchor Brewing Company intact and functioning in its original capacity is good, but I will always question the intent of investors over the intent of producer/owners like Maytag. Sure a brewing enterprise needs investment and a good board of directors, but when you go through difficult times like the recent hop shortage or you have to battle government restrictions on craft beer or who knows what other difficulties that may still befall the industry, an investor is more likely to cut and run than a producer/owner, who might find some innovative ways to make it through.
Take Boston Brewing Company and their willingness to share hops with struggling breweries during the hop shortage. That kind of devotion to the industry is only found in those who were born into it and who struggled through it. Today’s craft beer investors have about as much devotion to the craft beer industry as they do to gold mines in South America, wineries in the Pacific Northwest and Real Estate in Hawaii. It’s not the smell of fresh hops, artisan malts and yeast that gets them excited. It’s the smell of money.
I don’t mean to judge these guys who are buying Anchor Brewing Company before they’ve had a chance to prove themselves, but they have awful big brewing boots to fill, and Italian leather loafers just don’t cut it around the brew house.