Finally got the chance to head over to the Bitterroot Valley’s newest brewery, Higherground Brewing Co., over the weekend. The brewery, located in Hamilton at 518 N. First St., opened about a month ago and has a bit of different feel. It seems more like a cafe with a brewery inside, with checkerboard floors and wooden tables throughout. On the Saturday afternoon that I was in there, plenty of families stopped by not to drink but to have some wood-fired pizza that’s available in the brewery. The pizza is pretty good, by the way.
Higherground has six beers on tap, although not all may be available at any one time. Why’s that, you say? Well, because demand has been so strong the brewery is struggling to keep up. Our pourer said the brewing system at the brewery is one of the smallest in the state and they’ve been trying to gauge what’s selling and what’s not before committing too much to any one beer. There’s been such demand that they’ve been limiting growler sales so they don’t run out of what’s on tap.
The beers according to Higherground:
Dry Fly IPA: An American-style IPA loaded with cascade, willamette and centennial hops and a balancing malt background. ABV 5.5 percent.
Waist Deep Wheat: A Belgian-style wheat ale. Pale in appearance with coriander and orange peels. ABV 5.3 percent.
Flash Flood Milk Stout: Dark, rich roastiness with a milk chocolate sweetness. ABV 6 percent.
Clear Water Crystal Ale: Light, crisp and refreshing. Clear Water is our sessionable, easy drinking ale. ABV 5.4 percent.
Base Camp Irish Red Ale: Toasted malt character, medium hoppiness with a sweet finish and copper hue. ABV 5.7 percent.
Hurruh Scotch Ale: Smoky, earthy aromas lead way to rich maltiness and carmel sweetness. A dark brown appearance with ruby highlights. ABV 6 percent.
If you want to try them all, you can for $5.
To me, the highlights so far are the Dry Fly IPA, which is their biggest seller, and the Flash Flood Milk Stout. Dry Fly has a nice burst of citrusy hops and a smooth finish, while the Flash Flood is as advertised, rich and roasty. My girlfriend was partial to the Irish Red Ale.
Higherground also has a mug club that’s getting going. For $30 a year you get $1 beers every Wednesday and special goodies on your birthday.
Bottom line: Higherground Brewing is a nice mix of good beer and good food that adds up to a winning, and fun, combination.
- Matt Pritchard