Missoula breweries and the Missoula County Tavern Owner’s Association are joining forces to brew up and distribute specialty beers twice a year with proceeds going toward Missoula charities.
The Garden City Community Brew project features all four of Missoula’s breweries, Bayern, Kettlehouse, Big Sky and Draught Works, and the unique brews will be available in about 20 bars. The first installment is a Black IPA brewed at Draught Works. Brewing will begin on Dec. 5 and the beer is scheduled to be available Friday, Dec. 21.
The Tavern Owner’s Association members and Missoula breweries have already donated about $4,000 that will go to help the Missoula Food Bank. It’s nice to see our breweries and bars coming together for a worthy cause.
You can grab a pint at:
- Al’s & Vic’s
- Brooks & Browns
- The Depot
- Double Front Lounge
- Elbow Room
- Iron Horse Brew Pub
- James Bar
- Joker’s Wild
- The Keep
- Montana Club (both locations)
- Mo Club
- Paradise Falls
- Red’s Bar
- The Rhino
- Rowdy’s Cabin
- Sean Kelly’s
- Stone of Accord
- Matt Pritchard
The Garden City’s most beer-obsessed bar has a new website called, simply, 50beersin50days.com.
The idea is straightforward, the blog will look at 50 of the Rhino’s beers and will tell a short story about each one through pictures, words and videos. There will also be interviews with bar owners, brewers and distributors. The beers profiled thus far include Framboise Lambic by Lindemans, Black Hop Rising by Sierra Nevada Brewing, Slow Elk by Big Sky Brewing and Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery.
I love this idea.
- Matt Pritchard
There’s good news today from Flathead Lake Brewing Co.
Preparations for opening a new eatery and tasting room in Missoula are moving right along.
Here’s the latest from Sandy Clare:
Things are going well in Missoula and it looks like a Nov. 9th opening. We will have Montana hand crafted beers from Flathead lake Brewing Company, Kettlehouse, and others. For those grape lovers we will also have a few wines on hand. We’ll be serving Shrimp Po’ Boys, Glacier Buffalo Chili, and The Bar Burger (featuring local beef) dishes to name just a few. We’ll have live music on the weekends and be doing community events on Wednesdays. More info to come soon. You can check out Flathead Lake Brewing Company of Missoula on Facebook for more updates.
Watch, too, in Monday’s Missoulian – when reporter Betsy Cohen will have a story on the plans for not only Flathead Lake Brewing, but for a new downtown restaurant and a cooking school.
This year’s tour started with a bang, as I introduced Oregon craft beer lovers to some of our best Montana beer. We opened bottles of Big Sky’s Ivan the Terrible, cans of Kettlehouse Brewing Co. Cold Smoke and Double Haul IPA as well as some Red Lodge Bent Nail IPA. While I was introduced to new West Coast craft beers that are, as of yet, unavailable in Montana.
The highlight of this year’s tour, other than hanging out with many craft beer lovers who are skilled in the art of conversation, was visiting a restaurant that I like to think I might have had a little influence in shaping.
Many years ago, while my best friend and I were attending community college as full-time fathers, husbands and bar tenders, we would gather, as our schedule allowed, at a small place called Venti’s Bento. Our good friend Dino Venti ran the place on a budget, but the food had out-of-this-world quality and a healthy angle that we were both looking for at that time in our busy lives.
Dino didn’t imbibe, but one day we got to talking about putting on just a couple of taps of something really special. Well, a few weeks later, we showed up and Dino had our favorite beer on tap. A whole keg of North Coast Brewing Co.’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. Our mouths agape, we took a seat at the bento bar and ordered up our first pints ever of that magic elixer. We could not believe we were having it in pints. Bottles are great and have their own magic, but the draught is a deep magic all its own.
Next came a keg of Stone Brewing Co.’s Arrogant Bastard, another gem to have on draught. Soon, Dino had to limit the number of pints served and raise prices, as he was the most popular little three-tap in town.
Flash forward a few years. Dino built a bigger restaurant across the street with a basement bar called, of all things, The Basement Bar. Along with his talented graphic designer wife, Leslie, Dino has cultivated a great hangout for Salem’s bicycle culture, especially the free ride culture. Still, more than anything, Dino is a restaurant owner who cares about individuals. I’ve heard he’ll still care for people who have no food and no money to buy food with.
On Saturday night, I spend the evening with many friends who showed up to just say hello and fellowship for a few minutes before we headed back to Montana.
I started with the first and worked my way through the others as the evening wore on. It’s nice to know that Dino still is serving great beers, and unless things have changed, I don’t believe he ever touches the stuff. But he trusts his friends and patrons, and he provides them a place that is truly worthy of conversation and fellowship. At this point, Venti’s Basement Bar is my favorite beer bar anywhere.
If you find yourself passing through Salem on that venerable artery of commerce and culture called Interstate 5, head toward the giant gold statue on the Capital building and look for Court Street. A rooster marks Venti’s Cafe, where you can order a Ninkasi Tricerahops with your teriyaki chicken over rice with vegetables or head down to the basement bar where you likely will find an amazing assortment of beers on tap and in the bottles.
Congratulations Dino and Leslie, you’ve done an amazing job.