I grew up outside of Chicago and even after living in Montana for more than 15 years I’m still a White Sox fan. So when I saw that Frank Thomas has his own craft beer I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post something about it.
Unfortunately, after seeing some reviews for Big Hurt Beer, my enthusism has waned. It’s dubbed as a “crisp full-flavored imperial lager with All-Star taste and a smooth finish,” which is a bit cheesy. Plus, it comes in a 24 oz. can, so that’s rarely a good thing when it comes to craft beer.
Nonetheless, next time in Chicago or Las Vegas (the only places Big Hurt is available) I’ll no doubt have to give it a shot.
- Matt Pritchard
Love the the rich taste of Irish-style beer? Bayern’s traditional red lager is a tribute to the Irish families of Montana, and it’s heading toward shelves at your favorite grocery store and the taproom at Bayern Brewing.
Here’s what the web site says about the beer:
It is brewed with two-row Harrington pale, carmel, Munich, wheat and German Dunkel malt. Bayern Killarney has an alc. content of 5.7% alc. vol. (14.2% Plato o.g.) and is available in draft and bottles.
Characteristics: Five types of malt and easy on the hops. A very different beer for a very different celebration
Color: Irish Red
Availability: Mid Feburary to St. Patrick’s Day – until gone (never lasts long). Available on draft and bottles.
Brewmaster’s Remarks : Created to honor the beauty of this little town and celebrate the Irish
This article is from the Whitefish Pilot and highlights some of the newest info about the rebirth of Black Star Golden Lager.
Known widely for their He’Brew line of beers, Shmaltz Brewing Co.’s Coney Island beers are dedicated to bringing back America’s lost pop arts and culture, and money from the purchase of these products goes to do just that.
The Albino Python is a spiced lager with ginger, fennel and orange spices. I haven’t had one yet, but I’ve seen the decorative bottles in shops here in Missoula and back in Oregon. The L.A. Times does a nice little writeup about the beer if you want some good tasting notes, in fact, they picked the beer as their beer of the month for January.
You can find the Albino Python at Worden’s Market in Missoula.
When the box arrived at my office a couple weeks ago, I have to admit that I felt a little flutter in my chest when I saw the label. I hadn’t received beer in the mail to review in several years. I think it has something to do with Montana’s confusing liquor laws. Unwrapping that bubble wrap to reveal two of Great Northern Brewing Co.’s newest beers was a real treat.
As, I might add, was getting to try some of the Glacier Chaser, a Marzen-style beer that comes in around 6 percent alcohol by volume. Traditionally a spring beer, Montana brewers tend to like to brew beers out of the order of things to surprise the palate with those favorite tastes any time of year.
Malty, with a huge caramel ribbon running through several layers of hops and malts, Glacier Chaser really shines from its bottle conditioning, which really makes me want to grab a few more for aging. The beer poured a chocolaty brown with a light, foam head which dissipated quickly, leaving the mustache free to dip in the exciting beer beneath.
The thing I like about Marzen beers is that they are great transitional beers in general. Which makes them perfect for either fall or spring. If Oktoberfest-style beers are too predictable and doppelbocks too heavy, Marzens can offer a nice go between. Kind of like the British-style brown ale, which can really work as a work horse or a palate cleanser.
Not everyone brews a Marzen in fall, and I’m not even 100 percent sure that Great Norther Brewing Co. puts their version out all year long, but I have seen it in stores throughout the summer, so I assume it’s got a little bit more life than a typical seasonal.
At any rate, if you can find some of this beer, it would be a good candidate to buy several and age a few for a cool spring day down the road or even a few falls later.
There are any number of famous cocktails out there served up for Halloween. There’s your obligatory Blood Mary, Black Cat Martini and Little Devil and any number of Witch’s Punch recipes. But for the sophisticated celebrant of all things dark and evil, there are a few beers that will eclipse those foofy cocktails any day.
One thing to remember is when to start your celebration. Halloween, at last check, was all about chubby kids in pink tights and angel wings walking from house to house yelling, “Trick Or Treat,” at the top of their lungs. That means that beer celebration of all things dark and evil should not begin until after the witching hour, generally 8:30 or 9 p.m., or whenever the little rug rats have ceased ringing your doorbell incessantly. I say this only because it’s awkward to have a very drunk person dressed as Santa Claus hand your children melted Hershey bars at 7 p.m. True story by the way.
The other reason is that all those little ghosts and goblins haunting your neighborhood make for a gauntlet difficult for sober drivers to maintain, let alone inebriated Halloweeners.
But when it comes time to put the severely over-sugared children to bed and break out the adult treats, what’s it going to be.
For me, Halloween has always been about one thing, dark beer. Here in Montana, Halloween often marks the unofficial start of winter, with frigid temperatures and kids stuff with every conceivable warm cloth mom and dad can fit in a $10 Batman suit.
That means that those semi-dark nut browns from fall can officially give way to the big, dark, sinful beers of deep winter.
My three favorites, all available in Missoula, are, in no particular order:
Full Sail Brewing Co.’s Session Black – This recent GABF Gold Medal Winner is the perfect Halloween beer for it’s dark color, easy drinking lager taste and relatively light body. You can enjoy a few of these without turning into a mumbling, incoherent zombie.
Rogue Ale’s Dead Guy Ale – This obligatory Halloween beer even came in glow-in-the-dark bottles for a while. I have two in my garage. One of my favorite Halloween and fall beers, Dead Guy is a Maibock-style beer that is big, but with sweet, caramel flavors and malty undertones. It goes perfect with almost any kind of Halloween candy, with the exception of Sweet & Sours. Trust me on that.
Avery Brewing Co.’s Mephistopheles Stout – Last in the Demons of Ale series by this Denver brewery, Mephistopheles is perhaps the best treat in your bag of goodies on Halloween. Serve it in a goblet and sip it to reveal all the amazing licorice notes that follow the dried fruits and caramelized raisins before dissolving in a heap of hops on a very stout finish. An ode, if there ever was one, to everything dark and evil.
I had the first version of the Mexican Lager from Big Sky Brewing Co. I can’t quite remember, but I think it wasn’t brewed with yeast from a real Mexican Lager strain from Mexico City. But I could be wrong. Anyway, as you know, I’m a big fan of videos, so here is head brewer Matt Long talking about this beer. I’ll race you to the brewery!