I’m sure you all know my feelings about Tamarack Brewing Co. It’s gotta be one of the coolest microbreweries in Montana. Scenic, with a light-hearted staff, a big menu, great beer and one of the best outdoor patios anywhere around, Tamarack is one place I’d dearly love to spend some time on that day that is supposed to be dedicated to me.
Instead, I’ll likely end up mowing the lawn, fixing a bike, hauling the family off to some awful brunch with enough fat calories to significantly hasten my demise. But that’s what being a dad is all about, right?
Here’s what’s going on at the Rack this Father’s Day:
Lanny and Andra
When I asked my dad what he really wanted this father’s day, he said “I just want to hang out with my kids. Oh, and a winning lottery ticket. And do you think that maybe Seal will let Heidi Klum out of the house for a day?”
So… Dad… one outta three ain’t bad! I can’t guarantee Heidi but I can guarantee beer. We are giving away A FREE PINT TO ALL DADS ON FATHER’S DAY at TAMARACK, in honor of my dad, who is hands down, the best dad on earth.
And while you’re there, check out Craig’s newest brew. It’s sentimental, but then again, shouldn’t beer always be sentimental?
…or something like that
My dog, Carter, the farting slobbering wonder, headed up to heaven this past winter. Like my 5 year old said, it took a lot of angels to get him there because he was so darn heavy. In the big dog’s honor, Craig brewed a beer as bold as Carter’s – uh – presence. And it is not to be missed! A bit o’ rye and a lot o’ red, El Rojo rocks. Hurry up and try some before I drink it all.
‘Tis St. Patrick’s Day.
A day, perhaps above all others, to talk about beer.
I’m not one for the kitsch of it all. The green beer, the four-leaf clover on the lapel, the pinching, oh, god, the pinching. Not to demean the holiday or the Irish, of course, but simply for that fact that many of these things overlook important things about Irish beer and Irish culture.
I like St. Patrick’s Day for several reasons, not the least of which is that it is a day for the appreciation of great beer.
If you look at the beer history of Ireland, you’ll see a trend not unlike other places in the world. At the end of the 19th century, more than 200 breweries dotted the Emerald Isle. Today there are only a dozen or so, many of which are owned by the huge conglomerates that manufacture everything from cars to soccer uniforms. This little tidbit is courtesy of Wikipedia, which sources a fairly prominent book on world beers.
The Irish gave us Guinness. These dry stouts, brewed with unmalted roasted barley, are dry and perfect with the foods that characterize Ireland. Corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional Irish meal, having its roots in America, but Irish stews, Colcannon, Boxty and Coddle. These foods are very simple potato dishes distinct to Ireland, and if you know anything about the great potato famine, you know how much potatoes mean to this country.
The Irish did not give us green beer. The color most associated with St. Patrick before the late 1700s was blue. Green came on strong because of Irish nationalism and the cultural expansion of the Irish amid the great migrations of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Irish gave us a distinct red ale, which became the forerunner for the amber beers so popular among craft brewers in America. Many home brewers use chemical water treatment to mimic the waters from Irish cities in the making of a good Irish amber ale.
In short, the world of craft brewing owes a lot to Ireland. And as a good sign of things to come, small microbreweries are popping up in places like Dublin, Cork and County Clare.
‘Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!’
St. Rogue Red is an IPA in an amber body. This dry-hopped American amber ale is a fantastic segue into fall beers, and therefore it is my first pick of the fall beer selection.
I’ve had a pint or three of this beer at the brewery in Newport, Oregon. In fact, one of the difficult things about moving to the mountains has been giving up crabbing trips to the Oregon coast. We’d invariably end up at Rogue for a bowl of steamed clams and cheese bread.
As the weather cools, palates will start to change toward a preference for darker, stronger beers. But in these interim months when it’s likely to be warm some days and cool others, it’s nice to have transitional beers that offer something a little different.
St. Rogue Red is a deep mahogany that pours a clear, white head out of the bottle. The nose is floral and the body is medium light. This beer is perfect when the warmth of daylight gives way to the cool of evening, and it’s perfect company for seafood, especially shellfish.