Lakeside-based Tamarack Brewing Co., which boasts a great brewery, bar and restaurant on the west side of Flathead Lake, is currently at work renovating its second location in Missoula and hopes to open by late March, says co-owner Andra Townsley.
As reported earlier, Tamarack Brewing Co. will be located at 231 W. Front St, where the old White Water Bar & Grill and Boardroom were housed. Tamarack won’t be making beer at the location but will instead be shipping its beers down from Lakeside, much like the new Flathead Lake Brewing Co. of Missoula. But unlike FLBC of Missoula, Tamarack will showcase a full bar, which will make my mom and her friend happy.
The new pub will take up both floors of the building, with the downstairs being mostly a bar area and the upstairs mostly for the restaurant. The food will be the same as the place in Lakeside: wings, salads, pizza and more. Tamarack will have its own beers on tap and will likely rotate its seasonals around. It will also have space for other deserving beers, Townsley says.
Missoula’s craft-beer scene keeps growing, and there’s nothing wrong with that in my book.
- Matt Pritchard
It was our first 4th of July celebration without kids in at least 12 years, so my wife and I decided to get out of town and go have an adventure of our own. Flathead Lake seemed a logical destination, surrounded as it is by great Montana breweries. After a good 4-mile run in Missoula’s north hills, we drove off in an abundance of sunshine toward the north. Gathering clouds in the north did not bode well, but we figured they’d just blow over.
By the time we got to Polson, the clouds were thick and rain seemed imminent. We pulled over at Glacier Brewing Company in search of the illusive Bald Beaver Barley Wine. We met up with brewer/owner Dave Ayers and chatted about the big beer and all the good things happening at the southern end of the lake. My wife and I agreed that the barley wine with a great name was a big malt bomb and indeed pleasant but perhaps better suited to a cold February night than a cool 4th of July, but who can complain when you get beers like this any time of year?
Moving north, we met up with good friends at the Tamarack Brewing Company in Lakeside for dinner. Head brewer Craig’s new black ale was the perfect beer for this kind of 4th, with a super light flavor profile on a seriously black beer. Light roasted malts are evident, but this beer is like an even more balanced version of Full Sail Brewing Company’s Session Black. Seriously sessionable and excellent with food, this black ale was my favorite find on this beer tour/holiday celebration.
The evening festivities took place at the lake front home of a Kalispell lawyer who is an acquaintance of the friends we stayed with. We shared a growler of Big Sky Brewing Company’s Saison as the Lakeside fireworks lit up the cloudy sky. Monday showed its hand early with clouds an rain showers over the east side of the lake, so we opted for breakfast and a drive to Flathead Lake Brewing Company instead of a boat ride across some choppy waters.
Very little has changed at FLBC, unless you consider a more minimalist approach to selling beer. When Terry owned the joint, there was a slightly different atmosphere, the lack of which you’ll notice right away. The good thing is that the beer still is good, as attested to by the Imperial IPA we had while watching a few Glacier campers waddle in for refreshments after a cold and rainy weekend in the park.
Among the differences at FLBC, food is now available, and you might end up with a smart comment from the bar tender, who can’t seem to find a simple way to let customers know that a certain beer won’t be available for another week or so. But I digress.
It was nice to see that things are rolling along, and that Montana has one of its most picturesque breweries up and running again.
On our way back to Missoula, we stopped into Tamarack to chat with head brewer Craig, and we tasted a new Rye beer concocted by a new brewer’s assistant. Light and dry with that unmistakable rye characteristic, this Roggenbier, as they call it, is an interesting take on a grain more brewers seem to be playing around with these days. It was also a good discovery for me, as I’ve been looking for what I call the Holy Grail of American sushi beers. Those light, dry beers that won’t over power the delicate nature of one of life’s greatest foods but that won’t disappear completely as some light ales and Pilsners seem to do.
All in all it was a good craft beer weekend with lots of new discoveries, catching up with a few of my favorite beer people and of course celebrating the birth of a great nation.
I got a call from the Tamarack Brewing Company’s Josh Townsley today with some exciting news. Apparently Tamarack Brewing Company is exploring a possible Missoula taphouse or brewpub that would feature Tamarack’s lineup of great beers as well as other beers. And of course, they’ll be bringing their great pub-style food with them, including what are in this blogger’s humble opinion, some of the best burgers around.
Here’s everything I know at this point. This will not be a production facility. Tamarack does not want to come to Missoula to compete with the other breweries in town. They are just opening a restaurant that they’ll call a taphouse or brewpub or something similar, according to Townsley. There will be no onsite production and no distribution. All of Tamarack’s beer sold at the new pub will come from Lakeside, and they plan to feature other great Montana beers as well.
Townsley said that while they are under contract for an undisclosed building in Missoula, there are no details set in stone as of yet, but that they are 98 percent sure they’re going to open something in Missoula. As far as a timeline goes, there is nothing definite yet, but Townsley did say he’s hoping to have something in place by fall.
“It’s a great town, with great beer and great people,” Townsley said. ”And we are excited about the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Good things seem to be underway in Lakeside this month and next. Not only is Old Stache’ back on tap at Tamarack Brewing Co., but they have a brewer’s dinner coming up March 11. Here are the details:
Once again, Craig and Roger are working their magic to bring us another amazing Brewer’s Dinner! They are hard at work on creating the menu as we speak… visit our
What’s Up page soon for menu details…
Only 42 lucky foodies will have the chance to enjoy this Brewer’s Dinner; to reserve your seats or to request a menu for our March 11th Brewery’s Dinner, email Andra or call 844-0244 ext 4.
Here are the details on Winterfest at Tamarack Brewing Co. in Lakeside.
Winterfest is this Saturday in Lakeside! Come to take part in all the action!! C0me to the Rack for a Big Pig Feast–starts at 5pm! Missoula band SECRET POWERS–starts at 7pm!
As we raced the cold and snowy dark to get back to Missoula, I saw a warm and inviting oasis in Lakeside at Tamarack Brewing Co. Knowing that it was probably my only chance to sneak in and grab some Cross-Eyed Christmas Ale, we pulled off the highway and darted inside. Two quick samples of the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Ale and the Cross-Eyed Christmas, I went with the holiday ale, because, well, I’m a sucker for holiday ales. The brown will be for another time.
I don’t know a lot about what Craig did with this beer, as he wasn’t there to visit with yesterday, but it’s a fun take on holiday ales. It’s not a heavy duty winter warmer, by any means, but what it lacks in darkness and body, it makes up for in flavor and alcohol. Coming in roughly at 7 percent ABV, I noticed that this has a bit of a jammy taste on the palate, almost a fruitcake fruitiness on the nose and the first few sips. The light body makes me want to think along the lines of a Belgian Tripel, but this beer lacks the yeastiness of that beer. The spice note, if there is one, is very subtle and plays into the fruit. This would be an interesting beer to try with some spicier Christmas food.
And though the alcohol comes across in this beer, the light body and fruitier aspects actually tame it a bit. So if you’re going to imbibe this particular beverage, do so knowing it’s a bigger beer and will pack a big wallop.
I woke up to a sunshiny, beautiful day, and I found myself actually wishing for snow. It might have something to do with the fact that a buddy hooked me up with a new snowboard this year or the fact that I was able to get my wife and kids outfitted this year and we won’t be renting any more. Whatever it is, I’m craving the white stuff in the form of powdery first runs. But the hills are bear, so I’m encouraging any of you who can make it up to Tamarack Brewing this Saturday to attend the Wake Up Old Man Winter Party. Here are the details:
WAKE UP OLD MAN WINTER!…… Let it snow, let it snow, cuz we are going to drink until it does…For the third year in a row, Tamarack will be hosting Lakeside’s Annual WAKE UP OLD MAN WINTER PARTY on Saturday, December 5th. And once again, this party is shaping up to be killer!You see, December 5th just happens to be the 76th anniversary of the end of prohibition, a day whose significance is so great that it ranks right up there with winning the lottery, falling in love, or taking over first place in your fantasy football pool (go TATA’s!)So here’s what we’ve got: great drink specials on Canadian Whisky in honor of the Northerners who helped out a Yank or two who needed a little bit of the good stuff even when the rules said no way (who likes rules anyhow?). We’ve got Santa making an appearance from 3:00 – 5:00, so pop in and have a beer with him (oh yah, and get a photo with him, too, bring the kids!)You can get your Blacktail passes or pass photos that evening… just stay away from the Cross-eyed Christmas until AFTER your photo is taken… if you are a boring chicken! Goofy pass photos rock.We’re tapping CROSS-EYED CHRISTMAS just in time for the festivities that day, and we’ve got Pedactor PROJECT at 8:00 so you can shake your thing once the Whisky starts talking to you.
Happy Birthday Tamarack, we’re glad you’re here!
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.
The conversation started long before the food came. In fact, it started long before I had a beer in hand, which is always a good omen.
My wife and I walked in to the Tamarack Brewing Co. in Lakeside, Montana after having spent the day doing a story about nearby Blacktail Mountain Ski Area.
When brewer Craig Koontz left a comment about an upcoming brewer’s dinner on ye olde blog, I have to admit that the thought of a five-hour round trip to Lakeside and back didn’t sound appealing. Though Craig’s beers always sound appealing to me. However, serendipity stepped in and made sure I had a great reason to be in Lakeside besides the brewer’s dinner.
Arriving slightly late, we met our table mates Ben and Diana Ruddy of Lakeside, and it felt like we’d run into long-lost friends. Over an introductory Lakeside ESP, we covered topics ranging from the state of banks to child rearing. By the time we got to the first course, we were making plans for meeting up at the lake this summer.
This, my friends, is what beer should do. It should stimulate conversation and grease the wheels of friendship in a world that is prone to let us rust in the station.
Here then is how the evening progressed:
First Course: Winter salad of mixed greens, Montana-made Chevre, julienne of red onion, spiced pecans and duck prosciutto tossed with a fig vinaigrette.
The slight hint of hops on the Yard Sale Amber Ale balanced out the richness of the duck, while the sweet malt characteristic carried the tartness of the fig vinaigrette into another realm of mouthwatering goodness.
Second Course: Vermont white cheddar soup with lobster garnish.
The Bear Bottom Blonde was an apt choice for this warm-up course, offering a light, tongue engulfing spritz of honeyed maltiness to counteract the sharpness of the aged cheddar and the ocean saltiness of the lobster.
Third Course: Pancetta wrapped seared sea scallops atop navy beans drizzled with a Fuggle hop hollandaise sauce and accompanied by asparagus and shaved pecorino Romana.
I initially thought using the Dock Days Hefeweizen with this course was underselling the beer. However, chef Roger deftly used neutral ingredients like the navy beans, asparagus and sea scallops to play around with the beer’s candied essence of dried fruit with a hint of banana and Christmas spices on the nose. The real brilliance here was using a lightly-hopped hefeweizen that allowed the beautiful Fuggle hop hollandaise to stand out. Superb!
Fourth Course: Ganache-filled beignet with house-made cinnamon ice cream and bourbon caramel sauce.
The beer served with this course is what I’ve waited a year to try. I’ve had people swear to me that the Olde Stache Whiskey Barrel Porter is the best beer of it’s kind in the state. Having missed out on last year’s batch, I’d challenged brewer Craig Koontz to save me a pint from this year’s batch. Hence the invitation to this wonderful event.
And it did not disappoint. I’m a huge fan of drinking big whisky barrel aged beers a little warmer than normal, so I held this chilled beer in my hands until those whiskey vapors started peeling off the top. Oceans of depth opened up in this beer once it had reached 50 degrees, or thereabouts. Most of you know I can’t get enough of beer and ice cream, so the cinnamon ice cream was a real treat as a taste break to explore the layers of this phenomenal beer.
All in all, the evening spent at Tamarack Brewing Co. is one of the most enjoyable I’ve had in my nearly two years in this great state. The conversations were priceless, as was the food and beverages.
But mostly, it was the service and attention to detail by Josh, Andra, Craig and Roger that made the evening what it was. Forgive me if I left anyone out. The servers were absolutely great, and I apologize that I didn’t take the time to learn your names. You do your establishment proud.