Top 5 Local Missoula Beers
Even though Missoula didn't make it on the “drunkest cities in the nation” list. That does not mean we don't enjoy our “barley pop.” Missoula has some of the best microbrews in the Northwest. Awhile back, we asked you “What are your favorite local beers?” According to your votes we compiled the following list.
Faceplant is a beer brewed at Bayern Brewery here in town. Bayern is locally owned and operated and has been brewing beer since 1987. The Brewery is known for having authentic German beer. According to their website: “Owner and Brewmaster, Jürgen Knöller, is a German Diploma Master Brewer. He began brewing in 1978 at age 16. The education that he received in Germany was a rigorous and lengthy one. Combine his education, experience and personal dedication and you have amazing beer.”
Faceplant is a beer the Germans call a “Doppelweizen.” The Bayern website describes it as a ” top-fermented, unfiltered Wheat Bock beer (that) is the counterpart to Bayern’s famous Doppelbock Lager and is decoction-brewed, a technique used often in Bavaria but seldom in the U.S. The recipe uses five types of malt (Wheat, Pilsener, Carmel, Munich and Chocolate), producing a stout 7.5 % Alc. by Vol.“
When I first tasted Faceplant, I learned how it got its name. I was sitting at the Lucky Strike with the band Royal Bliss. They wanted to experience some local flavor. So I ordered up a couple pitchers of Faceplant. Five or six pitchers later the band's lead singer, Neal, about fell on his face on the way back to their bus. Turns out the guys from SLC couldn't handle the 7.5% Al content.
Doppelbock is another featured beer in Bayern's arsenal. It is one of their seasonal beers and is only brewed during the cold months of the year. Available late October through February, it is a cousin of our No. 1 voted beer. According to the Bayern website: “'Doppel' means double and this beer is double in every way. This hearty German dark lager does not have the rough bite of a porter or a stout.” Its alcohol content ranges between 7.8% and 8.4%. Making it one of the strongest on our list.
Bayern brewing locks down the top three beers on our list, according to your votes. Dump Truck is one of the only beers at Bayern that strays away from the Bavarian roots. Dump Truck is Bayern's summer seasonal brew. The Bayern website describes it as “brewed using the old-fashioned decoction mash brewing method. The recipe for this light, unfiltered, lager bock beer uses German sauermalt, organic Montana 'Spitz malt,' Pilsener malt, plus three hoppings using Hallertauer Perle and the rare Tettnang aroma hops (both imported from Germany).”
The first time I ever tasted Dump Truck it was while enjoying a baseball game at a local sports bar. I noticed that a pitcher of Dump Truck was cheaper than ordering a mug. With a 6.0 % Al. content, I found myself hitting on every girl in the bar and fumbling for my zipper in the bathroom. Needless to say, it was “a long night.”
I'm not a huge fan of dark beers. But, when given the choice of local beers I always seem to lean toward Coldsmoke. It is an ale brewed at The Kettlehouse. The Kettlehouse is Missoula's first Brew On Premise (BOP) brewery. Their website defines BOP as “a place where customers could come in and brew their own beer.” The Kettlehouse has been hooking up microbrews since 1995, and is the first place in town to introduce the tasty jugs of happy we know as “Growlers.”
Coldsmoke is an award-winning beer and The Kettlehouse website describes it as:“Formulated with Montana grown 2-row barley, northwest Goldings hops, and lotsa love, this hearty ale drinks very smooth. Not bitter at all and not too sweet either.” A hint of roasted barley lends a slight coffee-like smoky finish.”
Coldsmoke is 6.5% Al. and can be found in 16 oz. aluminum cans. It can also be found in my cooler whenever I am hunting, fishing, floating or grillin'.
Moose Drool is a beer that some people believe put Missoula beers “on the map.” You can find this beer everywhere from its site of creation (Big Sky Brewing Co.) to gift shops around the state. When you first hear the name, you may think “Ewwww.” When most people think of Moose Drool, they may picture a huge brown critter with an endless amount of “slobber” spilling out of its mouth. That is not the case with this local brew. Big Sky Brewing Company began in 1995 and according to their website: “was started by Neal Leathers, Bjorn Nabozney and Brad Robinson. Neal and Brad specialized in brewing English style ales, they felt that an ale brewery would be producing very different beers than Bayern Brewing Company did. Neal agreed, and the two began to work on starting up a brewery.”
Moose Drool is considered a brown ale. It has a slight hoppy taste with a little touch of spice and a creamy texture.
It is one of my favorite local beers. With a 5.3 % Al. content, the only issue I have is that I cannot drink very many without getting “full.” My first experience with it was when I had a relative visiting Montana from Georgia and wanted to show him some “local flavor.” One “drool” turned into 10, and I pray to GOD that the video that was filmed that night never re-surfaces. Enough said.