Another week of school done and another day back at Draught Works.

November 19th, 2012

Oatmeal Stout at Draught Works

I have been frequenting this joint regularly for some time now, and I have been mesmerized by their oatmeal stout. I feel that I am mesmerized because I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like it. The last time I was there, I ordered the oatmeal stout while I was still working on another one of their beers. I got caught up in conversation that drug out the drinking process, which meant one thing; the stout lingered longer than expected. When I got around to tasting it I realized it had changed in a positive way.

When I first received my brew, it had an incredible smoky scent, something that didn’t sit well with me. I took a few sips before I got lost in conversation. But after I let it sit for a while, let it warm up, everything got smooth; as an oatmeal stout should be. The smoky flavor melded with subtle hints of chocolate and coffee. This full bodied and complex beer, revealed its true self (I was stunned to say the least).So again this week, I ordered the Oatmeal stout, and had my other two pints while I let her sit and linger. And once again the Oatmeal stout was wonderful. If you haven’t tried it yet, or were swayed by its initial taste, I urge you to order it, let it sit while you drink your other two pints, then give it a whirl; I think you will not be disappointed.

Enjoying a Pint at Draught Works

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- Jake
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Draught Works

November 1st, 2012

Draught works is a new brewery in a realm of brewing in Missoula. When it comes to breweries in Missoula, I prefer this one. This brewery has done an incredible job of making a name here in Missoula. Their beers are well crafted, with a great atmosphere to boot. It has been a hard week and I have just finished my midterms and it is time for a beer. The beer I tasted this week was their lager. This beer is interesting and something out of the norm for this guy. This beer has a mellow taste, with a nice bite on the back of your tongue. A nice dark amber color gives way to a notion that this is an amber lager. This is also reinforced with a blanced caramel and nutty flavor. While its immediate taste is not overpowering a lingering hoppiness remains, and makes me think more about the beer I am drinking. Nice malt sweetness at the end gives this beer an extra push, to something I would drink more often. Pint for pint, this beer offers a great drinking beer.

Sitting on worn out stools while enjoying the company of others and sipping this pint was a great way to spend my afternoon. I have been really enjoying visiting this place. A garage style tasting room allows for a view of their brewing process. Tanks and hoses and everything fun about brewing are visible. A Missoula flair is always present, along with good music on weekdays allow for fun at any time. Check out their website and come down for a pint and join me for some fun and adventure.

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- Jake
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Blacksmith Brewery

September 25th, 2012

Missoula, Montana has an incredible craft beer community. I enjoy Missoula’s beer, but nothing compares to an experience in Stevensville, Montana. The name is Blacksmith Brewery, and it is a home away from home for this guy. Just a short thirty minute drive can transport you to a realm of beer. I have always been a fan of the Blacksmith Brewery, and they have always treated me well. 5 beers are kept on tap: the Brickhouse Blonde, Montana Amber, P.D. Pale Ale, Pulaski Porter, and the Cutthroat IPA. Every beer has its own distinct qualities which will encourage you to come back and try them all. Along with the five beers on tap they also do seasonal beers.

From The middle out; Serenity Pale Ale, Coconut Stout, Stout on Nitro Tap.
These were the three seasonal beers on tap Saturday September 22.

I was lucky enough to taste the coconut stout, one of the fall seasonals. This beer is incredible. The name may be slightly intimidating, but after tasting the beer you realize that the coconut sweetness doesn’t overpower. Deep brown in color, the coconut Stout has a creamy and velvety mouth feel. Hoppy, nutty, sweet and chocolate flavors play on your tongue to create an incredibly balanced brew. Riddled with chocolaty coconut aromas, the creamy headed beer doesn’t disappoint. It is no wonder that this beer flies off the shelves.

Coconut Stout

The Montana Amber was the second beer that I drank this day. C-150 barley malt gives this beer a dark agave color with a head that has notes of chocolate and caramel. Crisp, with a hoppy complexity that keeps you coming back for more.

Montana Amber

I’m honored to live so close and be able to review this wonderful establishment. As soon as you walk through the doors, worries and stress melt into the distressed wooden walls. Kids run around without a care in the world. Friends and families all come to this community meeting spot to enjoy a beer and catch up with neighbors and friends. You are welcomed like a regular, and treated as one the whole time you’re there. I encourage those from Missoula who have not yet been there, to go. You will not be disappointed.

How can you not have fun enjoying wonderful beer?

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- Jake
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We are coming back!

August 30th, 2012

The Barbeerians have been a bit absent from this website lately, but don’t think that has changed our love of beer.

We have been the enjoying the wonderful brews of Montana, sampling the new spirits our fine local distilleries have been creating, and growing beards.

The Montana Beard and Moustache club will be attending the National Beard and Moustache competition in Las Vegas this year.  We have been practicing our gambling at partybingo.com and working on our facial hair styling.

Keep an eye out for new reviews of exciting beer, and delicious cocktails.  We will also be updating from the National Beard and Moustache Competition.

Stay tuned.

Cheers!

 

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- Steffen
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Beer Review: Dogfish Head Immort Ale

September 20th, 2010

Milkshake, anyone?

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, DE

I think it’s telling that our 400th post here at Barbeerians is a review of a Dogfish beer. Even before my days of getting into Dogfish beer at Michigan, the mystique surrounding the Delaware craft brewery was at atmospheric levels. It was unobtainable in Montana, and their 120 Minute IPA was one of the costliest beers on the menu at our favorite bar in Ann Arbor. So when I first started diving into craft beers, Dogfish rose to the top quickly. I still like seeking out all of their selections. Even if a raspberry or blueberry puree beer doesn’t sound like the best thing, there’s a damn good chance the beer will be drinkable and unlike anything else you’ll ever try. But with this innovation comes some luck. Even when I do try a funky Dogfish beer, I’m afraid the ~$15 I’ve spent could deliver something like a glorified grape juice. So sometimes, it’s nice to find a solid and down-to-earth beer from Dogfish that isn’t made from insect wings or golden pixie dust gathered from a lunar module, which is partly why I’m such an enormous fan of the Dogfish Head Immort Ale, a beer packed with some rather stock flavors that come together to form a tasty crescendo of everyday beer elements.

Read the rest of this entry »

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- Matt
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Great American Beer Fest Winners Announced

September 20th, 2010

The Great American Beer Festival was held this past weekend in Denver, CO, and what a weekend it was. We’re still recovering from all the fun we had this weekend…none of the fun ingesting hundreds of microbrews in Denver, though. We had a much classier weekend filled with college football, Pabst, and enormous pieces of pizza. Jealous?

Regardless, the GABF has released their list of winners in the 80 different beer categories, along with best brewers and breweries in the country. The winners–as expected–in the brewery of the year awards were Blue Moon, Utah Brewers Cooperative, and Mad River Brewing Company! And if you haven’t heard of all of those breweries, check out the list and you’ll find a massive collection of some of your favorite breweries raking in award after award. Or not. Seriously, where did all these breweries come from? Pizza Port? Devil’s Backbone? Yazoo Brewing? Am I alone here not knowing 50% of the winners?

I think the one thing this shows is how strong the craft beer movement is in the United States. Just look at the over 140 entries in the American IPA category, and look at the full list of winners. It’s extraordinary.

So cheers to all the winners. You’ve already made my week either much more cheerful knowing that I have at least 200 more breweries I need to sample beer from.

Check out the full list here or skip on over to the full .PDF version here.

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- Matt
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Beer Review: Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza

September 14th, 2010

I hope I'm not rushing into things too quickly here. (Photo via MK Heisler)

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales in Dexter, MI

A new love is brewing. And I’m afraid it’s going to tear a friendship apart.

Gary waxed poetic not long ago about his fascination with the sour ale giants in Dexter, MI, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. I’d always been fascinated with their beers, but had only a brief time to sample their selections when I was still living in Michigan. The brewery was just starting to explode as I left the state, and my mind had still not been made up about these funky and sour beers that certainly didn’t taste like regular amber ales or stouts. A trip back to Ann Arbor for New Year’s tossed me into their new brewhouse downtown where I got my hands on a few of these other hard-to-come-by ales, but the jury was still out.

But here JP and I are again, finding ourselves in the same city, seeing each other at the same bars, and occasionally running into each other at our favorite stores. We chat a little bit, flirt, and decide to go out for drinks. I try to tell Gary, but I know it will hurt him right now since he’s on a brief hiatus in Arkansas, so I keep it short. I tell him we’re just friends. That’s all.

But, Gary, this is bad news, but I’m in love with Oro de Calabaza, and I’m afraid others might be, too.

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- Matt
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A Closer Look at Oyster Stouts

September 13th, 2010

Stay out of my beer. Thanks.

The Atlantic’s food section has a good look at one of the more bizarre beer styles that I can really think of: oyster stouts. A few months ago, I gave my thoughts on the subject where I pretty much panned the style since I hate oysters. Have my thoughts changed? No. Am I still interested in trying an oyster stout? Well, maybe. Clay Risen tried three that are on the market (Harpoon’s Island Creek, Flying Fish’s Exit 1, and Porterhouse Brewing Co.’s Oyster Stout), and came back with some mixed results.

Oyster stouts are exactly what they sound like: brewers shuck in five or six bivalves per barrel during the brewing process. By the time the beer is done, the oysters have completely dissolved, leaving behind just the faintest hint of salinity. Beware, though: Some brewers, like Marston’s, don’t actually use oysters in their oyster stouts; the name is simply to suggest an appropriate accompaniment. Still others, like Massachusetts’s Cape Ann Brewing, will use shells, but not the oysters themselves, to balance the mineral content of their water.

[...]

And about that beer: While the Harpoon and Porterhouse are both dry, even astringent, Irish stouts, the Flying Fish is a creamy British export stout, with about twice the alcohol content of the other two. Its milk chocolate and roasted flavors are much better complements to the subtle saltiness of the oysters than the bitter chocolate and tobacco flavors I got from the Porterhouse and Harpoon. I found the Porterhouse thin and excessively briny, while the Harpoon was bland with a finish of old coffee grounds. Neither was particularly bad, but neither was anything I’ll look for again.

Not exactly a rave review of oyster stouts, but it’s still a developing genre. Has anyone out there tried any of the offerings, and what do you think? Anyone thinking of dabbling in the art of brewing an oyster stout on their own? How about Crab Leg Kolsch, or Lobster Lager? Not saying I’ll drink them, but go for it.

The Atlantic — Brine in Your Brew: Sampling Oyster Stouts

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- Matt
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BVotW: Squirrel Beer (Beer in Squirrels)

September 10th, 2010

For this week’s Beer Video of the Week, we take a brief look back at a post Miles did a few weeks back about BrewDog’s End of History beer. It’s a 50% ABV beer that is sold in a dead squirrel. Yes, dead squirrels and beer: the combination of the year. Check out the video below and see why BrewDog still makes the best beer-related videos on the Internets. (Slightly NSFW, so be careful, late Friday workers.)

Hope everyone out in Montana has a great time at the Montana Brewers Festival, and that everyone else in D.C. finds some great beer this weekend. As for me, I will be hoping Michigan can pull off a great win versus Notre Dame this weekend. Dogfish Head Bitches Brew goes well with the sound of Irish people crying, right? Have a good weekend, everyone. Cheers.

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- Matt
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Beer Review: Founders Nemesis 2010

September 10th, 2010

I'm sorry, but I think we're just friends now. I might be open to a relationship in a few months. Will that work?

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, MI

How important is aging? I’m not asking this in an NBC special sort of way or in an attention-grabbing headline in the style of the Huffington Post or the Drudge Report. Rather, I’m asking this when it comes to beer.

I understand that brewers these days are making more and more brews that are meant to be preserved and held onto for as little as a few months and for as long as a few decades. I get this. The beer changes over time. Different flavors appear as fermentation continues. But with the proliferation of so many of these beers on the market, I’m having a hard time choosing which ones I want to open immediately like Christmas presents and which ones I need to put away in my tiny closet and attempt to not drink for the next few months. Should these beers that can be aged for quite some time actually be aged, or should they be drinkable right out of the bottle? Or should they be real firecrackers right on the day or bottling, only to become truly perfect gems after sitting in your beer cellar (*cough closet cough) for a number of years?

I only bring this up because of how much I actually enjoy the Founders Nemesis 2010 edition, a black IPA/barleywine hybrid. It’s a special beer that is released only once. Founders even notes that this can be a rather experimental beer. And I’m quite OK with all of this. I only have to think how much better this beer could be if it sat around for a few years. Then what would we have?

Part of the reason I have trouble with hanging onto beer is not only the space issue, but the temperature issue. I know you’re supposed to keep them at cooler temps at all times, but I can’t say I have a big enough fridge or a dedicated beer fridge yet in my apartment to make this happen. I don’t even know if having them stored at 70 degrees makes that much of a difference, but I feel like if I keep a beer around for so long, I should keep it in ideal conditions.

The other reason I have trouble with holding onto beers is, well… most of the special bottles I pick up look awfully fucking delicious. Black IPA and barleywine? This is why I couldn’t hang onto Nemesis 2010 for more than a few days. The color on it was as magnificent as any of my other Founders lovers, a dark and very rich brown with a gorgeous chocolate-cream head just barely sitting on top of the snifter when it was swirled around. The smell was thick with molasses and a rather boozy, almost bourbon-like, scent. The beer looked quite syrupy, more so than expected, and the first taste confirmed that immediately. A heavy and thick curtain of really dry and earthy malt kicks in immediately with just the slightest background of a barleywine’s sweetness. The malt really hangs on the tongue for generations, and adds a bit of smokiness that mixes with a hop tickle near the absolute end. I really waited for the barleywine’s scene, but somewhere along the editing process, it hit the cutting room floor. I had a hard time finding any real sweetness or a blast of alcohol (especially considering the 12% ABV), and even the high IBU level left me a little disappointed. The warmer it got, the less sweet it became. Not exactly a knock-out punch.

What I’m trying to get at is this is a very good black IPA. The flavors here are thicker and richer than many others I’ve had. But I’m missing the barleywine crunch. I would assume that if this bad boy hung out for quite a few more months or years, this would develop into a deep and succulent beer with more layers than an onion. As is, drink it for the great black IPA qualities, but save it for the feast of flavors that will surely come later.

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- Matt
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