Local Missoula Beers – Our Top 5
Even though Missoula didn't make it on the “drunkest cities in the nation” list, it does not mean we don't enjoy our “barley pop.” Missoula actually has some of the best microbrews in the Northwest. Here are some of our favorites...
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.“
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).”
This one packs a 6.0 % Al. content.
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.
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 is that it's tough to drink too many without getting full.