The Dram Shop

craft beer

By in Events 0

Beer, Brats and Funny Hats—It’s Oktoberfest!

OKTOBERFEST!
Sunday, September 20th,
2:00-9:00pm!

Celebrate the change of seasons with our friends at Le Petit Outre and FairEnds, while sampling a variety of takes on the Oktoberfest style of beer!

We’re featuring six different Oktoberfest Beers on tap with Flights available.  

Le Petit is serving German Style Pretzels (paired with mustards!)

Covered Wagon will be parked out front serving German Sausages and Kraut from 4:30-8:30pm.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, a primer on the history of Oktoberfest and it’s beer, and more importantly, the answer to the most burning question in our minds: Why the heck is Oktoberfest in September???

So back in the stone ages when I was just a young duffer, I took a year to travel around europe with a good pal of mine. We saw a lot of europe on that trip and were only shot at with a rifle once which was good because luck can only take you so far. Anyway, we were cruising around in the fall and had Oktoberfest marked down as something that we definitely wanted to see and drink. We wound our way through the alps of Austria and rolled into Munich on october 15th. We were somewhat surprised when we did not see the expected jubilant frolicking, dancing, and celebrating of Oktoberfest. Upon asking a friendly shop owner where we could find Oktoberfest, we were told that we were in the exact right location, but that it had ended two weeks ago. As it turned out, Oktoberfest runs from Sept 19th through the first Sunday of October (and this schedule varies slightly from year to year). Although we were sorely disappointed in our crack research and scheduling team, we luckily were able to find a fine establishment in which to drown our sorrows. So note to self: If you want to go to Oktoberfest in Munich, it’s better to schedule it for the end of September instead of mid-October.

Now that you’ve suffered through my sob story, here’s a bit of factual information on the subject:

What has become Oktoberfest was first celebrated from October 12th through the 17th in Munich Germany in 1810. The Cause Celeb was the marriage of  Prince Ludwig to Princess Terese. Being a friendly couple they invited all of Munich to their little shindig, and a rather good time was had by all. To put an exclamation point on the event, they held horse races on the 17th. The next fall, when everybody started to get really thirsty again, they decided to hold another celebration surrounding the horse races, and Oktoberfest was born.

Throughout the 19th century the festival took on a more carnivalesque character with the addition of a large parade, bowling alleys, swings, and of course, tree climbing. These activities were mainly fueled by delicious and nutritious beer, although occasionally somebody would stop to eat some cured meat product or a strudel.

Sadly, there have been years when Oktoberfest has not been celebrated due to pesky little wars and once in 1853 for a cholera epidemic which killed 3,000 residents of Munich. This has occurred 24 times in the 215 year run that Oktoberfest has been on. We can only assume that on these years the residents of munich found other ways to drink beer.

Speaking of beer drinking, they are somewhat rigid about it in Germany. For instance, there are only six breweries who are permitted to serve beer at Oktoberfest. These breweries must conform to ‘Reinheitsgebot’, or the German Purity Laws for brewing beer which demand that the only the four basic ingredients be used: Hops, Malted Barley, Yeast, and of course water.  They also must be located within the city limits of Munich. Here are the six:

For various reasons, we have access to only one of these beers for our Oktoberfest on Sunday. We’ll have the Hofbräu Oktoberfest beer on tap as well as other German, domestic, and local Oktoberfest beers!

OKT

 

By in Behind the Scenes, What's on Tap 0

What is Cask-Conditioned Beer?

Ever wonder what that sideways keg and crazy tangle of beer tubes is that you see at the front of The Dram Shop every weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place! What we’ve got here is a bonafide explainer on what is called Cask Beer.

Cask case

Our Cask Case

Cask-Conditioned beer, which is unfiltered and unpasteurized, is served from a traditional cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide (CO2) pressure. What is a cask you ask? A cask is simply a term for a container that has been used dating back to Babylon in 424 BC, where there is reference to ‘casks of wine’. During the Iron Age, Northern European Celts developed wooden casks held together by a band of metal. This basic design is still used today, although most casks of beer are now stainless steel.

By the 17th Century, bottled beer was commonplace, although expensive. The bottles were mostly consumed by elites who eschewed the common pubs for their rowdy publicans and tumultuous environment. For commoners however, it was off to the pub for a bit of the pint, and the beer that was drunk came right off of a cask. As beer styles became lighter and lower in alcohol, it became more of a challenge to keep them preserved in a cask. Louis Pasteur’s sterilization coupled with more modern refrigeration methods certainly helped in warmer climates, but in many cooler parts of the north, traditional cask beer remained largely unchanged.

Okay, let’s back up for a minute and go over some of the things that make cask beer unique. A cask is quite a bit different from a keg. First off, there is no downtube ensuring every last drop is used. Casks are designed to capture yeast and other large particles in the bottom as the beer is poured off. Kegged beer is filtered, fined, or centrifuged, making this action superfluous. Secondly, kegs use ‘head pressure’ provided by CO2 being pushed onto the beer to force it out of the faucet.

Cask beer is served one of two ways. If the cask is on a counter or bar top, a spigot is used to simply let gravity fill the glass. If the cask is stored below, a ‘beer engine’ is used to suction the beer up and into a waiting glass. In this instance, casks would traditionally be kept in a cellar, remaining at 55 degrees, the traditional temperature that cask beer is served at. At The Dram Shop, we keep our casks in our cask case at the front of the shop, which is chilled down to our lovely 55 degrees.

So that mostly covers the hardware part. Next, let’s talk about the beer itself. By the 1970s, the majority of draught beer was artificially carbonated, pasteurized, and filtered. That means that the beer is brewed and fermented normally. Then, when the beer is ready, it is heated to 161 degrees, run through a filter that removes all of the large particle proteins and sugars, and force carbonated with CO2 to augment any shortcomings. You end up with a clean beer that has an extended shelf life before turning sour. In order to make cask beer, you would capture beer in a cask after primary fermentation. At this point additional yeast and sugar or some kind of sweetener are added for a secondary fermentation inside the cask. Finings are added to assist in the dropping out of the yeast as well. Often times brewers add adjuncts at this point, such as hops, fruit, or other flavor enhancing ingredients. All of these additions stay in the cask, making for a cloudy appearance and often times a bigger mouth feel and more complex flavor profile.

In 1973, The ‘Campaign For Real Ale’(CAMRA) was started and a movement back towards the roots of cask beer had begun in earnest. The qualifying definition is: “beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentations in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide.”

We love serving cask-conditioned beer at the shop and tap a new cask every Friday afternoon! The casks are from local brewers at Big Sky Brewing Co. and KettleHouse Brewing Co. We get to help come up with some crazy recipes that are fun to drink!

Tapping the cask

This Friday, we will be tapping a ‘Cherry-Chocolate Moose Drool’ that ought to be pretty delicious! Come see us this weekend and we’ll have fun trying some cask-conditioned beer together!    

 

 

By in Events, Gallery, News 0

Call for Artists: Exhibition Opportunities

We’re proud to showcase artists at the Dram Shop on our gallery walls, and we now have openings for exhibitionists! So far, we’ve featured the works of Tom Robertson, with his stunning large prints and Joey Early, with his beautiful portrait photography.

Artists should have enough work that is large enough to nicely fill the space. Wall space = 19′ x 4′ (one wall), 17′ x 4′ (second wall).

If you’ve never been to The Dram Shop, come on by and have a look at our space. We love to find work that fits right in!

Please email Sarah at [email protected] with link to website and/or portfolio.

unnamed-3

 

 

By in Events 0

1/2 Off Double Haul Recovery Ale for Runners!

Welcome Runners to the Missoula Marathon! Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a local, we hope you enjoy a weekend full of festive running events and all that Missoula has to offer! In honor of the marathon weekend, we’ve tapped a keg of Double Haul® Recovery Style Ale from KettleHouse Brewing Company. Bring your bib to the shop after your 5K, half marathon or full marathon race this weekend, and we’ll give you 1/2 off your Recovery Ale!

In case you’re wondering what they did to make this beer so helpful after a race, here is their description:

Double Haul® Recovery Style Ale

Disclaimer: This write up was made by a brewer, NOT a licensed physician and is only meant to discuss the potential health benefits of specific ingredients in this beer. As with any alcoholic drink, potential healthful benefits can only be reaped with moderate consumption. Please drink responsibly!

This beer is an unfiltered version of our award winning Double Haul® IPA which we crafted to make an after-marathon brew. It has a few extra ingredients to help the body recover after a long workout. We added some ginseng, orange peel, and sea salt. Here is a breakdown of some potential benefits of all the stuff that went into this hearty concoction.

Yeast– This is an unfiltered version of Double Haul® so it still has plenty of yeast floating around in it, as much as 10,000 cells/ milliliter. This gives the beer some body and a nice textured mouthfeel. These yeast cells are packed full of nutrients and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins. These yeast are dormant, but still living, which helps with the health of your intestinal biota. If you go into any health food store you can buy brewers yeast as a nutritional supplement, but we think this is a tastier way to get your vitamins.

Hops– In one word: Antioxidants. Hops are chock full of antioxidants, especially one called Xanthohumol which some studies suggest has powerful anti-cancer properties.

Water– Researchers at Granada University in Spain found this Nobel Prize-worthy discovery after months of testing 25 student subjects, who were asked to run on a treadmill in grueling temps (104degrees F) until they were as close to exhaustion as possible. Half were given water to drink, and the other half drank two pints of Spanish lager. Then the godly researchers measured their hydration levels, motor skills, and concentration ability. They determined that the beer drinkers had “slightly better” rehydration effects, which researchers attribute to sugars, salts, and bubbles in beer enhancing the body’s ability to absorb water. The carbohydrates in beer also help refill calorie deficits.

Ginseng– Ginseng is believed to be a good tonic that benefits one’s stamina and helps boost energy levels. It helps athletes use oxygen more effectively, and it is believed to regulate metabolism, which can increase energy levels. Consumption of ginseng can also help athletes lower their recovery time and reduce stress.

Orange peel– Just try running a marathon with scurvy. Aside from its historical uses, modern science is finding a multitude of benefits of vitamin C. From boosting your immune system, to improved endurance, to preventing heat stroke, this workhorse vitamin does it all.

Sea Salt– Running a marathon drains a lot out of your body, especially electrolytes. So we added a little sea salt to help replace what was lost. A natural blend of sodium, calcium and magnesium salts furnishes your body with these elements in just the right proportions.

We will be open at 10am on Sunday for the Missoula Marathon! 

By in DIY, Remodel 0

DIY: Sandwich Board on a Budget

So we needed a sidewalk sign for in front of our shop in order to let people know where we are and that we’re open for business. Luckily, John Geurts from McNelis Architects was excited about making a drawing for us to work off of.

We decided to use some of the same materials that we had used on the interior of the shop in order to tie things together. After getting our powder coated schedule 40 pipe, Kee Klamp fittings, and and rotating castors, we were ready to put it all together. The great thing about Kee Klamp is that all you need is an allen wrench.

Here’s what the frame looked like:

Bare bones frame

Bare bones frame

Next we fastened ‘nailer boards’ to the frame via rotating Kee Klamp tabs. These will be used to fasten the boards that will make up the face of the sign. And yes, that’s our garage.

Speaking of which, it was time to find the wood to use for said face of the sign. We chose some reclaimed tongue and groove boards from Home Resource, our local reused construction materials store, and cut them to length on the chop saw.

You can see that the tongue and groove look a little rough on the edges of these boards. They would need to be ripped off on the table saw. Here’s a shot of them halfway milled. You can see that some grooves are still present.

After taking off all of the tongue and Groove we eased the edges of the boards by ripping a ¼” 45 degree angle along the edges. This would offer some relief on the face of the sign and match up well with some of the detail on the interior of the shop.

Now it was time to break out the stain and put a nice coat on the boards…

After everything was dry we attached the boards to the nailers on the sign via stainless bolts. Everything on the sign is either stainless, aluminum, or galvanized to avoid rust as the sign will be outdoors most of the time! We’re getting close!

Next we had two of our logo laser cut out of aluminum by Pro Construction Services here in Missoula. We drilled holes through the aluminum so we could bolt it onto the wooden slats that make up the face of the sign.

We affixed an aluminum logo to each side of the sign, and we’re finally done! We now have an attractive sidewalk sign, that is heavy enough to resist high winds, and can be moved around on casters.

A job like this can REALLY make you thirsty!

 

 

By in Behind the Scenes, News 0

Cafe Seating on our Sidewalk

We’re thrilled to finally have outdoor cafe seating on the sidewalk in front of The Dram Shop! The City of Missoula and Montana Department of Revenue have been working closely together to create new regulations for sidewalk seating in Missoula’s downtown area for establishments that serve alcohol. We were waiting this spring for them to complete this mission and are so excited to be the first ones through the gates! We teamed up again with McNelis Architects to design an attractive space that was simultaneously urban and comfortable. With 14 new seats surrounded by Loll Design planters chock full of Pink Grizzly flowers, we hope you’ll enjoy our new outdoor space!

Thanks to the Missoula Independent for the Happiest Hour feature!

By in Events 0

Watch: Women’s World Cup, U.S. WNT vs. Nigeria

We will be airing the U.S. WNT vs Nigeria Soccer game at 6:00 pm! With a newly installed TV, we’ll cheer on USA as they try and secure the top spot in Group D. This will be the first of many events that we will air, including the upcoming Tour de France!

If you’re feeling hungry, The Pearl Restaurant right next door offers a special Pub Grub Menu in which you can call in an order and they will deliver it here. Market on Front also offers a yummy flat-bread menu. As always, feel free to bring in your own food, order a pizza or nosh on some of our in house snacks.

Go USA!!!

By in News, What's on Tap 0

Smurfs and Beer…Seriously!

This past March, The Mighty Mo Brewing Co. (in Great Falls, MT) held a homebrew contest, and the winner was a Smurf. Seriously. But it’s not quite that simple. The style of beer was a Belgian Saison—a beer brewed with belgian yeast and featuring funky, sweet, and peppery overtones. The beer was brewed by Missoula’s Clint Nissen, and he has his kids to thank for the name.

As he was trying to think up a name, his kids were watching The Smurfs cartoon. So he decided to google Smurf. It turned out to be a Belgian cartoon, and the Saison had a name.

The prize for winning the contest for Clint was to go into The Mighty Mo Brewing Company and brew a batch of ‘Smurf’ on their brewing System. With only 20 kegs available, we were thrilled when Clint called to see if we wanted to serve a keg of the Saison at The Dram Shop in Missoula so that we could give everybody a chance to give it a try.

We’ll be tapping the homebrew keg of Saison this Wednesday June 3rd! Come on by have a pint!

Check out the article in the Great Falls Tribune about the contest!

Beer and the Amazing BBQ

Summer is quickly approaching, and with it comes barbecue season. What could be better than spending some quality time in the backyard, grilling up some grub, and drinking some great beers! A challenge some folks face is finding a beer that is going to compliment their food nicely, but also be complex enough to enjoy on it’s own. Of course there are a lot different beer styles out there and literally thousands of different beers from different breweries Today, we’re going to focus on a range of somewhat malty beers, all the way to very dark beers. Don’t freak out hop heads, these beers taste so good with food, that you’ll be glad to put your IPA down for a little while. To limit our scope even further, we’re going to look at bottled beers that we have for sale here at the Dram Shop, just on the outside chance that you might want to swing by and pick one up before your next barbecue!

Piraat Belgian Pale: This Belgian beer is a rich and rounded brew. Deep golden with a subtle haze from lack of filtering, this beer will pair well with grilled salmon and vegetables. With lots of hops, malt, and a mild Belgian sweetness, Piraat will stand up to marinated and grilled chicken and pork as well. Look out for spices and tropical fruit s on the finish here.

Rodenbach Grand Cru: A blend of 1/3 young beer and 2/3 of beer aged 2 years in large oak vats, this beer is a very mellow Belgian sour. The proportion of oak matured beer contributes to complex and the intense, fruity taste. The finish is worthy of a great wine, making it a great pairing for just about anything you might choose to grill.

Ayinger Alt-Dunkel: Dark chocolate in color, you can see a wonderful reflection if you hold it up to the light. It is round and soft with the warm, sweet aroma of freshly roasted malted barley. This is great all around malty beer. With a satisfying, malty taste of toffee and a hint of plummy fruitiness in the finish, this beer compliment almost any marinade or smokey sauce.

Windmer/Deschutes Collaboration Alt Bitter aged in Bourbon Barrels: This beer is a blend of imperial barrel-aged versions of Deschutes Bachelor Bitter and Widmer Brothers’ Altbier. Imperial versions of both beers were blended together, then 50% was aged in rye whiskey barrels before blending back together again to create AltBitter. The subtle bourbon flavors blend with strong Malts and sit in the back when paired with Barbecue sauce and charred vegetables.

Full Sail – Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout: This year’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout is inky black with aroma of dried cherry, shaved chocolate, and whiskey. It has a full malty palate with flavors of dark chocolate, vanilla, cherry, dried figs and a subtle hint of molasses. It finishes warm on the palate and slow cooked or smoked meats will compliment this big Imperial Stout. Also, don’t overlook desert with a beer like this. A scoop of vanilla ice cream will mellow the big strong flavors present here.

Most of these beers are somewhat dry, full bodied, and flavorful enough to stand up to your favorite food off the grill without losing their very unique identities.

One last thing to note; one of the reasons that malty beers pair so well with the sweet, smoky flavors of barbeque is because they tend to have a somewhat dry mouth feel. So we say go ahead and see for yourself, throw some food on the grill, and crack one of these awesome beers!

Cheers!

 

By in What's on Tap 0

What’s on Tap!

We’re excited to feature our draught menu online!

HERE is a link to the over 35 beers, wine, cider and soda we have on tap. This is updated daily so you can always check to see what we’re pouring!

Next up, our bottle menu will be added too! We carry over 30 options of craft beer, cider (and non-alcoholic beverages) that you can enjoy in the shop or take with you. This list is growing day by day so keep your eyes peeled!

If you have requests for draft or bottled beer that you would like us to carry, please post to our Facebook page.

Cheers!

Beerposter