The Dram Shop

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Saison Week starts Sunday, April 17th!

Welcome to the month of April. Spring is in the air, and so is the Saison style of beer.

We’ll be featuring Saisons at the shop beginning Sunday, April 17th for a week.

We chose this style for April as it neatly fits in for this time of year. ‘Bier de Saison’ literally translates to ‘beer of the season’ and originally brewed by farmers in the French speaking part of Belgium. Saisons are commonly referred to as ‘farmhouse style ales’. What this means more generally, is that they were brewed with whatever ingredients were available down on the farm. The beer would be brewed at the end of winter, stored when it was still cool (as refrigeration was not available), and consumed during the warmer months. Farm workers in the fields were allotted up to 5 liters each day. We’re not sure how much work they actually got done, but at least they were happy. Moderate alcohol and thirst quenching on the palate. Traditionally Saisons have enjoyed a wide style description. In modern times however we can narrow our focus on these beers.

Here are some general characteristics:

Pale orange to golden in color, these beers are fruity and feature citrus flavors. Moderate hop presence gives way to pepper and/or clove flavors. Moderate maltiness marries into a light alcohol presence. A light to medium mouth feel enhances the fruit and spice flavors.

Feeling Thirsty yet??

Come join us all week to experience these unique beers!!!

6 American Saisons on tap all week. Flights of 3 or 6 will be available as well as pints. It’s farmhouse beer time!

By in Behind the Scenes, Events, News 1

10 Things I Learned in the First Year of Business

by Zach Millar, owner of The Dram Shop in Missoula, MT

There are no known unknowns.
Simple right? The fact is, you don’t know what you don’t know. So keep an open mind, and be ready for your perceptions to change. A lot.

You are your best (and often times only) advocate.
You better get used to getting out there and fighting for your dream. Nobody else is going to take over while you sit on the couch and watch Seinfeld reruns.

Lean on your friends.
They’ll want to help you, and you’ll need them. A lot of your network will likely be really excited about your endeavor. Enthusiasm is contagious, so put them in coach.

Be nice.
This seems obvious, but just remember, you don’t know everything. You don’t even know that you don’t know everything yet (see #1). So be nice to EVERYBODY. Chances are you’re going to need their help sometime soon (see #3). And if you do make it through the startup crucible, you’re likely going to owe them a truckload of thank you’s.

Listen to your elders.
Also, listen to your youngers. Heck, listen to anybody who is willing to take the time to give you advice. It’s really important to remember where your scope of knowledge lies. For us, it was somewhere between breakfast and lunch, and we were lucky to get a lot of great advice.

Make fear your friend.
You’re going to need to get used to your fight or flight instinct, because it’s going to follow you around. It probably is already. You’re taking risks. Sometimes really big risks, and there will be times when every sinew in your body will be telling you to split and head for Mexico. Also, Mexico can be a very useful motivational tool.

Be ready.
Running your shiny new business is a lot different than starting your new business. You’re going to have to make a lot of adjustments as you go along, and you don’t want to get caught flat footed. So try not to get too attached to the little things you’ve accomplished along the way. You probably screwed them up and are going to have to go back and redo them.

Study up.
Chances are you’re going to become an expert on a subject that to date you know nothing about. Take parking requirements for example. Not only are they are super interesting, turns out they are kind of important. You’ll be way better off if you can discover problems before they become problems. (See #1)

Keep going.
If you’re anything like us, there will be some doubts. OK, a lot of doubts. You have to learn to put them in a box and throw it off of a very tall building. You can do it. One foot in front of the next.

Success is a trip to the grocery store.
Things get busy and crazy. Really busy and really crazy. When things finally calm down enough that you can do normal, everyday activities without a sneaking suspicion that total disaster lies around every corner, you’ve arrived. You probably just won’t be sure where it is that you’ve arrived at. It doesn’t matter, you’re probably leaving first thing in the morning.

Upcoming Events:

Sunday, April 10th: Patagonia Worn Wear Event Happy Hour and Film 6-9pm

Saturday, April 16th: Cider Tasting featuring Montana CiderWorks

Sunday, April 17th: Saison Week Kick-off and Super Tuscan Wine Tasting

Thursday, April 21st: Firestone Walker Brewery Missoula Release and Tap Takeover

Saturday, April 30th Craft Beer Week Kick-off

CraftBeer.com votes The Dram Shop the “Best Beer Bar in Montana”

By in Events, What's on Tap 0

First Annual Stout Week! Jan. 17th-23rd

Our First Annual Stout week is coming up, and we thought we should write up a bit of an explainer on the history and origins of stout beers. First of all, we love the style. Stouts come in a wide variety, all of which are dark. But never fear, most are very approachable. The term stout originally meant a stronger version of any style of beer, and as darker beers gained traction, this was often times a Porter. This characterization of course has changed in the modern era to mean a specific family of very dark beers. Although folks can argue over whether or not there is really any difference between the Stout and Porter Families of beers, we plan on ignoring that cacophony, and diving straight into the world of Stout Beers!

Let’s review Styles:

Milk stout

Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout), is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Historically people thought of milk stout as nutritious, and hence was given to nursing mothers.

Dry or Irish stout

With milk or sweet stout becoming the dominant stout in the UK in the early 20th century, it was mainly in Ireland that the non-sweet or standard stout was being made. As standard stout has a drier taste than the English and American sweet stouts, and they came to be called dry stout or Irish stout to differentiate them from stouts with added lactose or oatmeal. Though still sometimes termed Irish or dry stout, particularly if made in Ireland, this is the standard stout sold and would normally just be termed “stout”.

Oatmeal stout

Oatmeal stout is a stout with a proportion of oats, normally a maximum of 30% of the grain bill, added during the brewing process. Even though a larger proportion of oats in beer can lead to a bitter or astringent taste, during the medieval period in Europe, oats were a common ingredient in ale, and proportions up to 35% were standard.

There was a revival of interest in using oats during the end of the 19th century, when (supposedly) restorative, nourishing and invalid beers, such as the later milk stout, were popular, because of the association of porridge with health. Some oatmeal stout uses a minimal amount of oats. With such a small quantity of oats used, it could have had little impact on the flavor or texture of the beer. Oatmeal stouts do not usually taste specifically of oats. The smoothness of oatmeal stouts comes from the high content of proteins, lipids (includes fats and waxes), and gums imparted by the use of oats.

Chocolate stout

Chocolate stout is a name brewers sometimes give to certain stouts having a noticeable dark chocolate flavor through the use of darker, more aromatic malt; particularly chocolate malt—a malt that has been roasted or kilned until it acquires a chocolate color. Sometimes, the beers are also brewed with actual chocolate!

Oyster Stout

Oysters have had a long association with stout. When stouts were emerging in the 18th century, oysters were a commonplace food served in public houses and taverns. Modern oyster stouts may be made with a handful of oysters in the barrel. Others use the name with the implication that the beer would be suitable for drinking with oysters.

Imperial Stout

Imperial stout, also known as Russian imperial stout or imperial Russian stout, is a strong dark beer or stout in the style that was brewed in the 18th century. It has a high alcohol content, usually over 9% abv. This style is often aged in used Bourbon or Whisky barrels to imbue the beer with a mellow, boozy, flavor.

There you have it folks! Now, we’re bringing in some delightful stouts for our event. We are leaning towards heavier, darker, barrel aged stouts. These bigger stouts tend to present a depth of flavor profile that we really love. The big ones are served in a snifter, and are surely meant to be sipped rather than quaffed.

Here’s a list of beers we’ll have on tap:

Bourbon County – Brand Stout                                                            13.7% ABV –  60 IBU – Chicago/IL
$9 per 12 oz snifter

Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.

Sierra Nevada – Narwhal Imperial Stout                                     10.2% ABV – 60 IBU – Chico/CA
$6 per 12 oz snifter

Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish.

Deschutes – Abyss Russian Imperial Stout                                    12.2% ABV – 86 IBU – Bend/OR
$8 per 12 oz snifter

A deep, dark Imperial Stout, The Abyss has almost immeasurable depth and complexity. Hints of molasses, licorice and other alluring flavors make it something not just to quaff, but contemplate.

Elysian – The Fix Choc. Coff. Imp. Stout                                      8.9% ABV – 55 IBU – Seattle/WA
$8 per 12 oz snifter

Dark, rich, and roasty with Stumptown coffee and aged on cocoa nibs sourced by Theo Chocolate, this stout is complex and full of your favorite dark matter.

Big Sky – Ivan the Terrible Imp. Stout                                        9.5% ABV – 39 IBU – Missoula/MT
$8 per 12 oz snifter

Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout is Brewed according to the traditional style using English hops and the finest american malt. It’s aroma and flavor balance well between esters of dried fruit and roasted cocoa with a slight bourbon presence.

Grand Teton – Black Cauldron Imp. Stout                                        8.0% ABV – 47 IBU – Victor/ID
$8 per 12 oz snifter

This thick, rich ale was brewed with plenty of caramel and roasted malts, and subtly spiced with American Chinook and Willamette hops. It boasts flavors of chocolate and coffee, along with raisins and dried fruit soaked in sherry. We’ve accentuated the natural smokiness of the brew by adding a small amount of beech wood-smoked malt and aging the brew in an oak whiskey barrel, which also adds notes of oak and vanilla.

We will be offering Flights of all 6 stouts that we have on tap all week long.   

*Some beers will be restricted to no growler fills based on the limited quantity we are able to get!

 

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.

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By in Events, Gallery, News 0

First Friday: Photography by Joey Early

We have to say, we were thrilled when Joey Early presented us with the idea of traveling around Western Montana and taking portraits of various breweries and their brewers. We immediately recognized that bringing representations of all these breweries together at The Dram Shop almost exactly mirrored our ideas about what we aim to be to the brewing community. And we’re hoping this show will be a way for all of the area brewers, breweries, and their fans, to celebrate the unbelievable dedication to craft demonstrated in Western Montana’s local beer.

Joey has put together a collection of portraits taken with his medium format camera. Breweries included in this show: Blacksmith, Draught Works, Philipsburg, Big Sky, Great Northern, Wildwood, KettleHouse, and Great Burn.

In addition to the portraits that we’ll on display at the shop, Joey also captured some behind-the-scenes images of brewers doing their thing. We think they’re awesome, and here’s a few that we couldn’t help but post straight away.

Photo by Joey Early

Photo by Joey Early

Photo by Joey Early

Photo by Joey Early

Photo by Joey Early

Photo by Joey Early

So come down to The Dram Shop on Friday, August 7th and help us celebrate! We couldn’t be prouder to be showcasing Joey’s work, and we’re looking forward to the chance to give him a tip of the hat, and perhaps a tip of the glass.

Want to learn more about Joey Early? Here is his bio statement:

“I believe in simplicity, I believe in telling stories, I believe in truth and I believe in the power of being monochromatic.

Photography is one of few constants in my life. It is a driving force behind many of my life choices and big decisions, it is what brought my wife and I together. Photography both helps me remember and allows me to forget, it has been there for me when I needed it and at times has been a distraction. No matter where I am, or what I am doing, I feel at home with a camera in my hands. That is why I photograph.”

EarlyShow_postcard_front

 

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 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!