Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Harvest Montana Brewfest in Great Falls

Harvest Montana Brewfest
A new brewfest is appearing in Montana, and Great Falls is the host city. Presented by and in conjunction with the Harvest Montana Grain Conference*, the Montana-only Harvest Montana Brewfest will take place on Friday November 21, 2014 at the Best Western Plus Heritage Inn from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Only 400 tickets are available for this premiere event. Each ticket is $50 and includes unlimited tastings.

Organizing the brewfest is Evan Bowser, owner of Bowser Brewing Co. The Harvest Montana Brewfest, however, will be quite different than a “typical” Montana brewfest.

“We’re flying in certified beer judges from all around the country to judge Montana’s beers,” says Evan Bowser. “This will eliminate any unintentional biases toward host city breweries, and the beers will be judged based solely on their merits. We’ll award gold, silver, and bronze.”

“I’m also requiring that any Montana brewery that wants their beer judged must send an owner or brewer so the attendees will get to engage with the brewery and their beer more personally,” says Bowser. “This will add value to the ticket price. We’ll be advertising the event in national magazines and up into Canada.”

Bowser has sent out invitations to all Montana’s breweries, and so far he’s received over a dozen positive responses, including from a few breweries that don’t typically pour at in-state brewfests.

“The breweries have told me they appreciate the fact that we’ll have BJCP judges on hand,” says Bowser.

“There will also be many elected state officials at the conference, and we’ve invited all of them to attend the brewfest afterwards,” says Bowser. “This will give them a chance to meet the brewers and craft beer fans, and vice versa, before we enter into another legislative session next year.”

The list of judges brought in for the event (as listed on the event page):

Bill Downs lives in Durango, Colorado. He is a BJCP Certified Beer Judge, home brewer and a Beer Journalist for the Rocky Mountain Brewing News. He also blogs [www. homebrewingnews .com] and is the author of 12 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Started Homebrewing.

Steve Luke is the Lead Brewer for Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington. He runs the experimental brewhouse at the Elysian Fields location. Previously, he was the Head Brewer for Rogue's Issaquah Brewhouse, the Cambridge House Brewpub in Connecticut, and a brewer for Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine. He has judged at the Great American Beer Festival since 2011.

Janet Hinkel has judged the National IPA Championship, the National Imperial IPA Championship, and the Global Warming Open since the inception of each beer competition. Janet is the former and original writer for the Beer Beacon, a snarky and honest tasting column in the Great Lakes Brewing News. While she no longer proselytizes in print, she will tell you how it is whether you want her to or not. Some of Janet’s fans call her the Original Beer Bitch, but it’s not true. She’s the Buffalo Beer Bitch, the East Coast counterpart to the West Coast legend. Janet now lives in Springfield, Oregon, where she refuses to denounce her East Coast beer roots.

Charlie Gottenkieny has been brewing since 1988 and is the only two-time winner of the AHA's Homebrewer of the Year award. He has been part of the Beer Judge Certification Program since 1994 and is a National-level beer judge. He is co-founder of Better Beer Scores, LLC, a webinar-based company that specializes in preparing beer judges for the BJCP exam. Charlie is opening an artisanal brewery in Denver, Colorado, in 2015.

Ron Carlson is a commercial beer judge living in Brooklyn, New York. He represents Pennsylvania's Voodoo Brewery, and has judged the National IPA Challenge and the Global Warming Open international competition since their inception.

Jamie Magee lives in Natick, Massachusetts. His beer journey began in Düsseldorf in 1984. He passionately discovered the newly minted microbrew scene at home, first in Colorado, where he was a journalism student; then in New England, where he worked in the publishing industry. He is a co owner of several Brewing News papers as well as American Brewer. Jamie's beer judging resume includes the the National IPA Championship, the Great International Beer Festival and the Alpha King Challenge.

Jen Schwertmann has been professionally involved in the Craft Beer world for over 20 years, having spent time behind notable beer bars in Denver, Colorado and New York City, before recently settling in Santa Barbara. She has started Jen Schwertman Consulting LLC, in order to help train bars and restaurants in the successful promotion of craft beer. The runner-up for Beer Drinker of the Year, in 2013, Jen is currently working on her BJCP certification.

Bill Metzger is the publisher of the Brewing News papers and owner of the Old First Ward Brewing Company, in Buffalo, New York. He is the founder of the National IPA Challenge and the Global Warming Open competitions. He also coordinates the judging for the Alpha King Challenge. Bill has judged in all of these, as well as over 100 home brew competitions.



*The Inaugural Harvest Montana Grain Conference is co-presented by Montana Farmers Union and the Lake County Community Development Corporation. It will “bring folks together from sectors of the grain industry to expand the grain, pulse, and oilseed economy through collaboration and business development, leading to additional profit retention and job creation in communities across the state.”  

Full disclosure: as a member of the "media," this author has been offered a free media ticket to attend the brewfest if he can/wishes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

6th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival Returns to Missoula Oct. 11

6th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival 2014

The 6th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival returns for its seasonal pilgrimage to Missoula on Saturday October 11, 2014. And this year they are set to break records! 33 Montana breweries will be pouring 137 Montana-made craft beers.

Sponsored by the Montana Brewers Association, this brewfest features the best from its member-breweries. It also gives craft beer fans a chance to try new beers from new breweries, as Missoula's Caras Park will be host to Montana beers from as far east as Wibaux (Beaver Creek), as far west as Libby (Cabinet Mountain), as far south as Dillon (Beaverhead Brewing), and as far north as Eureka (HA Brewing).

Tickets for the event are on pre-sale now for $20 ($25 at the gate). Different than last year, the event is now featuring unlimited tastes for the entry fee. Tickets can be purchase online, or at Draught Works, Great Burn Brewing, or Lolo Peak Brewing (which is also hosting a contest for two VIP tickets - see below).


VIP tickets are $30 in advance ($35 at the gate) and gets members in an hour earlier than general admission. Regular entry will start at 3:00 p.m. at Caras Park. However, Brew Crew Members can also get in at the VIP hour for regular price. Just bring your card!

Here is the full schedule for the day's events: 
2:00 - 3:00 VIP and Brew Crew Card Early Entry with music from Missoula's own Tom Catmull
2:30 - Judging Begins- Zoo City Zymurgists
3:00 - Brewers Unveil first batch of 2014 Festival Release Beer
3:30 - 5:30 music from The Growlers
5:30 - Judging Results Announced
6:00 - Second Batch of 2014 Festival Release Beer
6:00 - 8:00 music from Cure for the Common
8:00 - Festival Ends- get home safely and ask for help if you need it. Why not contact Tap Room Tours?

Now for the beer! Here's the full list (and below is a printable version):
Bayern Brewing, Missoula 
Oktoberfest, Bavarian Dark Märzen 6.0%
Groomer, Wintermärzen 5.3%
Montana Helles Lager, Helles 5.6% 

Redheaded IPA, IPA 7.3%
Paddlefish Stout, Stout 6.3% 

Snowcrest Dark Lager, Lager 6.0%
Whitetail Whit, Belgian White 5.0%
Beaverslide IPA, India Pale Ale 6.77%
Snowcrest Dark Lager, Lager 6.0%
Pioneer Porter, Porter 6.0%

Bitter Root Brewing, Hamilton  
Doppelbock, Doppelbock 7.2%
Summit IPA, Northwest IPA 6.2%
Single Hop, NW Pale Ale 6.3%
Last Cast, Black IPA 6.5%

Helambic, Lambic Style Sour Ale 7.6%
Imperial Singlemalt IPA, Imperial IPA 9.8%
Organic IPA, India Pale Ale 7.8%
1864 Old Ale, Early American Ale 5.7%

Blacksmith Brewing Company, Stevensville  
Hop Logger IPL, India Pale Lager 7.1%
Oktoberfestbier, (amber lager) 5.8%
Baltic Porter Baltic Porter 7.7%

Bowser Brewing, Great Falls  
Whyte Lady Double IPA, Double IPA 10.0%
Chip Off the OL Scotch, Scotch Ale 7.8%
Double IPA, Double IPA 10.0%
Spring Cleaning Monster, Aged Barleywine 9.8%
Kendall Gold, Dortmunder Lager 6.0%
Black Bison Coffee Stout, Stout 6.8%
Vanilla Bourbon Stout, Russian Imperial Stout 11.0%

Bozone Berliner Weisse, Berliner Weisse 3.0%
Terroir Local Fresh Hop, Fresh or Wet Hop Ale 7.0%
Bozone Nitro Stout, Dry Irish Stout 4.5%
Bozone Select Amber, American Style Amber 5.5%
Bozone Hefeweizen, Wheat w/Yeast 5.4%
Hopzone IPA, American Style IPA 7.0%
Bozone Plum St. Porter, Robust Porter 6.0% 

Bridger Brewing, Bozeman 
Vigilante IPA, American IPA 6.7%
Ghost Town Coffee Stout, Coffee Stout 5.0%
Lee Metcalf Pale Ale, American Pale Ale 5.5%
Bobcat Brown Ale, English-style Brown Ale 5.0%

E.S.P. (Extra Special Pumpkin) TBD%
Yaak Attack IPA, Northwest IPA 6.6%
Ross Creek Red, American Amber 6.4% 

Canyon Creek Brewing, Billings
One Night Stand, Blonde 5.0%
Cold Creek Scottish, Scottish Ale 5.5%
Beer Henge Hefe, American Hefeweizen 5.5%
C4 IPA, American IPA 6.0%
 
Draught Works Brewery, Missoula
Heart of Darkness Black IPA, Black IPA 5.7%
Scepter Head IPA IPA 6.1%
The Rut, Oktoberfest Lager 6.2%
That's What She Said Cream Ale 5.7%

Flathead Lake Brewing Company, Bigfork
Montucky Sour Brown, Belgian-style Flanders 6.2%
Bufflehead Brown, American Brown Ale 6.2%
The Imperial, Imperial IPA 8.9%
Flathead Lake American Sour, Sour Ale 5.0%
American Sour w/ Cherries, Sour Ale 6.4%
  
 The Front, Great Falls
Sunset IPA, Fresh Hop IPA (citra) 7.2%
Mountain Man, Strong Ale 6.8%
Punkin Rye, Pumpkin and Rye Ale 8.8%
 
CocoBrown Brown Ale Aged On Coconut 5.9%
Gelgian golden, Belgian 6.8%
Citra IPA, West Coast IPA 6.2%

 Great Northern Brewing Company, Whitefish
Frog Hop Fresh Hopped Pale Ale, 5.5%
Great Northern Oktoberfest, Marzen 5.75%
Good Medicine, Strong Red Ale 7.5%
Wild Huckleberry, Wheat Lager 4.75%

Higherground Brewing Company, Hamilton
Borderland Sour, American Sour 5.8%
Hula Hopped IPA, IPA 8.5%
Hurruh Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale 7.2%
Flash Flood Milk Stout, Milk Stout 6.0%
 
Homestead Ales, Eureka
Autumnal Saison, Open Top Saison 7.1%
Big Creek Porter Porter 5.8%

Kalispell Brewing Company, Kalispell
Two Ski Brewski, Pilsner 5.2%
Winter at Noon, Dunkel 5.1%
Cloudcroft IPA 7.3%
Snowslip Stout 6.7%
 
Katabatic Brewing Company, Livingston
Katabatic Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale 7.5%
Katabatic IPA, IPA 7.7%
Katabatic American Pale Ale, 6.2%
Katabatic American Hefeweizen, 5.7%

Lewis & Clark Brewing Company, Helena
Sleepy Hallow Stout, Foreign Stout 6.9%
Lewis & Clark Lager, Martzen 5.5%
Neighborhood IPA, Fresh Hop IPA 6.3%
Whole Flower Prickly, American Pale Ale 5.3%

Lolo Peak Brewing Company, Lolo
3 Needles IPA, American IPA 6.2%
AlpenGlow Wheat, Ale American Wheat Ale 4.7%
Shadow Darner Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest 7.4%
KooKooSint ESB, Extra Special Bitter 4.7%

Madison River Brewing Company, Belgrade
Green Emerger, Fresh Hop 6.2%
Salmon Fly Honey Rye, Honey Rye 5.4%
Hopper, Pale Pale 6.0%
Dropper IPA, IPA 6.5%
October Caddis, Oktoberfest Lager 5.8%

Meadowlark Brewing, Sidney
Squashtoberfest Field Beer, Oktoberfest 6.5%
Raspberry Wit, Fruit Beer 4.5%
Ole Gus, Scotch Rye Wee Heavy 7.00 
 
Mighty Mo Brewing Company, Great Falls
Russian Imperial Stout, RIS 10.0%
Dam Fog, American Hefeweizen 5.0%
Rising Trout, American Pale Ale 5.4%
MoToberfest, Oktoberfest/Marzen 5.0%

Neptune's Brewery, Livingston
Skellington's Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest 6.3%
Dirty Bird APA, American Pale Ale 7.6%
Chocolate Cream Porter, Porter 7.7%

Outlaw Brewing, Belgrade
Alt-toberfest, German Alt 6.0%
Passive Aggressive Pale Ale (PAPA), 6.8%
Irish Cream Ale Cream Ale 5.4%
Dunkelweizen Dunkelweizen 4.0%
Goemon's Gold Honey Lemon Ginger Braggot 6.6%

Philipsburg Brewing Company, Philipsburg
Black Pine IPA, Black IPA 7.2%
Headframe Bourbon Barrel Stout, 11.0%
Corners Porter, Coffee Porter 6.6%
Silver Chief IPA, IPA 7.3%
Rope Swing Saizon, Saizon 5.5%
Razzu Raspberry Wheat, Fruit Beer 5.2%

Quarry Brewing, Butte
Ironstone IPA Imperial IPA 8.4%
Gneiss IPA American IPA 6.8%
Open Cab Copper Irish Red 5.2%
Opal Oktoberfest Marzen/Octoberfest 5.1%
 
Tamarack Brewing Company, Lakeside
Bine Hopper White I.P.C., 6.6%
Hat Trick Hop IPA, American IPA 7.0%
Yard Sale Amber Ale, Amber/Red 5.5%
Tamaracktoberfest Barrel Lagered SMaSH, 4.8%
Elk Snort Scotch Ale, Cherrywood Smoked 6.8%
Sip 'n Go Naked, Apricot Hefeweizen 5.5%
Local Yokel Double IPA, Double IPA 8.75%
Tom's Lonesome XPA, 7.1%

Triple Dog Brewing Company, Havre
Fend For Your Own Rye P-A, India Rye Pale Ale 6.2%
Duck Face IPA, Imperial IPA 9.2%
American Mutt Pale Ale, Pale Ale 6.9%
Dumpster Diver Stout, Stout 6.3%

Überbrew, Billings
Sticke German Style, Sticke 7.57%
Humulus Insani, Double IPA 8.6%
Black Hops 2, Double Black IPA 9.0%
Alpha Force, American Style IPA 7.71%
White Noise, American Style Hefeweizen 5.7%
The Great Pumpkin Massacre, 6.73%

Wildwood Brewing Company, Stevensville
Organic Bodacious Bock, German Bock Lager 7.5%
Organic Ambitious Lager, Munich Style Pale Lager 5.0% 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Montana Wins at GABF!


In its 28th year, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), awarded 268 medals to some of the nation's best brewers and breweries (5,507 entries this year, a 16 percent increase over 2013).

And Montana came home with some very big honors!

FIRST, Draught Works was awarded 2014 Brewery and Brewer of the Year Awards Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year! Congratulations DW! P.S. We were there today enjoying their 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation BBQ!

Here's how the other Montana breweries fared:
Silver - Black Hops Tactical IPA - Überbrew 
Gold - Scepter Head - Draught Works
Gold - Whitetail Wheat - Montana Brewing Co.
Bronze - Wheatfish Wheat Lager - Great Northern Brewing Co.
Gold - Tumbleweed IPA - Lewis & Clark Brewing Co.
Silver - Back Country Scottish Ale - Lewis & Clark Brewing Co.

As a "fun fact," Montana Brewing Co. figured that all of Montana's breweries, over the years, have won a total of 40 awards at GABF, and MBC, alone, has earned 15 of those. Congrats to their gold (again) this year. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

2014 Draught Works Customer Appreciation Day

3rd Annual Draught Works Customer Appreciation Day
On Saturday, starting at noon, Draught Works will celebrate its 3rd Annual Customer Appreciation Day. There will be a free BBQ catered by Burns St. Bistro, giveaways all day (including tickets to the Last Best Film festival, growlers, growler fills, hoodies, hats, gift cards, and tons more).

"In celebration of opening our doors nearly three years ago," says Ana Pederson of Draught Works, "we want to celebrate with  our customers and loyal patrons."

Live music by Red Onion Purple (listen to their song, "Antoinette," here) will start at 5:00 p.m. Get there, have a beer, and keep supporting this neighborhood brewery. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Angry Hanks in Billings Down to One Location


"It is official," as the sign reads. The original Angry Hank's location at 2405 1st Ave. N. will be no longer as of October 31, or if the beer runs out sooner. This pic came in from a Billings beer spotter. 

The new location on 20 North 30th St. will be open. When asked where the equipment is going, the reply is "it's already sold," perhaps indicating that it won't be moved over to the new location to increase beer production. 

We will work to fill in the details as we get them. 
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