Saturday, April 18, 2009


Brewed batch number 500 yesterday!

Yup! Brew 500 is in the tank, fermenting (I hope) as I write this. I wanted to do something different with this one just because it is the arbitrarily significant number 500. So, bowing to sporadic public pressure, I concocted a very hoppy, American-style IPA! You read it here first! I know I've said in the past I'd never brew one of these, but I'm a push-over if harassed and badgered hundreds of times over a period of five years!
I really went overboard on this one. While I was crafting the recipe and researching the IPA style, I noticed that most "hoppy" IPAs had a bitterness "content" of around 40-60 IBU's (IBU stands for International Bittering Unit. This is a way to quantify how bitter a beer recipe will be. The higher the number, the higher the potential for a bitter, hoppy beer.). I then found some more "extreme" IPA beers that drove the IBUs into the high 60's and low 70's. Well, not wanting to be outdone and knowing how truly mad some of our local hop-heads are, I shot for the moon! This IPA (working title is Hoppy MoFo!) checks in with 80.6 IBUs! Triple-hopped! Extended boil! Alcohol around 6.9-7% by weight! I yelled and screamed at the wort as it boiled just to make sure I infused this sucker with plenty of attitude! This beer is scheduled to be racked (transfered into kegs) late next week or the next. I'll be tasting it as the fermentation progresses and will decide later if I need to dry hop it. Dry hopping is literally dropping more hops in through a hole at the top of the fermenter. This gives the finished beer more hop aroma. I did this on another very small batch of specialty beer I did in the past I called Stray Dog Ale. Whoo Hoo!
Oh yea, I'm still looking for a good name for this hoppy beer because Hoppy MoFo just might not cut it. So send me your name ideas to

In case you haven't heard, House Bill 400 (higher beer alcohol) passed and will go into effect October 1st. Huge thanks go out to Legislator Deborah Kottel (D) and Legislator John Brueggeman (R). If you run into either of these great Montanans, please shake their hand and thank them for carrying this bill through the houses so that it could be signed by our governor!

Until next time,
Your Humble Brewer

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back In The Saddle Again......

(Waterspout offshore Flagler Beach (June 30, 1999). Courtesy of Flagler County Emer. Mgmt.)

Well, Howdy Hi all and warm Spring wishes to ya'!

That's all I can give is "warm wishes" because our Spring here in Polson is definitely NOT warm. We're still getting snow in the morning, the bird bath is still frozen, and I'm still grumbling about the weather. For those of you keeping score, I was gone this last week. Gone to western Florida, gone to the white sand beaches of Carillon Beach, gone to the beautiful Florida weather, gone to.....tornado warnings? flash flood warning? water spout warnings??!? Yup, had almost a solid week of extreme downpours! Got one solid day of sun, though. The funny dichotomy for me was that while all this rain was falling (almost a years worth in one week), I was in a drought of good craft beer. I was warned before I went down there that the pickins' would be slim, but whoa doggy! Couldn't find a brewery anywhere in that area. I'd be lying if I said it didn't get me to thinking; thinking about the potential of opening a small microbrewery in that area. True, real estate and rent prices are through the roof (1.6 million for a three bedroom "hotel room"), but still it seems that area is ripe for it. I dunno, maybe western Florida just doesn't have as sophisticated of a beer palate as Montana. We are so fortunate to have so many really good Montana-made beers and breweries. So, almost needless to say, it's good to be back!I did miss April Fools Day at the brewery, however. Bummer. I was gonna lock Jim inside one of the tanks in the brewhouse as an April Fools joke. Oh well, maybe next year. Speaking of fun in the brewery, we have a fun, new event coming up the 18th of this month. We'll be doing a Luau party at the brewery! We're gonna have games, fun, food, great brews and who knows what else. Wear your best beach wear, drag out your tropical shirts, put on your flip-flops, show off your farmer's tan! It'll be $5.00 at the door per person and this BENEFITS THE CHEMOTHERAPY DEPARTMENT AT ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL.
So remember,the date is April 18th, a Saturday, from 2:00pm 'til 8:00pm. C'mon down and help us help the Chemo Department at the hospital.

Now, also apparently, while I was gone, Jim and Bill and Cynthia (the three tap-a-teers) exercised their independence by offering beer specials in the tasting room. If you missed out, well, you missed out. People responded pretty positively. The brewery faithful enjoyed the spontaneity of these three. Now, I've offered this before with little feedback from you, dear reader. I'll offer it again: If there is something you'd like to see in our little dog and pony show, shoot me an email, write it on a scrap of paper and leave it in the mail box, whisper in my ear in the tasting room, anything but TELL ME!!!! Keep in mind that this is actually a business so suggestions like "Give away free beer" probably won't get much traction (I'd like to continue feeding my kids!). But, beer specials, whacky events, special nights, game nights, trivia, whatever. Just let me know. Okay, end of rant.

Until next time,
your humble brewer