Missoula Montana is a town full of interesting history, a beautiful college campus, and well… lots of beer.
You can probably guess my appeal. As of today there are 7 breweries located just in town and that number will most likely be obsolete as soon as I finish typing this sentence. Missoula is a beer town and there are breweries popping up everywhere – not that I am complaining. I love Missoula for it youthful vibe, historic downtown buildings and of course the beer selection!
My last stop in Missoula was at KettleHouse Brewing. They have a few locations in Missoula but for this stop my friend Jen and I chose the Northside Brewery. The building dates back to 1909 and is a handsomely built brick building that was originally a vegetable and fruit warehouse. Now I know how important fruits and vegetables are but the building is much more interesting now that it houses beer!
KettleHouse moved into the Northside location in 2009 and has been kicking out some pretty tasty beer ever since. Kettlehouse even led the change over from bottles to canning of microbrews in the state of Montana. There is still a stigma by some that canned beer tastes different than bottled beer but I am a firm believer that if is done right you will not notice the difference. Added bonus – you aren’t paying for the cost of a bottle which then brings down the cost of your beer!
Jen and I walked into the tasting room and we were greeted by a long wooden bar, tables sprinkled about and a deck for outside seating. As I never like to be too far from the tap, we found ourselves a spot at the bar and reviewed our options. My first selection was the Double Haul IPA. I was alone on this taste as Jen is not a fan of IPAs. The beer has a 6.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) and a 65 IBU (international bittering unit). The beer had a good balance between hoppiness and citrus flavors. Jen tried (and I stole a sip of) the Cold Smoke Scotch Ale. I am never a fan of Scotch Ales so this was not my favorite however Jen gave it high reviews! The Cold Smoke has a 6.5 ABV and a 11 IBU.
My last taste of the day was the Fresh Bongwater Hemp Pale Ale. This beer has a 5% ABV and a 22 IBU. Pretty low on the scale for me but this beer is enjoyable. It had a fresh crispness that would make it a good gateway beer to offer up to our friends who may not drink microbrews regularly or at all. I assume you have a few of those friends as I have some. I try not to judge the beers people drink but I never see the point of consuming the calories if you can’t taste the beer.
I also recommend the Eddy Out Pale Ale. I did not taste this beer while at the taproom but I have had it in the past while visiting Missoula and it is a delightful pale ale. A 5.5% ABV and 50 IBU with a nice amber color along with flavorful citrus and caramel notes.