I have been frequenting Butte Montana a lot in the past year. Although Butte is probably best known for it’s mining history, Butte does have a pretty decent beer scene. Butte Brewing is fairly new on the beer scene however. Well sort of. The original Butte Brewing was established in 1880 and closed in 1965. After a brief 50 year nap, the rights to the name, logo and root beer recipe became available and were snatched up by a local home-brewer. In 2015 a new and shiny Butte Brewing opened their doors.
I walked in to Butte Brewing for the first time in late September of 2015. Butte Brewing has a fairly large tasting room, inclusive of a second floor mezzanine and tables galore on the first floor. I found myself a spot at the bar as I never like to be too far from the tap. I decided to order a tasting flight of four beers from their selection.
While I waited I took in the subtle nuances paying homage to the old copper mining town. Looking into the brewery you can see their copper fermenting tanks. I have no idea if copper fermenting tanks are more expensive than traditional fermenting tanks but it looks pretty fancy. Speaking of copper, there is also copper trim along the top of the bar. The cooper stripe is cooled to 32 F degrees. The idea is to keep your beer cooler while it rests on the bar. I don’t know who lets a beer sit long enough to get warm, but these people should be spoken to about their drinking habits. Who likes warm beer?
My first taste was the Nelson Pale Ale. It has a 4.1 Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and a 52 International Bittering Unit (IBU). The beer has a nice grapefruit flavor to it. The IBU is not overly powerful so it makes for a nice balanced beer, not too hoppy but still flavorful.
The next beer up was the Ole #1. This beer is classified as an American IPA with a 7% ABV and a 78 IBU. I felt this beer was a little under hopped, especially considering this decent IBU. The beer also looked unfiltered as it had a cloudy appearance. Not that that is a bad thing, I was just getting some vitamins while drinking my beer, right?
I tried the Rye Amber Ale next. This beer has a 6.3% ABV and a 32 IBU. I am a huge fan of rye beers but this beer did not have me signing up for a take home growler of it. I would have preferred a bit more bold rye flavor to it. When I have a rye beer I like that nice spicy bite that is generally associated with rye flavors. This beer is a pretty amber color and will be enjoyed by amber lovers not seeking out a heavy rye flavor.
My last taste was the Sweet Stout. The stout has a 5.6% ABV and a 30 IBU. This beer is very roasty in flavor and has a nice rich darkness of color. This beer has a velvety texture and while it has sweet in the name, it is not overly sweet. There are coffee notes in this beer as well.
Butte Brewing is located at 465 East Galena Street. They are open Sunday – Saturday 12 pm to 8 pm. The taproom is kid and dog friendly, although I have not taken Boomer or Jovi into the taproom. I have yet to master the art of drinking beer and holding on to two dogs at the same time. One day I would love to roll into a taproom and see a canine hitch. That way I have one free hand for holding my beer and one free hand for petting my dogs. There is a saying going around that we are born with two hands so we can pet two dogs at once. I believe it is really so we are able to hold beer in one hand and pet the dogs with the other!