Thursday, July 21, 2016

Vacation Beer Tally

The opportunities to try out new craft beers have been few of late, other activities taking priority. However, as hinted at in previous posts, during our travels to Montana last week I had the chance to try out a decent selection of craft beers.

The "vacation beer" list kicked of with a Virginia beer, Satan's Pony from South Street Brewery in Charlottesville, while eating lunch at the Dulles Airport. The easy-drinking Red Ale was a good way to prep for the rigors of air travel.

Arriving in Montana, I was soon relaxing with a St. Pauli Girl Lager. Not overly exciting, but it was in the fridge at my in-laws. Maybe it was the location, or the company, but it wasn’t horrible.

Soon the exploration of Montana-brewed beers was in full swing, kicking off with Irresistible Amber Ale by Madison River Brewing Company with lunch during a visit to Great Falls. On the return trip back to the Flathead Lake area, we stopped at the local grocery store to add a six pack of Highlander Devils Hump Red Ale from Missoula Brewing Company to the home base fridge options.

Another day found us eating lunch at Tamarack Brewing Company. With that feast I enjoyed pints of Lakeside Pale Ale and Rye Sally Rye PA.

We also paid a visit to Flathead Lake Brewing Company, where we started out with a flight of five beers; Bufflehead Brown Ale, Rising Sun Espresso Porter, Two Rivers Pale Ale, Centennial IPA, and Swimmer's Itch Saison.

The final Montana beer of the trip was Copper John Scotch Ale, another one from Madison River Brewing, enjoyed during another lunch outing. (It seems we ate often too.)

What turned out to be the final beer of the trip was had at a Mexican restaurant. I opted to enjoy a couple pints of Dos Equis Special Lager — when in Rome, and all that.

We had a couple hour layover scheduled around dinner time in Minneapolis during the trip home. I was looking forward to relaxing with a some local beers at the airport. Alas, our Delta flight was delayed, meaning a quick run between gates to catch our connecting flight. As an aside, despite their claim of the best on time record for domestic airlines, three of our four Delta flight legs ran late. And two of those flights were further delayed at the gate for mechanical issues.

It certainly wasn’t the most prolific trip in regard to new beers, but the ones we tried were all quite good. I enjoyed ten different beers from Montana breweries, plus a few sips stolen from the beers Colleen enjoyed. That's not disappointing given the limited time, and it's big state with lots to see. We drove over 1,000 miles during our visit. "Big Sky Country" offered amazing scenery, good food, and it's not lacking in craft beer either.

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