Kettlehouse. Missoula, MT.

12 Sep

like any beer-drinking oregonian, i am always on the lookout for breweries and brewpubs when i travel. this last week i found myself speaking at a conference in missoula, montana. and in addition to my presentation, i had to proofread a 120 page document. so, i talked to some locals and landed myself at the Kettlehouse to do some local beer tasting and editing.

here are my thoughts:

cold smoke: a scotch ale with a strong, roasted malt, beautiful copper, red color and a subtle maple scent. i enjoyed the strong, smoky flavor of the original – i thought the nitro smoothed this beer out too much and hid some of the flavor profile.

cold smoke on nitro: super smooth, just the slightest smoky finish, solid flavor, but not strong, slight buttery caramel flavor up front.

lake missoula amber: nice hop, good amber flavor, a bit stronger than a lot of ambers, nice crispness with a bitter after taste.

ye olde bongwater hemp porter: a solid, balanced porter with a nice roast flavor up front with a lingering coffee flavor.

eddy out: nice citrus hop flavor, slight grassy hop backnote, light but not too light

hemptoberspliff lager: best lager i’ve ever had (good yeast choice – cry-styyle), apple/fruit nose, with a sweet/fruit flavor upfront and a nice hop background and finish.

pilsner on nitro (seasonal beer, i did not catch the name): light like a cream ale, but it carried more hop than a typical pilsner. it had just enough to note the hop but not the hoppy mouth feel. real light summer beer with a hint of pear.

double-haul IPA: less fruity, grassier hop profile in this beer. a nice strong hop flavor, but not overly strong compared to some oregon standards. a crisp, dry, flavorful IPA.

their two most popular beers are the cold smoke and the double-haul and i can see why. overall, i give kettlehouse two thumbs up. the beers were all good, even though a couple stood out more than the rest. and they offer a lot of styles that should please the varying palettes of beer drinkers. the staff were really nice and one of the brewers took a few minutes to talk to me about a couple of the beers. the atmosphere was a little lacking, but i was there for the beer and it was obvious that is the focus of this place as well. not a bad message to send.

At dinner I got lucky to try another local brew: a simcoe pale ale from Blacksmith Brewing Company that was just outstanding.

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