Friday, April 30, 2010

Happiest Hour: BrewFest

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 2:30 PM

In honor of this week's beer issue, and tomorrow's Garden City BrewFest, we're using our weekly Happiest Hour spot to highlight which of the 60-plus brews we're most interested in trying at Caras Park.

To make your own hit-list, check out the event program online here.

Jessica Mayrer:

After sampling Stone Brewery's IPA on tap at Charlie B's and Stone's Arrogant Bastard at the James Bar, I'm excited to try the San Diego-based company's India Pale Ale. I like the sound of the Eel River Organic Amber Ale, too.

Alex Sakariassen (who excitedly broke this down into two different categories):

Light beer: Two leap out instantly from the 2010 BrewFest roster. Bayern Brewing's Dump Truck Summer sounds like an intriguing and distinctly flavorful lager bock, a fusion of high-end German hops, yeast and malt all tailored specifically for Bayern's operations. And with Glacier National Park's 100th anniversary this year, you know the Great Northern Brewery pulled out all the stops with its Glacier Centennial pale ale. Apologies in advance if I knock you down in my rush.

Dark beer: When you have friends who drive from Missoula to Helena just for the beer, you know Blackfoot Brewing is doing something right. And with the brewery's Tartanic Scottish Ale, it should be a treat to taste the flavors of Scottish barley and English hops working in tandem. If I have to pick one beer to prioritize above the others, however, Dick Danger Ale out of Centralia, Wash., wins. The noir-ish name aside, Dick's Brewing promises a truly dark beer with a potentially hoppy finish—meaning I get the best of both worlds. Dick Danger does make me wonder, though, if anyone's working on a Sam Spade IPA?

Matthew Frank:
Our resident "celiac" selects Seeley Axe from Kettlehouse, for obvious reasons.

Erika Fredrickson:

Glacier Brewing's Slurry Bomber: for the name and the chocolate flavor

Cowboy Coffee from Big Sky: My dad used to make cowboy coffee, so it's a nostalgic thing. Plus I love coffee.

Skylar Browning:

I'm with Alex on the Tartanic Scottish Ale, very curious about Mike Hoffer's winning Wee Bit of Mischief India Brown Ale (Hoffer, a member of Zoo City Zymurgists, was selected by the group to have his beer brewed by Big Sky), and looking forward to a glass of Madison River Brewing's Salmon Fly Honey Rye.

Ira Sather-Olson:

I've always had a heart for IPA's, not necessarily because of their high alcohol content, but more so because of the taste. That's why I'll likely have a pint of Flathead Lake Brewing Co.'s Imperial India Pale. Its "explosive citrus aromas" are already starting to make me salivate (and it's only 12:30 PM).

I'd follow up with a pint of the Tartanic Scottish Ale by Blackfoot Brewing out of Helena. As a fan of the Kettlehouse's Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, the Tartanic sounds like a tasty distant cousin, especially with its purported "smooth and sweet" body.

Chad Harder:

Tartanic. Anything that comes from Blackfoot is going to spark my interest. The Cowboy Coffee — never seen that before. Not sure about the description, but I'll try it. And I'm really interested in trying this little beer that came from St. Louis. Bud Light? Yeah.

The Happiest Hour column in the dead tree edition of the Indy next Thursday will feature the winning brews of this year's BrewFest, as judged by the Zoo City Zymurgists.

Nash pushing to overturn ordinance, again

Posted By on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 10:45 AM

In an effort to overturn Missoula’s recently approved anti-discrimination ordinance, Not My Bathroom (NMB) chairman Tei Nash submitted a second petition yesterday, constituting one of several steps NMB must take before putting the law up for a citywide vote.

“I just accepted the petition,” says Debbe Merseal from the Missoula County election’s office. “It has already been resubmitted to (Missoula City Attorney) Jim Nugent.”

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The lead-up to a crackdown on medical marijuana in Montana

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 9:10 AM

With so many disparate groups pointing out the inadequacies of Montana's medical marijuana law and offering suggestions for improvement during Tuesday's interim committee hearing in Helena, it's difficult to get a sense of which way the political winds are blowing eight months before the 2011 legislative session begins. All that's clear is that the law will very likely change one way or another.

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Missoula schools undergo yet another headscratching change-up

Posted By on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 9:00 AM

The Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) confirmed today that three principals and one assistant principal will be reassigned going into the 2010-2011 academic year. These moves mark the latest round of musical chairs Superintendent Alex Apostle has played with MCPS administration.

According to MCPS Public Affairs Director Lesli Brassfield, the chain of reassignments is a bit confusing, so bear with us. Acting Big Sky Principal Paul Johnson will take over for Bob Gearheart as principal of Washington Middle School. Gearheart will then move to C.S. Porter Middle School, where he'll serve as assistant principal under Gail Chandler. That leaves current C.S. Porter Assistant Principal Lisa Hendrix free to take the helm at Meadow Hill Middle School, presently under the administration of Principal Nick Carter. Carter will replace a retiree as a dean at Big Sky High School, thus completing the circle. Brassfield says no one will be fired, only shifted to new schools.

Can we get a chart or something with this? My goodness.

We're still asking about what prompted this strange administrative line dance, and will update when we have answers.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Midsummer Night's hit

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 3:40 PM

I have to admit that I drag my feet a little when it comes to Shakespeare. Not when it comes to reading the plays—I could spend weeks upon weeks absorbing the wordplay and tragedy and cheeky shenanigans on the page. I’m a nerd like that. But when it comes to viewing a theater group’s rendition of Shakespeare, it’s hit or miss. And often miss, with painful results.


The Montana Actors’ Theatre version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is not a miss. I won’t go so far as to say it’s perfect, but the acting power, the momentum, the charm is as professional as I’ve seen in Missoula. And more fun than I’ve had with a Shakespeare play in a long time.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Our website sounds like "dream pop"

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 1:45 PM

This little time-waster known as The Code Organ takes the code from a particular website and turns it into music.

Here's the site's all-caps explanation:


Erika Fredrickson, our arts editor and chief music critic, called the Indy site's sound "dream pop electronica."

Ira Sather-Olson, our calendar editor and resident electronic music fanboy, got caught up in the key structure, or something. "It doesn't sound...what is the word? Totally grounded," he said. "It just kind of goes off."

Listen to your own site by typing it in at, or listen to this page right here:

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Tuesday, two days before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “In a recipe for salsa published recently, one of the ingredients was misstated, due to an error,” said an apology run by a local newspaper. “The correct ingredient is ‘2 tsp. of cilantro’ instead of ‘2 tsp. of cement.’” This is an example of the kind of miscue you should be alert for in your own life during the coming week, Aries. As long as you pay close attention and spot the tiny booboos as they arise, you won’t end up dipping your chips into a gritty, gravely mess.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

Activists host Imperial Oil shipment open house

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 12:00 PM

As part of this week's Earth Day feature, the Independent profiled the young activist group Northern Rockies Rising Tide (NRRT) and their ongoing fight against climate change and social injustice. True to their word in the story, NRRT will co-host an open house at the University of Montana on April 27 to discuss the proposed use of Montana highways to ship mining and oil rig equipment to a tar sands operation in northeastern Alberta. The company behind the proposal, Imperial Oil, plans to spend $26.1 million to ship the massive loads from a South Korean manufacturer to the resource extraction site.


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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Apr 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment of odd news occurrences: A knife wielding vegetarian goes on a mission from God and a Turkish pop singer becomes the world's fastest blind driver.

Curses, Foiled Again
Albert Bailey, 27, and a 16-year-old accomplice phoned a bank in Fairfield, Conn., and said they’d be by in 10 minutes to pick up $100,000 in large bills. Their call warned no dye packs and threatened “a blood bath” if the money wasn’t ready. Bank officials immediately notified police, who showed up in time to stop the suspects after they picked up the money but before they could make their getaway. The robbers got what they wanted but “didn’t expect police to be in the take-out line,” police Sgt. James Perez noted, adding, “You can’t make this stuff up.”

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Griz great sparks fight in stands

Posted By on Sun, Apr 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Michael Ray Richardson, arguably the best Griz basketball player in program history and someone not unfamiliar with controversy, is currently coaching the Lawton-Fort Sill Cavalry in something called the Premier Basketball League. (It's what's left of the now defunct and once-proud CBA, which had teams in Butte and Great Falls as recently as 2008.)

On Friday night, Richardson was ejected at the end of the first game of the PBL finals and got into it with fans as he left the court (see video below). Just as he was entering the tunnel to the locker room, a fan tossed a water bottle that hit Richardson in the back, and then things got truly nutty. Cavalry players, including rotund former NBA player Oliver Miller (!), stormed the stands in defense of their coach, leading to Miller shoving a fan in the chest. He's since been suspended, and others, including Richardson, have been fined.

Richardson is best known, unfortunately, as the first player to receive a lifetime ban from the NBA for substance abuse. He's since been reinstated by the league and become a spokesman against drug abuse, and has actually had a successful run with the Cavalry, winning two straight CBA championships before reaching this year's PBL finals. That success, however, continues to be overshadowed by off-court incidents like the one on Friday.

This post was updated at 7:59 p.m.

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