Friday, November 18, 2011

Happiest Hour: Groomer

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 4:44 PM

The snow's falling by the bucketload today, which has us mulling the upcoming ski season. And by upcoming, we mean this weekend. Lookout Pass opened today with a snow depth of 34 inches. How do we celebrate the times? That's an easy one...

This week: Groomer, Bayern's organic dark wintermarzen

What it is: In honor of Montana Snowbowl’s 50th anniversary, Bayern Brewing tapped the first keg of this celebratory dark wintermarzen yesterday. It’s made from all organic ingredients, and comes in around 5.3 percent alcohol. Groomer is a bit of an ironic name, since Snowbowl isn’t exactly known for corduroy cruisers. But then, “Cold Smoke” was already taken, and “Bowl Shredder” might have been a bit misleading. In any case, the moniker is apt; Groomer goes down as smooth as an afternoon of GS turns on Paradise.

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Where it is: For now, the Bayern taps and the Last Run Inn at Snowbowl. Bayern only brewed one batch, but the latest buzz from the taproom is that a day after Groomer’s debut, the brewery’s already considering brewing another. This one could be a big seller among fans of Moose Drool and Cold Smoke. It’s a “well-balanced treat,” Bayern says. Still, he doesn’t recommend drinking while skiing: “You might spill your beer.”

What it isn’t: Groomer doesn’t quite pop the way Bayern’s more familiar beers do. You know Dancing Trout when you drink it. You can tell Dragon’s Breath from a mile away. But like a skier after an epic powder day, Groomer refuses to brag. That’s because the best beer—like the best skier—doesn’t need to throw its weight around. Groomer knows how good the powder was. And that’s enough.

How to find it: Head to Bayern, at 1507 Montana Street. Or when the season starts, step into the bar at Snowbowl, the most fitting place to enjoy this one.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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