Monday, March 4, 2013

Happiest Hour: The new and improved Flathead Lake Brewing Company of Missoula

Posted By on Mon, Mar 4, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Missoula's waiting for months, and with great thirst, to see what Flathead Lake Brewing Company's downtown remodel looks like. If the crowds that turned out for last Friday's grand re-opening were any indication, disappointment wasn't on the new menu.

This week: Flathead Lake Brewing Company of Missoula

The backstory: Last fall, Flathead Lake Brewing shut its doors in downtown Missoula for extensive remodeling. The Woods Bay-based brewer announced at the time it would be teaming with first floor restaurant Sapore and re-opening as a three-level complex under the name Flathead Lake Brewing Company of Missoula. The second floor reopened in February, a teaser for locals eager to see what the new digs had in store. Now we know. March 1 marked Flathead’s grand re-opening.

Level one: Flathead’s calling it the Imperial Lounge, but the changes are mostly cosmetic. The first floor space that once housed Sapore is still a fine dining hub, featuring a revamped menu and an interior facelift. Chic booths, fancy fixtures, a slick new bar—the upscale feel hasn’t changed. Now it just matches the rest of the building.

Level two: Anyone who frequented the second floor taproom prior to the remodel will certainly recognize what the brewery is now calling its official “Pub House.” But Flathead used those months off to implement a few changes here, too. The bar is longer, and the removal of what used to be a de facto waiting room has given the space a more open vibe. Beyond that, this is still the stop for a few beers, some familiar pub-style appetizers and a round of Thursday night trivia.

Level three: This could quickly become Flathead’s elite calling card: The Galaxy Lounge. With limited seating, an extensive wine list and a great third-floor view of Missoula, it could almost pass as a white-collar club for the blue-collar set. The tone is quieter, perfect for smaller, more intimate gatherings. Just make the climb fast—seats in the Galaxy Lounge probably won’t stay empty for long.

Where to find it: Flathead Lake Brewing of Missoula is located at 424 N. Higgins. All three levels are open 8 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday.

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

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