Friday, March 22, 2013

Happiest Hour: SMaSH Märzen

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 4:26 PM

It’s the first Friday of spring and March Madness is underway. As if you needed more reasons to grab a beer after work, here’s another one.

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The Brew: Märzen is traditional Bavarian-style lager that translated from German literally means “March beer.” The Tamarack Brewing Company’s SMaSH Marzen is a single malt, single hop version of the old-world classic.

The softer side of microbrews: In the world of aggressively hoppy and alcoholic microbrews, SMaSH Märzen is a pacifist. Made from vienna malt and perle hops, it’s sweet but not cloying, earthy but not dull, and coming in at a 5.6 percent ABV, it’s mellow without being watery. Like the month it was brewed for, SMaSH Märzen is a sort of inbetweener that tastes like a reprise from the doldrums of a Missoula winter.

March is for beer drinkers: If you didn’t fill out a March Madness bracket, you know someone who did, and no doubt watched them tear their hair out as the whiz kids from Harvard took down the Lobos of New Mexico last night. And that’s what March Madness is all about: upsets. But it’s also about finding a seat in a dimly lit sports bar, simultaneously watching 12 televisions and drinking beer. Tamarack Brewing Company’s digs on Front Street has you covered on all bases. SMaSH Märzen, which pairs nicely with TBC’s buffalo burger with caramelized onions, makes it a slam dunk.

Go there: Tamarack Brewing Company's Missoula location is at 231 West Front Street. Open 11am-1am, Monday-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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