Hangriest Hour 

Bayern's Bavarian brats

What you're eating: Bayern has long billed itself as the "only German microbrewery in the Rockies"a bragging right that goes well beyond the brewery's strict adherence to the German purity law. Bayern also imports traditional Bavarian brats all the way from owner Jürgen Knö¨ller's homeland, in three flavors: smoked, jalapeno cheese or chicken andouille. No limp backyard Johnsonville knockoffs here. No stale buns or watered-down generic ketchup. Bayern's as picky about wurst as it is about bocks and weizens, serving up your beer-time snack in a hollowed-out baguette with toppings ranging from Hawaiian pineapple mustard to an imported German curry ketchup.

Who you're eating with: Odds are you won't be the only one chowing down on the patio. Taproom tender Jenna Behle says the a la carte brats have developed a strong following, and continue to catch on with newer Bayern patrons. "I feel like once you get them into your rotation, the same people always get a brat." The a la carte brats are available now, but the brewery hopes to rekindle an old tradition of offering fresh-grilled brats on the patio during summer weekends. An independent cook used to prepare brat platters complete with potato salad every Friday from April through October, but he retired last year. Brewer Justin Lee says the brewery is actively scouting for a replacement.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALEX SAKARIASSEN
  • photo by Alex Sakariassen

What you're drinking with it: On a recent Friday, the chicken andouille brat—which Behle carefully notes is the spiciest of the three—paired well with a pint of Bayern's Dump Truck Summer Bock. But you could easily opt for a St. Wilbur, Dancing Trout or Maibock instead. As Behle says, "I think the type of beer depends more on the season than the brat."

Where to get one: Bayern Brewing serves brats a la carte every day from 1 to 8 p.m. for $4 a piece. Bring your appetite to 1507 Montana St.

Hangriest Hour serves up fresh details on western Montana eats. To recommend a restaurant, dish or chef for Hangriest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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