Happiest Hour: Half Nuts Rye English Brown Ale at Draught Works 

As another work week grinds to a halt, it's time to start thinking about treating yourself. Jeff and Paul, brewers and owners of Draught Works, have devised the perfect formula: it's dark, it's nutty and it tastes like beer.

What you're drinking: Half Nuts Rye English Brown Ale is a nod to the classic brown ales of Northern England with undertones of American craft brewing. Half Nuts is brewed with rye malt which gives the beer a reddish luminosity. It also has natural hazel nut extract. A pint will run you $4.


What it tastes like: The spice of the rye cuts the classic brown ale sweetness, giving it an undeniably American flavor. The overall mouth feel is smooth; a little caramel, a little dried fruit. The hazelnut is aromatic, something you notice between your nose and mouth, just before your next sip. It's not sessionable (6.3% ABV), so slow your roll with this one. Sip. Taste. Swallow. Think Newcastle meets Mirror Pond.

Why we like it: In England, brown ales are associated with the working class, the beer of choice for people who labor with their hands and backs—people whose bodies need a reward at the end of the day. Though we don't really work with our hands or our backs, Half Nuts Rye English Brown Ale still tastes like a prize.

Why you should try it now: Half Nuts is a seasonal. They brewed 30 kegs, and brewer Jeff says it won't last long. Also, if you ski to Draught Works tonight, the first pint is on the house. Get there: 915 Toole Ave, Missoula.

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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