Happiest Hour: Santa's Slayer Winter Ale 

The revival: This year, after a brief hiatus, the Kettlehouse revived Santa’s Slayer Winter Ale, a potent brew (7% ABV) that could warm up a fat man flying through thin air at 30,000 feet. The beer even looks warm. Matt Blair, a brewer who helped bring this beverage back to Kettlehouse customers, notes its “beautiful orange glow.” “We threw in a bunch of different adjuncts like orange peel, ginger, cinnamon, and we upped the gravity so that it has a kick to it,” he says. “It’s perfect for winter.”

The adventure: If you are feeling wild, ask the bartenders to blend Santa’s Slayer with the slightly overwhelming (it tastes like trees!) Spruce Tip Ale. What you’ll get is Santa’s Tip, a suggestively named concoction that cuts the cool spruce flavors with the warmth of ginger and cinnamon. Ask for it and try not to giggle.

When to get it: Blair says Santa’s Slayer should be available until at least Christmas, perhaps until the New Year if it doesn’t run out. “It’s selling great,” he says. “You can always tell when someone is drinking it by the glow in their glass.” So, check out the glow before it goes away.

Where to get it: You can find it on tap at the southside Kettlehouse, 602 Myrtle St., Missoula, MT 59801.

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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