Happiest Hour: Wildwood’s Krumholz Ale 

What it is: A new Bavarian-style dark wheat beer from Stevensville’s Wildwood Brewing. The first batch of this seasonal selection was tapped in early June and then canned a few weeks later.

Wait, Wildwood already brews a wheat beer: Why, yes, it does. The White Bark Wheat has been around for more than a year and is a flavorful, light-bodied hefeweizen with hints of banana and clove. The Krumholz Ale follows the same Bavarian brewing style as the White Bark, but it involves roasted malts that give it more body and notes of caramel. Wildwood founder Jim Lueders refers to the Krumholz as “a close cousin” of the White Bark.

Tell us about the name: Lueders explains that “krumholz” (also spelled “krummholz” or “krumholtz”) is a German word for the last trees you see going up the mountain before heading into the rocks. “These are the trees that are all twisted and stunted and have had the wind blowing on them,” he says. “It’s a German word that translates literally to ‘twisted or bent wood,’ but a lot of Montana hikers are familiar with it.”

Where can you find Krumholz: The trees? Wrong column, bud. But the beer is available at the Wildwood taproom off Highway 93, just north of Stevensville. Lueders says four-packs of cans are also already at or en route to local retailers like the Good Food Store, Orange Street Food Farm and Summer Sun Garden and Brew. Wildwood recently signed with Summit Beverage, ensuring wider distribution of its organic brews throughout the area. Lueders can usually say where exactly each of his seasonal beers can be found, but that’s changing. “I haven’t been out in a while,” he says. “We’re too busy producing to meet the demand.”

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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