Happiest Hour 

Missoula Five-0

What is it? Missoula Five-O, a chocolate coconut imperial porter, is the winner of the 2011 Community Brew contest, an ongoing collaboration between Zoo City Zymurgists and Big Sky Brewing Co. Brewed by Bill Ruediger, the homebrew beat out about 25 other imperial porters concocted by members of the local brewing club.

Hittin' the big time: Ruediger's Missoula Five-O earned him the chance to brew a commercial batch—about 500 gallons—of the porter under the tutelage of Big Sky head brewer Matt Long. "It's the best bragging rights in town...It's the home-brewer's dream," Ruediger said with a mug of Five-O in hand last Thursday night, when Big Sky released Missoula Five-O during a private party at the brewery. It'll be on tap for a limited time. Growler fills cost $10. Proceeds will be split between AniMeals and Zoo City Zymurgists.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY MATTHEW FRANK

How it tastes: How you'd expect—like a chocolaty porter with a smooth coconut-y undertone. Ruediger was inspired to combine chocolate and coconut when, while on vacation with his wife in Hawaii last summer, he sampled Maui Brewing Co.'s CoCoNut Porter. Ruediger made 10 batches of Five-O hoping to strike the perfect balance of coconut, chocolate and roasted barley, and the first batch tasted the best.

Where to find it: Big Sky Brewing Co., 5417 Trumpeter Way.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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