Happiest Hour 

The Rhino

What you're drinking: The Rhino is a boozer's paradise. The cozy tavern has it all. In addition to serving what's likely the Garden City's best scotch selection, seven types of gin, and bacon-infused vodka, the Rhino offers 90 types of beer, including Blackfoot IPA, Rogue Smoke Ale and Bayern Oktoberfest. It's the beer selection that earns the Rhino the top spot in the Independent's reader's poll year after year. We like the fact that the bar reinforces our drinking habits, too, awarding those capable of drinking each of the 50 tap beers during an undefined period of time a T-shirt that says "There's 50 ways to love your liver."

Who you're drinking with: The Rhino hosts one of Missoula's most eclectic crowds, including fedora-topped hipsters in skinny jeans and college kids sporting Griz gear who mingle among working folks wearing Carhartts and flannel. "It's a good place for day drinking," says Rhino bartender Anne Hanks.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JESSICA MAYRER

Ambiance: The bar's decor pays homage to its namesake. Faded photos of thick-skinned ungulates dot red-brick walls. A life-sized faux rhino head, mighty tusk pointing at patrons lining the Rhino's long wooden bar, serves as the tavern's decorative centerpiece.

Specials: Rotate daily. Pabst sells for $1.75 Mondays; 7 oz. beer tasters run $1.50 Tuesdays; Thursday is Pint Night, during which the Rhino offers rotating ale specials. (Last week's Pint Night featured Stella Artois for $5.25). Pints of Montana-brewed beer are $3.50 on Saturdays; Miller High Life runs $1.75 on Sundays. "Every hour is happy here," Hanks says.

What you're doing: Playing shuffleboard and shooting pool. Both are free on Sundays.

How to find it: The Rhino sits at the corner of Ryman and Front streets.

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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