Happiest Hour 

Half Nuts Rye at Draught Works

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 hazelnut 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 mouthfeel 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 percent 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 Grant says it won't last long. Grab your glass now at Draught Works, 915 Toole Ave.

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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