Happiest Hour 

SMaSH Märzen

The Brew: Märzen is a traditional Bavarian-style lager that translated from German literally means "March beer." The Tamarack Brewing Company's SMaSH Marzen is a single malt, single hop (hence the capitalization) version of the old-world classic.

The softer side of microbrews: In the world of aggressively hoppy and alcoholic microbrews, SMaSH Märzen is a pacifist. Made from Vienna malt and Perle hops, it's sweet but not cloying, earthy but not dull, and coming in at a 5.6 percent ABV, it's mellow without being watery. Like the month it was brewed for, SMaSH Märzen is a sort of inbetweener that tastes like a reprise from the doldrums of a Missoula winter.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JAMIE ROGERS
  • Photo by Jamie Rogers

March is for beer drinkers: If you didn't fill out a March Madness bracket, you know someone who did, and no doubt watched them tear their hair out as the whiz kids from Harvard took down the Lobos of New Mexico last week. And that's what March Madness is all about: upsets. But it's also about finding a seat in a dimly lit sports bar, simultaneously watching 12 televisions and drinking beer. Tamarack Brewing Company's Front Street digs has you covered on all bases. SMaSH Märzen, which pairs nicely with TBC's buffalo burger with caramelized onions, makes for a slam dunk.

Go there: Tamarack Brewing Company—Missoula is at 231 W. Front Street. Open 11 a.m. - 1 a.m., Monday-Sunday.

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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