Happiest Hour 

Booze at Flathead Lake

What you're drinking: Within the next week or so, anything you want. Flathead Lake Brewing Company of Missoula recently purchased a full liquor license, and owner Carla Mancini assures us that the first shipment of booze is imminent. Once FLBC gets the final thumbs-up from the state, Mancini plans to host a "launch party" that will include free drinks from 5 to 6 p.m. for anyone who "likes" the brewery's Facebook page. The new license is part of a series of goals mapped out when FLBC purchased its downtown building in 2010. Mancini says the next step is opening a rooftop patio.

What's changing: FLBC intends to roll out a drink menu stacked with 10 to 15 specialty mixers using a variety of ingredients made in-house. "We're squeezing our own orange juice and stuff like that," Mancini says. "It's just going to be a little bit upscale, but it's not going to break the budget. We're not going to have $15 drinks." Mancini is also establishing a private whiskey club, which will have full run of the third-floor Galaxy Lounge one night a month. Membership will be limited to 70 or 75 people.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ALEX SAKARIASSEN
  • photo by Alex Sakariassen

What's staying the same: Nothing is set to change aesthetically, beyond the possible addition of a few pool tables on the second floor. Private parties will still be able to rent out the Galaxy Lounge, and the availability of alcohol shouldn't distract from Flathead's beer, Mancini says. "That still is our main focus here ... We're just introducing a new option for people when they come in."

When to show up: That detail, unfortunately, is anyone's guess right now. Mancini says it could happen literally any day. "They could call me right now and say, 'You're good to go.' Or it could be later this week." FLBC will put the word out via social media, so stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.

Where to go: As soon as the announcement's made, head down to 424 N. Higgins 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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