Happiest Hour 

Guy on a Buffalo coffee stout

What you're drinking: The first of Great Northern Brewing Company's 2014 Weathervane Series. This aromatic, dark-as-your-soul coffee stout was released back in January and is packaged in 22-ounce bomber bottles.

What it tastes like: Well, um, coffee. And beer. But more like coffee. It's like a strong iced coffee with a sudsy aftertaste.

How they make it: The Whitefish brewery partners with Montana Coffee Traders. "We steep forty pounds of freshly roasted beans in our lauter tun for 24 hours in nearly freezing water," explains the brewery. "The result is a clean coffee low in acidity, making it the perfect addition to our rich and malty stout."

What you're eating with it: Great Northern suggests pancakes.

What you're really eating with it: Anything but pancakes.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRINE L. WALTERS
  • photo by Cathrine L. Walters

Explain the Weathervane Series: The brewery lays claim to the tallest building in Whitefish thanks to its stylish weathervane. We'll let them take it from there: "The weathervane symbolized a time from [brewery founder Minott Wessinger's] past—it's an exact replica of the weathervane in which his great-great grandfather adorned the family brewery in downtown Portland, Oregon—The Blitz Weinhard Brewery. Today this iconic ornament twists and turns with the winds of the changing seasons—an inspiration for the styles and flavors of the 2014 Weathervane Series."

What's next: Great Northern released the Equinox Galaxy Pale Ale in March and the Empire Builder Imperial Pilsner is slated to hit shelves later this month. All Weathervane Series brews are limited to kegs and bomber bottles at select locations.

Where to score the stout: We found ours at Orange Street Food Farm, 701 S. Orange St. The brewery is located in downtown Whitefish at 2 Central 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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