Happiest Hour 

Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Ale

What you're drinking: The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Ale is a saison created with Montana-made honey and spruce tips gathered by the Tamarack brewers on Blacktail Mountain.

Why you're drinking it: The brew was rolled out earlier this week in honor of Sen. Max Baucus' Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act bill. The act is intended to maintain the status quo on the Front. The bill includes more than 67,000 acres of new wilderness designations, requires various agencies to prioritize noxious weed management and establishes a 208,112-acre conservation management area that would maintain existing recreational, motorized and livestock grazing access.

What it tastes like: Like most saisons, the RMFH Ale is a refreshing, light and slightly spicy summer beer. This one, however, has a honey and nut taste with a spruce finish. Huh. Spruce. See how they got you thinking about the outdoors? Pretty smart.

click to enlarge ERIKA FREDRICKSON
  • Erika Fredrickson

Who's behind the bill? The bill was developed by a diverse group of locals known as the Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front. Baucus introduced the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act in 2011, but Congress failed to act on it. So he's pushing harder now, what with retirement looming.

From the mouth of Baucus: During the beer's launch, Baucus talked a lot about hiking on the Front, and about summiting Ear Mountain alongside UM professor and author Rick Graetz. He encouraged a crowd of folks drinking the new brew to call their legislators—particularly Rep. Steve Daine—sand push them to back the Heritage Act. "Right now is the time to pour on more energy," he said.

Where to get it: Available at the brewery's Missoula brewpub, 231 West Front Street.

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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