So I found out about noon today that Tamarack Brewing from Lakeside, Montana opened their new branch here in Missoula. Beers I haven’t tried, in my town!? By 3 p.m., I found some drinking buddies and went to Tamarack posthaste.
Some initial thoughts:
- Cripes, the place is huge. It has two floors, with two bars serving over a dozen Tamarack beers on tap and a full selection of liquor and wine. Full restaurant, too.
- The skeptic in me wonders when Missoula’s going to reach brewpub saturation point–we already have mainstays Kettlehouse, Bayern and Big Sky, and Flathead opened just this year.
- Then again, me and my buddies seem to be a good job of supporting these joints.
- Is there a direct correlation between number of drinking establishments and number of college students? I must investigate.
- I’m astonished I’ve never had any Tamarack brews before, because they have several beers.
- I really like the 10-beer sampler platter. They come in scotch glasses, so I think you maybe get a couple pints. But for eight bucks, it’s a great way to try a bunch of beer.
- Standout brews: the smooth and caramel-y Yard Sale Amber, the unusually hoppy Dr. Tom’s Pilsner, and the superb Old Stache whiskey-barrel porter.
- I’m stoked the happy hour menu has $3 pints and you can get chips ‘n salsa for 2 bucks. Don’t get me started on places that charge five dollars for a damn plate of chips.
- The downsides: giant flat screen TVs everywhere, all tuned to different channels. I like to go to tap rooms for the respite from technology. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m there to catch up with friends or read a book, instead of staring at screens like I do for most of my day. Giant TVs are often also accompanied by my nemeses, bros. Ugh.
- Anyway, I still liked Tamarack a lot and I’m very pleased to support a Montana business serving tasty microbrews. We brought home a growler of the amber.