We’re typically purists when it comes to beer. We like our ale dark and straight up. Skip the veggies and mollusks, please. However, while state Sen. Jim Shockley’s citation this week for drinking canned red beer while driving inspired the Republican to step down from his position chairing the legislative committee drafting tougher DUI laws, it inspired us to devote this week’s Happiest Hour to his beverage of choice.
What it tastes like: A salty Bloody Mary with beer. Savoy bartender Jack Arcand says Budweiser, or Bud Light, is essential when mixing a red beer. For some reason, Arcand says, other light beers, like PBR, just don’t work. And dark brews overpower the tomato juice flavor. One benefit of adding juice to an already light ale—for us and Shockley, who had a BAC of .03 when a Missoula police officer pulled him over—is that it takes a few before intoxication sets in. “You’ve got to drink a lot of these to get wasted,” Arcand says.
Who you’re drinking with: Arcand and James Gillison, who says he spent one entire day this week at the Savoy drinking red beer. “For the record, I live like two blocks from here,” Gillison says.
Happy Hour specials: Spend $5 gambling and the Savoy will buy you up to three drinks per hour, all day, every day. If you’re not a gambler, a pint of red beer runs $3. The Savoy also sells canned Budweiser Chelada for $2.75. As Shockley knows, canned red beer is very convenient.
How to find it: 123 West Broadway, between Higgins Avenue and Ryman Street.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.