Happiest Hour: Hamm's

Posted by Eben Wragge-Keller on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 2:31 PM

An introduction: Hamm’s is the beer underdog. It has no official website, no current marketing campaign and it hasn't changed its can design since the early ’60s. I’m not sure if that’s admirable or embarrassing, but the company certainly doesn’t seem to care if it gets your business or not, and that makes it damn cool.

History: The beer is nearly 150 years old. The company survived through prohibition by making soft drinks. And the company slogan and “current” jingle, “From The Land Of Sky Blue Waters,” dates back to a song produced in the early 1900s.

Stats: Hamm’s can only be found in two forms around Missoula: a 6-pack of pints or a “dirty 30” case. Orange Street Food Farm is perhaps the most popular local Hamm's outlet. While the Food Farm is known as the number two distributer of Pabst Blue Ribbon in the United States, Hamm’s 6-packs (at $3.99 a pop) are actually the store’s top selling beer. Manager Tommy Hendrix says the Food Farm restocks an average of 50 cases a week.

How to imbibe: Simply open the top and drink it. This is not the kind of beer that you swirl around in a glass and sniff—your only goal is to pour that golden, fizzy liquid down your throat while it’s still cold enough to act as your own personal internal air-conditioner.

Why you should care: Hamm’s is the understated hero. It’s worn the same tattered suit, sung the same song and has shown no signs of changing its ways. It’s the unambitious, unabashed and undeniably cool drink, for those of us trying to save every penny we don’t have.

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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Boom! Sounds like you should write a book about this stuff, Ryan. Oh, wait ...

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Posted by Skylar on 07/01/2013 at 5:36 PM

Want a little useless MT/Hamm's historical trivia? Hamm Brewing built a building in Kalispell in 1901 at 127 Main that was used as a saloon until Prohibition. And in the 1970s Hamm's Brewing was acquired by Olympia Brewing. Olympia Brewing was founded by Leopold Schmidt, a German immigrant from Montana who founded Centennial Brewing in Butte.

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Posted by Ryan Newhouse on 07/01/2013 at 3:49 PM
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