Food

Happiest Hour

Montana Brewers Festival

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What it was: Last weekend, the 4th annual Montana Brewers Festival featured 70 different Montana-made beers from more than 20 breweries. The event was hosted by the Montana Brewers Association at Caras Park.

Great. It's over. Thanks for nothing: Hold up. We're mentioning it for a few reasons. For one, the Indy Blog noted five must-try beers beforehand, so be sure to check it out next time so you don't miss out. More importantly, one of those must-try beers is slated for a local tap any day now.

Whoa. Do tell: The Imperial Honey Citra IPA from Bitter Root Brewing was named the festival's Best Imperial and is due to reach the Hamilton taproom within the next week or so. Tony Wickham, Bitter Root's brewmaster, describes it as more barley wine than IPA and calls it "big." We're talking 10 percent alcohol by volume; it'll be served in a snifter.

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About that honey: Here's what makes this beer special. Wickham says he used 40 pounds of Montana honey for an eight-barrel batch, giving the beer a sweet balance.

And back to the festival: The Oct. 6 event drew 2,400 double the attendance of last year's festival in Bozeman. MBA Executive Director Tony Herbert says the 2013 event is already set for Sept. 28 in Caras Park.

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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