SigMT Winter 2018

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20 | SignatureMT Chillin' with Winter Warmers Urban Affairs BEER MAN Text by Mark Baune COMING SOON! COMING SOON! I t's Winter Warmer time again! What is a Winter Warmer you ask? The term is actually a generic label used to describe winter seasonal beers. While summer time has its lighter fare offering cool respites during the hottest days of the year, it's conversely clear that Winter Warmers are brewed to keep us warm when the temperature dips below freezing. The chilly months inspire countless breweries to zero in on a traditional winter style or push the envelope of interpretation on winter beer possibilities. Typically, they are barrel-aged and often feature added sugars like molasses, maple syrup, dark fruit, caramel and roasted malt flavors. I advise sipping them slowly from a snifter glass as they tend to be a beefier beer that is higher in alcohol content. They are best enjoyed as a treat unto themselves or they make great companions to commonly roasted meats such as turkey, ham or roast beef. They are also perfect to lay down for a few years as they tend to mellow out with age. I try a few each year and if I like them I stock up and put them away again. Big brewers tend to repeat their seasonal classics year after year, whereas craft brewers mix it up a bit by adding subtle nuances and varying the alcohol content. A favorite of mine is IVAN THE TERRIBLE from Big Sky Brewing in Missoula. I have some from 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. I drank the 2012 and was not disappointed. The only problem has been tracking it down again. Big sky brews a limited number of cases and distributes sparingly. It would behoove you to get your name on a list from your favorite beer store. Vintage Sellers in Great Falls receives a few cases and I am lucky enough to be on the list. The best source would be the brewery in Missoula. FOUNDERS CANADIAN BREAKFAST STOUT will make your tastes buds squeal with delight. This imperial stout is brewed with chocolate and a blend of coffees before being aged for over a year in spent bourbon barrels that were most recently aging maple syrup. Both beers are very good when young but are even better when aged. Then, of course, we cannot forget BIGFOOT BARLEY WINE from Sierra Nevada brewing. I find this one is best laid down as it is a little bitter when new, but ages quite nicely. I have a stash from 2005 and up. I might add that the 05's are damn good! Here are a few of my favorites that are great laid down and much easier to find: • FULL SAIL, Wassali • LAGUNITAS, Brown shugga' • AVERY, Old jubilation ale • DESHUTES, Jubelale • ANDERSON VALLEY, Winter solstice • SIERRA NEVADA makes a celebration ale that is good also. – Cheers to expanding your Winter Warmer horizons! Beer man of Tuxedos Central Montana shoes & prices as quoted Best selection of Tuxedos in North Central Montana Guaranteed new styles, free shoes & prices as quoted Prom & Wedding HEADQUARTERS 406-761-5010 | 4 1 1 C e n t r a l Ave n u e , G r e a t F a l l s MT S

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