2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Draught Works Brewery, Missoula, MT (July 9th, Brewery Stop #36) (recovered post) The 36th brewery visited during our cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) was the Draught Works Brewery in Missoula Montana. The third stop in Missoula brought us to a larger and popular brewery just down the street from Imagine Nation. This brewery used to be a recycling center, and it’s got a really local vibe going on.
When we pulled up, we were super lucky and got a parking spot, we didn’t know that there was live music going on, but alas there was a band playing and their patio and inside were really packed with people. As summer hangouts go, you couldn’t do much better than this for a wide range of beers, comfortable setting, and great music. The patio is quite large, and the production tanks are just inside the door. The main room is huge with tons of tables and a long bar to sit or order at.
We found ourselves a couple of spots at the bar, taking turns standing. The bartenders were really busy, but willing to pour us a full lineup of samples so we could take pictures of them. Needless to say, most people there were not sampling, but enjoying themselves with full pints and some local food. We didn’t really have a chance to speak with the bartender or any of the servers about their beers, so we were left to just figure them out on our own based on the menu and chalkboard above the bar.
We found that most of their beers were middle of the road, to just ok. Nothing really stood out, but we did stick around for one pint after the tasters as we felt a bit obligated to do that since the tasters were free and they hooked us up with all of them at once. The range of styles, while impressive, does demonstrate skills with brewing lagers and ales, it doesn’t however reflect high quality or exceptionally tasting beer. I felt that most of the beers were a bit one-dimensional and didn’t push the styles they were made in at all.
Now the counter arguement to that is knowing your audience and making beers that will sell more than just be ‘blow-your-socks-off’ one-offs that are only around for a short bit and then never be made again. I’d hope that over time, they would improve on their recipes and get them tightended down and try to explore what beer can be. Ultimately, if you were looking for a place to get some cheap beer in the summertime in Missoula and wanted a place to hang out, then by all means give them a go. If you’re looking for a great beer experience, then perhaps other breweries might tickle your taste-buds more effectively than this place will. The reviews go from right to left as pictured and the draft I had was the Clothing Optional Pale ale.
|That’s What She Said Cream Ale
Draught Works Brewery • Cream Ale • IBU: 18 • ABV: 5.2% • SRM: 3
Clear straw yellow draft with a large, bubbly head and lots of retention and lacing. The nose is dried cereal and sweet sugary hints. The front mouth is light, some creamy notes, low hop profile, stronger dried grains/cereals that dry out on the back.
|Clothing Optional Pale Ale
Draught Works Brewery • English Pale Ale • IBU: 37 • ABV: 5.2% • SRM: 6
Clear orange-yellow hued draft with a creamy/frothy white head, lots of lacing and retention on this one. The aromatics are dried grains, orange zest and dried leafs. The front mouth is juicy, lots of citrus hops, orange peels, dried pith and enough malt backing to hold it together. The malts are more caramel than toasted. Mouthfeel is medium with some juicy and soft carbonation present.
Draught Works Brewery • Czech Pilsener • IBU: 39 • ABV: 5% • SRM: 4
Light yellow/golden draft with large white bubbly head, low retention and large spotty lacing. The nose is dried grains and buscuits, with some herbal notes. The front to mid mouth is bright with herbal, fresh cut grass, and some yeasty notes. Mid to back has lots of dried grain malts to help pull in the strong hop profile. Mouthfeel is lighter and medium carbonation.
Draught Works Brewery • American IPA • IBU: 68 • ABV: 6.1% • SRM: 8
Pale golden draft, smaller white frothy head that droped quickly, little to no lacing. The nose is forward pine and some skunky vegital notes. The front mouth reflects the aromatics with some bright pine and hop resins. the malts are light and shallow compared to the strong hop profile. The hops overpower everything, with a mild mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Dry bitters linger well past the swallow.
Draught Works Brewery • Oatmeal Stout • IBU: 20 • ABV: 5.3% • SRM: 40
Dark black/brown opaic draft with a solid tan fluffy head, tons of lacing and retention. The nose is bitter cocoa and burned coffee hints. The front mouth is sweet, watered down day old coffee, burned grains and low hop profile. The mid to back has some rounded mouthfeel, chewy almost. The burnt flavors linger way past the tongue.
Draught Works Brewery • Heller Bock (Lager) • IBU: 19 • ABV: 4.8% • SRM: 3
Clear light yellow draft, some white foamy head that dropped to a sheen and had some slight spidery lacing. The nose is wet soggy bread. The front mouth is sweet sugary malts with some toasted grains on the mid. The hops show up on the mid to back with some hints of fruit and cut grass. Low carbonation, weak mouthfeel, somewhat watery.
|Ich bin ein
Draught Works Brewery • Berliner Weisse • IBU: 10 • ABV: 3.6% • SRM: 5
Cloudy white/pale draft with a minimal white frothy head that dropped quickly, little to no lacing or retention. The nose is tart and expresses some grains. Front mouth is tart and dry, wheat malts show up with little to no hops showing up. Yeasty on the mid/back and dries out the tongue a lot.
|Ich bin ein + Raspberry
Draught Works Brewery • Berliner Weisse • IBU: 10 • ABV: 3.6% • SRM: 5
Cloudy white/pale draft with a minimal white frothy head that dropped quickly, little to no lacing or retention. The nose is tart and expresses some grains and syrup notes. Front mouth is sweet with raspberries showing up on top of the tart and dry grains. Dries out the tongue mid to back.
Draught Works Brewery • Sour/Wild Ale • IBU: 7 • ABV: 5.6% • SRM: 8
Cloudy white/pinkish draft with a small foamy head, some retention and little lacing on the rim. The nose is sour and acidic with hints of yeasty funk. The front mouth is sharp with a bit of tons of sour that covers what malt notes may be there. The tartness is overpowering but does have some sweet hard-candy like hits on the mid, being covered by the lacto fruit tarts.
|Fumunda Southern Hemisphere IPA
Draught Works Brewery • India Pale Ale (IPA) • IBU: 70 • ABV: 6.8% • SRM: 8
Medium orange/yellow clear draft with some bright white bubbly head, some retention and little lacing on the rim. The nose is citrus and pine resins. The front mouth is fresh grass and pine cone to earthy. The medium bodied, medium carbonation helps the mild crackery malts to hold the hops at bay. Drys out a bit on the back.
|Brugh Hefner Hefe
Draught Works Brewery • German Hefeweizen • IBU: 16 • ABV: 5.1% • SRM: 4
Slight hazy yellow draft with some white foamy head, low retention and mild lacing. Nose is bannanish with clove spices. The front to mid mouth has a low-carbonation, mild bodied yeasty banana and clove approach. Low malts and some dried powery coating of the tongue.
|Borne Again Jarrylo Single Hop IPA
Draught Works Brewery • India Pale Ale (IPA) • IBU: 69 • ABV: 6.9% • SRM: 6
Clear, slight orange/yellow draft with small white head that dropped quickly, some mild lacing on the rim. The nose is somewhat fresh herbs and caramel malts. The front to mid mouth is same as the nose, sharp pine notes, herbal/vegital hops, some mild toasted malts. Medium bodied, good carbonation, solid mouthfeel. Dries a little on the back.