2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: Imagine Nation Brewing Co., Missoula, MT (July 9th, Brewery Stop #35) (recovered post) The 35th brewery visited during our cross-country beer discovery tour (click to read about the whole trip) was Imagine Nation Brewing Coompany in Missoula Montana. We finished up at Big Sky pretty quickly and headded back towards town, stopping at this new brewery called Imagine Nation. None of us had head of this brewery before, so it was a pleasant surprise to have found them.
They have a smaller 7bbl system that they produce a couple of year-round beers and a bunch of seasonals and one-offs with. They location is easily found on Broadway along the Clark Fork River. They have a parking lot along the east side of the building, so parking shouldn’t be a problem if you seek them out. If you do make the trip, do it during warmer weather so you can enjoy the outdoor patio they have that overlooks the river. It’s really nice and well kept and most excellent to enjoy a beer on. We did sit out there with our pints after we did the tasters.
As you can see from the pictures, they have the production area visible through some windows inside, a large bar you can sit at, as well as a number of tables to accomodate a larger crowds. The beer list is behind on the bar on a large chalkboard, and they do have printed menus if you want to take the list with you. Like most breweries in Missoula, they don’t have any food on site, so eat before you go. They do have this great stained glass portrate of whom I believe to be St. Augustine, one of the patron saints of beer inside. Looks pretty awe-inspiring to me.
The bartender was happy to provide the three of us with a lineup of samples for free, and we definately appreciated that. Their beers were pretty decent with a few exceptional options being the Mergeing Waters River Ale and the Drum Major Radical Amber. Both of those beers were ordered as pints after the tasters. We did have a brief discussion with the bartender about their setup and location and screwy laws about serving at a brewery. He mentioned that they do community outreach and was excited that they were able to bring this new concept of “community-center and brewery” together.
Overall it was a pleasant surprise to find a new(er) brewery with a solid lineup of beers and great taproom and I would definately seek them out the next time I’m in Missoula. Again, keep in mind that in Montana, breweries can only serve you a specific amount of beer, their tasters are free, and they close early in the evening so plan accordingly. The reviews are from left to right in the pictures below.
Imagine Nation Brewing Co.
1151 W Broadway St
Missoula, MT 59802
|Merging Waters River Ale
Imagine Nation Brewing Co. • American Pale Ale • IBU: 25 • ABV: 5.5% • SRM: 5
Straw yellow hazy draft with a small bubbly white head, minimal head and retention. The nose is crisp with fresh cut grass and thin dried crackers. The front mouth is pleasantly hop forward but not too overbearing. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation and lingering hop resins and slight dry backing. Crackery malts do help with keeping the stronger hop profile at bay.
Imagine Nation Brewing Co. • IPA • IBU: 65 • ABV: 7% • SRM: 8
Bright orange, slightly hazy draft with a bright white small bubbly head with ok retention and some spidery lacing. The nose is fainter with some hints of citrus and pine hops and sweet breads. The front mouth is a solid malt bodied IPA with citrus, herbal and earthy hints across the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a great malt backing. The bitters and slight sweet notes do linger will past the swallow.
|Drum Major Radical Amber
Imagine Nation Brewing Co. • Amber • IBU: 39 • ABV: 6.1% • SRM: 20
Hazy dark amber hued draft with a smaller white frothy head, minimal retention or lacing. The nose is spicy and hop forward with pine and resin. The front is bright hops with citrus, herbs, and some spicy notes. The malt really shows up on the mid to back mouth with a strong full-bodied approach, almost chewy. The back has a linger mix of sweet caramel from the malts and spicy hop resins.
|Corcovado Sparkling Summer Ale
Imagine Nation Brewing Co. • American Pale Ale • IBU: 35 • ABV: 6.2% • SRM: 4
Lighter orange/yellow draft with a solid white foamy head, good retention, and lots of lacing. The nose is sweet with hints of floral hops and herbs. The front is lighter with lots of sweet dry notes of flowers, slight spice, and moves towards a thin crackery malt back. Dries out on the back a bit. Thinner mouthfeel and lower carbonation.
|Wild(er) Sublime Double IPA
Imagine Nation Brewing Co. • Imperial IPA • IBU: 82 • ABV: 8% • SRM: 16
Slight hazy amber/reddish draft with some bubbly head that dropped quickly. The nose is sweet and hoppy with dried leaves and vegital notes. The front mouth is slightly sweet and dank with wet leaves on the tongue. The mid to back slightly dries out and has a stark dried hop finish, with a bit of the sweetness and yeast showing up with the swallow.
|Harvey Milk Stout
Imagine Nation Brewing Co. • Sweet Stout • IBU: 35 • ABV: 5.5% • SRM: 30
Nearly opaic dark brown/black draft with a solid tan large bubbly head, great retention and lots of large bubbly lacing. The nose is sweet with hints of dried cocoa. The front mouth is smooth in approach, slight hints of the hop resins are overshadowed by the full roasted mouthfeel. The full-bodied approach makes this a great stout with some dried lingering sharpness of sweet molasses and burned coffee hints.