Flathead Brown Ale and a Note on Antiquated Beer Laws

If you’ve been paying attention, and . . . ahem . . . I know some of you aren’t, you know I’m a big fan of brown ales.  I stopped in at North Bay Grille in Kalispell for dinner recently while up doing some work and found Flathead Brewing Co.’s Brown Ale on tap. This is one of their regular line up I had not had a chance to try.

Not surprisingly, it is a very dark brown color with a thin light tan head.  Hey, don’t laugh. I recently got a fun surprise when trying Terminal Gravity’s breakfast porter which is neither dark brown or black. Sometimes brewers do some strange things just to mess with us. I got a slight caramel aroma, though the mesquite fire from the kitchen was smelling pretty good, too. The flavor starts out with rich caramel flavors and a hint of roasted malts.  I even get some biscuit flavors in there, too. I’d call it medium bodied and very smooth. Malt is the feature, but it is balanced and doesn’t become sweet. There’s not as much of the classic brown ale flavor profile as in the Abita Turbodog, but it is yet another good one from Flathead Lake Brewing Co. 

On another note, Tim over at Grizzly Growler had a post last week on Oregon’s latest problem with outdated beer laws. It seems Deschutes Brewery inadvertently cased a sequence of events to shut down homebrew judging competitions by asking questions to ensure they were doing things legally.  He asks whether it is better to keep quiet about those things or bring the antiquated laws to light in order to evaluate them and lobby for change.  He and I agree that the active route is the better one to work change.  So, with antiquated beer laws in mind, take a look at this picture of a bar in Kalispell. Can you tell me what is wrong with the picture? I don’t know if it fits in the category of antiquated beer laws, but the issue in the picture is one of the more curious one’s I’ve run across in Montana’s laws.  If you get it right, I’ll share a bottle from my stash with you. Well, maybe.