Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


"People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot."
(Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI)

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
(Benjamin Franklin)

"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
(Dave Barry)

The rain stopped pouring about mid-morning and things went from soaked to soggy.  It was overcast with lingering showers here and there.  Kind of a dreary sort of a day.  It was the sort of day that one goes to a brew fest, and that is exactly what I did with three of my children in the nearby big city.  This was the second year that I have attend this particular brew fest--neither year has been spectacular.  I only went because the children were insistent.  In the end it turned out to be okay--of course I am not sure if that is because it was or if the beer made a difference.

This particular brew fest is not a typical brew fest as it does not have too many of the actual breweries in attendance with tapped beer.  No, this one primarily has the promoters going out and buying a heck of a lot of beer and selling it through the brew fest.  Anything that a person could taste at the festival was available in the big city--primarily at the two fine shopping establishments of WalMart and Albertsons.  I believe, and I might be wrong, but only three breweries had actual kegs from which taps were running--the rest came straight from the bottle.  Now, I do not want to complain, but nothing beats an ice cold draft straight from the keg.  There was no live music while we were there and all they had playing was canned Gloria Estefan music--I had flashbacks to the ugly late 1970s and early 1980s--it was scary!  This was not your typical brew fest, but there were a lot of people out enjoying the spirits on a dreary day.

There are a lot of nice breweries in the big city.  In fact four of the breweries are quite close to one another and have create a brewery crawl that is quite popular--especially for those visiting the big city.  I must admit that I enjoy the fact that the three breweries are close together with Montana's brewery laws only allowing three beers to be served in a brewery's tap room--only from 4:00 to 8:00PM.  The four breweries in the big city are convenient and make some good brews.  Here are the four:


(No website)

The big city also has another so-called brewery called Bones Brewing and Pub, but Yellowstone Valley Brewery makes their beer for them and allows them to call it their own.  It is more of a sports bar and casino (which the state of Montana seems to have one on every street corner--casinos, that is).  If you are interested in them check them out here:

The big city, down the road, has a lot of nice breweries.  The way that I rate them is: Angry Hanks--best beer and served in a converted gas station/garage; good beer and excellent music--Yellowstone Valley Brewery; Carters has some good beers and a nice tap room; Montana Brewery--this is the place to eat and drink some fine micro brews. They are all located pretty much in the downtown area of the big city and make for an accessible crawl if you are inclined to take that adventure.  Bones--well, it is a sports bar--enough said.

Probably the one brewery that we--all the family--hit the most often is the Red Lodge Ales.  Whenever we make the trek to Red Lodge we have a beer at the tap room before going home.  Whenever we complete a hike in the Beartooths or Absaroka Mountains--we have a beer at the tap room.  It is sort of a ritual that we all enjoy--plus they usually have free popcorn!  If you are interested in Red Lodge Ale--best India Pale Ale in the state of Montana (Bent Nail)--check it out here:

Montana has quite a few breweries and as the weather slowly drifts from winter into our Spring/Summer season the brew fest season is upon us.  Today's festival was the first of several that we hope to hit this season to enjoy great beers, good music, and the fact that everything we are drinking was made right here in Montana.  For more information about Montana breweries go to:

I will vouch for the majority of the breweries listed on this site as I have been to every one except Beaver Creek Brewery in Wibaux, Montana (http://www.beavercreekbrewery.com/)--it is a little out of the way from   Joliet.  But we have gotten the first one under our belts and are raring to check out some of the other festivals as they happen throughout the warm season of Montana.  One down . . . 

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