We continue to explore Missoula while waiting for my wheel to be shipped back. This city is not a bad one to be delayed in for a while, there are a lot of aspects that are appealing to Sarah and I.
- Bikes. People ride their bikes everywhere and a lot — to work, to the store, to the bar, etc. Bike lanes and bicycle aware drivers make getting around a breeze.
- Beer. There numerous local breweries producing good beer.
- Food. An emphasis on locally grown, including back yard, fruits and vegetables. Hunting and fishing are also active pursuits, providing great variety. We’ve had some great food (Thanks again Doug & Eva for the dinner, the salmon and elk made great tacos and the fresh garden greens were amazing. Special thanks to Don & Jennifer for hosting us, feeding us — the elk, garden greens and berries have made wonderful breakfasts, pizzas, etc.).
- Outdoors. Besides commuting, road and mountain biking, the community is active outdoors. It is not unusual to hear people planning hikes, runs, climbs, floats, etc. Kids are outside playing. Toddlers to teens fill the parks and rivers playing, floating, climbing, running or just hanging out. Life seems to be spent more in reality than in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
- Working to live rather living to work. People work hard but don’t seem to let work get in the way of living a life and doing the things they love to do.
In a lot of ways it reminds me of living in Austin when I first moved there in the mid 1990’s, with less of a music scene.
Draught Works has a great location near downtown and solid beer offerings. “That’s what she said”, a cream ale was good, but my favorite was the roggenbier or rye beer.
When it comes to alcohol (production, sale, distribution and consumption), the United States has some bizarre laws and regulations. Utah has been the most unusual so far but Montana also has their curious brand of uniqueness. Tap rooms at the breweries are allowed to open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. (apparently to restrict competition with bars), and must limit the amount of beer served to a patron (48 ounces, or equivalent of three pints) per day. Usually you carry a card around that is punched or marked to keep count. The exception to the limit is that growlers of beer may be filled for off-premises consumption. Additionally, breweries below a certain production threshold may (and do) charge per glass served, but those above the threshold can not charge. There will be a quiz at the end of this entry.
Luckily, obtaining food at a restaurant is straight forward. James Bar offered up a delicious paring that no one could refuse. A fresh Bison burger, a side of sweet potato tots, and a pint of Kettle House Cold Smoke Scottish Ale. I’m drooling just remembering the meal.