Why you’re there: Lolo Peak Brewing Company is the perfect stopping point after a day of skate-skiing up at Lolo Pass, or soaking in the hot springs that dot the Montana-Idaho border. Or as the first, or last, stop on a Bitterroot brewery tour. Or just because the atmosphere and tap list are totally worth the 10-minute drive from Missoula.

What’s in the name: The seasonal offering currently on tap at Lolo Peak, the 1864 Copper Ale, commemorates the advent of mining in the Treasure State. It was gold that first glinted in a prospector’s pan by Silver Bow Creek that year, but the real mineral wealth of Montana was excavated from the copper mines that began perforating Butte shortly after. This beer pays tribute to the red metal with a distinctive coppery hue.

lolo peak brewing

What it tastes like: Between rounds of lamenting our respective romantic woes, my roommate and I asked the bartender to give us the lowdown on the new brew. He told us that the Copper Ale balances traits of the brewery’s golden ale and its IPA — lighter on the golden’s up-front honey note, lighter on the hop bite at the end, and capped with a citrus twist. My roommate proclaimed it “chuggable.” To me, it tasted like a distilled lucky penny that sat smoothly on the back of the tongue. Trust me: That description is accurate, and the beer is delicious.

Where to find it: The 1864 Copper Ale is available on tap for a limited time at $4 a pint. Lolo Peak Brewing Company is located at 6201 Brewery Way in Lolo.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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