Missoula’s 11 Breweries: Conquered by the Reids!

LOCATION:  Missoula, Montana
CAMPGROUND:  Jim and Mary’s RV Park
WEATHER:  Very nice.  High 84.

We hit the Missoula Saturday Farmers’ Market again this morning.  Huckleberries are in full swing.   They are not cheap….$5 for a half pound! We bought fresh vegetables to prepare for next week when we will be out in the boonies. 

We bought two unusual kinds of mushrooms from one vendor – lion’s mane and chestnut oyster mushrooms.  She said the best way to prepare them is to saute in butter and white wine.  Sounds like a winner!

Montana suffers from forest and grass fires every year. This year, thankfully, there have been fewer than usual.  The fires are usually especially bad around Missoula.  Today we visited the US Forest Service Smokejumper Center located here. 

This old cabin used to be perched on a high mountain where the fire fighters watched for fires.

We learned about these water bombs made out of plywood that they used to use.  The sign said that they didn’t work very well, and the firefighters on the ground had to watch for them falling from the sky!

Back at the RV park, it was laundry day.  We are getting ready for our next 6 nights on the road without any services – water, electricity, sewer. 

Then, on to complete our mission, and we DID it!  We visited brewery #10 and #11 out of the 11 here in town.  First this afternoon, we went to Imagine Nation.  It is interesting how each brewery has a different vibe.  This one is very oriented to help the community. It is located in an area where a lot of homeless hang out.   The building has signs of famous leaders like Mandela.  The brewery’s  profits go to various social charities in town.

They are the most cautious (against COVID) of all the breweries we visited here.  The owner said they are not serving from taps to reduce the amount of contact with the public.  So, they canned all their beer and serve it only in cans.  The owner/server dipped the can in a bowl of sanitizer water before giving it to George.  George had a porter that he liked; I had a delicious glass of water

On to our last one – Cranky Sam Brewery.  We were very very pleasantly surprised.  It is the newest one in town, located right downtown. 

When they were building the brewery last year, they discussed relics that showed this area used to be a Chinatown.  Cranky Sam, for whom the brewery was named, was a big opium dealer who had a business here. The bartender (the owner’s son) said they had a lot of history on Cranky Sam because he had been in jail quite often and there were good records about him. 

And, other relics showing that it used to be the Red Light district.  This picture was found behind walls of bricks.  George tried a beer named after her – Hidden Lady IPA.

Back at the RV park, George helped a neighbor with his trailer hitch while I prepped dinner and tried to figure out where to store all the veg we bought today!

DINNER:  Shrimp risotto.  I made a traditional risotto – with arborio rice, white wine, and warm broth.  Instead of adding parmesan, I used feta cheese.  We had bought some whole feta in brine.  I substituted some of the brine to use instead of broth.  I had to be cautious as the brine is so salty.  I served the risotto with shrimp that George grilled on the propane grill.  Side was some of the oyster mushrooms, sauted in wine and butter.  Another side was snow peas that we had bought today at the market.  A nice chardonnay was a great pairing. 

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