Interview with Jessica: El Dram Shop

We think conversation is one of the most fun parts of language learning. On Thursdays, we switch languages and ask each other questions to learn more about Tuesday’s topic. Today, Roberto interviews Jessica about her experience tasting beers at the Dram Shop in Missoula. You can read Jessica’s original post in Spanish here

Roberto: As we learned in your post, stout beer is not your favorite. What kind of beer do you usually order when you go out? Do you have a favorite brand?
Jessica: It depends, I got out of the habit of drinking beer while I was living in San Francisco because wine is such a popular drink there. Before that, I lived in Oregon and my go-to beers were usually dark, although not stouts. My favorite was Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery in Bend. Now, I tend to order IPAs or other pale ales. It seems to be more and more the trend for craft breweries to put their beer in cans instead of bottles, which gives them room to make them very attractive, so I have been known to choose simply based on appearance.  

R: Are there any breweries in Missoula? What do you think of their beers?
J: There are several really great breweries here in Missoula–you could throw a rock and hit one! I can’t say I have a favorite because I’m not sure I’ve had the same beer twice since I’ve been here. Everything I’ve tried has been quite good, though. When I was growing up, before I drank much beer, I really only knew about two breweries, Big Sky Brewing and Bayern Brewery, but several have opened during my time living in other states. 

Big Sky beers often have Montana and outdoor themed titles.

R: Have you visited any breweries in your area?
J: While not a brewery, the Dram Shop is a cool place because it offers beers from various breweries in addition to wine, cider, and soda. So, they don’t brew their own beer there, instead they offer a wide selection of local beverages–which is what makes it possible to taste four types of stouts–and I could have had a bigger flight! More commonly, though, tap rooms in this area are connected to a brewery. I’ve been to a few of them: Draught Works, a nice family-friendly tap room with live music and a patio, Imagine Nation, which is kind of a community center combined with a brewery. I live 2 blocks from a popular brewery called Kettle House. Although, I’ve had their beers, I’ve never been. It’s on my list to go there.  

One of Kettle House’s two tap rooms is a 3 minute walk from my house.

R: In Spain, it is common to have a beer with a snack or tapa. Is the beer served with a snack in your country or do you have to order it if you want to eat something?
J: Sadly, no! This is not very common. And the first time I was in Europe and encountered complimentary snacks, I was very confused as to whether I had made a mistake when ordering. The Dram Shop partners with a cafe and market on the same street–you can order from a limited menu from those places and they will bring it to you at the Dram Shop. Usually, the breweries don’t have a ton of food, just snacks like fries, or cheese plates, but you still have to order them. 

Imagine Nation broadcasts their interest in community involvement with stencils of inspiring historical figures on their building. They often host community events and classes.

R: What is your favorite bar, pub, or area to have a beer with friends?
J: There are so many good options–many of the breweries around here put a lot of thought into their spaces and making them really nice places to be, with good lighting, and live music several nights a week. Probably the most common is to hang out at someone’s house. This past Sunday, I was actually over at Heidi’s (who was with me at the Dram Shop) for Indian and food and beers in her backyard. I’m also looking forward to going back to Imagine Nation. I was there in the winter, but they have a nice patio overlooking the river, which would be great this time of year. 


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