Whitefish Brewing Co.
Available: WA, OR, AK, ID, MO
Whitefish Brewing Co. is located in the North Flathead Valley at the foot of the Big Mountain ski resort in the Montana Rockies. The company began brewing beer in 1991, after contract-brewing for the four previous years through Montana Beverages in Helena. Montana Nut Brown Ale is brewed with two-row Klages, crystal, chocolate, and Victory malts, and roasted barley.
Alcohol by weight: 4.5
It does have a nutty character, even though the color is a bit pale for a nut-brown. Nevertheless this is a well-rounded beer, one to savor for its rather mellow, smooth and almost dainty in its nuttiness. Well done. Better yet is the seductive charm this beer exudes when one tries to stop imbibing.
Actually, it’s not very brown—more of a hazy amber. The nose is nutty, as promised—macadamia nuts and walnut oil spring to mind. The palate is oily, too, with very light hopping quickly fading into sweetness. The finish is quick and sweet. This is an odd beer—a version of mild, perhaps? Is there a nut extract used? I’d like to see more definition to these flavors—right now, it’s pretty flabby.
Real estate broker Gary Hutchinson founded this brewery in his house. He had decided brewing was “a straighter way to make a living.” At the brewery a few years ago, I found his Nut Brown Ale clean, sweetish and malt-accented. This sample has a malty-fruity aroma, with a faintly smoky suggestion of phenol. The lightly creamy, malty palate has a touch of bubblegum, then falls away rather too quickly.