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Montana Brewer Taps Baucus Bill for Inspiration

While many of us (OK, maybe just me) spent the brunt of recess sucking down frosty beers, outgoing Sen. Max Baucus enjoyed the rare privilege of having one of his legislative passions celebrated by a commemorative brew.

Tamarack Brewing Co. unveiled its Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Ale, a limited-edition saison, in August.

The seasonal selection is brewed with local malt, honey and Blacktail Mountain blue spruce tips — a nod to the bounty of agricultural products found on the very lands the retiring Montana Democrat is fighting to preserve before hanging up his hat in 2014.

“It’s an easy-drinking, lightly spiced, flavorful summer ale,” Tamarack co-owner Andra Townsley said of the politically inspired potable. She noted that they brewed about 300 gallons of the stuff, about enough to keep the RMFHA taps at their two Montana brewpubs (Lakeside and Missoula) flowing until mid- to late September.

Baucus is intimately familiar with the Tamarack operation, having clocked in at the brewery for several hours in May 2012 as part of one of his constituent-oriented work days. Per spokeswoman Kathy Weber, Baucus spent that particular afternoon helping craft the company’s Wakeboard Wit product.

She estimated that roughly 50-75 people showed up for the official RMFHA keg tapping — “There was a toast to Sen. Baucus,” she said of the festive affair — and explained that what Baucus found most exciting about the project was the shared commitment to keeping everything local.

“I think what he really appreciated was that they used real Montana products,” Weber said.

Beer drinkers or not, it appears that many Montanans are only too happy to “cheers!” Baucus on for wanting to keep Big Sky Country as pristine as possible.

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