Get SMaSHed at Uberbrew
Not That Way You Drunkard
I used to say that in Billings we have some great breweries. Not any longer. I can now say that here in Billings we have the best breweries. The best in the country. And that’s not just my opinion either. Back in October, a few thousand breweries met up in Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival. They all brought their tastiest, and most finely crafted, beers to be sampled and judged. Uberbrew came home with 2 gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze, as well as the distinguished title of Best Small Brewing Company in the nation.
Among the medals won, Uberbrew took home the gold for their Humulus Insani; an imperial IPA. Recently I went over there to try it out (yes, I’m late to the game), and it was sold out. We were told that TEN had a barrel, so we went to TEN. They were sold out. We were told the Pub Station had a barrel. They had a band playing with a $20 cover charge. So we went back the next day at lunch to see if there were any “hidden” barrels in the back. There was a 5 gallon keg earmarked for a brew fest in Livingston this summer.
Alas, I had to choose a different beer. I opted to get SMaSHed.
If you’re a keen reader, you will have figured out that getting smashed and getting SMaSHed aren’t the same thing. SMaSH is actually a brewing term that stands for Single Malt and Single Hop. The idea is to create a simple beer that uses just one form of hop, and one form of malt, and end up with something not just drinkable, but something enjoyable. It’s simple, but creating a beer that is good without extra ingredients to cover over off-flavors isn’t easy.
Unless you’re the best brewery in the nation, then you can brew SMaSH beers with success.
GrandMaster SMaSH Cascade
According to the menu, Uberbrew has created 10 iterations of the SMaSH beer. While they label it a “session IPA” it’s not really. Clocking in at 5% ABV, you would have to have quite a high tolerance, or drink really slowly, for this to be a true session beer (most sessions are in the 3% range, low enough that you can drink and drink and drink and never get drunk).
The GrandMaster is what you would expect from a well crafted beer. Nice and clear, a little hop smell to it, and a nice strong Pacific Northwest hop bite after each sip. It’s labeled at 40 IBU’s, but it tastes much higher (perhaps into the 70’s). If you’re lost just know that the higher the IBU’s the more bitter the beer. Because of the bite, you can actually take longer to drink it. You have to give your taste buds time to extract all of the flavor, recover from the shock, and get settled back in place for your next sip. So maybe it is a session after all?
Drink with Me
Uberbrew is known across the country for their amazing beer. But don’t discount their food! Many claim it has the best Reuben in town, and their sausage mac and cheese is always a delight. If you haven’t been by lately, check out the latest. You can even order a quarter pint if you want a beer, but don’t want a whole beer.