Meet Zach and Sarah, proprietors of The Dram Shop at 229 East Front Street. They decided to start the business after Zach had worked at Big Sky Brewery for 11 years and wanted to start something that was an extension of the brewing industry, FUN, and a new adventure for a beer lover. Located in the old Mercantile Warehouse building since 2015, they wanted to start a tap room in a high traffic area that fit the brand of their business.
They live in the Rattlesnake, known for its good elementary school, and access to recreation. Located a short distance from the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Wilderness, an endless amount of activities can be enjoyed. They run, hike and mountain bike straight out of the front door, not to mention cross country ski during the winter months. It is also close enough to downtown that they can walk to work with the dog if desired.
The Blackfoot IPA is the most popular item they serve on tap, actually IPAs in general are well received; though they also serve Sours, Ciders, Kombucha, Shrubs, Soda and Wine on tap. Did someone say Wine?
The Dram hosts a series of different events: from takeovers which feature a specific brewer, to tastings and pairings that feature a certain style from various producers and local restaurants. This offers an educational opportunity, kind of like Beer School, but without grades. I give it an A+. Also on display is photography in a gallery style atmosphere. Pete Ferranti Landscapes will be hanging out on the walls from First Friday in February. There is no bar style happy hour, but they do run specials on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.
Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette
This isn’t just your grandma’s ordinary tea bar, it’s grandpas too. Heather and Jake made sure that the concept of their tea bar was not gender specific. In 2012, they tested out their idea as a closet shop in the upstairs of the Mason building on 136 E Broadway and were soon able to expand to the current downstairs location. With a custom made bar, they hope to attract all types of customers in to try the tea experience and bring a globally recognized beverage to the community. Every visit to the bar is an educational experience.
Jake and Heather moved out of the shadows of Grant Creek and into the sunshine of Orchard Homes a few years ago. They enjoy the benefit of “country living” with access to Reserve Street and all of its amenities. Five minutes in the other direction past a few horse properties one finds himself at the confluence of our rivers. There you are. The thing they enjoy most about Mizoola is the mountains; however, Jake pipes up and says it is a mixture of the people and the place & how that affects everyone.
Their business has allowed them to travel to several continents in the pursuit of tea education and relationships. They have made visits to plantations in Indonesia, Taiwan, China, London and Kenya. They are the sole distributors of a hand rolled purple Kenyan that is the bomb and an Assam from Northern India.
The positive recognition they receive from the locals is proof that the idea is viable. In a town that is very aware of sustainable living and environmental concerns, people can take solace in the fact that they can be supporting such efforts as elephant habitat conservation; a connection they made with a wildlife biologist at the University and supported through the sale of the Bodo Black.
Stop by for a hot one on a cold day or a chilled one on a hot day and hear about their tea safaris and herbal adventures. Find out more at http://lakemissoulateacompany.com
-Edited by Hillary Logan