The Dram Shop

The Dram Shop


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.


Posted on February 2, 2018 at 4:24 pm
Mike Gillette | Category: Beverage, Cocktails and Beer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Metallica Galactica

Photo by Sean Twohey

Seattle, August 9 2017

Living in the hub of five valleys can be a little bit claustrophobic at times, even for an islander; like being trapped under ice. So it is great to have the suburbs to retreat to for a little bit of culture and rejuvenation.

While high couture big city folk might find Nirvana in a getaway to a spa with a hot spring, it can be just as enjoyable for us Zoolanders to get out of the friendly confines and catch a show within a days drive. The Doctor had ordered me to get Led out, so, together with D.G., we joined Wolfie on a road trip for his 30th Metallica show, in Seattle; the last one in the country on this tour, their first emerald city concert in 17 years, and my first since seeing them in Copenhagen 1992.

The big smoke was almost as bad as Western Montana and the skyscrapers of downtown were barely visible. We knocked back a few Pyramid beers and a pizza with some local friends, R2-2E, TC-3, and a fellow named Sweaters before being run through a maze of uninformed security to find ourselves on the floor of The Clink.

If you were looking to find a couple of Montana boys at a concert, try the mosh pit…or the bar. A few opening $8 Red Hooks during the first numbers until For Whom The Bell Tolls starts. I discuss with D.G. the reasons for taking my father’s advice (1 out of 2 times in my life) and not joining the military. D.G. joined the Marines against his family’s wishes (during peace though) and when S-11 happened, he knew he was off to war. We discussed philosophy relating to the hypocrisy of soldiers playing Metallica in combat while those very songs are actually anti-war anthems. He rebutted and explained to me simply that the irony was not lost on them, but it didn’t matter because there was something about it; the rhythm, the words. On that note we downed our beers in one and marched from the back to the front.

My favorite part was when they played Wherever I May Roam, for some reason it spoke to me the most. My other favorite moment was rucking over the pit and delivering some forearm shivers during Seek and Destroy. Jiminy Christmas. Although, my very favorite part with a cherry on top was being there with friends whom I admire and do not see enough. Though we didn’t see Wolfie for the whole duration of the concert, we sure as hell got our fair share of him on the trip.

There is quite a bustling social scene downtown near the stadiums, where I was served the strongest Margarita I have ever tasted in a communist state and a pizza. 2E and I then left the others in the hands of Captain America and headed back home for another pizza and a bottle of water.
Mike 3 – Pizzas 0.

Bonus: writing off the trip in our taxes (but that is a whole other story).

Moral of the inside story: the Kiwi will always mess it up if Ninja Jesus doesn’t kill him first.

“It is not about the destination, but the long, weary trip home.” -The Neighbor.

I am currently waiting for the results of my blood test to see if the Led is out, but the Doctor has ordered me to go see Slayer at the K-Amp…just to make sure.


Edited by – Hillary Logan

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm
Mike Gillette | Category: Concert | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Taste Buds Kitchen Missoula

Meet Missoula by Mike Gillette

     Alex and Christine are owners of Taste Buds Kitchen in Missoula. They are a mom and pop shop located at 131 East Main Street since 2015 with a business demographic as varied as their menus. Offering everything from Thai to Steak House items and desserts, they bring the kitchen learning experience to everyone from children to adults alike. Have your own cooking competition judged by Alex or Christine themselves at a birthday party, a family cooking class or join them twice a week for an adults only BYOB bake off. Private classes can be booked, school and group classes are also offered, but to the displeasure of teachers, alcohol is not allowed for these events.

      Christine and Alex live with their four year old daughter in the South Hills because of the view, the community is cool, schools are awesome and has a great trail system with easy access to Fort Missoula Park. Not to mention four golf courses at the foot of the hills.
Catering to the professional level, they offer seasonal company parties, team building classes, and client relations evenings. Imagine for a moment, instead of taking your clients out to dinner, you can have them make their own meal. Then be judged and have to eat it! Alex says that the children’s entries usually end up tasting as they should according to the recipe, but that every once in a while the adults turn in a shocker. Too much salt bæ, not enough pepper. No loser is ever chosen, and no one is ever voted out, but there is a winner every time.
Taste Buds is currently registering their Summer Camps for kids, with a new theme every week.
When asked what advice he would give to anyone starting their own business: do their research and look for something that is missing from the market.  Perhaps a new franchise trending nationally with a long term business plan. Taste Buds is the only franchise this far west and located in a non metro area.
The thing Alex, a native of Kalispell, likes most about Missoula is, “The people and the river through town. Mostly just the weird people”. If you are looking to move to Missoula Alex recommends checking out the Kim Williams Trail and Downtown. Co-worker Julia throws in her two cents and mentions to get a bike.

Call Taste Buds Kitchen at 406 616 2837 or check out for more information




Posted on May 5, 2017 at 7:14 am
Mike Gillette | Category: Foodies | Tagged , , , , ,