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Food & Drink Blog

Big Sky Brewery Beer Dinner

by Ted Scheffler
- Posted // 2011-01-18 -

To help kick off the winter 2011 Outdoor Retailer show, Lugano restaurant is hosting Montana's Big Sky Brewing Co. for a special beer dinner. The dinner takes place on Wednesday, January 19th at Lugano restaurant and will feature six courses paired with Big Sky beers or optional selected wine pairings. 

Included in the Big Sky Brewing pairings are Moose Drool brown ale, Bucklin' Monk triple ale, Ol' Blue Hair barley wine, Cowboy Coffee porter, All Souls imperial ale and Trout Slayer pale ale. They'll be matched with dishes from chefs Greg Neville and Wyatt Jones such as shrimp n' grits, agnolotti del Plin, brined organic pork tenderloin, porcini-espresso rubbed Morgan Valley lamb chop, and Cowboy Coffee gelato.

The cost for the dinner is $59 per person (tax & gratuity not included). The optional beer pairing (six) is an additional $20 and the Italian wine pairing (five) is $39. For reservations call Lugano at 801-412-9994.  

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Posted // January 19,2011 at 08:49

Wow. Over beer.

When I drank and went out to dinner regularly, my friends, I N-E-V-E-R chose a place based on the beer offerings. I chose it based on the F-O-O-D. Not the wine list, the F-O-O-D and service and prices, of course) not the B-E-E-R. To me, it's like having a Catchup Tasting at the hamburger joint down the street. Within a couple of degrees of taste and color and head, they are bascially the same thing with a hint of that or a blast of this for novelty sake. "Oh, man, that new Dougway Dew Lager from Desert Dirt Brewery tastes just like Jimpson Weed and Sagebrush steeped in a broth of muddy water! It's a locally-crafted beer that just sings with notes of dirt, weeds, sheep shit and salt!"

In Utah, it's the label graphics, the cute, double-entendre of words mocking Mormons and a fad called "brew pubs," those noisy, awful places that smell like a yeasty-water treatment plant where The Pickle Slice reigns supreme as the permanent condiment of the day and wondering, with much drama, which foaming glass of farts, belches and headaches looks the coolest to order. Ever notice how some beer "specialists" loudly order their beer so there's no question from anyone within 20 feet that they know something, they have special knowledge or they are some kind of international adventurer exploring the gastronomic environs? "You know (loudly). . .I'll think I'll try the Mountain Massacre Malt with Puffer Fish toxins, I feel like trying something different!"

If City Weekly's Beer Festival last summer didn't teach y'all anything else, it should be that trying to please beer lovers is like herding cats. Really crankly, energetic cats.


Posted // January 19,2011 at 11:26 - Hey, man. One day after my initial posting and it looks like this infernal electronic blabbing has had some effect. It appears as if at least one website/blog has removed information (info that was there yesterday) stating that Big Sky stole the Powder Hound name. I guess people actually do read this stuff.


Posted // January 19,2011 at 10:07 - Ha! Now that's funny, Mamba! You know, when I wrote, "Thanks for the invite, Bjorn, but I drink local beer", it was meant as sarcasm. Of course, I saw immediately that it was a mistake, that it fell flat, and because it fell flat, it became a lie. Sarcasm and lies share property lines and the same dog shits in both yards. I drink beer and drink it often. Shit, I drink it every day. I know you don't like beer or "beer culture" and I love your comments about it - always have. My thing here isn't about beer; I don't care about beer dinners and never have. Although I think it would have been appropriate for Lugano's to feature a local brewery during such a high-visibility conference, I don't care who serves what beer with what food - for the most part, it's all pretense, all bullshit, just as with wine. You're right about beer marketing in that it primarily comprises gimmicks and novelty. I expected comments from beer people when I posted what I did. I was seeking info. I was glad for Bjorn's, as I've learned something from him. If the right people read this crap, so too will they. But I was sincerely interested in this Powderhound thing. Maybe that indicates brain damage or severe boredom? Maybe both? All I know is that I was told something very specific and have read other things that seem to be quite untrue. Every time this happens to me I wonder how much I really know about anything at all. And every time this happens I wonder why I should give a shit - life's short and probably better spent watching spiders weave webs. I gotta tell you though, Mamba, that while American ales won't vary much from each other, there are vast differences between certain beer styles. You take a little sip of a Belgian sour and then a little sip of an Imperial stout and I think you'll agree that a beer's qualities can vary by more than a few degrees. Ah, screw it...send for the cat!


Posted // January 18,2011 at 15:10

At this point, I'd really, really love to know when Desert Edge began brewing Powderhound Porter and using that name. They've been around for a very long time, longer than Blue Sky, and it is odd that they'd choose the name "Black Sky Porter" if they had no reason to. Of course, using lawyers unnecessarily would piss anybody off, but still...


Posted // January 18,2011 at 16:00 - Like wort on the boil, the plot thickens.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 15:34 - Ok this is my last response and I'm done. According the the American Brewers Resource Directory Desert Edge was founded 6/8/95 I'm not sure how long the pub existed before that but I believe it was around 1973. We did our first production brew June 17th of 1995.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 14:10

Duke, Good Luck in finding a girlfriend.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 15:22 - Look, Steve, being that you work for Big Sky, you should understand that shit like this is serious in the brew world. Somebody has lied and it's either been somebody at Big Sky or somebody at Desert Edge. Right now, it looks like Desert Edge holds that honor. For various reasons, this is a subject that interests me and I've appreciated Bjorn's participation in the conversation. You can throw all the dinky little insults your fevered mind can come up with, that's fine and worth a laugh, but I'd be far more interested if you actually had something to say regarding the subject.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 15:12 - Hilarious, Steve. How long did it take you to think up that one? Does your head hurt now?


Posted // January 18,2011 at 15:04 - Duke, I'd be really suprised if there were any 'wiminz' in your momma's basement where you are posting this from.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 14:39 - Some insult. What does finding a girlfriend have to do with this, Liz? I take it you're affiliated with Blue Sky Brewery? I had something to say and I said it. If anything, this allowed Bjorn to defend himself and his brewery and to dispel this widespread rumor. Guess I'll go see if I can't find me some wiminz to date.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 10:09

What's the deal, Lugano? Couldn't find any local breweries to host a beer dinner with?

I wonder if Big Sky will invite the brewers at Desert Edge Brewery so that Big Sky can stick it in their faces by serving their Powder Hound Ale?

Desert Edge used the name Powderhound Porter for years until Big Sky had their big attorneys threaten Desert Edge with a big law suit, prompting Desert Edge to change their beer's longstanding name to Black Sky Porter. I reckon Desert Edge felt this was the best way to honor such a respectable brewery as Big Sky.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 14:59 - I know, Ted. I've read them as you've posted them and you've done well, as always. As Bjorn knew I would, I looked up the registration and it stands. I was wrong. It is completely probable that Big Sky used Powder Hound before Desert Edge used Powderhound and the guy that gave me this info should be as ashamed of inventing it as I am of spreading it. Something to learn every day, ain't there? Here's hoping that those that need to see this post and adjust their views and published information accordingly.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 14:44 - For what it's worth, Lugano regularly hosts beer dinners with Uinta Brewing -- a local brewer. I've plugged those dinners here, as well.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 14:29 - Well, Bjorn, I stand corrected and admit that I may have been misinformed. I apologize if I've published incorrect information here but, in doing further research, have found that the information I've repeated has been published several times elsewhere. That doesn't change how you guys went about doing what you did (using filthy lawyers instead of simply asking a favor), nor does it change the fact that I believe in supporting local businesses whenever possible. Again, if I am wrong, and it does look that way, I apologize. If I am wrong, I was given bad information by somebody that absolutely should have known better.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 14:01 - I have had very many exceptional beers while visiting Utah but this dinner is about trying some beers from a neighboring state that are generally not available to folks In Salt Lake City. Regardless of where the beer is from, beer dinners are a great fun and educational time. I have never come away from a beer dinner dissatisfied. I'm not going to try to change your opinion about our brewery but I will save you the time of having to look up our federal registration. The Powder Hound® registration was filed for November 7, 1995 and there is generally a lag time between application and approval which in which the registration is published for opposition this gives other entities time contest the registration. There was no opposition and our federal trademark was formally approved September 2, 1997, registration # 2093558. At the point we filed for the registration we had produced less than 700 bbls of beer for the year. The normal protocol for these matters is to send a cease and desist letter to formalize the opposition to whomever is wrongfully using federally protected words or phrases the documentation is done by attorneys. So there is definitely no bad Karma on our part or hard feelings. I'm sorry you won't come and enjoy dinner with me.


Posted // January 18,2011 at 12:45 - Thanks for the invite, Bjorn, but I drink local beer. We have many exceptional breweries here in Utah - too bad Lugano's doesn't see the wisdom in supporting and propping up local businesses during events like Outdoor Retailers. When I'm in Montana, I'll drink your beer. Though you claim to be a small company, Desert Edge Brewery is microscopic when compared to your employee roster and sales. In the craft brew world, you are one of the "big guys" and pretending you aren't doesn't help your case. I'm not so sure I am as misinformed as you claim and am very curious as to when you guys applied for that trademark. As you well know, your beer is called "Powder Hound Winter Ale" and depicts a dog on the label. For many years, Desert Edge used the name "Powderhound Porter" as a reference to skiers that thrive on powder snow. I'm searching for your trademark now and I feel that, once I find it, I'll see that it was applied for fairly recently. I may be wrong and if I am, I'll admit to that. If I'm not, I'll know that I am correct. What I do know as fact is that, instead of going about it in a reasonable and respectable manner, you guys used your lawyers to send a cease and desist order to Desert Edge before trying anything else. Next time, send a cake and some beer and a nice little note - you might find people are more responsive. Of course, maybe you guys learned your strong-arm tactics from Moose Head Brewery when they came after you for using the name Moose Drool? This must be kind of a bummer for you but, really, karma sucks sometimes, doesn't it?


Posted // January 18,2011 at 11:08 - Hi Duke, Unfortunately you don't have all the facts. We have been producing our winter seasonal beer Powder Hound since 1996 and it is a federally registered trademark that is held by us. We are not some huge company forcing little guys to change the names of beers as we are a small company as well. The Powder Hound name is owned by us exclusively with regards to beer and alcohol there was no malice or ill will towards desert edge, they were simply using our name without license or permission. I will be in salt lake at Lugano's eating some great food with wonderful variety of Big Sky beer styles. I invite you to attend as I would very much enjoy discussing this with you further and introduce you to some of our excellent beers. Bjorn Nabozney Co-Founder Big Sky Brewing