If you’ve ever wandered into Crush Wine Bar in Whitefish, you may have met one of its regulars, Murphy Taterskins. Born in Columbia Falls, he stands about 15 inches tall, weighs in at 70 pounds and drools for cookies and apples.
Murphy is Crush manager Megan Grunow’s English bulldog, and he’s a bar favorite. Now, he’s even more of a celebrity, with a beer from the Great Northern Brewing Company named in his honor.
Murphy’s LawGRR is the newest addition to the taps at Crush, and the dark lager began as most good ideas do: as a dream.
In Grunow’s dream, she served a beer called Murphy Taterskins English Stout. Not being a beer drinker herself, Grunow didn’t know if such a type existed, but she got in touch with Great Northern Brewing Company general manager Marcus Duffey anyway.
Grunow suggested a lager the brewery was working on instead of a stout, and one of her bartenders came up with the name Murphy’s LawGRR. Not only is the brew a nod to her furry pal, it’s also a shout-out to the bulldog tradition in Whitefish.
“I can’t believe that nobody’s done a bulldog beer before,” she said.
Right now, the lager can only be found at Crush. The tap handle depicts a bulldog with a green and yellow bowler hat to represent the Whitefish High School colors.
And since she’s evoking a popular symbol in town, Grunow said for every pint she sells, she will donate $1 to the high school’s athletic program and $1 to the Humane Society.
“If it’s going to be a bulldog beer we might as well rally the troops and the town,” Grunow said.
Orie Roberts, the brewery’s Montana area sales representative, said the lager offers a unique taste, with a lot of malt but still a light body.
Developing a beer based on a person’s pet is not an everyday task for the brewery, Roberts said, but Great Northern was happy to help out a fellow Whitefish business.
“We definitely wanted to help her out because we’re her local brewery,” he said.
Grunow said she had 10 tap handles made, and hopes more bars and restaurants start carrying the lager.
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