Zane Lamprey’s ‘Drinking Made Easy, Missoula’ Airs February 29

By RYAN NEWHOUSE

If there is a guy we should all envy, it’s probably Zane Lamprey, host of HDNet’s “Drinking Made Easy,” which airs on Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Zane travels the country with his sidekick, Steve “Stunt Drinker” McKenna, to sip, shoot, and imbibe on the country’s best booze and cocktails. On February 29, Zane and Steve’s exploits in our own little Garden City of Missoula will air.

Zane and Steve’s excellent adventure starts at the Iron Horse Brew Pub to sample the “Montana Duck Fart” and “Hop, Sip, and Go Naked.”

Next, they stop by The Rhino for a pint of “Dump Truck,” hit Red’s Bar for some red beer, swing by Big Sky Brewing for an Olde Bluehair, check out the visually-interesting “Tapeworm Shot” at Bodega, and wrap up at the home of the “Testy Fest,” the Rock Creek Lodge.

Last week, I spoke with Steve McKenna about his and Zane’s trip to Missoula and to get a sense of what it’s like to work on a show like “Drinking Made Easy.”

“We loved Missoula!” says McKenna. “It was one of our favorite stops so far this season – just great people. It was my first time in Missoula, first time in Montana. It was great that we could walk around to everything in town.”

McKenna and Lamprey met in college while studying theatre.

Drinking Made Easy's Steve McKenna and Zane Lamprey

The drinking buddies take on Missoula. Photo courtesy ofHDNet.

“Zane’s one of my best friends,” says McKenna. “It’s a lot of fun working with him. I enjoy being funny on the show, and it’s not just about slamming the drinks. It’s a challenge, though, to keep up with Zane’s wit but it keeps me sharp and it’s fun.”

The Missoula episode includes a segment shot while Zane and Steve try their hands at fly fishing. It was part of their “Drinking Game” announcement. Check out the full rules for the “Drinking Made Easy” Drinking Game.

But I warn you, in addition to a lot of drinking, it involves silly hand gestures, continuity errors, and saying “Ladies” in creepy voices – well, that actually describes every trip any guy makes to a bar, but the game sounds fun too.

Another weekly tradition among fans of the show is gathering at official Viewing Parties, where establishments mark themselves as official viewing spots and air the show every Wednesday. Unfortunately, Missoula is yet to have such a designated location. (Hint, hint to all the bar owners out there!)

To finish out the show, the crew heads to the Rock Creek Lodge to talk about the annual Testy Festy. After a drink or two, they check out the kitchen and a platter full of “Rocky Mountain oysters.” It wasn’t a pleasant sight.

“This didn’t make it on the show,” McKenna explains, “but Gio [the show’s co-producer] ate a full testicle, with a knife and fork, raw. He stepped up and devoured it. It was epic. I couldn’t believe it.”

More power to them. I’ll stick with cold glass, but I applaud their devotion to a western Montana tradition.

“Drinking Made Easy” airs every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. EST on HDNet. HDNet networks are available nationally via DIRECTV and Dish Network. Check local listings for channels.

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Thirsty for more? Missoula’s beverage expert, Ryan Newhouse, has plenty on tap: Get Schooled on Craft Beer at the KettlehouseGet Your (Bar) Game on in Missoula, and The Best Bars for Celebrating a Birthday.

Looking for a local bar or pub? Check out our Missoula Restaurants and Dining and Missoula Nightlife sections.

   Visit the Drink It Missoula archive.

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Ryan Newhouse knows good craft beer.

Ryan Newhouse has lived in Missoula since 2002 and has tipped his glass in most of the town’s establishments. He is (in no particular order) a full-time writer, husband, and parent, and a part-time zymurgist. He makes a mean hard cider and pairs his cocktails with dishes from his blog, Cooked Animals: Recipes for Wild Game.