Showing posts with label Jeffrey von kiper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffrey von kiper. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Columbia Falls to open Backslope Brewing, early summer 2015

   With the closing of Desert Mountain Brewing, back in September of 2013, residence of Columbia Falls once again found themselves without a hometown brewery.  Darin & Carla Fisher intend to remedy that problem by opening Backslope Brewing in early summer of 2015.

   Darin has over 10 years of brewing experience under his belt and his wife, Carla, has been managing the very successful, Montana Coffee Traders, in Columbia Falls.  With his knowledge of brewing beer and her 15+ years of management experience, it is hoped that Backslope will be slinging beer and providing a community hang out for the thirsty residence of C Falls for decades to come.

   It's their hope too, because they've bet the bank on its success by investing their savings into acquiring all the 4 barrel equipment from the old Desert Mountain Brewery and a mash tun from MickDuff's in Sandpoint.  Still, emptying your savings into what has been a longtime dream of yours isn't always enough.  The Fisher's want to do it correctly from the get go, vs. playing catch up, by acquiring the needed additional equipment and by upgrading the existing equipment that they have.  Currently they still need a high quality brewery pump, more serving kegs, a new brew kettle, high quality brewing hoses, and several other small but essential brewing components.  The acquisition of the aforementioned equipment is over and above what they have already invested, which is why they have turned to crowd funding for help and who's the king of crowd funding?, of course!  Click HERE to visit Backslope's Kickstarter page.  It is, after all, the season of giving and if you are feeling a bit philanthropic, throw some money their way to help insure that this will be a success.

   About the facility. It will be located at 1107 9th St. West (Hwy 2) in Columbia Falls in a 50'x50' structure that will yield 2,500 sq. ft. of usable space upstairs and slightly less downstairs in the basement.  In addition the acquisition of the Desert Mountain brewing equipment and kegs, they also bought the bar base that is a piece of corrugated metal siding from a barn that was being torn down near Great Falls, a couple of chalk boards from an old Nebraska school house, and what will be the centerpiece of the tasting room, a beautiful bar top that was created from a tree that had been sitting on the bottom of Flathead lake for the past 100 years.

  Outside, on the right of the building, you will find what everyone loves...outdoor seating on a 426 sq. ft. covered patio complete with an elbow bar!  As you walk in you will find the layout to be 697 sq. ft. of seating ahead and to the right with the bar being located towards the back and center.  To your left is where the brewing will take place, in a 439 sq. ft. space, that will have a short partitioning wall, with an elbow bar, separating it from the seating area.

   What about that space in the back of the building, what are they going to do with that?  Well, what do we (Flathead residents) all complain about so bitterly when it comes to visiting breweries in these parts, especially when kids are in the mix?  FOOD!  Could it be that Backslope is thinking ahead and has plans to server you food?  The official lines is, is that they hope to incorporate some food component into the business, but are still looking at options, licensing issues, etc.  Everything needs to be in order before they announce firm plans to open a kitchen.  Keep your fingers crossed.

  Darin will brewing 5 flagship beers: a pale ale, IPA, kolsch, porter, and a stout.  He also has plans to have seasonal and rotators  like Scotch ales, ginger beer, imperial IPA's, imperial stouts, barley wine and various Belgian style beers like a dubble, tripple, and a saison.  Darin also got his hands on some whiskey barrels from Glacier Distilling, so look for a barrel aging program. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kalispell Brewing...1st Look


After a 59 year absence, Kalispell once again has a brewery.  Can I get an Amen!?  Located in a historic downtown building that once housed the Henrickson Oldsmobile-Cadillac dealership, Cole Schneider and his wife Maggie Doherty have just made a decade old dream of theirs become a reality.  It was Kalispell Brewing's soft opening tonight (6.18.14), and like two proud parents they were both eager to show their baby off to the lucky members of the Demersville Drinking Club; KBC's version of what most breweries refer to as a "mug club."


As luck would have it, I happen to be fortunate enough to be in that club, and as a result I got a first look at Kalispell Brewing's operation in action.  I won't go into the trials and tribulations of the project or how long and how much it took to get to this point; that has all been written about before.  No, tonight is about what it has become, what it is now.

What that is, is a welcome addition to a downtown main street who has seen better days due to the tough economic climate we are all too familiar with and the addition of strip malls that have sprung up north of downtown.  Locally owned ma and pa shops, restaurants, and specialty stores can still be found on both sides of Main Street, but there are, sadly, a fair number of empty buildings as well.  For those businesses that are still open, there is not as much foot traffic going by them as I would like to see.  What this street needs is a draw, a reason to once again walk down the sidewalks of downtown Kalispell.

As you know, craft breweries have long been regarded as a community center of sorts.  A place where people gather to socialize, discuss current events, talk about their passion for craft beer, to expound on the beer's attributes and its qualities, and in general, just a great place for us to be really very brilliant.  Craft breweries are wildly popular these days and people are flocking to them.  There's your draw!  It is my hope that what Cole and Maggie have created will be a part of what draws people from the surrounding neighborhoods and communities back to downtown to walk those sidewalks and, hopefully, rediscover the charm of downtown Kalispell versus just dismissively driving by like so many do on a daily basis.

Now, on to the soft opening.  All in all, a very positive experience and I could wax poetic about the vibe, the character, the nuances, and the construction materials used in the creation of KBC, but I will spare you all that and simply let the photos do the talking.  Click on each photo to enlarge it if you wish.  Enjoy the tour.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Northwest Craft Beer Aficionado

The joys of craft beer continue to spread far and wide, and we think that is terrific. To help spread the love, Flathead Valley resident, Jeffrey von Kiper (who is now also a Montana Beer Spotter), recently launched the Northwest Craft Beer Aficionado - a place "to blog, share experiences, post comments, promote events and brews, & upload photos of craft beer and breweries from around Montana, Idaho, & Wyoming."

Please take a moment to become a fan and follow Jeffrey's craft beer journey throughout the Northwest.

Interested in becoming a Montana Beer Spotter? We need you!

See Jeffrey's posts on Montana Beer Finder here.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

New Bottle Shop in Kalispell

Brix Bottleshop, a specialty beer and wine shop, occupies part of the old historic building locally know as The Loading Dock.

Even though their primary focus is on wine, they have a section of the store devoted to hard to find beer and if they don't have it in stock they will make an attempt to get it.  You can buy any size beer by the each or create your own 6-pack using any brand they have on hand.  They discount beer 5% on 6 or more bottles too.

Brix is located at 101 E. Center Street, in Kalispell. Brix is open Monday through Saturday 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday 11 am - 5 pm.  Contact them at 406.393.2202

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