Showing posts with label Montana Brewers Association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Montana Brewers Association. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

6th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival Returns to Missoula Oct. 11

6th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival 2014

The 6th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival returns for its seasonal pilgrimage to Missoula on Saturday October 11, 2014. And this year they are set to break records! 33 Montana breweries will be pouring 137 Montana-made craft beers.

Sponsored by the Montana Brewers Association, this brewfest features the best from its member-breweries. It also gives craft beer fans a chance to try new beers from new breweries, as Missoula's Caras Park will be host to Montana beers from as far east as Wibaux (Beaver Creek), as far west as Libby (Cabinet Mountain), as far south as Dillon (Beaverhead Brewing), and as far north as Eureka (HA Brewing).

Tickets for the event are on pre-sale now for $20 ($25 at the gate). Different than last year, the event is now featuring unlimited tastes for the entry fee. Tickets can be purchase online, or at Draught Works, Great Burn Brewing, or Lolo Peak Brewing (which is also hosting a contest for two VIP tickets - see below).

VIP tickets are $30 in advance ($35 at the gate) and gets members in an hour earlier than general admission. Regular entry will start at 3:00 p.m. at Caras Park. However, Brew Crew Members can also get in at the VIP hour for regular price. Just bring your card!

Here is the full schedule for the day's events: 
2:00 - 3:00 VIP and Brew Crew Card Early Entry with music from Missoula's own Tom Catmull
2:30 - Judging Begins- Zoo City Zymurgists
3:00 - Brewers Unveil first batch of 2014 Festival Release Beer
3:30 - 5:30 music from The Growlers
5:30 - Judging Results Announced
6:00 - Second Batch of 2014 Festival Release Beer
6:00 - 8:00 music from Cure for the Common
8:00 - Festival Ends- get home safely and ask for help if you need it. Why not contact Tap Room Tours?

Now for the beer! Here's the full list (and below is a printable version):
Bayern Brewing, Missoula 
Oktoberfest, Bavarian Dark M?rzen 6.0%
Groomer, Winterm?rzen 5.3%
Montana Helles Lager, Helles 5.6% 

Redheaded IPA, IPA 7.3%
Paddlefish Stout, Stout 6.3% 

Snowcrest Dark Lager, Lager 6.0%
Whitetail Whit, Belgian White 5.0%
Beaverslide IPA, India Pale Ale 6.77%
Snowcrest Dark Lager, Lager 6.0%
Pioneer Porter, Porter 6.0%

Bitter Root Brewing, Hamilton  
Doppelbock, Doppelbock 7.2%
Summit IPA, Northwest IPA 6.2%
Single Hop, NW Pale Ale 6.3%
Last Cast, Black IPA 6.5%

Helambic, Lambic Style Sour Ale 7.6%
Imperial Singlemalt IPA, Imperial IPA 9.8%
Organic IPA, India Pale Ale 7.8%
1864 Old Ale, Early American Ale 5.7%

Blacksmith Brewing Company, Stevensville  
Hop Logger IPL, India Pale Lager 7.1%
Oktoberfestbier, (amber lager) 5.8%
Baltic Porter Baltic Porter 7.7%

Bowser Brewing, Great Falls  
Whyte Lady Double IPA, Double IPA 10.0%
Chip Off the OL Scotch, Scotch Ale 7.8%
Double IPA, Double IPA 10.0%
Spring Cleaning Monster, Aged Barleywine 9.8%
Kendall Gold, Dortmunder Lager 6.0%
Black Bison Coffee Stout, Stout 6.8%
Vanilla Bourbon Stout, Russian Imperial Stout 11.0%

Bozone Berliner Weisse, Berliner Weisse 3.0%
Terroir Local Fresh Hop, Fresh or Wet Hop Ale 7.0%
Bozone Nitro Stout, Dry Irish Stout 4.5%
Bozone Select Amber, American Style Amber 5.5%
Bozone Hefeweizen, Wheat w/Yeast 5.4%
Hopzone IPA, American Style IPA 7.0%
Bozone Plum St. Porter, Robust Porter 6.0% 

Bridger Brewing, Bozeman 
Vigilante IPA, American IPA 6.7%
Ghost Town Coffee Stout, Coffee Stout 5.0%
Lee Metcalf Pale Ale, American Pale Ale 5.5%
Bobcat Brown Ale, English-style Brown Ale 5.0%

E.S.P. (Extra Special Pumpkin) TBD%
Yaak Attack IPA, Northwest IPA 6.6%
Ross Creek Red, American Amber 6.4% 

Canyon Creek Brewing, Billings
One Night Stand, Blonde 5.0%
Cold Creek Scottish, Scottish Ale 5.5%
Beer Henge Hefe, American Hefeweizen 5.5%
C4 IPA, American IPA 6.0%
Draught Works Brewery, Missoula
Heart of Darkness Black IPA, Black IPA 5.7%
Scepter Head IPA IPA 6.1%
The Rut, Oktoberfest Lager 6.2%
That's What She Said Cream Ale 5.7%

Flathead Lake Brewing Company, Bigfork
Montucky Sour Brown, Belgian-style Flanders 6.2%
Bufflehead Brown, American Brown Ale 6.2%
The Imperial, Imperial IPA 8.9%
Flathead Lake American Sour, Sour Ale 5.0%
American Sour w/ Cherries, Sour Ale 6.4%
 The Front, Great Falls
Sunset IPA, Fresh Hop IPA (citra) 7.2%
Mountain Man, Strong Ale 6.8%
Punkin Rye, Pumpkin and Rye Ale 8.8%
CocoBrown Brown Ale Aged On Coconut 5.9%
Gelgian golden, Belgian 6.8%
Citra IPA, West Coast IPA 6.2%

 Great Northern Brewing Company, Whitefish
Frog Hop Fresh Hopped Pale Ale, 5.5%
Great Northern Oktoberfest, Marzen 5.75%
Good Medicine, Strong Red Ale 7.5%
Wild Huckleberry, Wheat Lager 4.75%

Higherground Brewing Company, Hamilton
Borderland Sour, American Sour 5.8%
Hula Hopped IPA, IPA 8.5%
Hurruh Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale 7.2%
Flash Flood Milk Stout, Milk Stout 6.0%
Homestead Ales, Eureka
Autumnal Saison, Open Top Saison 7.1%
Big Creek Porter Porter 5.8%

Kalispell Brewing Company, Kalispell
Two Ski Brewski, Pilsner 5.2%
Winter at Noon, Dunkel 5.1%
Cloudcroft IPA 7.3%
Snowslip Stout 6.7%
Katabatic Brewing Company, Livingston
Katabatic Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale 7.5%
Katabatic IPA, IPA 7.7%
Katabatic American Pale Ale, 6.2%
Katabatic American Hefeweizen, 5.7%

Lewis & Clark Brewing Company, Helena
Sleepy Hallow Stout, Foreign Stout 6.9%
Lewis & Clark Lager, Martzen 5.5%
Neighborhood IPA, Fresh Hop IPA 6.3%
Whole Flower Prickly, American Pale Ale 5.3%

Lolo Peak Brewing Company, Lolo
3 Needles IPA, American IPA 6.2%
AlpenGlow Wheat, Ale American Wheat Ale 4.7%
Shadow Darner Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest 7.4%
KooKooSint ESB, Extra Special Bitter 4.7%

Madison River Brewing Company, Belgrade
Green Emerger, Fresh Hop 6.2%
Salmon Fly Honey Rye, Honey Rye 5.4%
Hopper, Pale Pale 6.0%
Dropper IPA, IPA 6.5%
October Caddis, Oktoberfest Lager 5.8%

Meadowlark Brewing, Sidney
Squashtoberfest Field Beer, Oktoberfest 6.5%
Raspberry Wit, Fruit Beer 4.5%
Ole Gus, Scotch Rye Wee Heavy 7.00 
Mighty Mo Brewing Company, Great Falls
Russian Imperial Stout, RIS 10.0%
Dam Fog, American Hefeweizen 5.0%
Rising Trout, American Pale Ale 5.4%
MoToberfest, Oktoberfest/Marzen 5.0%

Neptune's Brewery, Livingston
Skellington's Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest 6.3%
Dirty Bird APA, American Pale Ale 7.6%
Chocolate Cream Porter, Porter 7.7%

Outlaw Brewing, Belgrade
Alt-toberfest, German Alt 6.0%
Passive Aggressive Pale Ale (PAPA), 6.8%
Irish Cream Ale Cream Ale 5.4%
Dunkelweizen Dunkelweizen 4.0%
Goemon's Gold Honey Lemon Ginger Braggot 6.6%

Philipsburg Brewing Company, Philipsburg
Black Pine IPA, Black IPA 7.2%
Headframe Bourbon Barrel Stout, 11.0%
Corners Porter, Coffee Porter 6.6%
Silver Chief IPA, IPA 7.3%
Rope Swing Saizon, Saizon 5.5%
Razzu Raspberry Wheat, Fruit Beer 5.2%

Quarry Brewing, Butte
Ironstone IPA Imperial IPA 8.4%
Gneiss IPA American IPA 6.8%
Open Cab Copper Irish Red 5.2%
Opal Oktoberfest Marzen/Octoberfest 5.1%
Tamarack Brewing Company, Lakeside
Bine Hopper White I.P.C., 6.6%
Hat Trick Hop IPA, American IPA 7.0%
Yard Sale Amber Ale, Amber/Red 5.5%
Tamaracktoberfest Barrel Lagered SMaSH, 4.8%
Elk Snort Scotch Ale, Cherrywood Smoked 6.8%
Sip 'n Go Naked, Apricot Hefeweizen 5.5%
Local Yokel Double IPA, Double IPA 8.75%
Tom's Lonesome XPA, 7.1%

Triple Dog Brewing Company, Havre
Fend For Your Own Rye P-A, India Rye Pale Ale 6.2%
Duck Face IPA, Imperial IPA 9.2%
American Mutt Pale Ale, Pale Ale 6.9%
Dumpster Diver Stout, Stout 6.3%

überbrew, Billings
Sticke German Style, Sticke 7.57%
Humulus Insani, Double IPA 8.6%
Black Hops 2, Double Black IPA 9.0%
Alpha Force, American Style IPA 7.71%
White Noise, American Style Hefeweizen 5.7%
The Great Pumpkin Massacre, 6.73%

Wildwood Brewing Company, Stevensville
Organic Bodacious Bock, German Bock Lager 7.5%
Organic Ambitious Lager, Munich Style Pale Lager 5.0% 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

This Weekend in Montana...It's Pretty Much Beer

Montana has a couple of excellent beer events happening this weekend. If you're nearby, check them out.

Helena's 150th Birthday Brewfest (Saturday August 16)
The Montana Brewers Association is organizing a special brewfest in Helena at Memorial Park in honor of its 150th birthday this year. 22 MBA-member breweries will be pouring 77 Montana-made craft beers, all the while imbibing on local music and a festive community crowd.

Party starts at 4:00 p.m., with advance tickets running $20. That gets you a 9-oz. tasting glass. There's a VIP early-entry option available too. Food vendors will be on hand for dinner/snacks.


14th Annual Gardiner Brewfest (Saturday August 16)
Supposedly you could call this the "mile high" brewfest, given that Gardiner, Montana, officially sits at 5,280 feet in elevation. This popular brewfest is back for its 14th year, and it's again held in Arch Park. Organized by the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce, the beers get pouring at 2:00 p.m. and goes till dusk.

Entry for those 21 and older who want to drink is $25, which gets you a commemorative pint glass and bottomless "tastes."


P.S. Helena's elevation is 3,875 feet.

This just in! We can't forget the Philipsburg Summer Concert, Auction and Brewfest! Also Saturday August 16, 2014, enjoy beers by Philipsburg Brewing Co. and 12 other brands. It will be held at the Winninghoff Park Amphitheater. Thanks Summer Sun Garden and Brew for the heads up!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 Montana Brewers Association Spring Festival

MBA Spring Brewfest 2014
There is so much good beer here in Montana. In fact, at times there is so much beer and beer events it is nearly impossible to keep up. That's not a complaint, mind you, but with the Montana Beer Finder crew and Growler Fills crew busy prepping for the 3rd Annual Missoula Craft Beer Week, we sometimes let an extra day or week go by before writing up what needs to be written. 

For instance, the 3rd Annual Bakken Brewfest took place last weekend in Sidney and it came and went before we could highlight it. From the looks of their Facebook page, a darn good time was had by all. And Beaver Creek Brewery walked away with the "Best Brewery" award. Congrats to some tasty Beaver (beers). 
Photo from Bakken Brewfest Facebook, taken by Christy Nelson
Now looking to the future, tomorrow is the Montana Brewers Association's 2nd annual Spring Festival in Billings, Montana. They will be pouring 71 beers from 22 MBA member breweries. The event runs from 5:00 - 10:00 p.m., with doors opening for VIPs at 4 p.m. GA tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, which gets you a 9 oz. tasting glass and bottomless samples. 

Musical guests include The Growlers and Cure for the Common. Food will be available for purchase. 

Here's what the MBA writes about this unique brewfest:

"The largest collection of Montana-made beer ever gathered in eastern Montana, it’s one-stop access to unique Montana brewers and their beers.  Second in breweries-per-capita, Montana is a strong contestant as one of the greatest brewing states in the country, and hosts the #2 spot in the nation in breweries per capita!  A variety of local Montana music will be heard throughout the evening paired with a variety of food vendors.  Please join us in relaxing with your friends at this annual celebration of Montana-made beer!"

And here's what will be on tap:

2014 Beer Lineup:
Beaver Creek
Red Headed IPA                   [American IPA]           7.3%
Rusty Beaver Wheat       [American Style Hefeweizen]      7.6%

Bitter Root
Red Dread         [Imperial Red IPA]     8.5%
Summit IPA         [Northwest IPA]         6.5%
Blown Out Brown       [Nut Brown Ale ]        5.2%
Single Hop           [Northwest Pale Ale]  6.3%

Blackfoot River
Single Malt IPA                     [IPA]      6.9%
Kolch                                           [Kolsch Ale]    5.3%
Tartanic Scottish Ale           [Scotch Ale]     6.9%
Missouri River Steamboat Lager       [California Common Beer] 6% 

Belgian Golden Ale                       [Belgian Ale]   5.3%
Schwartzbier                                   [Dark Lager]    5.1%

Double IPA                                        [Double IPA]    10%
Jalape?o Hefe                                  [Hefeweizen]   5.1%
Vanilla Bourbon Stout                [Russian Imperial Stout]      14%
Red Raider                                        [Irish Red]       5%
Strawberry Blonde                        [Kolsch]    5%

Pinhead Pils                                      [Bohemian Lager]      4.5%
Buzz Kill Java Stout                      [Coffee Stout]     6%
Bozone Select Amber                    [American Style Amber Ale]            5.5%
Hopzone IPA                                     [American IPA]          7%
Plum Street Porter                         [Robust Porter]          6%
Bozone Hefewiezen                       [American Style Wheat        5.4% 

Vigilante IPA                                    [American IPA]          6.7%
Bobcat Brown Ale                          [American Brown Ale]        5.5%

Canyon Creek
O.N.S Blonde Ale                  [Blonde Ale]    5%
Beerhenge Hefe                  [Hefeweizen]   5.5%
Cold Creek Scottish Ale     [Scotch Ale]     5.2%
C4 IPA                                       [American IPA]           6%

Draught Works
Scepter Head                        [IPA]      6.1%
Shadow Caster                    [ Amber Ale]    5%
Clothing Optional                [Pale Ale]         5.2%
White IPA                              [White IPA]      6.6%

Flathead Lake Brewing
Centennial IPA                       [American IPA]   7.3%
Buffalo Head Brown           [American Brown Ale]   6.2%

Great Northern 
Wild Huckleberry Wheat Lager          [American Wheat Lager with Fruit]   4.75%
Going to the Sun IPA                                 [American IPA ]   5.4%

Higher Ground
The Local      [Brown Ale]   5.5%
Basecamp     [Irish Red]   5.7%

Lewis and Clark
Tumbleweed                                   [American IPA]   6.4%
Back Country Scottish Ale      [Scotch Style Ale]   6.4%
Dark Side IPA                               [Black IPA]   6.8%
Yellowstone Golden Ale           [Golden Ale]   5.2%
Miners Gold Hefewezein        [American Style Wheat Beer]  5.6%

Madison River
Elk Hair ESB                           [Extra Special Bitter Pale Ale]    6.5%
Salmon Fly Honey Rye       [Honey Rye]   5.6%

Mighty Mo
Rising Trout                             [Pale Ale]   5.4%
Dam Fog                                      [American Hefeweizen]   5%
Lip Ripper IPA                        [ IPA]   6.2%
Smoke Jumper                         [Scotch Ale]   7.3%

Neptune’s Brewery
Dirty Bird APA                     [American Pale Ale]  7.5%
Tattle Tale Scottish Ale      [Scotch Ale]   8.6%

Passive Aggressive Pale Ale          [Heavy Pale Ale]    6.75%
The Dirk                                                  [Scotch Ale]   6.4%
Irish Cream Ale                                  [Cream Ale]   5%

Razzu                                     [Raspberry Wheat]   5.2%
Tramway                              [Rye IPA]    6.4%
Haybag                                   [American Hefeweizen]  5.5%

1806 Pale Stout (draught)             [SMaSH Olde Ale]    8%
Buck Snort Scotch Ale                     [Traditional Scotch Ale]   6.5%
Yard Sale Amber                                [Amber/Red Ale]     5.5%
Hat Trick Hop IPA                            [American IPA]    7%      

The Front
Mountain Man                                  [Strong Ale]    6.8%
River Water IPA                              [American IPA]    6.9%

Your Mom                             [American Strong Ale]  5.2%
Uberfly Rye                           [Spiced Rye Beer]     5.7%
Whitenoise                           [American Style Hefeweizen]    5.7%
Watermelon Kolsch           [Fruit Beer]    4.7%
Alpha Force IPA                 [American IPA]     7.7%

Organic Mystical Stout          [Irish Stout]    6%
April Fools Ale                         [Golden Ale]    5%

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Homestead the beaten path, but worth the drive.

   Tucked away, 2 1/2 miles up Grave Creek Road, in the northwest corner of northwest Montana, believe it or not, there is a place that you can get an adult beverage.  Nope, not moonshine...craft beer.  In this, the most unlikeliest of craft brewery locations, you will find a jewel of a 3 barrel craft brewery, Homestead Ales, and it's worth the drive to experience it.

  I've been meaning to pay HA) a visit since they opened in August, but life happened and I never made it up there.  This Saturday I woke up thinking, based on an ominous weather report, that this will likely be the last good weather Saturday of 2013 and if I wanted to make it up Eureka way on dry pavement, today might be my last chance to do so.

  I made the 50+ mile drive from Columbia Falls and arrived a little after opening time, which is at 3 pm.  Initially I sat there, alone with my thoughts, and sampled each of their 5 offerings that were served to me in miniature canning jars.  Every 15 minutes or so, the door behind me would open and in would walk a couple, or a foursome, or a single and by 5 pm it was standing room only.  Way to go Eureka, way to support your local craft brewery!

Wait a minute, the conversations that I'm, unintentionally, eavesdropping on are all things that I am familiar with.  Through engaging with the patrons, I began to realize that the majority of the people in here are from where I'm from, the North Valley of the Flathead.  This theory was confirmed when I walked out to my car and noticed that almost all of the cars in the parking lot had a 7 on their license plate.  This tells me one important thing, that what owner/brewer Chris Neill and Karl Kassler have created up on Grave Creek Road matters.  It matters enough that people who care about finely crafted beer, and a nice space to enjoy it in, are willing to drive over 50 miles from the tap handle rich environment of the North Valley to an obscure little brewery nestled in the foothills of the Whitefish Range.  That, my friends, speaks volumes.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that their Grave Creek IPA just won a gold medal at the recent Montana Brewers Association Brewfest either.

   I would normally say that if you happen to be in the area stop in for a pint or two, but with HA) I'm going to say make a special trip. Make the trip and take the time to spend a couple of hours at HA) and enjoy the space, the vibe, the ambiance, the staff, the patrons, and of course the craft beer.  I took the chance and made the special trip and you can bet I will make that special trip many more times in the future.  

   High marks for the tap room...with its warm earth tones, folksy decor, and its use of rustic construction materials, it makes for a very inviting and cozy space.  The German's have a most excellent word for the feeling you get when visiting the HA) tap room...Gemutlichkeit.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

5th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival Returns to Missoula on September 28

Montana Brewers Fall Festival 2013
Fall is definitely in the air now, and with it comes the 5th Annual Montana Brewers Fall Festival at Caras Park in downtown Missoula. Held from 1:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Saturday September 28, this brewfest is officially the LARGEST MONTANA-ONLY BEER SELECTION in the state, with OVER 80 different Montana beers being poured, including at least 18 unique "Festival Release" beers.

$15 gets you a general admission ticket, a 9 oz. tasting glass, and three drink tokens for entry at 1:00 p.m. (additional drink tokens are $1 each). For $25, VIP tickets are available for early entry at noon and five drink tokens (VIP tickets are $15 for MBA members - must present member card for discount). Tickets are available for pre-purchase on the MBA website.

Festival Release beers will be tapped twice during the festival: once at 1:00 p.m. and again at 4:00 p.m., allowing the most number of participants to try these unique beers.

John Floridis: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (During the VIP hour, tickets still available)
Growlers: 1:15 - 3:00 p.m.
Muzikata: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Cure for the Common: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Food Vendors
Family Meal
Clove Cart Pizza
Korn Utopia
Double Front Cafe
Bitterroot Bison
Go Dog Go

So you won't get overwhelmed at the number of great beer choices, Montana Beer Finder has put together this handy one-page beer list you can print and bring with you to keep track of all the great beers you try. Click below for the free PDF. 

You can also listen to the current Montana Radio Company radio spot for the brewfest, narrated by Ryan Newhouse, principal Montana Beer Spotter and author of Montana Beer: A Guide to Breweries in Big Sky Country.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Strength in Numbers – Charlie Papazian and the MBA

Saturday evening a boat filled with over 120 Montana beer enthusiasts (brewers, homebrewers, craft beer fans, MBA members) and Charlie Papazian left port and started a cruise along the shores of Flathead Lake.
It was Mr. Papazian’s first official beer business in Montana, and when he got up to the boat’s microphone, he made a telling announcement. This is “the best state association gathering ever!” he said (twice).

In the spirit of the moment, it was clear to everyone aboard what that meant. It meant that we Montanans know how to have a good time. We were cruising around the largest body of fresh water east of the Mississippi on a stunningly beautiful August evening on a boat filled with over 40 different Montana beers provided by over a dozen different Montana breweries. Yes, that would make it an unforgettable event.

But what made an event like that possible? Firstly, it was Charlie Papazian. When he chatted with Tony Herbert, Executive Director of the Montana Brewers Association, last year, Papazian asked that they figure out a time and place for an event in Montana.
Instead of a brief keynote talk at some function, the MBA put together an event that focused on the social experience for everyone as much as provided a unique opportunity to mingle with one of the greatest influences on craft beer today.

Papazian’s remarks on the boat were of how the United States’ brewing industry sets the example for collaboration and cooperation, a brother- and sisterhood as it were (my words). Others look to U.S. breweries as leaders for what-could-be in the industry.
Yet bringing it closer to home, Papazian also reminded those brewing in Montana that although “you might not have the same interests all the time…you have to look at the big picture, the big vision, and help each other out.”
As a participant at the event, I saw nothing but camaraderie. These were friends here, and though most are always busy brewing the beer we enjoy in Montana, here was an opportunity to catch up, share the beers they created, and just have a good time.
It also showed that whatever the MBA faces in the future, or faced in the past, they have something to be proud of – they have strength in numbers and a band of brewers who have each other’s back.

To see more photos, check out the Montana Beer Finder album on Facebook. For some highlights on the tasty beers we had, check out Growler Fills: Craft Beer Enthusiasm.

Personal thanks go out to the MBA (Blake and Tony) and Tamarack Brewing for hosting and feeding us.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Montana Brewers Association Hosts Flathead Cruise with Charlie Papazian

The MBA is offering beer fans an incredibly unique opportunity to meet and mingle with brewing legend, Charlie Papazian, for a one-night cruise around Flathead Lake on August 10. On the cruise, appetizers and Montana-made beers will be served while John Floridis plays live music.

Charlie Papazian

Charlie Papazian is the founder of the Association of Brewers, the Great American Beer Festival (held annually in Denver, CO), the World Beer Cup, and Zymurgy and New Brewer magazines. By far his best-selling work is The Complete Joy of Home Brewing, which has been reprinted 25 times in three editions and has sold over 900,000 copies. He currently serves as president of the Brewers Association of America (which merged with his organization in 2005), representing over 2,000 brewers nationwide. He also founded National Pie Day.

The Complete Joy of Home Brewing
In all, Papazian has written five books on beer and remains America’s most influential beer writer. The fact that he will be available to chat one-on-one makes this an incredible event.

The cruise itself will also be amazing. Provided by Far West Boat Tours, the three-hour cruise will take attendees around Flathead Lake while enjoying fine views, tasty appetizers, and delicious Montana craft beer.

Far West Boat Tours

The tour is already mostly sold out. The limited tickets that remain are $150 each with a limit of four tickets per purchase. The boat will leave promptly at 6:00 p.m. from Lakeside, Montana, and return around 9:00 p.m. For those wishing to stay nearby, the MBA has arranged some reserved rooms in nearby hotels and has arranged a shuttle service to and from Lakeside to those hotels:

• Best Western Flathead Lake Inn and Suites - 4824 Highway 93 South - 406-857-2400 – 10 rooms call by July 10 - $189.99/night – Closest to Lakeside – shuttle will be available.

• Kalispell Econo-Lodge - 1680 U.S. 93 Kalispell, Mt 59901 - 406-752-3467 – 30 rooms call by July 10 - $109.99/night – shuttle will be available.

• Kalispell Hilton Garden Inn - 1840 U.S. 93 Kalispell, Mt 59901 – 406-756-4500 – 20 rooms call by July 20 - $159.99/night – shuttle will be available

To purchase tickets for this event, please visit the Montana Brewers Association website.

UPDATE: See the Official Facebook Event page by the MBA for more details.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Brewfest x2 this Weekend in Billings and Bozeman

There are two of the largest brewfests in the state happening this weekend in back-to-back succession. While an attendee may not be inclined to hit both of them, it shows a wealth of opportunity for our state's brewers.

The first is the Montana Brewers Association (MBA) first ever Spring Festival at the Billings Depot in downtown Billings. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance (online until Thursday at 7:00 p.m.) or $25 at the door (or Uberbrew), and beers will be poured from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m.

There will be over 76 beers available from 23 of Montana's breweries. Patrons will have a 9-ounce glass for sampling (use wisely!). For those in the Red Lodge area, Red Lodge Ales will be offering a shuttle to and from the event for $15.

Here's the full line-up of music and merriment:

Friday, May 31st 2013
1st Annual Montana Brewers Spring Festival
Billings Depot, Billings
4:00-5pm - VIP Brewers Hour and Brew Crew Card Early Entry and John Floridis
5:00pm Doors open to the public
5:30 – 7:30pm Downtown
8:00– 10:00pm Keegan Smith and the Fam.
10:00pm – Festival Ends
10:30pm – Load Out begins

The very next day, the 7th Annual Montana Beer Fest will take place in Bozeman at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $35 for GA or $45 for VIP. GA admission starts at 4:00 p.m. The selection of beer  will be from "dozens of brewers bringing numerous beers." Here is the full scoop:

With dozens of brewers bringing numerous beers to taste, there's something for everyone. VIP tasting time starts at 2PM and boasts some hard-to-find selections and rare brews that are sure to pair well with the artisanal eats offered by Montana Fish Company (a light meal is included for VIPs). General admission begins at 4PM and attendees have until 8PM to taste and vote for their favorites, an important aspect of the Festival.

Montana Beer Festival isn't just about beer, after all. With a longstanding mission to give back to the community, the Festival annually donates to Montana based non-profits, selected by the People's Choice Award winners. Some past recipients include the Stevensville Fire Department, YWCA of Helena and Gallatin Ice Foundation. As the festival grows, so do the donations.

The Designated Drivers Lounge will also be back this year, with a specially brewed root beer from one of the attending breweries.

Montana Beer Festival is a tasting/sampling festival. Please enjoy responsibly and arrange for a safe ride home such as Streamline Buses, Greater Valley Taxi or a Designated Driver.

This is a 21 and over event; no children or pets. For ticket information please visit

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beer in Montana, By the Numbers

Last October, a study by the University of Montana – Missoula* (commissioned by the Montana Brewers Association) was released that highlighted the economic impact of craft brewing in the state. Yesterday, a report by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) was released that highlighted its impact across the U.S., including Montana. It’s interesting to compare and contrast these numbers from both the brewers who brew beer to the wholesalers who distribute it. Here are a couple noteworthy comparisons:

Jobs – The brewing industry in Montana represents more than 430 jobs. Montana beer distributors directly employ 986 people.

Taxes – Montana beer distributor activities contributes $54 million to the federal, state, and local tax base, which does not include an additional $21 million in federal, state, and local alcohol excise and consumption taxes on beer sold in Montana. Montana brewers contribute $1.5 million in state government revenues and an additional $1.8 million in government compensation.

While it might be easy to compare A to B, if we look at the overall impact of beer and beer brewing in the state, this industry creates jobs and revenue in our state. Let’s drink to that!

*data from this study includes 30 of Montana’s breweries. Today, there are 38 breweries operating in the state of Montana. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Meeting between brewers and the author of the "Brewery Killing Bill", Representative Roger Hagen, doesn't end well.

Evan Bowser, the owner of Bowser Brewing in Great Falls, sat down today with Representative Roger Hagen in an attempt to plead the case of the Montana Brewer. Apparently it didn't go so well. Below is the text from the Bowser Brewing Facebook page detailing what took place at that meeting.

"We just got done with our meeting with Republican Roger Hagan from Great Falls. He is proposing a bill that will limit us to only making 40% of our over all profit from the Sample room. We were lucky enough to have Doc. Z from Missouri Break brewing stop by at the right time and Erik Somerfeld, a local barley farmer, join us for the meeting as well. Basically we found out that Roger has his mind set to ruin our industry and make sure it does not grow any more than it has. He is still working on the wording of the bill but he mentioned stacking licenses, limiting profits of the sample room, getting rid of any and all music, get rid of all food (including popcorn and peanuts), he even mentioned getting rid of tables and chairs so people couldn't sit down. With all of these ideas being considered I found it funny that his reasoning was to make the Montana brewery scene stronger by making it harder to start a new brewery. Which helps us as individual breweries but does not help the industry of beer in Montana. He also kept mentioning that the MTA was not involved in this bill at all, he was getting more pressure from the Mother's Against Drunk Driving to pass this bill, which I find interesting why the MADD would want to go from a license that limits how much we can serve to one that says we can serve as much as we want and allows people to get drunker in one sitting. It really seemed like a pointless bill requested by some failing old school taverns that have refused to evolve and join the new local micro brew revolution. I really doubt that the bill will go anywhere but to ensure it doesn't we would appreciate it you would email your local legislator and let them know that you don't want them to support any bill that will hinder the growth of Montana breweries."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Anti-Montana Brewery Bill To Be Introduced

A bill that would force most Montana breweries to close their doors is being introduced by the MTA and Roger Hagan (R-Great Falls). Below is an article from the Montana Brewers Association explaining the proposed bill along with a list of people to contact about voting no on this bill.

Montana Tavern Association Boasts Bringing Anti-Brewery Bill in Tavern Times

The anti-brewery bill that you've been hearing about is still coming, and a new article in The Tavern Times makes that very clear. LC1429 by Roger Hagan (R-Great Falls) intends to shackle the craft brewing industry. This bill will make a mockery of all the good the craft brewing industry has brought in the last 10 years. Large established breweries are somewhat protected from some aspects of the bill, but this legislation will stop or seriously hinder any new brewery entering the market, eliminate any start-ups, and let the MTA call the shots on what breweries can grow and when. Odd how these things happen when you have a sanctioned monopoly at play. The final language or a bill number are not yet available, but this is what we have learned thus far:

 Brewers' on premise sales would be severely limited based on their barrel production volume:

300 barrels a year - 100%
301-500 barrels a year - 60%
501-1,000 barrels a year - 50%
1,001 to 10,000 barrels a year - 40%
Over 10,000 barrels - buy a license

Brewers could purchase retail licenses (big $), and retailers license holders could purchase brewers licenses (small $).

 Brewers would have to completely close their doors to the public at 8pm sharp! Currently, customers must finish their beer by 9pm- a reasonable approach. With this new law there would be no growler sales after 8pm as the public would not be allowed on site after 8pm and before 10am. I'm sure our traveling public and visitors are going to love these regulations in the summer time.

Brewers cannot have any food, music (live or broadcast), or entertainment whatsoever. Popcorn is now illegal.

Brewers could request special permits to serve their beer at 10 events a year. Better choose em' carefully.

 We are watching the MTA very closely and will let everyone know when the details of the bill are finalized, who you can contact, and when. This Bill is likely to be heard in the House Business and Labor Committee. Many of the committee members have already indicated support for brewers and possess no interest in this type of bill coming forward (Republicans and many Democrats alike). Roger Hagan is obviously not one of those, and Rep. Rob Cook (R-Conrad) may still carry this bad legislation forward. We are told to expect a bill draft to be available for a hearing late next week (March 14th, 15th, or the following week). Please be prepared to come to Helena if you can, and certainly ready to contact committee members when the time is right!

The Montana Brewers Association thanks you for your support of local beer that is always

Brewed from the Ground Up

Here is a list of people to contact about voting no on this bill.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2012 MBA Fall Festival and Conference This Weekend in Missoula

For the first time, Missoula will host the annual Montana Brewers Association (MBA) Brewers Festival on Saturday October 6, 2012 at Caras Park. A VIP ticket will get you in the door an hour early (noon); otherwise, the event starts at 1:00 PM. $12 gets you one general admission ticket, a glass and two tokens (additional tokens are $1).

New this year is a two-day beer conference following the festival (Sunday and Monday). Held at the Downtown Holiday Inn, the conference will feature a unique panel presentation by beer bloggers, Ryan Newhouse (Montana Beer Finder) and Alan McCormick (Growler Fills), and Missoula Independent staff, Alex Sakariassen It's entitled, "How the Media and Bloggers Can Help Your Brewery," and it will take place on Monday at 3 PM.

The brewfest will be judged by the Zootown Zymurgists, and the group is still needing volunteers for pouring, carding, wrist banding, beer wrangling, and token sales. Volunteers get free entry to the festival, a t-shirt and two free tokens. To volunteer, contact Asa Hohman at with your name, age, email, shirt size, phone number and preferred shift (11:30-4:00 or 3:30-8:00 PM).

[Edit 10/3] How could we forget the most important part of the festival...the beer! Here is the list of the 23 new beers that will be at the festival (remember, there's 71 brews in all):

406 Brewing | ABC IPA

Bitterroot | Imperial Honey Citra IPA

Blackfoot River | Lambica

Blacksmith | Wine Barrel Tripple | Single Malt Single Hop IPA

Bozone | 3rd Virtue | Export Golden Lager Kellerbier | 2012 Bozone Terroir

Draught Works | Potato with a Mullet

Flathead Lake | Montucky Sour Cherry Brown

The Front | Oktoberfest Festiv Ale

Glacier | Ursus Arctos Hefebilus Ale

Great Northern | Frog Hop 2012

Lewis and Clark | Lewis and Clark Festival Release

Madison River | Frostbite Barley Wine | Green Emerger Fresh Hop

Neptune's | Sheze Titian

Outlaw | Outlaw Alt-Oktoberfest

Phillipsburg | HayBag Hefeweizen

Quarry | Opal Oktoberfest

Red Lodge Ales | Helio Hefewiezen

Tamarack | Single Malt Oktoberfest Wildwood | Karapiller Red Lager

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Two New Breweries Opening in Montana in Summer 2012!

The Montana Brewers Association announced two new brewery members that plan to open this summer in Montana, which would bring the total number of Montana breweries to 36.

The Phillipsburg Brewing Company will open at 101 West Broadway in Phillipsburg, Montana.
Desert Mountain Brewing Company will open at 729 Nucleus Avenue, Ste. E in Columbia Falls, Montana.
Let's welcome them with empty glasses!
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