BREWING NEWS A Publication Dedicated to Montana’s Brewing News
IT’LL MAKE YOU HOPPY
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LIVINGSTON — In 1998 Bill Taylor got the idea for a small brewery in Livingston. The doors were opened, and a small but loyal crowd came through the doors regularly. Jon Berens was one of those who would stop by for a pint every now and then, chat with the staff, and eventually became friends. Over the years Bill noticed that Jon would have large stretches of time off from his guiding job in Yellowstone, and he asked him to be a sales rep for the company. A week later Jon found himself in the brew room learning the ropes on how to create the beer served at Neptune’s. Not even two months into his new job Bill took off to Florida to open a brewery there and Jon was left in charge.
Sidney — This is the trademarked slogan of Meadowlark Brewing in Sidney – that’s in extreme eastern Montana, only 10 miles from the North Dakota border. In 2014, Meadowlark Brewing was founded by Sidney native Travis Peterson. His interest in beer began when he got his first homebrew kit from his parents in high school. Later, while pursuing his engineering career, he lived up and down the West Coast which exposed him to the burgeoning craft beer scene. After he met his wife Emily and they started a family, Travis returned home to Sidney to help with the family business. The oil boom was in full swing and Travis’ parents (craft beer faithful since
By 2013 Neptune’s Brewery was up for sale. But every prospective buyer that came through the door wasn’t exactly the right fit. Jon and his wife Lauren Silano decided that they should buy the place, and in February 2014 ownership changed. That’s where the current adventures of Neptune’s Brewery began. Keeping Sushi Popular in Livingston Lauren noticed that Neptune’s needed a focused menu. When a sushi restaurant in Livingston was closing their doors, she jumped on the opportunity to keep providing high quality sushi to the area. Neptune’s Brewery offers a full menu (not just sushi), but for those after sashimi and rolls, this is
the 90s) approached him about starting a brewery. It had been his dream to start a brewery for a while and they now believed that leap to be possible. Travis also had strong support from his wife, Emily, and her influence on the business is readily apparent in the aesthetics of the public house. The planning started a couple of years before the brewery opened. Travis asked a lot of questions from brewers he had met through the years, bought about every book related to brewing, and took a course from Siebel to prepare as best he could. He was lucky enough to find a couple of old buildings in downtown Sidney that needed a lot of renovation for a decent price.
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(Photo credit: Carson Rose)
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Homebrewer for nearly a decade now, VP of the Rimrock Brewers Guild, and I teach the Learn and Taste Craft Beer series of classes for MSU Billings. See MSU B ad on P3.
A Bimonthly Publication Dedicated to Montana’s Brewing News.
o t g n i t t Ge ops H w o n K
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aul J. By Dr. P
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WHO WE ARE: Two women, with a deep passion for craft beer and the process
involved; who decided to pursue a dream of creating a publication that focuses on Montana. 406 Hops Spotlights: brewery/taprooms, beer selections/styles, events, homebrewing and women in brewing. We are Montana Brewers Association affiliate members.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Breweries: Neptune Brewing, Meadowlark Brewing, Butte Brewing, White Dog, Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co., Higherground Brewing, OddPitch Brewing, Tiltwurks Brewing, and Bayern Brewing. Women In Brewing: Red Lodge Ales Brewer Julie Lehenbauer and Last Chance Pub & Cider Mills Brewer Hilary Kaye Robinson with Regional Sales Manager Amanda Little-Oakes. Hop Harvesting: Glacier Hops Ranch, Crooked Yard Hops, and hobby hop farmers Dave Squires & Shane Taylor. We’d like to thank our contributing writers: Dr Paul Pope, Steve Lozar, Lynne Jourdonnais, Josh Michael, Vince Grewe, Alex Hartford, Scott Sery, Travis Collins, Thayne Mackey and Dan Rice. Shoutout to: Photographer/Carson Rose. Hop on Board Blog/Don & LuAnn Schrauth.
Hops and more hops. It seems today that American beer drinkers just can’t get enough hops. IPAs are almost always at the top of anyone’s best of list. Therefore I asked myself three basic questions about hops. 1. Exactly what is a hop? 2. Where do the best hops come from? 3. How do brewers use hops? What are Hops? Hops (Humulus lupulus) are one of the four basic ingredients in beer; along with water, malt, and yeast. Hops are a perennial bine (not vine) that grows 10-15 feet by tangling itself around anything it can to catch the sunlight. The hop cones grow only on the female plants. They grow in a wide variety of climates between early May and early October. Different varieties may have slightly different times to maturity. Hops produce hundreds of compounds that we have come to enjoy in beer. The most notable is a bittering compound from the lupulin glands, the yellowish powder found on glandular hairs of the hop flowers. This is what gives beer its bitterness. Where do the Best Hops Grow? Certainly, the idea of “best” is completely subjective. Hops can grow between the agricultural zones 2-10. Different varieties have variable success in different zones. If you want to grow your own check to see what varieties grow well where you live. The countries we most often recognize as masterful hop regions are the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. According to a 2016 Craftbeer.com survey, the top 8 hops sold in the world are from the United States. Taking the top spot in the survey was Cascade. The Cascade hop, a hybrid developed in the USDA breeding program at Oregon State University, is considered ubiquitous to American craft beer. However, the core of the dozens of amazing hop varieties available in the United States are usually hybrids of hops from other countries, especially those from Germany and the UK. How do Brewers Use Hops? The first use of hops in beer is very hard to trace. One of the first accounts comes from the notes of a monk in Picardy in Northern France, in 822 ACE. Before hops, brewers used a variety of spices, herbs, and flowers to both bitter and flavor their beer. Today, however, it is rare to come across a beer that doesn’t include at least a nominal amount of hops. Most often, brewers use what they call a “bittering charge.” This is a dose of hops at the beginning of the boil. This addition boils off all those interesting flavors and leaves behind only the bitterness. This is done to balance out the sweet character of the malt. Modern brewers often add hop additions near the end of the boil for flavor and aroma. The later the addition the more aroma is added and less bitterness. In the early days of the “hop wars” brewers were trying to make the hoppiest beers known to mankind. When drinkers became so exhausted by bitter they couldn’t taste anything else (sometimes for hours afterward), brewers began focusing on flavor and aroma. This led to hop farms and agricultural breeding programs worldwide hybridizing hops to create bold new flavors. This flavor and aroma revolution was followed by brewers imagining new and innovative ways to use hops beyond just boiling them in the wort. An old English technique emerged we call dry hopping. This term is, of course oxymoronic since it involves soaking loads of aromatic hops into a beer (a liquid) post fermentation. This technique draws out hop flavors and aromas, but adds no noticeable bitterness. Also borrowed from the English is adding hops at the whirlpool stage. The beer is hot and can draw out a lot of interesting flavors and aromas without boiling. Not content with these two post boil techniques, brewers like Dogfish Head Brewing Co. famously used a continuous hopping method for a couple of their IPA offerings. They hop a little bit every second from start to finish. Other brewers have experimented with first wort hopping. This is adding hops to the wort post mash but before the boil. Some chemical analysis of this technique suggests certain hop flavor compounds bind with sugars and other compounds to form new aromatics not possible with only boiling. Others have taken this idea a step further by adding hops to the mash itself to increase this reaction. Lastly, there is a technique used right at the bar. Many pubs and taproom occasionally will run a beer through a small container packed with hops to add that extra somethin-somethin to your beer just before it enters your glass. Don’t be surprised if new hopping techniques emerge to add something special to your pint. I cannot say which technique give you the best flavors nor which hops are truly the best. Each comes with its own possibilities. My suggestion, enjoy trying them all and decide for yourself. There is a reason hops are the rock stars of beer, they are amazing. With the right brewer, a hoppy beer can be a stroke of artistic genius.
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The Tale of Two Hobby Hop Farmers MILES CITY — This is the story of two neighbors… both of whom are experienced homebrewers… and both of whom became “hobby” hop farmers, roughly five years ago. Dave Squires is a retired public access specialist with the Bureau of Land Management. He lives south of Miles City, Montana, in the tongue river valley, a literal stone’s throw from the Tongue River Winery and their vineyards. He has been a home brewer for years, and his homebrew of choice is a big and malty Barley Wine, with a good dose of hops. He is also a hobby hop farmer. Shane Taylor is a world renowned knife maker, with an expertise in forging and crafting extremely intricate knives from Damascus steel (“mosaic” pattern, in particular). The Damascus steel itself, and the knives are produced start to finish in Shane’s shop next to his house. Shane lives two doors down from Dave, about a stone’s throw and a half from the Tongue River Winery (with one of their fruit orchards bordering his property line), and although he makes more wine than he does beer, his homebrew of choice is a hoppy Stout Porter. He is also a hobby hop farmer. Despite their friendship, being neighbors, and having been growing hops for roughly the same amount of time; their similarities end there when it comes to their individual hop growing operations.
Shane started growing hops for use in home brewing, and obtained his first hop rhizomes from a mail order nursery. He also started growing barley for his homebrew around the same time - an endeavor which was somewhat short lived, was a lot of work to get from crop to brew kettle, and which does *not* come highly recommended by Shane. That said, Shane has gone full steam ahead on his mini hop farm. Shane’s hop growing setup is unique, innovative, and quite frankly, both simple and brilliant. At the base of each hop
plant, Shane stakes down a heavy duty length of rope; one end is anchored to the ground, and the other end is run roughly 40 feet up in the air, and affixed to the branches of a large tree in his backyard. When the hop bines sprout, Shane picks his favorite three, cuts the rest back, and trains his bines up onto the rope - wrapping counterclockwise around the rope, as the bines follow the daily path of the sun as they grow, running up the rope counterclockwise. Shane’s plants are cared for on a near daily basis - they are
watered every other day, fertilized regularly, and the bases of the bines are covered in compost. The well nourished plant sends its bines crawling up the ropes toward the trees at a rapid pace, and most of Shane’s plants run the full 35-40 feet of rope by the time harvest comes around. Shane is growing Cascade, Magnum, and Centennial hops with his Magnum hops performing extremely well, having the longest bines and largest flowers of the group. Shane typically harvests his hop flowers as soon as they sound like crumpling paper when you squish them between your fingers, and when the flowers spring back to their original shape following being squished. Shane typically freezes his fresh hops for later use, in 2oz portions. Dave started growing hops because his wife, Mary bought him some Cascade hops rhizomes as a gift about five years ago. And so, he planted them along the fence, in his backyard. When Dave discovered that his neighbor Shane was also growing hops, Dave obtained some rhizome cuttings from him, and is now growing Magnum and Centennial hops as well along the backyard fence. Dave has found that Hops are pretty resilient and aggressive little plants, and that they largely take care of themselves. The bines grow up the fence on their own, and Dave keeps his plants from growing completely wild by running his lawnmower close to the base of the plants when he cuts his grass. Dave waters his hops every couple of weeks - and that is about the extent of their care. Not only doe s Dave’s laid back approach work… it works well. One particular plant this year began the growing season as a rhizome cutting from Shane’s garden, and the plant produced a full harvest of hop flowers by harvest time in its first growing season. A couple of years back, Dave had a Cascade plant which grew so well, that when it reached the top of his chain link fence, it kept growing up toward the sun, and managed to latch onto a tree - the lowest branch of which was about six feet higher than the fence. Aggressive little plants, indeed. Dave gauges his plants’ readiness for harvest the same way that Shane does, and post harvest, Dave refrigerates a portion of his hops for short term use, and dries the rest. For hop drying, Dave takes a rabbit cage (a literal pet rabbit cage), tosses in some hops, lays a box fan on its back, and sets the cage on top of the fan, in a sunny portion of his driveway, until the flowers are dry. Dave and Shane are both pretty excited and passionate about their hop growing hobby. Both use their hops to produce some very good home brewed beer. And, both are continually looking
for ways to improve their hop growing methods. Neither has had any pest issues with their plants nor any other significant impediments to their growing operations. Other than Shane having some heavy winds this year break a couple of his bines at their bases, the past five years of hop growing has proven to be a success here in eastern Montana and the two highly recommend that anyone who has an interest in growing fresh hops give it a try. As we sat around discussing Dave and Shane’s hobby hop farm operations for this article, we had a pile of Dave’s freshly picked Cascade hop flowers sitting in the middle of the table. We were all drinking a very nice Red IPA, called “Tooth N Nail IPA” from Old Skool Brewing in Baker, Montana; and we decided to grab a few flowers a piece, crush them up in our hands, and toss them in our IPA as a garnish. Try it sometime, if you have fresh hops at your disposal. The fresh flower garnish adds a lot of big hops aroma to your beer, and aside from having to filter some plant matter with your lip (or mustache, in Dave’s case) while drinking, the addition adds another fun an interesting dimension to an already great IPA. We’ve also passed a few hops flowers around to the beer drinking patrons at the bar sitting around us - and it became apparent that most beer drinkers have never actually seen fresh hops. One fella, in particular, was handed a hop flower for inspection, took a quick look at it, tossed it in his mouth, and started chewing on it. Not something we recommend… nor would he, given look on his face after the second or third bite, I suspect. And that pretty well wraps things up. It turns out that if you’re handy enough to grow weeds in your yard, you’re probably handy enough to grow hops for your home brew as well. (Unless you’re a complete and total failure, like me) You just might consider giving it a shot. (— Article by Dan Rice, Trails Inn Tap Haus in Miles City) (Author’s note: I planted Cascade hops this year… The one plant out of the five that my chickens didn’t kill as a sproutling barely grew at all, and produced precisely zero flowers. I’ve learned a lot from Dave and Shane, though - and am hoping that next year’s hops do better at my place. I’ll probably steal some established rhizomes from these guys, rather than mail order. Point being - if you’ve tried and failed before, you might need to adjust your method some.)
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TOM BRITZ of GLACIER HOPS RANCH... WHITEFISH — Five years ago, commercial farming of hops didn’t exist in Montana. This is despite Montana being ideally located just south of the 49th parallel, which is on the same latitudinal plain as Northern Bavaria - the center of the German hop growing region. Tom Britz was looking at rotating one of his pastures on his small ranch near Whitefish, and met with his local MSU county extension agent, Dr. Patricia McGlynn, who suggested that based on her research and education at Cornell University, that Montana’s climate should be conducive for growing hops. Except… no one had really tried growing hops in Montana on a commercial scale before; and Tom would be navigating uncharted waters, should he take on the endeavor. Which he did. Backed by some grants from the Montana Department of Agriculture, Tom planted a research hopyard on his farm, thus establishing Glacier Hops Ranch. The result? Tom learned that hops grow great in Montana! Long hours of daylight are critical for the hop bines to thrive. Cold winters ensure the necessary crop dormancy. Sure, hops require an inordinate amount of water and
nutrients, as your average hop farm is producing 20,000 pounds per an acre of biomass (plants) - but with the correct setup, Tom’s research confirmed what Dr. McGlynn had predicted: Montana is ideally suited for commercial hop growing. Growing hops, however, is just the beginning of the process. Harvesting of hops occurs during a very small and a critical window of time - and if picked by hand, takes approximately an hour per plant… at 1,000 plants per acre. Following harvest, you’ve then got to distribute your hops to breweries, in a format they can use… fresh, dried whole leaf, processed/pelletized, or in some other format You can make the hops available fresh, for immediate use (as hops will quickly decompose, oxidize, and lose the acids and oils which lend the pleasant hoppy aroma and character to beer); or else you’ll generally need to kiln, and bale, and freeze or pelletize, and package your hops, then store them below freezing for later use... Because hops are fragile. And delicate. ...They’re delicate little flowers - Literally. But, there is another option. Hop oils. Hop oils and extracts are growing in their use by breweries in recent years. Typically, a manufacturer will take dried, pelletized, frozen hops; and extract the oil from these processed hops using one of two methods. First is a CO2 high-pressure extract process, creating an end
infused with steam distilled fresh hop oil - Tom decided that he needed to explore the possibility of developing a fresh hop oil product using Glacier Hops Ranch hops, steam distilled - using the methods and equipment which were previously used by the mint industry in the region. Although the hop distilling method Tom developed is different from the method which was used by Sierra Nevada, Tom was able to perfect a method to create a high-quality hop oil from fresh hops - which captured all of the volatile oils that are found in hops out in the field at harvest time, with nothing lost. In doing so, “Hopzoil” was born. Hopzoil is a very light viscosity oil - as it is composed of the full spectrum of oils and acids which exist in fresh hop flowers; as opposed to the heavier oils which remain in, and can be extracted from, dried hops. The use of Hopzoil is for a late aroma addition in brewing, which allows for the reduction, or even elimination, of dry hopping when finishing a beer - and the potent Hopzoil is typically dosed at a rate of around 5mL per barrel (31 gallons) of beer produced. Further, as studies are beginning to show that the additional fermentation of hops biomass during dry hopping strips bitter qualities from the beer, the lack of biomass in Hopzoil helps to preserve the character of the bittering hops which are used earlier in the beer making process.
Hopzoil is now available in four varieties: Chinook, Cascade, CTZ, and El Dorado. Currently being developed are the following additional varieties: Azacca, Centennial, Ahhhroma (a proprietary hop strain developed by Glacier Valley Hops, which has a pina colada character to its aroma), Pekko, and Jaryllo. All of the foregoing, other than CTZ, are aromatic type hops. Hopzoil is distributed all across the USA and Canada, as well as Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Taiwan. On the forefront of Hopzoil use in Montana is Tim Schnars, head brewer at Meadowlark Brewing in Sidney, Montana. Meadowlark was on the ground floor of experimentation and implementation of Hopzoil in brewing, starting with their “Teddy Roosevelt American Badass” IPA. Schnars notes that the use of Hopzoil in place of dry hopping results in a better beer product. Why? Because pelletized hops contain some amount of the fermentable organic material, and dry hopping introduces this biomass which can reignite fermentation, resulting in diacetyl (a buttery byproduct of fermentation, which is considered an “off” beer flavor), as well as the introduction of dissolved oxygen into the beer. Further, if a brewer is dry hopping with less than three pounds per barrel of hops, this process actually reduces the bitterness of the beer - sacrificing flavor in favor of improved aromatics from the dry hopping process, so popular among Craft brewers. Ultimately, Schnars finds dry hopping to be inconsistent, and risky, which work against
product which is an oil that is the approximate consistency of honey, and comprised of the heavier oils and acids which are found in dried and pelletized hops. Other manufacturers will use solvents, such as acetone or propylene glycol, to strip the oil from the dried processed pellets. This method results in a more pure oil than does the CO2 extraction method, but you’re still only able to extract the oils and acids which are found in dried, processed, pelletized hops. Hops are typically dried at temperatures between 125 and 160 degrees fahrenheit, which results in the evaporation and loss of a portion of some of the more volatile oils which are found in the hop flower; and it is these volatile oils which result in the perfumey, floral, and aromatic qualities that
brewers are after when making great beer. With this in mind, Tom and Glacier Hops Ranch set out to find a better method. Northwestern Montana used to be a major growing region for mint, specifically the production of steam distilled mint oil. So much so that the region surrounding Glacier Hops Ranch was once home to fifteen steam distilleries for peppermint and spearmint oil production. Then, fifteen years ago or so, China began importing mint oil to the USA, at a price which undercut local production by about half - resulting in the demise of the Western Montana mint farming and mint oil production industries. And... Tom was aware of this bit of history. When Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced its Hop Hunter IPA - which was
ensuring that his final product is at its best. Using Hopzoil gives the brewer a consistent and superior product, according to Schnars - as it doesn’t result in a reduction in the bitterness of the base beer, but still adds hoppy aromatics to the final product. “We recently made the decision at Meadowlark to cease dry hopping altogether, and will instead be using Hopzoil as a late addition,” Schnars indicated. Meadowlark will also be proudly labeling their product as being brewed with Hopzoil. “Tom has had a meteoric rise in the hops industry since we first met with him,” Schnars observed. “Tom is giving Montana an opportunity to be a real terroir state, such as Napa Valley is to wine making. Montana has had the grain, and now we have hops - and those are your primary
ingredients in any beer.” (Note: “Terroir” refers to a characteristic taste and flavor imparted on a product as a result of the environment from which it was produced - and is a common term in the wine industry, describing the ability to recognize a particular spirit as having been produced in a specific region.) As you may have gathered, Tom Britz is a very influential player in the Montana hops game; and this fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by the larger hop growing industry. Hop Growers of America is a national trade organization which supports hop farmers around the country. Their board of directors are historically comprised of individuals who come from generations of hop growers, from three major hop growing states in the USA, being
PAGE 4 • Volume 1/Issue #6 • A PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO MONTANA’S BREWING NEWS
and HOPZOIL Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Tom first attended the annual meeting of the Hop Growers of America about three years ago - with the feeling that his small operation in Montana would leave him a bit “out of place” among the hop growing moguls from the big three states. To Tom’s surprise, he met other similarly situated hop farms from small operations around the country who were also in attendance; and the accumulation of smaller operators from around the country had been noticed by the association. In response, Hop Growers of America amended their bylaws to call for another director position on their board one which was not tied to one of the big three hop growing states, and who would be an “at large” board member representing the interests of hop growers from all other hop growing states. Tom was elected by the membership to be that first At-Large Director, and just finished his two-year term. The Board of Directors of the Hop Growers of America then found it prudent to create a committee to assist small growers outside of the dominant hop growing states in better understanding their needs and solutions; and appointed Tom as chairman. Thus charged with these objectives, the new Small Grower Council set out to identify issues and provide answers. Tom and his committee, comprised approximately twenty-five growers and academics, compiled a menu of small operators’ needs and wants in the way of support from the association; as well as a grower identification system, which is now used to trace production from small hop producers, literally from field to the pint; a best practices guide for small hop farm operators; and an enterprise cost study report detailing startup equipment and expense for farms between five and twenty acres. None of the foregoing had been available to startup hop farm businesses in the past. Tom stressed that had he received
Kyle Carlson of Tamarack Brewing Company, a family brewery in Lakeside was named the 2016 Alpha King during the 18th annual Alpha King Challenge
this information five years ago, he would have done things differently when he started his operation. If you’re interested in the tools developed by the Hop Growers of America and the Small Grower Council, you can find them at USAHOPS.ORG. Tom stresses that this information has been compiled to ensure that prospective hop farmers are aware of the realistic startup and operating costs and overhead involved with a new operation, to allow them to strategize and plan a successful startup operation. Tom made it clear that hop farming is an incredible amount of work, requires a lot of planning, and is a complex and sophisticated operation. Growing hops is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a “get rich quick” undertaking - and demands a lot of time, dedication, and capital in order to be successful.
Join us in our adventures.
with Don and LuAnn Schrauth
Everyone needs a hobby and mine is beer
We at 406 Hops Brewing News look forward to seeing what the future holds for Glacier Hops Ranch and Hopzoil; and are excited that Montana, with the help of Tom and our other Montana growers have gained the foothold as one of the prominent and influential hop growing regions in the country. (— Article by Dan Rice) (Author’s Note: America needs hops. Lots of hops. With over 7,000 permitted breweries nationwide (of which 5,500 are operating), and with home brewing being on the rise, the demand for hops is enormous. There has been a major shift in this country toward craft beer, and it is notable that on average, the craft brewing’s popular “hopforward” styles have a hopping rate of roughly ten times the amount of hops per volume as compared to “corporate” beer. As such, it is increasingly important to have domestically available hops in order for our beloved craft breweries to continue making great American craft beer.)
Those that have followed our blog know that I truly do love micro brews and going to all the different breweries. When I visit breweries, I like to get a glass, growler, and a sticker from each one. I have an area in my basement that has a pool table and have turned that into my BEER CAVE. This is where I proudly display all of my beer merchandise. Along with the items that I pick up at the various breweries, I also like to collect a bottle and can of all the different microbrews that are packaged. I have also taken beer cases and used them to cover my ceiling. People who have seen my Beer Cave sometimes think that I am a little obsessed with beer. But I always say that
everyone needs a hobby and mine is beer. Since I started my quest to get to every microbrewery in Montana back in 2014, I have traveled all over the state. Yes, I have been to EVERY microbrewery. As new ones open I try and visit them within a month of their opening. As of September 2017, I have tasted 1,196 different Montana craft brews from 74 different breweries. It all started with a Montana Brewery Passport but my wife has since designed a new book for me because the old one did not have enough room to list the different beers or breweries. I am glad to hear that people enjoy reading our blog at 406Hops.com Thanks for all the support. (— Don and LuAnn)
Headwall Double IPA took first place
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“Butte Special beer, MAKE IT A HABIT!” BUTTE — In the unique street vernacular of Butte America, this bygone slogan of the Butte Brewing Company would have been recognized as a social invitation to Butte and Silver Bow’s citizenry to insist on purchasing Butte Special beer for their liquid refreshment. This they proudly announced would bolster the local economy, support civic needs, promote health and welfare, patronize local labor and bring peace and happiness to the whole family. Perception of that slogan today would no doubt bring a much different understanding by folks not raised in the shadow of the Big Butte. Butte is the ultimate oxymoron. It has always possessed an ‘ever changing consistency’ in economics, political passions, ethnicity’s, unionism, capitalism, socialism, religions and booms and busts while continuing to adapt to every challenge that circumstance has sent her way. The collective pride in themselves and their city’s history is graphically displayed everywhere from the slag sparkles in the grass at Naranche Stadium to the indomitable standing gallows frames to the haunting fading ghost signs advertising “Butte Special Beer” which still cling to brick walls above her pathways. One thing that has remained consistent for over 136 years of change in the Mining City is a taste
for beer brewed by The Butte Brewery and its successors The Butte Brewing Company. The Butte Brewing company was not the first nor the largest brewery in the metropolis. Beer was being commercially produced in neighboring Silver Bow by two breweries in 1861. By 1900, Butte’s Centennial Brewery was the largest brewery in the North Western United States. The actual beginning date of the Butte Brewery is a subject debated in Butte watering holes for decades. The Butte Daily Miner on January 1, 1886 states in great detail, that Silver Bow pioneer brewer William Rapp had established a “well appointed” brewery on Wyoming Street at the intersection of Quartz…” in the year 1872. The article further states that Mr. Rapp was “succeeded” by Charles Beehrer then it was “passed into the hands of (Hugo J.) Hoppe who “turned it over to Beehrer again in 1882.”
In 1876 the uptown area on Wyoming, between Granite and Quartz streets, is where former Silver Star brewer Charles Obertries was brewing beer in his Obertries’ Brewery ostensibly on the site that would soon be occupied by the Butte Brewery. In August 1881 Fred Erpf was decanting his beer at his small log building advertised as the Butte Brewery and Saloon. Within one year he had sold the brewery and saloon to Mr. John Woolbeater. The Butte Brewery by New Year’s Day 1882, was in direct local competition with Buttes’ Western Brewery, Washington Brewery, Schmidt and Gamers Centennial Brewery, the New York Brewery and Glendale Brewery and others near and around the city. In the midst of 1882 Woolbeater (who years later would be directly involved in a sensational death and forgery scandal) appears to have sold the fledging brewery to Hugo J. Hoppe. In the winter of 1882 the brewery changed hands again. The new gigenthumer of the Butte Brewery was a veteran brewer named Charles A. Beehrer. Beehrer was an experienced brewer from both Virginia City and Helena who would become a very large land owner and successful rancher. Beehrer was a former brewing partner in both Virginia City and Helena with famed brewer Nicholas Kessler. While the names of key
marksman were found wanting as he attempted to shoot a marauder in his brewery one December night in 1898. The Tribune Review announced “Owing to Mr. Muntzer’s bad marksmanship the burglar escaped being shot…” What Muntzer dutifully promised to those who enjoyed his malted offerings were many health benefits. “Every seeker after a sound body should drink Henry Muntzer’s pure beer, a conservator of health and strength. Doctor bills are saved by using Henry Muntzer’s beer. It is pure, palatable and nutritious. No home (is) complete without it.” Having been engaged in the brewing business in Butte for fifteen years, on May 12, 1900 “Mr. Muntzer stated that he will now enjoy a well earned vacation. The previous day he had sold the Butte Brewery to Anaconda investors headed by Mr. J.V.Collins. The brewery was incorporated as the Butte Brewing Company. The new company let the imbibing public know immediately that they were the successors to “Henry Muntzer” and “Will Continue to Manufacture The Excellent Article That has Given the Name of Butte Beer Such Unlimited Fame –It is Union Made – It is Both Pleasant and Palatable.” Businessman J.V.Collins was a firm believer in the benefits of advertising and began a tradition of a very successful association with Montana’s print and advertising industry. The Butte Brewing Company “MADE IT A HABIT” to feature their Butte Special, Pilsener, Lager, Eureka, Bock, Dublin Gulch Porter and Eagle brands with an aggressive advertising policy. The brewery, as with most Montana breweries, knew the power and influence of Butte’s labor unions and was signatory to trade union contracts associated with their industry. Their advertising was targeted at support from
Appearance.” Collins inspired advertising was applauded by the beer drinkers of Butte as company profits continued to rise. The hard rock mining industry was Butte’s primary economic engine and produced legendary safety, health and environmental consequences. Pneumonia, and countless respiratory diseases including silicosis known locally as Miners Con were a constant health threat. There was also the collective fear of fire, cave- ins, explosions and mining related accidents. While unions worked constantly, and occasionally militantly, for improved conditions for their members, many mining company bosses preached the old company mantra, “A man’s skin is his own – he needs to be more careful!” This social condition was not lost on the Butte Brewing Co. In 1904 they offered a solution to the effects of both the physical and mental stresses
players tended to consistency, various 1800’s records show ambiguous and conflicting dates of transfers of properterties, and brewing operations on the Wyoming street site until December of 1885. At that time Beehrer sold the brewery to Henry Muntzer, the former brewer for Christian Nissler’s Silver Bow Brewery. Muntzer and short time partner a Mr. Rosenbladt began bringing a lasting stability to the brewery operation. During the Christmas season of 1897 Muntzer was being lauded thusly, “The success of Mr. Henry Muntzer, the proprietor (of The Butte Brewery), fittingly illustrates what may be accomplished in the northwest with business sagacity, supplemented by the judicious employment of capital.” Muntzer showed enviable business acumen in advancing his financial investment but proved his skills as a
Butte’s various trade unions’ membership. At the turn of the century, the common theme of their public outreach was, “Home Industry – Home Labor, Butte Brewing Co. Champions of Home Industry.” In response to national brewing giant Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company’s slogan “The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous”, the Butte Brewing Co. touted their product as “Butte Beer Made Famous by Itself – Home Production – Union Labor – Home Industry Institution.” Collins took advantage of presenting Butte Beer in graphically colored displays. Parades were traditionally a popular part of Butte’s civic culture. The brewery featured multi colored floats that were in eye catching contrast to the smoke filled skies that testified to Butte’s extraction based industries. The Butte Brewing Co.’s booth at trade shows and civic functions were described as “Something of a Miniature “German Village” in its Hospitable
of living and working in the mining environment. “PURE MALT TONIC” Made of All Montana Products Except the Bottles, By the Butte Brewing Company No better malt tonic in the world… Concentrated Extract of Malt for the Healthy, For the Convalescent, For the Weary Brain. For the Tired Body!” Not wanting to be perceived as their brews being limited in their use to suffering Butte miners, they extended their invitation of
PAGE 6 • Volume 1/Issue #6 • A PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO MONTANA’S BREWING NEWS
Brewing history expert Steve Lozar.
improved health benefits to everyone. Their Export Pilsener Beer “Has that famous pure taste and is manufactured especially for family trade. There are …many unhealthful beers brewed – but “Pilsener Beer,” known and used by all inhabitants of Montana and the Great Northwest, has NO EQUAL in restoring lost health, preventing sleepless nights and is a BRACER when the nervous system is run down. ONCE TRIED, ALWAYS USED. Our motto; GOOD BEER OR NO BEER.” The Butte Brewing Company recognized that social physical activities were a promoter of health and encourager of thirst quenching hydration. Sporting activity sponsorships quickly became a mainstay for the brewery. Bowling was a sport of great popularity at the new century’s onset. The Butte Brewing Co. sponsored many teams around the city. It was not uncommon to find two teams squaring off on the alleys sipping the same brews of their common sponsor. The daily headlines in the sporting sections often carried masts such as “Brewers Bowl ‘Em High on Thorton Alleys for a Stein.” Or “Brewers win from Montana Laundry.” To wear a nattily embroidered bowling shirt into an uptown business not only displayed local athletic fashion, but publically proclaimed ones beer drinking loyalties. The national pastime of baseball was a Butte obsession. Once again the brewery wholeheartedly supported teams in nearly every ward and neighborhood in the city. Rather than the poplar national phrase of the time “Tinker to Evers to Chance“, Butte residents were more likely to shout “Griffin to Vorholz to Harrington as the Butte Brewing Company’s Eureka baseball nine turned another double play. Those sportsmen who didn’t physically participate in sport often held an active interest in football, basketball, single jacking, boxing, wrestling, hockey, etc. as the brewery continuously advertised these and many other sporting events in the local rags, posters and billboards. While gambling in Butte was generally an illegal pastime, the Butte Brewing Company passed out volumes of printed betting pool boards for gamesmen to wager on their favorite squads. They even supplied local parishes with card tables to be used for bingo. Of course all of the props prominently, yet innocently, displayed the company logo for all to see. Keeping ones product name constantly in front of the consumer is a time honored business cornerstone. Often reminding the consumer why the use of a product is of benefit to them and their community was a successful advertising method employed by the Butte Brewing Company. The Butte Mining Review of July 12, 1905 made it very clear “Why Local Beer Drinkers Should DRINK BUTTE BREWING COMPANY BEER.” They stated without equivocation “BECAUSE It is made in Butte and the Company is spending all its profits in building up an industry that means much to this section. BECAUSE By
patronizing this company you are directly giving employment to a large number of workmen who live and spend their money in Butte. BECAUSE This Beer is union made and this fact is an assurance that the men engaged in its manufacture are paid decent wages for their labor.” In the unionized city of Butte these were strong reasons why drinking Butte Beer was becoming nearly akin to a patriotic duty of the drinking populace of Butte and Silver Bow County. In January of 1906 Butte’s Business Men’s Association representative Mr. T. J. Nerny attended a national convention in Salt Lake City whose purpose was to “bring before the people of the United States the wonderful things of their own country and divert foreign travel as far as possible.” Irishman Nerney was well known throughout Butte as he had served three terms as a 2nd ward alderman, was president of the city council, was the city’s acting mayor and was a director of the Montana Fire Insurance company. Within a year he became the Manager of the Butte Brewing Company. Nerney came to Butte from Chicago where he was manager of the Citizen’s Brewing Company and secretary of the Illinois State Brewers’ Association. The print media introduced him in this way, “Mr. Nerny has made a very favorable impression here as an affable gentleman of push through mercantile capacity and the faculty of making friends readily, and dealing with patrons in a liberal, courteous, manner.” Nerny’s afore mentioned affability was soon tested as the allied brewers unions Nos. 66, 231 and 302 were joined in their strike against Montana’s breweries by the Butte Building Trades council and the United Mine Workers of America. Within a week a “small-sized riot” broke out over a banner emblazoned “All local beers are unfair,” carried by the striking brewerymen. The Butte Inter Mountain of May 19, 1909 carried the large headline “ANOTHER BLOODY RIOT OVER BEER Brewerymen and W. F.of M. Unionists Engage in a Free-for-All Fight--. The W. F of M. were members of the Western Federation of Miners who took over the strike vacated jobs in the breweries. The Billings Gazette described the melee as such: “Bloody noses, battered countenance and marks of battle in general were distributed freely this afternoon when striking brewery workers and the Western Federation of Miners men clashed on Wyoming street north of Granite and just opposite the Butte brewery. The Little Rockies Miner stated “…a mob of 500 people gathered and bloodshed seemed inevitable…Frank Coyle an engineer at the Butte brewery, was the only man finally arrested and he only because of a revolver found in his pocket.” The strike was eventually settled and a tenuous truce between the waring unions was enacted. Nerny and his second Mr. J. Harrington, who had long been associated with the Butte Brewing Co, Continued on page 9
Jerry Beck and Jason Hands
The Butte Brewing Company today BUTTE - Butte Brewing Company traces its roots back to the late 1800s. The brewery was located in Uptown Butte, on Wyoming Street, and brewed three different beers; a Pilsner Style Lager, a Bock, and a third beer of unknown style, called “Butte Brewing’s Special Draught.” In the 1960s, Butte Brewing the brewery shut down, as a result of poor economic conditions in the Butte region, and was largely forgotten about for the next half century. In 2012, avid homebrewers Tony and Theresa Olson purchased the rights to the Butte Brewing name at an auction, and set out to revive the Butte Brewing operation. The Olson’s selected a location about three blocks from the brewery’s original location to reestablish the historic brewery, and began construction of the new home of the iconic Butte Brewing Company, which had enjoyed such a strong local presence during the preceding two centuries. The brewery acquired a 17bbl brewing setup from Blackfoot Brewing in Helena; as well as copper jacketed bright tanks which are used for serving, which is a nod to the copper industry around which the City of Butte was formed. The brewery complex itself is stunning - spacious and open, with high ceilings, and an oversized industrial bar with a glycol chilled copper strip running down the center, which looks into the brewery operation through a series of large windows. Butte Brewing produces beers in the American and English styles primarily, including Blonde, Pale Ale, India Pale Ale, American Wheat, Porter, Stout Porter, Amber, and a wine barrel conditioned version of their Blonde which is named “CaBEERnet,” and which spends four months aging in Cabernet wine casks. The brewery spends a lot of time keeping up the production of their eleven flagship beers, which are available on site, at 30 retail locations in Butte, and at various establishments in Bozeman, Missoula, and Helena. The brewery is looking to expand production in their cask conditioned and sour program, as well as the introduction of some Belgian style beers, to help round out their beer portfolio. The large brewery building also houses office spaces, a conference hall, and a pizza kitchen
which makes a variety of gourmet pizzas on a homemade sourdough crust. Tap room patrons are free to order pizza to accompany their beer; and the pizza is (based on the author’s personal opinion) phenomenal. The pizza alone is worth the stop, as if the incredible beer alone wasn’t enough of a reason to visit. Butte Brewing in the 1800s and early 1900s was a marketing powerhouse - and the Butte Brewing of today continues to ensure that they are very visible in the Butte community and surrounding regions. Butte Brewing attends a variety of beer festivals, and has made a decided effort to promote and participate in local events in Butte on a regular basis. Over the past year, brewer Jason Hands has been one of the public faces of Butte Brewing Company. When Jason isn’t brewing beer, he is traveling the state promoting the brewery, and working at various local and regional events which the brewery supports (with a variety of excellent beers in tow). Jason has a strong social media presence, and has been known to live stream brewing operations so that the public can get a peek into what it takes to produce the beers which they enjoy to drinking in the taproom. Jason also hosts a local beer-focused radio show called “Kids In The Hops” on the KBFM 102.5 radio station twice per month, attends and reports on beer festivals in his individual capacity, and collaborates with other beer related media organizations, including 406 Hops Brewing News. If you live in Butte, you’re already well aware that Butte Brewing Company is a diamond in the rough; and that the “new” Butte Brewing, like a phoenix from the ashes of the original Butte Brewing has once again established itself as a staple establishment in the “Butte America” community. If you’re visiting Butte - or even just passing through, be sure to go check out Butte Brewing’s beautiful taproom; and while you’re there, you owe it to yourself to dine on some incredible sourdough pizza, and to sample your way through their diverse lineup of well executed craft beers. (— Article by Dan Rice)
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Discussing their new harvest with Head Brewer Daniel Pollard from Bridger Brewing
Humulus Lupulus Bozemanites BOZEMAN - Montana has nearly 60 million acres of farmland. Corn, wheat, barley, beets, and a handful of other crops are grown abundantly, but what you likely won’t find when you’re driving the back roads is a hops farm. Unless you drive near Bozeman. In 2015 Jake TeSelle and Colten Sales planted a small, one-acre test plot on the TeSelle family farm just outside of Bozeman. Both of them enjoyed craft beer, both were from farming backgrounds and both wanted to have a hobby that would allow them to dabble in farming and beer production. The result was that they realized they could make a full-time living as one of the few hops producing farms in Montana. Two years later and the business partners can’t produce enough crop to satisfy the thirst for craft beer found across our state. What Began as a Hobby… Jake and Colt were at first just interested in how well hops would grow in the Bozeman valley. Since there are some hops farms near Kalispell, they knew that it wasn’t impossible. Instead, it was more of a matter of setting up the right varieties, and nurturing the plants in the right way, so that they’re well developed for the Bozeman climate. Their one-acre test farm did well, yielding about 20 pounds of hops in the first year. They gave those hops away to local brewers
as a method of getting their name out there and determining what the market was like for the locally grown hops. That opened the floodgates and for months they were getting multiple calls each week from Montana craft brewers to know when they would be able to supply them with their needed hops. … Turned into a Career The demand is obviously there, but getting started in the hops growing business is expensive. Just the trellises to support the vines run around $16,000 per acre. The two knew that they needed some help, and they knew that there was help to be had through the State of Montana Agriculture program. But they were at a loss of where to turn. So they went to Montana State University and got help from Blackstone LaunchPad. Blackstone is an entrepreneur resource for students, alumni, and others associated with the university. This organization pointed them in the right direction: to Headwaters Small Business Development Center in Butte. It was here that they learned they were going to have to take a bit of a risk. It was spring 2016, Jake and Colt were ready to get their plants into the ground. The problem was that the grant they needed in order to buy harvesting, drying, and pelletizing equipment wouldn’t be awarded until September. With the help of Headwaters they went for it. They planted 6 acres of hops, wrote the grant, and hoped for the best.
Their gamble paid off, and they were awarded a “Growth Through Agriculture Grant” that allowed them to buy the equipment just in time for the 2016 crop to be harvested. The Joys of Farming Hops Just finishing their third year as hops farmers, Jake and Colt are still waiting for when they will actually start making money as hops farmers. Unlike seasonal crops, like wheat, corn, barley, and others, hops don’t really produce well in their first year. Or their second year. Hops won’t really reach their peak production until year 4 or 5 when you’re harvesting about two pounds of hops from each plant. With many crops, you can grow an organic product that will ultimately command a better price when it’s time to sell. Hops aren’t one of those products. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to grow organic hops. While Crooked Yard does use organic fertilizers and fungicides, they were quick to point out that if you use treated posts to build the trellises, the hops aren’t organic. If you don’t use treated posts you’re out there replacing them every other year. At $16,000 per acre, that’s just not feasible. This year the 6-acre farm produced over a thousand lbs. of hops. Within a 10-day window the hops were harvested, dried in a kiln, run
Need HOPS - Will Travel! Montana’s ONLY Mobile Pelletizer.
PAGE 8 • Volume 1/Issue #6 • A PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO MONTANA’S BREWING NEWS
through a milling machine, pelletized, and vacuum sealed for distribution to local breweries. Months of planning, cultivating, and growing, all wrapped up in about 4 hours of harvest. Next year Crooked Yard hopes to put in at least one more 6-acre farm in the area; or if it’s possible, plant two more farms. These small acreage farms are in the “sweet spot” in size. Any bigger and you have to double up on your machinery (you only get 10 days to harvest, dry, pelletize, and seal or the cones will spoil), any smaller and you can’t produce enough hops to make a profit. For the last three seasons Jake and Colt have learned what it takes to be hop farmers. And it has been a wild ride. Fortunately, they love the hard work, they love agriculture, and they love the craft beers that Montana breweries produce. That love keeps them moving forward even when setbacks like a clogged irrigation line threaten their harvest. We developed our processing in collaboration with Bridger Brewing where the first 100% Crooked Yard Hops beer is on tap — The Ascensionist. They have been awesome in helping us grow and supportive since day 1. The next time you sip a local beer, you may be tasting Crooked Yard Hops. (— Article by Scott Sery)
“Butte Special beer, MAKE IT A HABIT!”
along with head brewer Mr. A. Verholtz, somehow manage to keep the Dublin Gulch Porter flowing through the unrest. Incumbent upon them was the necessary reassurance of the public that “we wish to emphasize the fact that employees are all skilled, efficient and well paid, this being a union house throughout, and the brewery is increasing its business rapidly. The flagship brand of Butte Brewing Co. was their pilsener Eureka. Sales were soaring and the Butte Brewing Company was poetically announcing: EUREKA BEER Golden in Its Color— Golden in Its Worth Golden Are the Hours if You Drink the Best Beer on Earth EUREKA! and BUTTE BREWING CO. From coast to coast we proudly boast Eureka beer is best And Uncle Sam knows it’s no sham— He proves it by test. The beer produced at the brewery on Wyoming enjoyed popularity throughout the area but was the absolute number one seller in the enclaves of Buttes’ large Irish neighborhoods. Both of the breweries of Irish dominated Walkerville had closed in the late 1800’s. The Irish neighborhoods of Corktown and Dublin Gulch continued to thirst for the tastes they had left at home in the Emerald Isles. With Irishmen J.V. Collins and his successors Nerny and Harrington at the helm of the beer
manufactory located closest to the Irish centers of population, their bottom line was secured by both producing quality stouts and porters as well as ethnic allegiance. Having the financial foundation of the brewing company relatively in place, the Butte Brewing Company began to advertise to the other ethnicities that, ”NEXT YEAR’S (1914) WINNER in the race for “beer popularity” will easily be “Eureka.” We’ve won the hearts – the tastes – of all nationalities, when a substantial tasting beer with “something more than liquid to it” has been demanded…you might as well
decide on “Eureka.” They advertised their “Eureka Bier” in the states German language papers such as the Montana Staats-Zeitung where the slogans “heimifche Induftrie und heimifches Produiit” resounded with many deutsche immigrants. All however, was not necessarily copacetic in either this country or the world as the decade began its’ second half. War clouds were gathering in Europe that threatened mankind’s political and economic stability. In the United States clouds of conflict were also gathering. A national movement
was underway to prohibit the production, possession and use of intoxicating beverages. This was not the first effort to enact prohibition of alcohol in either the nation or Montana. It was however gaining momentum quickly and concerned Montana’s brewing fraternity. On Jan 13, 1915 Mr. Nerny wrote to C.N. Kessler, the Helena brewer and President of the State’s brewing association. “Think it advisable for you to arrange with Product’s & Mfg.’s Assn., 18th to 20th. your city for a display of Bottle Beer in one of the booths., in addition to samples of Malt Extract, and what is raised here. The suggestion comes from local parties to me, in an effort to show what injury Prohibition will do.” Activist Carrie Nation and her prohibitionist cohorts were organizing a national and state organism whose tentacles were reaching into every corner of American society. Politicians were being targeted as well as churches, business leaders and influential individuals. Groups such as the MWCTU (Montana Women’s Christian Temperance Union), the ASL (Anti-Saloon League) and others, were bringing the issue into individual homes. Montana brewers were trying frantically to address this pending calamity to their life’s financial investments and lifelong vocations. The slogan of the Butte Brewing Company changed to “Liquid Food for Temperate People”
The Montana American published a picture of George Washington and portions of his will with a statement that read “Will of First President shows he owned a Distillery(,) and Liquors formed a part of the household supplies. Prohibition Does Not Mean Wealth – Prohibition Means High Taxes.” “The Butte Brewing Company Helps Pay Your Taxes.” The combined effort of Montana’s breweries, taverns, social clubs, farmers, truckers, rail roads, labor unions, restaurants, newspaper advertisers, bottlers, sports organizations etc. could not stem Montana State prohibition nor the national legislation known as the Volstead Act from becoming a reality. At 12:00 midnight, December 31, 1918, the famed institution on Wyoming between Granite and Quartz ceased manufacturing the beer that had “NO EQUAL” Butte experienced the devastating effects of “Legislated Morality” like the rest of the country. Unlike other burghs, villages and towns however, Buttes resiliency through strikes, fires, economic busts and the yoke of mining corporation’s heartless manipulations had toughened Butte and her minions like no other place. Buttes brewing tradition did not die but rather went underground and became either organized bootlegging syndicates or family kitchen and basement endeavors. Butte folk however, never lost their optimistic belief that one day they would have the opportunity to make Butte Special Beer A HABIT again! (— Article by Steve Lozar, © 2017 SWL)
Travis Peterson - Meadowlark Brewing
Enjoying a facinating conversation with Steve at Thirsty Street. (Shea, Steve, Treva and Alicia)
Meadowlark Tap takeover at 406 Kitchen & Tap Rooms 1st Year Anniversary Party in Billings.
Montana native Steve (Bubs) Lozar is the great Grandson of Josef Lozar, a Slovenian immigrant and associate of Nicholas Kessler of the Kessler Brewery of Helena. He and his wife of 45 years, Keryl own the Montana Brewery Museum located in Polson. He is an enrolled member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes and taught college Anthropology for 30 years. Keryl and Steve have 5 grown children and 10 grandchildren. Steve is employed as a historic document researcher and is a Trustee and former President of the Montana Historical Society. He is a published author and frequent speaker on Montana’s brewing history.
(Photo credit: Carson Rose)
Continued from Page 7...
To all our contributing writers, we appreciate your hard work and dedication to helping educate our readers to the world of Montana Craft Beer. To learn more about our team, go to www.406hops.com
the other guy and Ty - 406 Kitchen & Tap Room
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Cut Bank Havre
Columbia Falls Bigfork
Black Eagle Ronan
Great Falls Belt
Missoula Lolo Stevensville
AREA 1 - Glacier Country
Backslope Brewing | 406-897-2850 1107 9th St. W., Columbia Falls backslopebrewing.com
Bandit Brewing Co. | 406-646-6003 308 E. Tanner, Darby banditbeer.com
Bayern Brewing, Inc. | 406-721-1482 1507 Montana St., Missoula bayernbrewery.com Bias Brewing | 406-730-3020 409 1st Avenue E, Kalispell facebook.com/biasbrewing Opening Soon
White Sulphur Springs
Red Lodge Big Sky
Big Sky Brewing Company | 406-549-2777 5417 Trumpeter Way, Missoula bigskybrew.com Bitter Root Brewing | 406-363-7468 101 Marcus St., Hamilton bitterrootbrewing.com Blacksmith Brewing | 406-777-0680 114 Main St., Stevensville blacksmithbrewing.com Bonsai Brewing | 406-730-1717 549 Wisconsin Ave., Whitefish bonsaibrew.com Cabinet Mountain Brewing | 406-293-2739 206 Mineral Ave., Libby cabinetmountainbrewing.com Conflux Brewing Co. | 202 E. Main St., Missoula Opening 2018 Draught Works Brewing | 406-541-1592 915 Toole Ave., Missoula draughtworksbrewery.com Dunluce Brewing | 406-531-4578 Superior, Montana dunlucebrewing.com Flathead Lake Brewing FLB #1 Woods Bay Brewery | 406-837-0353 26008 East Lake Shore Rte., Bigfork FLB #2 Bigfork Brewery | 406-837-0085 116 Holt Dr., Bigfork
FLB #3 of Missoula | 406-542-3847 424 N. Higgins Blvd., Missoula flatheadlakebrewing.com Gild Brewing | 515 S. Higgins, Missoula In Planning Stage Glacier Brewing | 406-883-2595 6 Tenth Avenue East, Polson glacierbrewing.com Great Burn Brewing | 406-317-1557 2230 McDonald Ave., Missoula greatburnbrewing.com Great Northern Brewing | 406-863-1000 2 Central Ave., Whitefish greatnorthernbrewing.com H.A. Brewing Co. | 406-889-3950 2525 Grave Creek Rd., Eureka habrewing.com Higherground Brewing | 406-375-5204 518 N. 1st St., Hamilton highergroundbrewing.com Imagine Nation Brewing | 406-459-8993 1151 W. Broadway, Missoula imaginenationbrewing.com Kalispell Brewing | 406-756-BREW 412 Main St., Kalispell kalispellbrewing.com
Montana Craft Beer Enthusiests Utilizing 406 HOPS B Kettlehouse Brewing | 406-728-1660 Southside: 602 Myrtle St., Missoula Northside: 313 N. 1st St. W, Missoula kettlehouse.com Limberlost Brewing Company | 406-356-6198 1017 Main St., Thompson Falls facebook.com/limberlostbrewingcompany In Planning Stage Lolo Peak Brewing | 406-493-6231 6201 Brewery Way, Lolo lolopeakbrewing.com Missoula Brewing Company | 406-549-8193 200 International Blvd., Missoula highlanderbeer.com
Don Schrauth started his journey with a passport
Start YOUR Montana Brewery Passp
OddPitch Brewing Co. | 406-360-5363 Missoula oddpitch.com (In Planning Stage)
Wildwood Brewing | 406-777-2855 4018 US Hwy 93 North, Stevensville wildwoodbrewing.com
Ronan Cooperative Brewery | 406-676-5901 200 International Blvd., Ronan facebook.com/ronancooperativebrewery In Planning Stage
Beaverhead Brewing | 406-988-0011 218 South Montana St., Dillon beaverheadbeer.com
Tamarack Brewing TB #1 | 406-844-0244 105 Blacktail Road, Lakeside TB #2 | 406-830-3113 231 W Front St., Missoula tamarackbrewing.com
PAGE 10 • Volume 1/Issue #6 • A PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO MONTANA’S BREWING NEWS
AREA 2 - Southwest Montana
Blackfoot River Brewing | 406-449-3005 66 S. Park Ave., Helena blackfootriverbrewing.com Butte Brewing | 406-491-5980 465 East Galena St., Butte facebook.com/buttebrewing
Mighty Mo Brewing | 406-952-0342 412 Central Ave., Great Falls mightymobrewing.com
White Dog Brewing Co | 406-992-5798 121 W. Main St., Unit B, Bozeman whitedogbrewing.com
Old Station Brewing Co. | 406-262-3105 140 First St., Havre oldstationbrewing.com Opening Fall 2017
AREA 5 - Missouri River Country
The Front Brewing Company | 406-727-3947 215 3rd St. NW, Great Falls thefrontbrewing.com Sidney
6 Miles City
Triple Dog Brewing | 406-879-8103 675 1st St. West, Havre facebook.com/brewon2
AREA 4 - Yellowstone Country 2 Basset Brewery | 406-547-BEER 202 E. Main, White Sulphur Springs 2bassetbrewery.com
Missouri Breaks Brewing | 406-653-1467 326 Main, Wolf Point missouribreaksbrewing.com
406 Brewing Co. | 406-585-3745 101 East Oak, Suite D, Bozeman 406brewing.com
AREA 6 - Southeast Montana
Bar 3 BBQ & Brewing | 406-388-9182 100 S Broadway, Belgrade bar3bbq.com
Bozeman Brewing Company | 406-585-9142 504 N. Broadway, Bozeman bozemanbrewing.com Bridger Brewing | 406-587-2124 1609 South 11th Ave., Bozeman bridgerbrewing.com
Joanna Church and Pam Before at Bozeman Brewing
port Today! montanabrewerypassport.com Crooked Furrow Brewing | 2801 Roberts St., Helena Opening Soon Elk Ridge Brewing Company | 406-560-2252 320 N. Main St., Deer Lodge elkridgebrewingcompany.com Lewis and Clark Brewing | 406-442-5960 1517 Dodge Ave., Helena lewisandclarkbrewing.com Muddy Creek Brewery | 406-299-3645 2 E. Galena St., Butte facebook.com/muddycreekbrewery Philipsburg Brewing PB #1 | 406-859-2739 101 W. Broadway, Philipsburg
PB #2/ Silver Springs Brewery & Tasting Room | 406-859-3226 106 Brewery Road, Philipsburg, philipsburgbrewingcompany.com
Bunkhouse Brewery | 406-577-2074 1216 W. Lincoln St., Bozeman bunkhousebrewery.com
Quarry Brewing | 406-723-0245 124 W. Broadway, Butte wedig.beer
Gally’s Brewing | 406-208-8256 32 South Central, Harlowton facebook.com/gallysbrewingco Opening Soon
Ruby Valley Brew | 406-842 5977 111 S Main St., Sheridan facebook.com/RubyValleyBrew
Katabatic Brewing Company | 406-333-2855 117 West Park St., Livingston katabaticbrewing.com
Smelter City Brewing | 406-490-5914 101 Main St., Anaconda facebook.com/Smelter-City-Brewing
Lone Peak Brewery | 406-995-3939 48 Market Place, Big Sky lonepeakbrewery.com
Snow Hop Brewery | 406-439-7045 685 Barney Drive, Helena facebook.com/snowhopbrewery Opening Soon
Madison River Brewing Co | 406-599-3429 20900 Frontage Rd., Building B, Belgrade madisonriverbrewing.com
Ten Mile Creek Brewery | 406-231-0575 48 N. Last Chance Gulch, Helena facebook.com/TenMileCreekBrewery
AREA 3 - Central Montana Black Eagle Brewery | 406-868-1866 1602 25th Ave. NE, Black Eagle pitstopblackeagle.com Cut Bank Creek Brewery | 406-229-0298 315 East Rail Road, Cut Bank cutbankcreekbrewery.com Harvest Moon Brewery | 406-277-3188 7 Fifth Street South, Belt harvestmoonbrew.com
Busted Knuckle Brewery | 406-228-2277 303 1st Avenue South, Glasgow facebook.com/bustedknucklebrew Meadowlark Brewing | 406-433-2337 117 S. Central Ave., Sidney meadowlarkbrewing.com
Beehive Basin Brewery | 406-995-7444 245 Town Center Ave., Big Sky beehivebasinbrewery.com
s Love Crafting Their Brew Tours Brewing News Map!
Blue Ridge Brewing | 406-672-2686 320 S 1st Street East, Malta facebook.com/blueridgebrewing.mt Opening Soon
Map Brewing Company | 406-587-4070 510 Manley Road, Bozeman mapbrewing.com Mountains Walking Brewery | 415-786-4205 808 Avocado St., Bozeman mountainswalking.com Neptune’s Brewery | 406-222-7837 119 North L St., Livingston neptunesbrewery.com Outlaw Brewing | 406-577-2403 2876 North 27th Ave., Bozeman outlaw-brewing.com Red Lodge Ales | 406-446-4607 1445 North Broadway, Red Lodge redlodgeales.com
Angry Hank’s Microbrewery | 406-252-3370 20 N 30th St., Billings facebook.com/angryhanks Beaver Creek Brewery | 406-795-2337 104 Orgain Ave. W., Wibaux beavercreekbrewery.com Canyon Creek Brewing | 406-656-2528 3060 Gabel Road, Billings canyoncreekbrewing.com Carter’s Brewing | 406-252-0663 2526 Montana Ave., Billings cartersbrewing.com Cross Country Brewing | 406-377-6912 320 E. Allard, Glendive facebook.com/xcbrews High Plains Brewing | 406-633-4594 601 E Main St., Laurel facebook.com/highplainsbrewing Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill | 406-534-8918 2203 Montana Ave., Billings lastchancecider.com Montana Brewing Co | 406-252-9200 113 N. Broadway, Billings montanabrewingcompany.com Old Skool Brewery | 406-690-5034 115 E Montana Ave., Baker facebook.com/oldskoolbrew Thirsty Street Brewing Co. | 406-969-3200 3008 1st Avenue N., Billings thirstystreet.com TiltWürks | 406- 874-8458 420 Pacific Ave., Miles City milescitybrewery.com Überbrew | 406-534-6960 2305 Montana Ave., Billings uberbrewmt.com White City Brewing | 406-998-9521 113 Main St., Lavina facebook.com/whitecitybrewing In Planning Stage Yellowstone Valley Brewing | 406-245-0918 2123 B 1st Avenue N., Billings yellowstonevalleybrew.com
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Beer is Community BOZEMAN - On a smoky evening at the Museum of the Rockies’ Living History Farm, the 2017 Hops & History Season Celebration kicked off. Early on people mingled as the beer started to flow from the 8 local breweries in attendance. 406 Brewing Bozeman Brewing Company Bridger Brewing Bunkhouse Brewery Madison River Brewing Company Map Brewing Company Outlaw Brewing Company White Dog Brewing Company Joe and Troy Moore
White Dog Deux BOZEMAN - As is the case with so many craft brewery owners, one of the two owners of White Dog Brewing Company in Bozeman, Montana gained his passion for brewing beginning at home. Joe Moore bought his first homebrew kit years ago and quickly developed a love for brewing. He brought his brother, Troy, in on the fun. Things advanced quickly and they soon found themselves with a very high-tech, sophisticated brewing system in their garage. By chance, they met the owner of Bozeman Spirits Distillery, who was looking for a brewery to move into the space next to the distillery and the rest is history! Jim Harris, the distillery owner, also owns a stake in the brewery; however, the businesses are run as separate establishments. White Dog Brewing Company is Bozeman’s fifth microbrewery and the Moore brothers employ 8 in addition to themselves. The brewery produces 1000 barrels/year and sells more than 12 varieties. They have created more than 25 varieties total since they opened their doors. He and Troy use all Montana grown grain when available and several hop varieties from the area as well. Although they currently have no plans for a production facility of their own, they do can their beers for distribution all over the state. They also opened a second White Dog Brewing Company in downtown Boise, Idaho on September 1st of this year. The Boise location is co-owned with Dan Jordan. Joe says they enjoy the freedom of playing around with new beers and directly applying customer requests. They both love all styles of beer and have developed a good reputation for their sour beers. At the time of Joe’s interview, the brewery had two sours on tap…..Blackberry Sour and Passion Fruit Gose.
When asked what his favorite style was, Joe said the Gose’s were really growing on him. If they could brew any variety of beer without regard to cost, production, or sales, Joe says they would like to brew more Lagers. But for now, they just take up too much space and time, even though he thinks they are delicious when done right. The Bozeman location does not currently serve food, but the brothers will soon be partnering with the restaurant next door. Nor does the Boise location serve food, but it can be ordered from Smoke & Thyme, which is a “huge mobile kitchen parked in the alley.” And as so many other brewers have mentioned, when asked if brewing were different than he thought it would be, Joe says there is an awful lot of cleaning and squeegeeing. The brewery was built from repurposed materials from around Bozeman itself. They tried to reuse as much of the material from the prior business, Schnee’s shoe store, as possible, hence the floorboards were turned into the back bar, tables, and bar stool seats. Bricks from Lehrkind’s Brewery was used in the custom-made bar. The bar is fitted with a frost rail, which is a cooled strip that keeps drinks chilled and is one of only a few that can be found in Montana. The name, White Dog Brewing Company, was derived from a combination of “a slang term for alcohol and a rather mellow white Lab hanging out behind the bar.” (— Article by Lynne Jourdonnais)
With food truck and lots of seating, the crowd settled into the sounds of Bluegrass provided by Gallatin Grass Project. With over 100 in attendance the night was going to be a great success as Steve Lozar, curator, and owner of the Montana Brewery Museum, took the stage to deliver a keynote lecture on the history of brewing in Montana. The crowd listened as Steve spun tales of the turn of the century when Montana started to grow and the demand for the cold beer did as well. It is hard to believe that Montana has such a rich history of bringing the people of that great state what the needs to after a hard day in the mine, railroad, or farm. Every now and then Steve would pause and as the crowd “ sip. sip, sip” before he continued to tell the tales certain areas of the state as Red Lodge, Butte, Anaconda, and more. Prohibition came to Montana 1919 and left the people of Montana with few choices to wet the taste buds. Near beer was the solution until Prohibition was repealed by the Volstead Act in 1933. After that the Great Falls Brewery started to gain the attention with lots of cold beer and the slogan of “Foamy not phony anymore”. The stats and tales kept on rolling as the patrons relaxed and listened to Steve as they moved from the different Brewery tasting tents and enjoyed the summer based selections. Some of my favorites were Map Brewing - Midas Crush West Coast IPA; Madison River Brewing Company - Four weight session IPA; and from Bozeman Brewing Co the Belgian Style Wit. The evening came to a close as friends and new friends finished the last of the beer as the sun started to set behind the museum. I had the chance to have a quick conversation with Steve and thank him for the talk and the enthusiasm that put smile smiles on all the faces. As we conversed more, it was very apparent that Steve loves Montana and the beer history that has kept changing over time and that the future was full the great opportunities for all beer lovers. Throughout his talk and after meeting Steve, I reflected back on the beers I had tried and all of the new and old faces I had seen over the last three hours and one thought came into mind. “Beer is community.” All walks of life, age, income, and knowledge were represented to celebrate beer and to learn more about the Breweries of the past and presented, represents Montana colorful history. (— Article by Travis Collins)
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There’s a new brewer in town! BILLINGS - Howard Range started brewing for Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company, (which will be marking its 21st birthday in October), in May when he was hired by owner George Moncure as an assistant brewer. Since May, Howard has been working under George’s tutelage to learn large scale brewing from the ground up. He is passionate about learning anything and everything there is to know about brewing operations in “the front and back of the house”. Howard feels humble and very lucky for the opportunity he has been given to learn the brewing trade at YVBC. Howard hales from Minneapolis, MN where his mother and 3 brothers still live. His father is now
gone, having passed away last August. His girlfriend and her 2 children live in Billings with him and they can often be found at YVBC as well. While still in Minneapolis, he vacationed in Montana to snowmobile, camp, and fly fish. He claims the mountains drew him to make the move to Montana… . mountains, and craft beer that is! Apparently, he also discovered Montana’s vibrant craft beer culture while on those vacations and visited several of the breweries while in our beautiful state. Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company was the very first brewery he visited and he was a quick fan after sampling a few of the options on tap, and listening to the great music playing on the stage that night.
When you have a passion for the mountains, ... HAMILTON - ...but also love great beer, where do you go? Living in Montana that’s not a hard dilemma to solve, and for two lifelong friends that sought to put their degrees to good use it meant moving home. After graduating from the University of Montana, Fenn Nelson sought a better career to put his business finance and economics degree than working at UPS. Jasper Miller earned a degree in microbiology, and promptly moved to Colorado to paint houses. Not exactly the ideal solution for respectable degrees, so the childhood friends got together one evening (presumably
over some suds) and came up with a plan: Jasper would earn a brewing certificate while Fenn built a business plan and scoped out a building to renovate in their hometown of Hamilton, MT. A few months later, in December 2011, Higherground Brewing Company opened their doors. More than Just a Few Taps Incorporating a wood-fired pizza oven, Higherground Brewing creates the perfect environment for a family night out. Each week is a different specialty pizza using primarily local
For the past thirteen years, he has been working as a paramedic via truck, ambulance, helicopter, and airplane. The beginning of his paramedic career in Montana found him alternating between two weeks on in Sidney and two weeks off playing in the wilds of Montana. From there he took a position in Cody working two 24 hour shifts a week with the other five days off. He made Billings his home and commuted to both jobs from here. Since being hired as a brewer’s assistant at YVBC, he has been working 7 days a week, two as a helicopter paramedic in Cody, and the other five at the brewery. He claims he’s a bit tired!! However, he left his paramedic life behind on September 13th and is now working exclusively for the brewery where he claims he plans to be for many years to come. Although he is not a native Montanan, he does root for the Griz over the Bobcats. When it comes to pro football, he is a Vikings fan with the Bronco’s as his “back up”. He belongs to the Billings Motorcycle Club and when he is not at work, he can often be found riding his motorcycle or playing on his dirt bike. He has even done some cross country races on his bike in the last three years. The cross country races also provide him opportunities to camp and meet new people. In 2000, after discovering his passion for craft beer on those visits to Montana, Howard began buying home brew kits and began to experiment with brewing. For about five years now, he had begun to contemplate taking on a second job or making a career change. He began to research his new passion and looked into what it would take to produce beer on a larger scale as well as researching various brews and equipment options to make that happen. During this time is when he ran across the assistant brewing opportunity
at YVBC. He was hired there part time but after three months of realizing how much he loved the job, he started working full time. And when asked by George if he wanted an assistant to wash kegs and clean equipment, Howard said no, stating he wanted to do it all by himself (at least for now) so he could learn every inch of the process of brewing in the new system. According to Howard, YVBC had 10 beers, 2 kombuchas, and a root beer on tap at the time of his interview. There were also 3 more brews fermenting which he stated would be ready prior to this issue being published. He currently doesn’t have a favorite variety to brew as he is so new to the process that he finds them all fun to craft. All of the grains used are sourced from Montana and they do recycle them by having farmers pick up the spent grains for feed. Sometimes, depending on what is being brewed, they also reharvest the yeast. Howard says that George is the brains behind the brewing process and that he is the muscle. When asked if brewing is different than he expected it to be, Howard says that it is much more physically demanding than he ever imagined and that it requires a lot more problem solving than he had expected. None of his beers have failed yet, and he attributes this to having George as a safety net. They are in constant communication via text and phone to keep the brewing running smoothly. When asked about plans for crafting his own recipes, he claimed that he is currently in a top secret collaboration with a local coffee house to produce a cold press nitro coffee....nothing to do with beer at all! But following that experience, he is hoping to brew a coffee porter. (— Article by Lynne Jourdonnais)
ingredients allowing families to come back week after week and have an entirely new experience, even if there isn’t anything new being poured from the taps (don’t worry, there’s more to the menu if pizza isn’t your thing). Those taps, however, are always changing. There are the 6 flagship beers: Base Camp Irish Red, Clear Water Crystal Ale, Dry Fly IPA, Flash Flood Milk Stout, Hurruh Scotch Ale, and Summerfoot Golden. But then there is the whirlpool series. The whirlpool series takes a standard beer and each batch rotates in a different species of hops. The result is that you get an entirely new experience, but at the same time, you can compare it to the previous beer. It’s a great way to branch out and discover the nuances between hops species. Alongside the 6 flagships and the whirlpool there are 4 or 5 seasonals that make their rounds: be on the lookout for a new sour beer coming soon. A Venture into Canning There’s a lot of competition in the beer industry.
So you have to set yourself apart. While most companies are doing that with fancy artwork on their bottles, Higherground is making headway with the opposite. Their three canned varieties (Hula Hopped IPA, Flash Flood Milk Stout, and At Ease Golden Ale) have relatively simple cans. The result is that they pop out from shelves when others tend to blend in. The cans allow further distribution from the brewery; venturing into Helena, Missoula, and into the Bozeman area, but they are also a great way to distribute samples to bars that may want to carry these brews. Higherground Brewing Company has been serving up great food and refreshing beer to the Bitterroot Valley for six years now. Isn’t it time you popped in for a pint? (— Article by Scott Sery)
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Celebrating W O M E N in... Brew Master to Cider Master - Hilary BILLINGS - Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill’s new “fresh from the Flathead” cider maker is excited to go to press! Hilary Kaye Robinson recently made her way here from Flathead Lake Woods Bay Brewery where she was the brewer, to press apples for cider for this year’s offerings at LCPCM. World traveler. Why in the heck does one leave the Flathead Valley for Billings, we asked? Well, Hilary was born in Germany to military parents originally from Kansas. After living in a few other military locales, the family relocated back to Kansas to settle permanently. At age 19, in college with no idea what education path to follow, Hillary realized that she wanted the adventure of various cultures. First, she experienced New Zealand. Her thought was to travel for a year then return to K.U. She realized she was hooked on recreation and the adventure of world travel. Australia and New Zealand, followed! Next, back to the states, Colorado maybe? “Nah, I can’t go back to Kansas”. From oceans to mountains. After working her way through various continents in the hospitality industry, she chose Big Fork, trading ocean views of past travels to the beautiful lakes and mountain ranges of Montana. She worked various positions at a couple resorts and inns in Big Fork and Whitefish, then gained employment waitressing
at the new Big Fork location of Flathead Lake Brewing Company. Hilary was soon assisting the brewing crew with anything and everything- from washing kegs to the canning line. Not only did she find the crew fun to work with, she truly was interested in the whole process. What about waitressing? Not so much! The excitement of returning to school. By 2014 Flathead Community College debuted the 2-year Brewing Science and Brewery Operation Course. Tim Jacoby, xxbrewer at FLBC at the time, was an adjunct instructor for the program. He recognized Hilary’s willingness to work hard and learn and encouraged her to enroll. While attending the program’s first year course ever, she interned at
the FHLB Woods Bay location, assisting the brewer by cellaring and serving. After graduating, she permanently became the brewer! Fresh Beginning. Fast Forward to the present. I loved working for Flathead Lake Brewing Company but I needed a change. Experiencing “cabin fever” again, I happened to meet Amanda Little- Oakes of Red Lodge Ales at a brew-fest. She was telling me that Red Lodge Ales was looking to hire a brewer AND a cider master. My interest was piqued. I interviewed for both, ultimately the cider master intrigued me more. Show time. At the time of press Hilary and the crew is readying for production. Although there are many similarities between brewing beer and cider, cider is seasonal with higher PH levels and alcohol volume, meaning it can be stored and served much longer. The equipment is a bit
Find Me Where the Wild Things Are - Julie BOZEMAN - Meet Julie Lehenbauer of Red Lodge Ales. Born and raised in Iowa with an older sister and older brother, Julie comes from solid Midwestern stock. She attended college at the Kansas City Art Institute, where she gained an appreciation for everything crafted by hand. During school, she made a friend that offered the opportunity to spend a summer working in Alaska. Yearning for the mountains and all of the recreation available, she decided to go! This is where she was introduced to the hobby popular with many Alaskans- Homebrewing. She fell in love with the process of handcrafting brews that she could call her own. After three years of playing hard and working harder up north, she returned to Iowa. Julie cherished the time spent with her family, and gained a deeper appreciation of home. While
rediscovering her childhood town, Julie worked behind the tap room bar at Great River Brewing. Quickly she jumped right into conducting the brewery tours and shortly thereafter, she was promoted to canning and cellaring. For two years Julie worked long hours. On days off she enjoyed trail running, mountain biking, and boating on the Mississippi. Again, a whole new perspective of Iowa and home. But, the inevitable yearn for the mountains was mightier than her Iowa Mississippi river. The wilderness was calling. She found an advertisement on Probrewer.com for a cellaring position posted by Sam Hoffman of Red Lodge Ales. Julie had never been to Montana but was certain it would be a perfect fit offering backpacking, snowboarding, and the mountain town lifestyle! She applied and was awarded the position. The whole experience was daunting at first, she had never encountered Red Lodge Ales. Her first reaction- Wow! Solid beer. Starting from the ground up and having the home brewing and cellaring experience was helpful, but it was important to Julie to learn every aspect of Red Lodge Ales’ operation! Julie’s Mantra; When one knows the entire process, one can understand the
science and nuances of the beer. When Julie was asked about brewing challenges she talked of the rye styles, particularly the 1891 Summer Ale- a beer with a hefty rye bill. When a recipe includes a high percentage of rye (or any hull-less grain), rice hulls are used to aid in a smooth lauter, without the hulls, the mash will become stuck. The science of the process is different from other styles - it’s not so much a challenge but a different step needed, which made for a great trial and error. Also, the recent Hop Harvest warrants a wet hop process. In early September breweries invite the community to gather for a harvest celebration. Hops are gathered from backyards, picked from the vine, dried and added whole to the wort, the end result is different every time! Julie’s favorite part of working at Red Lodge Ales is everyone is family. At this time, the brewing
PAGE 14 • Volume 1/Issue #6 • A PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO MONTANA’S BREWING NEWS
different too! No more standing over HOT boiling brew! Hilary will be cold pressing apples from orchards throughout Montana and Washington then will be continually cleaning, monitoring and cellaring. More to come. Spending the morning with Hilary proved to be not only educational but great fun. She is gregarious, witty and eager to jump right in her latest career endeavor. As we at 406 HOPSBN are new to Cider, we will be learning more about the ensuing process. Watch for our Blogs, not only will we educate about Cider, but we think Hilary herself is newsworthy too! (— Article by Treva Grewe)
is performed by her and one other brewer. Soon though, others will be added and any employee showing interest and potential can certainly be promoted within. If an employee shows talent in any aspect of the operation, they are recognized for their particular talents. Take, for instance, Amanda Little-Oaks. Amanda was a server with an impressive knack for retail, they even joked that Amanda could sell popsicles to a woman wearing white gloves. Amanda is now and has been for quite some time, their enthusiastic outside sales representative. She travels extensively and executes sales to retail accounts and distributors, all the while knowing Red Lodge Ales products and the equipment’s inner workings, backward and forward! Sam’s team has one another’s backs and are proud to be part of the Red Lodge community. In the calmer months, they go as a group to visit local establishments and accounts to show their support, express gratitude and have a great time together. As for Sam and his family, they also have strong ties to the community and the many other surrounding towns. From various fundraisers and Pint Nights benefiting the Red Lodge Women’s Shelter, for example, Sam and Red Lodge Ales can be counted on! We had a fantastic time visiting with Julie, one can tell she fits right into Red Lodge Ales company, she appreciates and takes seriously her responsibilities, the comradery, and loves the area! Stop in and say hello as everyone is made to feel part of the community! (— Article by Vince Grewe)
Festivals Around the State
Have Beer, Will Travel - Amanda I am the Regional Sales Director for Red Lodge Ales and Last Chance PUB and Cider Mill. I am responsible for communicating and updating the wholesalers we work with in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. This includes, updating the beer and cider list and keeping them in the KNOW with our new products, availability and sizes. I also travel to each market to meet with sales reps from the distributors and the accounts that sell RLA products. I try to keep the retailers as happy as I can by promoting their bars and businesses. Tap takeovers, pint nights, charity events, give-a-ways, to name a few all with an AMAZING ATTIDUDE and PASSION for our beers. I’d like to think of myself as glorified Cheerleader for the brand, instead of pom-poms and cart wheels, I carry seasonal beers and ciders and average about 3000 miles in the car a month. It’s pretty awesome. I work beside and with the Owner Sam, the Master Brewer, the GM Justin, and all of our brew crew - Jules, Will, Geno, Dylan, Mike, Madeline, Will, Tim, Andy, Cordus, Dale, and even our accountant Alan. I help generate conversations about a new canning line, new beers we could make, new territory we could take over, ideas of growth and development. I try as hard as I can to express passion and excitement about what we do in our brewery, and always thankful the men and women behind the scenes, for making my job a little easier, ensuring we are still making the most consistent and great tasting beer in Montana.
I work from the office a few days a month and from the road the rest of the time. I love meeting other people in the industry and always love asking questions about how they do this job. I think the best way of growing is by asking questions and never being afraid to say NO. Never think you know it all, always keep your promises, work together with other breweries and always SMILE! I have worked in Retail my entire life, Shoes, Clothing etc. and Craft beer is the most competitive market I have ever had the pleasure of being in. I love the challenge of every day operations and the joy I get when people walk up to me and say “BENT NAIL IS THE ONLY BEER I DRINK” or “RED LODGE ALES MAKES SOME AMAZING BEERS, WHY DON’T YOU HAVE MORE BEER IN MT TOWN?” Trust me folks, I am working as hard as I can to get you the beer you want. Just keep asking your local bars to get it, and I will be there to bring it! (— Article by Amanda Little-Oaks)
Mark Hastings (aka beer whisperer)
BILLINGS — Taste of Summer
Nolan Smith, Jason Hands and Nkokhelo Nhlaka Msomim Red Lodge Ales
Hilary & Amanda
Michael Garrity and Seth Swingley
HELENA — Montana Brewers Summer Rendezvous
Ran Rice & Shea Dawson with Bri Bagwell
MILES CITY — Rock’n MC Brew Fest and concert
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“Slowly, but Surely.” Missoula — Is how co-owner Matt Dagle described how he got his start brewing beer. Slowly, but surely is also how Matt and Gabe Stinchfield (co-owner, as well) are approaching opening their brewery, Odd Pitch. The hope is to have it open by the fall of 2018. They say they are close and they are both anxious and could get started today if they had to but they’re taking their time trying to find a unique Missoula neighborhood in order to serve a part of town
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that doesn’t have a nearby brewery. We’re hoping to focus on a neighborhood approach” said Gabe, and soon after Matt added “We’re looking for a neighborhood. We have in mind two maybe three underserved neighborhoods, and not just brewery underserved” Serving a neighborhood is less about finding the prime real estate and more about tying in with the surrounding community. The two owners have decided on the “Odd Fellows” program where beer drinkers can pay a certain amount of money to provide input and feedback to the brewery owners. “It’s a mug club, without the mug.” Odd Fellows can join different membership tiers and with each tier comes different benefits. They’ve even toyed with the idea of an Odd Fellow who joins a high enough tier status having some ownership stake in the company. But they have not settled on that idea yet. Gabe is looking forward to what Odd Fellows and those in the community have to say. “I figure more of adding the community into it. It’s your brewery, what do you want to see out of this? What’s your input on our project? We’re making beer that we like but were making beer for people to drink and if you don’t like it you might as well tell us what you do like so we can keep making it.” What’s in a name? Well, a vision. That’s what. The two started with the name Odd Pitch and went from there. The vision is for every single thing they do to be, well, odd. Though the plan is to have flagship style of beers, Matt and Gabe want to have a rotating menu of beers pretty much at all times. Matt describes, “were toying with the idea of doing a constant rotating list. I don’t know if people want the same thing every time they go in. I think we just both like the idea of you can come in and you can always have a constant, you always know there is going to be a light beer, hoppy, dark beer, but also knowing it’s gonna be new” Don’t know where to watch a heavy metal band one night, and maybe a string quartet the next night? This might be the place for you. Maybe you’re tired of status quo and looking for a brewery that’s is going to make living on having new flavors that you have never tried before. And sours. Quality sours. Odd Pitch got its name because “we named the brewery Odd Pitch to try and literally be the weirdos.” Gabe is looking to create beers with wild flavors, “mainly been focusing on wide experimentation. Mostly it’s like trying to sort through what kind of new flavors can I create, that nobody’s ever tasted before. A lot of bizarre stuff at times.” Matt is going to be focusing on crafting true barrel aged and blended sours, “We are really going to have a large barrel aging facility, large compared to what other people are doing in the state.” Both Matt and Gabe got their start in home brewing, 10 years and 9 years ago respectively. Both have spent their time honing their craft but also learning the tricks of the trade by shadowing other breweries from Montana to Washington and Oregon. Gabe has experience managing many types of beer related businesses and will lean on his experience to run the business. Though they haven’t known each other for the life of their brewing experiences, each of them have been constructing a business plan for years and years. The challenge now for Matt and Gabe, who met while working at Lolo Peak Brewery, is working together to mesh their business plans into one. An Odd one. As they navigate the prospect of opening their brewery it’s clear they’re in it for the beer. “I am a beer nerd through and through,” said Gabe. And Matt agrees. Be sure to keep up to date with Matt and Gabe by going to www.oddpitch.com and checking them out on social media. (— Article by Alex Hartford)
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PAGE 16 • Volume 1/Issue #6 • A PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO MONTANA’S BREWING NEWS
Montana HOMEBREWING News The Big Difference between Ales and Lagers
The ongoing Home Brew dilemma
If you’re an avid beer connoisseur, you likely know a bit about ales and lagers. And if someone was to ask you what the difference between the two is, you would probably say something along the lines of, “Ale yeast ferments on the top of the beer while lagers ferment on the bottom.” Or maybe, “Ales ferment at room temperature (sometimes warmer) and lagers ferment at refrigerator temperatures.” Both statements are true, but for most people they’re not really concerned with where the yeast sits, or the temperature. In order to understand the big difference between ales and lagers, we have to take a look at the complete history of beer brewing. The Complete History of Beer Brewing (Abridged) 5,000BCE – Analyses of pottery shows traces of beer in Mesopotamia. 4,000BCE – Sumerian tablet depicts people drinking beer. 3,000BCE – Analyses of pottery shows traces of barley based beer in China and Mesopotamia. 3,000BCE – All (known) brewmeisters were female. 3,000BCE to 15th Century – The terms beer and ale were used interchangeably. Late 15th Century – Lager yeast came onto the scene in Bavaria. It gained traction in Plzen, the birthplace of the pilsner. 18th Century – During the industrial revolution homebrewing saw a rapid decline as commercial brewing picked up. Early 20th Century – Lager yeast, Saccharomyces pastorianus, isolated by Emmil Christian Hansen. Most scholars agree that brewing began in Europe and Asia. The general consensus is that fermenting was actually discovered on accident (it is thought that yeast was found in the wild on grape skins). Through trial and error the yeast was isolated, but many didn’t fully understand why it worked. These yeasts have now been researched, and it turns out all of the wild yeasts in Europe and Asia are ale yeasts. On the other hand, lager yeasts have yet to be discovered in the wild in Europe. Where Does Lager Yeast Come From? Ale yeast is abundant, it has been isolated, and is all over Europe. But why did it take thousands of years from the time fermentation was discovered (using ale yeasts) to the time when lager yeasts were used and perpetuated? The short answer: because that’s how long it took humans to start crossing the ocean. If you look at the dates from when lagers were developed, they overlap the dates when humans started crossing from South America to Europe. It was only a few years ago that scientists were finally able to narrow down that the common lager yeasts used today originated in Patagonia (Argentina) and somehow hitched a ride (likely on oak barrels or crates) back to Europe. This cold hearty yeast revolutionized beer, and it was nothing but a stowaway. The Taste Difference between Ales and Lagers Ales tend to be fruity, estery, or hoppy. Lagers tend to be cleaner, and often described as “crisp.” So why do the two yeasts produce different tastes? The difference is in the temperature. Ales are fermented between 55 and 70 degrees (even warmer in specialty beers like farmhouse ales). Lagers are fermented between 38 and 50 degrees; temperatures at which ale yeast strains go dormant. The result is unique lager characteristics. Scientifically speaking, every 18 degrees you increase your beer’s fermenting temperature, the chemical composition changes. So the flavors of a beer fermented at 38 degrees will be vastly different than the flavors at 56, 74, or 92 degrees. Lower temperatures mean fewer off-flavors, and ultimately a crisper, cleaner, mellower beer that is generally a little lower in alcohol content. So what’s the big difference between ales and lagers? Ales hail from the Old World; Lagers come from the New World. (— Article by Scott Sery)
Like most beer lovers I have dabbled in the dark arts of trying to create beer in my Kitchen. For me, it started in college when a friend needed a bit of help brewing on a fall Saturday and offered to “teach me” if I would be willing to help in some of the heavy lifting. I remember walking into his kitchen an wondering how the hell we were going to get all these ingredients to come to gather to make something we wanted to drink. His kitchen looked like my 7th-grade science lab with beakers, glass tubes, and a big pot of boiling brown liquid that smelled like dirty laundry. With a crack of a beer (because you need one to make one), I jumped right in. I was fascinated and felt like I was finding a new way to connect with beer and understand what it really took to get to the final product of a cold pint in my hand. The time ticked by and the process started to come to a close. We place the carboys in the basement of his college rental and looked back on the process and the mess that we had created. It was a labor of love I thought as we washed the tools of the trade. With a new found respect and knowledge I sat out on the task of gathering my own collection of carboys, tubes, boil pots, ETC…. This was mid 90’s in Bozeman and there was a small collection of home brewers that I started to hang out with. We all were starting from scratch and looking for ways to improve the final product. The final beer was never some thing to brag about, but it was made with the best ingredients we could find and a lot of great stories as we watched the wort boil. We met fairly consistent for about 6 months as the focus and the passion kept us connected to the prize at the end of the process “Free Beer”. Life was good and the beer was cold, but as time went on the group would get smaller every month at our brew day when life started to talk over as a mid 20 year old. After college as few guys got full-time jobs. A few moved away, I found the girl of my dreams and eventually the home brew kit was sold to a young kid with the same hope in his eye I had 3 years before. Now as a father of three I am getting the itch again. The itch to drink beer, talk about beer and make beer worth those who feel the same way. Life has a way of getting busy and schedules fill up weeks in advance. But on a cold fall day many years ago learned that you have to make time for friends, stories, and the beer that they make. (— Article by Travis Collins)
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Rockin MC Home Brew Club <email@example.com>
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Pinball-themed Brewery, Sport’s Bar & Casino MILES CITY — At the confluence of the Yellowstone & Tongue rivers in southeastern Montana is Miles City. In Miles City, there is the most awesome theme brewery this Pinball Wizard has ever seen! Tilt Würks Brewhouse & Casino opened in August 2016. Owned by Denis and Rhonda Leidholt, Tilt Würks Brewhouse is a Pinball-themed Brewery, Sport’s Bar & Casino featuring fresh brewed craft beer & gastro-pub food in a great Montana atmosphere. Brewer Earl Howe started brewing beer in late September 2016 (after federal licensing delays) The brewery features 32 antique pinball back-glasses from the 1960’s, 70’s, & 80’s illuminated above the bar and in a hallway. The bar top features assorted pinball machine parts illuminated under glass in a shadow box. The pinball machines were part of an amusement route started in the 1950’s which was bought in 1983 by Western Gaming Inc. (Denis Leidholt was a former co-owner along with his brother Duane). The 8 front beer taps are the first installation in the U.S. from Streamline Beverage, Australia. They feature an iced column with a clear cylinder on top showing the beer (similar to an old-fashioned gas pump). Is your spouse or friend not the beer geek that you are? Worry not, Tilt Würks also features 8 guest beer taps along with a full beverage liquor license. It has a great sports-viewing environment featuring 15 big screen TV’s along with a 10’ projection TV. Fantasy Football is a major part of our fall & winter entertainment along with weekly Trivia & Bar Bingo. The four Flagship beers are: Replay IPA – A West Coast style session IPA
dry hopped with Cascade, Motueka, Nelson, Sauvin & Pacific Jade hops. Hints of citrus and pine with a tropical finish. High Score Hefeweizen – Just like it sounds yet crisp and clean with hints of banana, toffee, and cloves. Bang Back Blueberry Wheat – Subtle blueberry flavor with a clean, crisp and refreshing finish. Definitely was a crowd favorite at this summer’s first Brew Festival in Miles City! Wedge Head White IPA- A careful marriage between an American IPA and a Belgian Wit with a touch of spice to complement wonderful fruity aromas. Four seasonal rotators and 8 guest taps round off the bountiful beer menu! Hungry? Well besides the traditional brew pub fare of burgers, chicken strips, and sandwiches, Tilt Würks features the gut-bustin’ Big Ol’ Chicken Fried Steak – a half-pound of culinary heaven! Their weekly menu specials include a Bacon Cheeseburger Wrap, Stuffed Jalapeno Burger, Chicken Alfredo, Monte Cristo Sandwich, Southwest Salad and Sesame Ginger Salmon Salad. Fan favorites are the Tender Tips, Scotch Eggs and the Full Tilt Poutini Sandwich. When Denis and Rhonda were asked to name their favorite beers (other than their own), the replied mostly Montana beers and they really enjoy those from Meadowlark, Uberbrew, and Canyon Creek. This just goes to show that they get around and really appreciate the Montana Beer Scene. Tilt Würks Brewhouse & Casino is definitely worth a road trip if you don’t live nearby. One visit and you’re hooked! You’ll definitely want a free replay! (— Article by Vince Grewe)
A German in Montana; An Unlikely Kinship BOZEMAN - Bavaria is home to the epitome of the best Germany has to offer. From iconic castles and the Bavarian Alps, to Oktoberfest and a rich history steeped in traditions stretching all the way back to the 6th century AD, it’s a charmed region containing scenic marvels and a people dedicated to a life of custom and celebration. Just ask Jurgen Knoller, Missoula’s resident German Brewmaster and owner in charge of Bayern Brewing. Knoller brings that sense of idyllic consideration to a brewery that forgoes modernistic brewing tendencies and instead reveals what the old German brewers knew to be true; it first starts with the finest ingredients, a passion for the process, and good ‘ole hard work. Jurgen Knoller is no stranger to hard work, and his passion for beer and beer brewing began in his humble German State of Bavaria, where he quickly rose through the ranks as an apprentice on through Professional Brewer and Journeyman Brewer, and finally graduated as a Masterbrewer in 1987. It is undoubtedly through this education, coupled with the vast region and ample resources, that has ultimately churned out a man with indelible brewing talents. And having a background such as this has translated well for Knoller, whose move to Montana wasn’t a move away from what he has known, but rather a move towards what he has always held dear. Knoller participates in outdoor activities and enjoys motorcycling and with Western Montana’s mountains so close, it often feels as if the scenery in his life has been left unchanged; just the simpler things can be enjoyed, with no one to bug him, open space and a thriving business to leave to his
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children. Through the ups and down of owning a brewery and its accompanying restaurant The Edelweiss Bistro, Knoller continues to remain grounded and a practitioner of the old ways, with Bavaria and Germany close in his thoughts, and sharing the epiphany of traditional ingredients and its expenditure with all Montanans has left Knoller satisfied and admired. Having spent more than half his life here, his knowledge of Bavarian methods are still omnipresent and pervades all his brewing knowledge. The specific hops indigenous to varying valleys; the correct barley in order to distinguish the beer blend; the old-style purity law of Reinheitsgebot; these are the things Knoller has had the opportunity to live with, making his trip to and eventual stay in Montana all that more remarkable. And since all Bavarians place great value on food and drink, it’s without reproach that Knoller has been as successful as he has, with both his food and drink gaining such high praise. Besides being a gifted brewer and business man, Jurgen Knoller is also a visionary. He saw something in Montana that equated to a kinship, and in return, he brought his vision to Missoula in hopes of sharing his heritage to those who could appreciate it as much as he relished in creating it. It is a noble person who gives a lot of himself to those who may not yet be ready to receive it, and it’s a safe bet to conclude that Knoller has gotten at least as much from Montana as he has willfully given it. (— Article by Josh Michael)
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Travis’s biggest concern was finding a brewer. After several interviews…enter Tim Schnars. Tim’s passion for what he calls “the most diverse and sophisticated beverage on the planet” is to him, a spiritual matter. He thrives on the diversity of beer’s ingredients and that anything is possible with these ingredients that he so respects. After all, he can often be found speaking of beer as a historical catalyst and a main driving force behind the rise of the culture of civilization. To Tim, beer represents hope and possibility. He believes that fermented foods and beverages are a vital component of what it means to be human and that gastronomy (the art and science of fine food and beverage) is on the cutting edge of evolution. Tim Schnars began brewing professionally in Pennsylvania in 2006, after years of homebrewing. Prior to his brewing career, he pursued a career in computer animation with postsecondary certification in Advertising and Design. Remodeling and construction on Meadowlark Public House and Brewing began in the very cold winter of 2012. Eighteen months later, the public house opened in May 2014, with their first three beers debuting in August of that year. Deciding to focus on brewing, Travis leased the restaurant space to a local company. The Public House is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm, serving 16 craft beers on tap – some Meadowlark’s and some guest beers – and unique wines not found in the local shops. The food menu has something for everyone! The menu includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, steaks, seafood, and much more. Back to the beer. Meadowlark’s current portfolio consists of 12 seasonals from three different seasonal lines, and 6 year-round favorites, including an as-of-yet to be released IPA: • Treasure State - Crystalweizen Extra light wheat ale filtered to pristine brilliance. — ABV: 4.5% • Harvester - Cream Ale Light bodied, smooth, traditional, and easy to drink. A nice introduction into the world of craft beer. — ABV: 5.5% • Ole Gus® - Scotch Rye Wee Heavy Robust caramel malt notes. This ale features a slight crispness married to subtle fruity esters from Edinburgh ale yeast. Dark ruby colored. — ABV: 7.0% • Badlands® - Extra Pale Ale A tangerine-gold ale, crisp with moderate bitterness and floral notes reminiscent of tropical fruit, lemons, and grapefruit. — ABV: 6.5% — IBUS: 70
Beer; We all like beer, if you’re reading this publication... ... it’s kind of a given you’re a fan of beer. But, where are you a fan of drinking your beer? Most people are comfortable drinking their beer at home. With supper, in front of the tv while the game is on, in the basement or the shop. Cans and bottles out of the fridge, mini-fridge or the ice chest...these are the most common places to procure you beverage. Now, there are a few folks I know, both men and women, who have growlers, crowlers and yes, even the keg (5 gallon) on tap in the She-shed or Man-cave. This is getting close to being like the local draft pub or tap house, and if you are fortunate enough, your local Montana brewery. (you can add a fanfare of music when Montana and Brewery come up throughout this prose) So, what do you want in your local Montana Brewery, tap house and hangout? I have seen breweries with themes; cars, pickups, toys, swords, trees, antlers, sheet metal, plastic and games. Pool tables, darts and all manner of ‘pub accouterments’. What does the average beer tippler want? In a completely non-scientific study yours truly performed at the drag races in Malta over the Labor Day Weekend, I have found that people of all ages, very different backgrounds and amazingly different occupations share quite a bit in common in what they think makes a good beer watering hole. Seating, comfortable seating, even with the brewery being limited to a puny 48 ounces per night, the average sipper wants a comfortable seat. The basic seat is the ol’ bar stool, the tall bar stool, iconic in any Montana Brewery. It’s a great perch for the old bottom...IF it has a foot ring on
it and a swivel. Nobody wants to have their feet dangle like a toddler, uncool, uncomfortable, undesirable and makes for short tips. A nice, well padded, full sized bar stool is the key If you are sitting at the bar. At the bar, you are most likely wanting to visit, talk and generally interact with others that aren’t in your party and you want to have a comfortable perch to do it from. When standing at the bar… .again, a foot rest; the bar rail is a necessity. When I belly up to the bar, I expect to be there a few minutes ordering, paying and waiting. Give me something to strike a pose on. For most men, the foot on the bar rail pulls a little slack out of the seat of the britches and shows a better butt then old stovepipe pants while we are standing and waiting. It’s all about the appearance, give us an opportunity to peacock a bit, the bar rail supplies this niche. The Bar Rail itself, chrome is very, very overdone. Brass, Copper, Black pipe, a wood rail. Paint that shows some wear, these are the thing. We want it to look invitingly broken in, not shiny and slick and unused or one that is going to flatten with one light lean. Watch any old western with a bar fight scene and you’ll see the perfect bar rail. The table and chairs; this was a huge variance in my survey. Benches, chairs, roller chairs, short stools and even couches and love seats all were all mentioned… . The bottom line is the bottom, the buns crave comfort, and comfort, like beer flavors, are all very individual. Everyone wants to be comfortable, an eclectic blend of seating seems to be the best. They need to be mobile and easy to move from table to table.
• Black Steer’s Tookus® - Oat Malt Stout A velvety smooth stout made with malted oats and British ale yeast. Pitch black with coffee hints, and a cocoa finish. Easy drinking. — ABV: 5.5% • Et Cetera - India Pale Ale Pale amber with assertive bitterness and tropical fruit flavors and aromas. Brewed with El Dorado and Azaaca hops and Montana-distilled Hopzoil. — ABV: 6.9% — IBUS: 85 Meadowlark Brewing strives for consistency and quality. They centrifuge all their beers and filter most because they believe it signifies their commitment to their craft and distinguishes their beer from their competitors. Aside from quality, what sets them apart is their use of ingredients and unique styles. Tim has a brewing philosophy that he calls “crypto-gastronomy”, or the art and science of cultivating non-traditionally derived flavors and aromas. Meadowlark loves exposing people to something they have never tried before. They like to innovate and try things a little different than everyone else but also brew some styles that are not readily available in Montana. Meadowlark has three seasonal lines of beer: Fruits & Fields Series (Field, Fruit, and Spice beers): • Fungus Shui® – Mushroom Dessert Ale brewed with Candy Cap mushrooms • Peach Wheat – American Wheat ale with fruit • Squashtoberfest® – Colonial Festbier brewed with Butternut Squash • Snowflake – Gingerbread Ale brewed with a new unique ingredient every year
Constellation Series (Belgian-Inspired beers): • Draco – Amero-Belgo Grand Cru IPA • Pegasus – Farmhouse Saison • Argo – Biere De Garde • Orion – Belgian-style Tripel Flights of Fancy Series (Imperial beers): • Teddy Roosevelt American Badass - Imperial Wheat IPA aged on American Oak • Car Ramrod® – Imperial Pilsner • Nice Marmot® – Imperial Dunkelweizen • Mob Barley® – American Barleywine
As for future brands, Travis and Tim say that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Current annual production is near 1000 barrels. They’ve been canning for a couple of years and began bottling bombers this year as well. Meadowlark beer is distributed across Montana and in parts of Wyoming and North Dakota. In closing, we asked Travis the age-old question. Bobcat or Grizzly Football? Being a deep-thinker Travis replied: “A better question would be - Who would win between a team made of both Griz and Bobcats against Ditka? Answer would, of course, be Ditka.” (— Article by Vince Grewe) Tables, high tables, low tables, bench tables, round, square and rectangle. Not really an issue. Just enough that a group can gather and visit. And set up so they can be slid together as people join in. Napkins or paper towels are a must and keep them clean. Nobody likes others crumbs, spills and stickiness. Our Montana Brewery protocol dictates that all breweries should have these Constants; A photo wall, local photos of the community. Old photos of the historic aspect of the area. Loggers, miners, cowboys, pictures of them with local landmarks, buildings, mountains lakes and the like. Everybody wants to know a bit about the local past and famous people from the past. When I’m in Butte I want to be reminded of Myrna Loy and Evel Knievel, I want photos and history. When I’m in Ronan, I want Marvin Camel, In Helena I want to connect to Gary Cooper. These are the conversation pieces I want trotted out. It gives me a chance to feel smart and smug at parties when I drop little informational gems like these. A trivia night and the local cause fundraiser. The dollar per pint donation. This particular group of surveyees thought a weekly or monthly fundraiser for a good cause was a great idea. Mostly to feel good about drinking beer during the week I think, but they did support it will full voice. We would also like to see a statewide Brewery Trivia Championship; Tee shirts, traveling trophy, major bragging rights and a free round at every brewery in the state for the winning team . . . We may have to delve deeper into this at another point. The final thing that my little survey featuring; The local Montana Brewery, netted me, was beer styles and food. This group wanted to see more local raw ingredients used in beer. Locally
farmed grains, Montana grown hops and our native vegetation; fruits, veggies (pumpkins?) and specialty beers. A good IPA, a stellar wheat beer, a thirst quenching brew (maybe a low calorie lite beer?) and a couple of different fruit beers. Every brewery needs a special beer that is their signature beer. Most brewers have this, so we figured that is the easiest aspect to reach. I have had beer flavors that are outstanding, apricot, wheat, rye, hot peppers, ginger, oranges, citrus and even spruce buds (ACKK!) Most are good, a few are great and all are worth trying. The is nothing like an ambitious brewer showcasing inventiveness and talent! And it’s a proven fact no matter how ‘different’ the beer is, somebody is going to like it. And to the food… Most folks don’t want a full meal, but snacks and beer absorption foods. Bar top snacks, pretzels, peanuts, wasabi peas, hand grabbers out of little paper bowls. A big serve yourself popcorn popper is always fun and Peanuts in the shell where you throw the shells on the floor; great for absorbing spills, feels neat when walking on them (think bubble wrap) and nothing maintains a hardwood floor like peanut oil… . Bigger snacks; Pizza pieces, deep fat fried mushrooms, zucchini, cheese, testicles, pickles and anything thing else the can be breaded and fried… Pretzels, the big doughy German pretzels with dipping sauce...cheese, beer sauces, mustards and of course, the old standby ranch dressing. Charcuterie trays with local meats and cheeses. We would like to see our local Montana Brewery present a showcase of Montana products. Take it for what it’s worth, but these are the thoughts of a small group of folks on the Montana Hi-line. (— Article by Thayne Mackey)
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Photo credit: Lynn Anderson
Continued from front cover...
“Best in Show” at the Queen City Oktoberfest! — with Jon Berens.
The Lucitones Leave a Mark new and alluring, along with what Matt the mad scientist has currently concocted. Good Medicine from Great Northern Brewing Company and Single Hop from Bitteroot Brewing are imbibed with frequency, and during shows a sessionable beer like Wheatfish is considered, or, as Roger attributes to Kenny Stiffler, beer gifted from generous attendees called freeBR (often PBR) is one of the most appreciated contributions of the night. Besides being professionals away from the band, The Lucitones recently released their debut full-length album in June, which was recorded in Denver, CO at The Crashpad Studio, and they also plan on beginning a southwest tour early 2018 in San Antonio, where their record label is based. Their debut album is available to stream on all major platforms, and any additional information can be retrieved at www.thelucitones.com as well as album purchases. The band is also fortunate enough to articulate their doggedness into a Kickstarter to help fund their debut album, and they hand print all their shirts while bassist Elliott Abbott provides the artwork. The Flathead Valley is known to contain both talented musicians and micro beer addicts alike and is a melting pot for gifted residents to enjoy more than just emaciated contentment of rural life. The Lucitones embody this inimitable ferociousness, an eagerness to put forth an unbridled passion for their music into the community they live in, a community that is better because of them. Just a small listen to their music will get you off your chair and on your feet. It will leave you reminiscing for the old days, the days when music was more than the coupling of notes and instead of a reason to stand tall and take action. Even if that action is ordering another round of beers. (— Article by Josh Michael)
Photo credit: Eric Waier
WHITEFISH — It’s not every day that a band comes along reminding all who listen that at one time there were greats among us, pushing forward with sound, thrashing, raising the tension in the room with heavy guitar riffs and throated squeals. There used to be iconic dive bars and clubs which primarily featured the non-mainstream, the outcasts, those who knew better than to live up to the status-quo. When CBGB was founded in the early ‘70s it immediately became inundated with bands such as The Ramones and The Cramps, a hotbed for punk music and the continually unimpressed alternatives that rapidly swept through the dregs of New York City. Now, over 40 years later, it is startling to think that same tradition has been kept alive and in Montana. The Whitefish, MT band The Lucitones embody what has long been considered the pariah of musical tastes: punk. And although they play a mix of rock, punk, and psychobilly, they know something that most music aficionados are unwilling to accept, and that is punk is the revolutionary art form, one which brings together the disenfranchised in order to stand up to the mechanized folly of conformists. There is nothing ordinary about The Lucitones; from their unique combination of heavy chords and intermittent harmonies, to Elliott Abbott’s choice of upright bass, the mold has been broken. But it’s this combination of like-minded musicians, and beer connoisseurs, that really make the Lucitones a spectacle of noise and innovation. What’s equally interesting about The Lucitones is their love of music coincides with their love of beer. Guitarist and lead vocalist Roger Fingar is a brewer for Great Northern Brewing Company, while drummer Matt Lawlor is an accomplished homebrewer. Practices usually include excited back-and-forth banter regarding which beers are
the place to go. Alongside the beers the brewery will not only be creating and serving great sushi, they will also have a sushi roller training program. Those interested in learning the craft are able to get on board, and hopefully, they will stick around to serve some of the best sushi around to those in the Livingston area. Expanding the Livingston Market With great success comes… a crowded tap room. Neptune’s has 8 flagship beers on tap, and 2 seasonal rotators to accompany the food. Jon and Lauren quickly found that they needed a bigger space. Putting their heads together, they decided to expand into a much larger facility. A new location will help to better serve the patrons and provide a more comfortable atmosphere where families can sit down for dinner and a pint; same great beer and food, better location. Jon has dedicated his career to making great beer; Lauren has been working tirelessly as the
The Lucitones: Elliott Abbott, Matt Lawlor and Roger Fingar
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project manager for the new facility. The Future of Neptune’s When Jon took over Neptune’s Brewery just a few years ago, it was essentially a one-man show. He has worked hard to dial in recipes and ensure a consistent product batch after batch. To help him, he hired a chemistry grad student from MSU. Jacob Robison has been helping make beer for about 2 years now, and his chemistry training has really helped to bring the beers to a whole new level. But that also meant things got even busier. So Jon recently brought on Chad Wistey to help out. Chad has been homebrewing for over 20 years and even worked at Neptune’s years ago. Big changes have happened since Jon and Lauren took over Neptune’s. Big changes are still to come. If you haven’t stopped in recently, bring a growler and have it filled the next time you drive through Livingston. (— Article by Scott Sery)
IN THIS ISSUE Breweries: Neptune Brewing, Meadowlark Brewing, Butte Brewing, White Dog, Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co., Higherground Brewin...
Published on Oct 11, 2017
IN THIS ISSUE Breweries: Neptune Brewing, Meadowlark Brewing, Butte Brewing, White Dog, Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co., Higherground Brewin...