September 23rd, 2020

Montana Beer History and Bozeman Breweries

Montana Beer History and Bozeman Breweries

Bozeman Breweries – Montana Beer History: Brewing, Craft-Brewers, Microbreweries

US Beer Sales Volume Growth 2019 - Brewer's Association
US Beer Sales Volume Growth 2019 – Brewer’s Association

Beginnings, Montana Brewing History: First named “Thorn-Smith Brewery” and then renamed “Virginia Brewery,” Montana’s first craft brewing industry began in Virginia City, Montana Territory in 1863–around the middle of the Civil War–by Thomas Smith, Christian Ritcher, and Henry Gilbert.

That same year–1863–just after the invention of the refrigerator in 1860, America produced 1,765,827 barrels of beer.

In Bozeman, beer-making history began in 1867 by German immigrants, Jacob Spieth and Charles Krug (Now the new Union Hall Brewery, Bozeman).

Montana Billings Brewery Beer-Bottle Car Western Heritage Center Photo
Billings Brewery Beer-Bottle Car Montana’s Western Heritage Center Photo

According to Michael Fox, history curator at Bozeman’s Museum of the Rockies,

“Brewers and breweries were some of the earliest community-building operations in Montana. Breweries were pretty much one of the first things built, usually before the church, in fact.”

According to Steve Losar, professor of anthropology at Salish Kootenai College, owner of Polson’s beer museum, and a man steeped in Montana beer history,

Having a brewery meant you had a stable town. It was part of the economic fabric and was tied to industries like mining and logging that produced thirsty kinfolk.

All Montana Breweries Listed Below

Beer Tax By State 2019 - Tax Foundation - Includes Montana Beer Tax
Beer Tax By State 2019 – Tax Foundation – Includes Montana Beer Tax

At that time (and to this day) Southwest Montana’s Gallatin Valley was home to some of the West’s biggest malt growers; in fact, the Valley, especially the city of Manhattan, Montana, was considered the “Egypt of the West,” emphasizing its grain-growing prowess.

In late 2018, Montana craft breweries produced approximately 18,500 barrels of beer and employed 2732 people. In 2017, Brewers used over 7,000,000 pounds of malt per year and barley acreage was around 940,000 acres, ranking the state second in the nation.

Today, in 2020, Montana’s number of craft breweries is over 90 (most listed below), and together Montana breweries comprise one of Montana’s fastest growing manufacturing divisions.

US Brewing per Capita Montana is Third in US
US Brewing per Capita Montana is Third in US

According to the Montana Brewers Association, Montana ranks second in the US for breweries per capitaVermont ranks first, Maine ranks 3rd.

According to a 2016 BBER research report, between 2010 and 2015, craft beer production in Montana increased by 87%, sales increased by 111 percent, and employment increased by 204%.

And, in late 2018, Montana breweries directly and indirectly employed more than 3000, had an annual economic impact of over $442 million, and sold their products to more than 120 million people.

Best List and Guide, All Montana Breweries in Q3 2020 (now over 90)

Belgrade, Montana Beer-Makers

Madison River Brewing
20900 I-90 Frontage
PO Box 1037
Belgrade, MT 59714
Telephone: 406-388-0322
Brewer/Owner: Howard McMurry
Outlaw Brewing
100 South Broadway
Belgrade, MT 59714

Belt, Montana Brewers

Harvest Moon Brewery
7 Fifth Street South
PO Box 510
Belt, MT 59412
Telephone: 406-277-3188
Owners: Stan Guedesse, John Ballantyne

Big Sky, Montana Breweries

Beehive Basin Brewery
245 Town Center Dr.
Big Sky, MT 59716
Telephone: 303-328-7338
Lone Peak Brewery
48 Market Place
PO Box 161773
Big Sky, MT 59716
Telephone: 406-995-3939
Brewer/Owner: Steve Nordahl

Bigfork, Montana Brewers

Flathead Lake Brewing
116 Holt Dr., Ste. A
Bigfork, MT 59911
Telephone: 406-837-2004
Brewer: Tim Jacoby
Spotted Bear Spirits
503 Railway St., Suite A
Whitefish, MT 59937
Telephone: 406.730.2436
Flathead Lake Brewing – Woods Bay
26008 East Lake Shore Rte.
Bigfork, MT 59911
Telephone: 406-837-0353
Brewer: Tim Jacoby
Whistling Andy Inc.
8541 State Highway 35
Bigfork, Montana 59917
Telephone: 406.837.2620

Billings, Montana Brewers

Canyon Creek Brewing
3060 Gabel Road
Billings, MT 59102
Brewer: Ron Kalvig
Angry Hank’s
2405 1st Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406-252-3370
Owner: Tim Mohr
Himmelberger Brewing
3008 First Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406-252-1200
Brewer/Owner: Dave Himmelberger
Carter’s Brewing
2526 Montana Avenue
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406-252-0663
Brewer/Owner: Michael Uhrich
Montana Brewing Company
113 North Broadway
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406-252-9200
Brewer: Evan Taylor
2305 Montana Ave.
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406-534-6960
Brewer: Mark Hastings
Yellowstone Valley Brewing
2123-B First Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101
Telephone: 406-245-0918
Brewer: George Moncure
Black Eagle Brewery
1602 25th Ave. NE (next to Pit Stop Tavern)
Black Eagle, MT 59414
Telephone: 406-315-3082
Brewer: Jason Lehman

Bonner, Montana Brewery

Kettlehouse Brewing Company
605 Cold Smike Ave.
Bonner, MT 59823
Telephone: 406-728-1660
Brewers: Tim O’Leary and Suzy Rizza

Bozeman, Montana Breweries

406 Brewing Company
101 East Oak Street, Suite D
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-585-3745
Brewer: Matt Muth
Bozeman Brewing
504 North Broadway
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-585-9142
Brewers: Todd Scott, Bill Hyland
Bozeman Tap Room
321 E. Mendenhall St.
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-577-2337
Bridger Brewing Company
1609 South 11th Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-587-2124
Owner: David Breck
Bunk House Brewery
1216 W Lincoln St.
Bozeman, MT 59715
Brewer: Andrew Stohlmann
Telephone: 406-577-2074
MAP Brewing Company
510 Manley
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-587-4070
Mountains Walking Brewery
808 E Avocado St.
Bozeman, MT 59715
Brewer: Kevin Paquette
Telephone: 406-219-3480
Nordic Brew Works
730 Boardwalk Ave. Suite 1B
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: 406-414-0730
Outlaw Brewing
2876 N. 27th St.
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-388-9182
Brewer: Todd Hough
White Dog Brewing
121 W. Main St. Unit B
Bozeman, MT 59715
Telephone: 406-992-5798
Union Hall Brewery
121 West Main Street, Ste B,
Bozeman, MT, 59715

Butte, Montana

Quarry Brewing
124 W. Broadway Street
Butte, MT 59701
Telephone: 406-723-0245
Brewer: Chuck Schnabel
Muddy Creek Brewery
2 E. Galena St.
Butte, MT 59701
Telephone: 406-299-3645
Brewer: Gregg Wigen
Butte Brewing Company
480 E. Galena St.
Butte, MT
Telephone: 406-494-7710
Owners: Tony and Teresa Olson
CopperWild Brewing Company
43 E. Park St.
Butte, MT 59701
Telephone: 406-782-1700

Columbia Falls, Montana

Backslope Brewing Company
1107 9th St. W. U.S. Highway 2
Columbia Falls, MT 59912
Telephone: 406-897-2850
Brewers: Darin Fisher

Coram, Montana

Glacier Distilling Company
10237 U.S. Highway 2, E.
Coram, Montana 59913
Telephone: 406.387.9887

Cut Bank, Montana

Cut Bank Creek Brewing
315 Railroad Street
Cut Bank, MT 59427
Telephone: 406-229-0298

Darby, Montana

Bandit Brewing Company
308 E. Tanner Rd.
Darby, MT 59829

Deer Lodge, Montana

Elk Ridge Brewing Company
3320 Main St.
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

Dillon, Montana

Beaverhead Brewing Company
218 S. Montana St.
Dillon, MT 59725

Eureka, Montana

HA Brewing
2525 Grave Creek Road
Eureka, MT 59917
Telephone: 406-889-3950
Owner/Brewer: Chris Neil

Glasgow, Montana

Busted Knuckle Brewery
303 1st Ave. S.
Glasgow, MT 59230
Telephone: 406-228-2277

Great Falls, Montana

Bowser Brewing
1826 Tenth Avenue South
Great Falls, MT 59405
Telephone: 406-315-1340
Owner: Evan Bowser
Brewer: Dennis Holland
Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Co.
600 3rd Avenue S.
Great Falls, MT 59405
Telephone: Unlisted
Mighty Mo Brewing
412 Central Avenue
Great Falls, MT 59405
Telephone: 406-952-0342
The Front Brewing Company
215 3rd Street NW
Great Falls, MT 59405
Telephone: 406-727-3947

Hamilton, Montana

Bitter Root Brewing
101 Marcus Street
Hamilton, MT 59840
Telephone: 406-363-7468
Higherground Brewing Co.
518 N. First Street
Hamilton, MT 59840
Owners/Brewers: Jasper Miller, Fenn Nelson

Havre, Montana

Triple Dog Brewing Co.
675 1st St. West
Havre, MT 59501

Helena, Montana

Blackfoot River Brewing
66 S. Park Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Telephone: 406-449-3005
Brewers: Tim Chisman, Becky Molm
Lewis & Clark Brewing
1517 Dodge Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Telephone: 406-442-5960
Brewer: Sean Tobin
Ten Mile Creek Brewery
46 N. Last Chance Gulch
Helena, MT 59601
Telephone: 406-231-0575

Kalispell, Montana

Bias Brewing
409 First Ave. E., Suite B
Kalispell, MT 59901
Telephone: 406-407-2205
Kalispell Brewing Company
412 Main Street
Kalispell, MT 59901
Telephone: 406-270-1958
Owners: Maggie Doherty and Cole Schneider

Lakeside, Montana

Tamarack Brewing Company Alehouse and Grill
105 Blacktail Road #1
Lakeside, MT 59922
Telephone: 406-844-0244
Brewer: Craig Koontz

Laurel, Montana

High Plains Brewing
601 East Main Street
Laurel, MT 59044
Telephone: 406-633-4594
Brewer: Dave Bequette

Libby, Montana

Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company
206 Mineral Ave.
Libby, MT 59923
Telephone: 406-293-2739

Livingston, Montana

Neptune’s Brewery
119 North L Street
Livingston, MT 59047
Telephone: 406-222-7837
Brewer: William Taylor
Katabatic Brewing Company
114 W. Park St.
Livingston, MT 59047
Owners: Brice Jones, LaNette Diaz

Lolo, Montana

Lolo Peak Brewery
6201 Brewery Way
Lolo, MT 59847
Telephone: 406-600-9688

Missoula, Montana

Bayern Brewing
1507 Montana Street
Missoula, MT 59801
Telephone: 406-721-1482
Owner: Juergen Knoeller
Brewer: Thorsten Geuer
Imagine Nation Brewing
1151 W. Broadway
Missoula, MT 59801
Telephone: 406-459-8993
Owners: Robert Rivers, Fernanda Menna Barreto Krum
Big Sky Brewing
5417 Trumpeter Way
PO Box 17170
Missoula, MT 59808
Telephone: 406-549-2777
Brewer: Matt Long
Draught Works
915 Toole Avenue
Missoula, MT 59802
Telephone: 406-541-1592
Brewers/Owners: Jeff Grant, Paul Marshall
Great Burn Brewing
2230 MacDonald Avenue
Missoula, MT 59801
Owners: Mike Howard, Diana Garrett, Greg Howard
Kettlehouse Brewery — Northside
313 North First Street West
Missoula, MT 59802
Telephone: 406-728-1660
Kettlehouse Brewing
602 Myrtle Street
Missoula, MT 59801
Telephone: 406-728-1660
Owner: Tim O’Leary
Missoula Brewing Company
200 International Dr
Missoula, MT 59808
Owner: Bob & Shannon Lukes

Philipsburg, Montana

Philipsburg Brewing Company
101 West Broadway
Philipsburg, MT 59858
Telephone: 406-859-2739 (BREW)
Brewer: Mike Elliot

Polson, Montana

Glacier Brewing
6 Tenth Avenue East
Polson, MT 59860
Telephone: 406-883-2595
Owner/Brewer: David Ayers

Red Lodge, Montana

Red Lodge Ales
1445 North Broadway
PO Box 2278
Red Lodg,e MT 59068
Telephone: 406-446-4607
Brewers: Sam Hoffmann, Justin Moore

Sidney, Montana

Meadowlark Brewing Company
119 S. Central Avenue
Sidney, MT
Owner: Travis Peterson

Stevensville, Montana

Blacksmith Brewing Company
114 West Main Street
Stevensville, MT 59870
Telephone: 406-777-0680
Wildwood Brewing
4018 Highway 93 North
Stevensville, MT 59870
Telephone: 406-777-2855
Owner/Brewer: Jim Lueders

Superior, Montana

Dunluce Brewing
Superior, MT
Owner/Brewer: Adam Hauge

Thompson Falls

Limberlost Brewing Company
1017 Main Street
Thompson Falls, MT

Whitefish, Montana

Bonsai Brewing
549 Wisconsin Ave.
Whitefish, MT 59937
Owner/Brewer: Graham Hart
Spotted Bear Spirits
503 Railway St., Suite A
Whitefish, MT 59937
Phone: 406.730.2436
Great Northern Brewing
2 Central Avenue
Whitefish, MT 59937
Telephone: 406-863-1000
Brewer: Joe Barberis

Wibaux, Montana

Beaver Creek Brewery
104 Orgain Avenue West
PO Box 196
Wibaux, MT 59353
Telephone: 406-795-2337
Brewer: Sandon Stinnett

Wolf Point, Montana

Missouri Breaks Brewing
326 Main Street
PO Box 654
Wolf Point, MT 59201
Telephone: 406-653-1467

Information for this piece was gathered from these people and sources: Steve Losar, Colin B. Sorenson, Todd A. Morgan, Shannon Furniss, Gail Schontzler-Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Colin Sorenson-University of Montana, Montana Beer Finders,, Billings Gazette, and others.

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