Saturday, October 31, 2015

Halloween Roundup for Montana Beer

Here's an admittedly hasty gathering of ghoulish Halloween specials at Montana's breweries, as they are known to exist today. If you know of something we've missed, please add them in the comments below!

Kettlehouse Southside Taproom - Meet a couple of tennis stars who are working behind the bar today. Tell them that Montana Beer Finder is a big fan!
Sharapova and Williams, left to right
Kettlehouse Northside - Kick off the Halloween party at Northside Kettlehouse with live music from Hardwood Heart, Caramel Apple Cold Smoke® Scotch Ale, and a costume contest. 6 PM

Imagine Nation Brewing Co. - Try your hand at pairing beer with Halloween candy. Snickers, Candy Corn, and Hot Tamales will be on hand to sample with their lineup of beers. Live music at 6 PM.

Draught Works - Come in costume and they will buy your first pint! Bring the kids for free candy and soda! Be there at 7 PM sharp for our costume contest! Categories: Scariest, Classic, Topical, Couple's, Best in Show - 1st 4 get glass growler+fill, Best in Show gets a 50/50 growler!

Missoula Brewing Co. - First beer $1 if your in costume. Great prizes for a costume contest. $1 Pumpkin beers ALL weekend. John Floridis TONIGHT!

Bitterroot Valley
Lolo Peak Brewing - They release the Flying Gourd Pumpkin Ale at 5:00 PM at the LPB Halloween Party.

Bitter Root Brewery - This Halloween KIDS EAT FREE! If you're looking to fuel up your little ghosts and goblins before you take them out trick-or-treating, then the Brewery is your place. Purchase an adult meal and get an item off of our kids menu for free from 4pm to close this Saturday! If you're sans children this Halloween, we've got you taken care of too. All growler fills are $1 off on Halloween and all beers will be $1 off from 4pm to 6pm.

Great Falls
Bowser Brewing Co. - Special beer release. The Nos was originally brewed by Dennis for Halloween 1990 in Cleveland OH while brewing at Great Lakes Brewing. We like to continue that tradition by serving a cask version for Halloween.

Muddy Creek Brewing - Come to Muddy Creek Brewery on Halloween for a fun-filled night of drink-specials, costume contests, trivia contests, games, prizes, creepy music and ghost stories featuring uptown Butte locales. Come try the award-winning Jack Smashed Pumpkin Ale and just see if you can survive the night at Muddy Creek Brewery.

Kalispell Brewing Co. - Happy Halloween! Celebrate the spooky and spectacular with us. Live music at 5:00pm with Moonshine Mountain, costume contest at 7:00pm, plus candy and fun times!
Courtesy Kalispell Brewing Co. Facebook page
Montana Brewing Co. (see below)

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Last Best Beer Show: Montana’s Only Craft Beer Radio Program

On the night of the MBA Fall Brewers Festival, I debuted my new radio show, The Last Best Beer Show, on Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM and 101.5 FM. The show airs Fridays at 10 PM and again on Saturday at 7 PM.

The aim of the show is to highlight what’s new in and around Missoula in terms of beer and beer-centered events. Each week features an in-depth interview with the movers, shakers, and creators of the Montana craft beer industry. We discuss the national beer scene, and one of my favorite segments is all about beer and food.

Anyone can listen to The Last Best Beer Show, even if you can’t tune in. The show is streamed live at and archived, both on this blog and the station’s website.

If you have suggestions for future episodes, leave a comment below.

Of course, this show wouldn’t be possible without my sponsors. Thank them for me the next time you’re at their business!
If you missed last week's show, listen below:


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Montana Brewers Association Conference and Fall Brewers Festival

Missoula will be host to several days of Montana's best brewers and beers from October 14-16. Starting with the Montana Brewers Association 2015 Conference on Wednesday and Thursday, Caras Park then fields the Friday night 7th Annual Fall Brewers Festival.

The Fall Brewers Festival will be the largest selection of Montana-only brewfest, but it could be argued that this will be the largest brewfest in Montana, period.

General Admission: $25 IN ADVANCE, $30 DAY OF FESTIVAL, includes unlimited beer samples.

VIP Hour: $35 IN ADVANCE, $40 DAY OF FESTIVAL, includes unlimited beer samples.

Families are welcome at our festival. Kids 12 and under are free. All others who enter the festival must have a ticket.

Tickets for MBA 2015 Conference:

Tickets for Fall Brewers Festival: ($35 VIP, $25 GA)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
7:30 – 8:30 am        Free Yoga: Danielle Spillman, Find Your Light Yoga

8:00 – 9:15 am        Registration & Breakfast

9:15 – 9:30 am        Welcome: Matt Leow, executive director of Montana Brewers Association

9:30 – 9:45 am        Opening Remarks: Mayor John Engen

9:45 – 10:00 am       Buy Local Campaign:
Mike Hope, President of Tavern Owners Assn.
Josh Townsley, President of Montana Brewers Association

10:00 – 11:20 am     Social Media/Marketing within the Tourism Industry: Tia Troy, Glacier Country

11:20 – 11:30 am     Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Keynote Address: Governor Steve Bullock

12:00 – 1:00 pm       Lunch

1:00 – 2:00 pm        Breakout Sessions

1.Water and Energy Use Reduction
Moderator: Matt Leow
Alistair Stewart, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
Sam Hoffman, Red Lodge Ales
Eddie Wooldridge, KettleHouse Brewing Company

2.The US Hop Market…The Past, the Present and the Future
Tom Britz, Glacier Hops Ranch, National At-large Director for Hop Growers of America (HGOA) & Chair of the Small Growers Council of HGOA.
2:00 – 2:30 pm        Trade Show
2:30 – 3:30 pm        Breakout Sessions

1.Legal Considerations Associated with Buying Beer and Wine Licenses
     Moderator: Matt Leow
John Flynn or Joel Silverman, Silverman Law Office
John Iverson, Tavern Owners Association
Brandon Cartwright, The Front Brewing Company
Max Pigman, Lewis and Clark Brewing Company

2.  Quality Control
Moderator: Mark Hastings
Kyle Sillars, Big Sky Brewing
Todd Crowell, KettleHouse Brewing Company
Sean Tobin, Lewis & Clark Brewing Company

3:30 – 5:00 pm        MBA Member Meeting

5:30 – 11:00 pm       Missoula Pub Crawl and Dinner

Thursday, October 15, 2015
8:30 – 9:30 am        Free Yoga: Danielle Spillman, Find Your Light Yoga

9:00 – 10:00 am       Registration & Breakfast in the Atrium

10:00 – 10:30 am     Welcome & Presentation: Steve Lozar, Montana Brewery Historian

10:30 – 11:30 am     Workplace Safety: Matt Stinchfield, BA Safety Ambassador

11:30 am – 12:30 pmLunch & Networking Roundtables

12:30 – 1:30 pm       Breakout Sessions

1.Wholesale Distribution 101
Moderator: Mark Hastings
Al Pils, KettleHouse Brewing Company
Jeff Grant, Draught Works
Brian Clark, Fun Beverage
Mike Markovich, Summit Beverage

2.Legal Topics to Have on Your Radar: Crowdfunding, HR, trademarks and dram shops
Attorneys from Crowley Fleck: Danielle Coffman, Jason Loble (Securities), Scott Hagel (HR), Bob Griffin (Trademarks)

1:30 – 2:00 pm        Trade Show

2:00 – 3:00 pm        Breakout Sessions

1.Understanding Draught Quality: Getting your best beer to the customer Dan Fallon, President of McDantim

2.Friends of Montana Craft Beer: What writers, bloggers and state government initiatives are doing to raise the profile of Montana’s craft beer industry
Moderator:Matt Leow
Ryan Newhouse, author
Alan McCormick, Growler Fills
Alex Sakarieassen, Missoula Independent
Andy Shirtliff, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

3:00 – 3:15 pm        Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm          Breakout Sessions

1.The State of Our Raw Ingredients: Perspectives on Montana barley from every point in the supply chain.
Moderator: Mark Hastings
Jamie Sherman, MSU Barley breeding Research Project
Mark Black, Malteurop
Collin Watters, MT Wheat & Barley Committee

2.Canning, Packaging and Labeling: label design, getting approved online, choosing a canning line, storage requirements, etc.
Moderator: Nolan Smith
Tony Reindl, Montana Canning Company
Max Pigman, Lewis & Clark Brewing Company
Todd Scott, Bozeman Brewing
Jason Goeltz, Bitter Root Brewing

4:15 – 5:15 pm        Live Beer Blogging Workshop:
Taste and share your thoughts about Montana’s latest beers with writers Ryan Newhouse, Alan McCormick, Skylar Browning, Alex Sakariassen, and others.

Host: Doug “the Beerbarian” Bailey, Red Lodge Ales.

Outlaw Brewing
Moon’s Rising Red, Harvest Red Ale, 6% ABV
Passive Aggressive Pale Ale, Heavy Pale, 6.80%
Belgain Chocolate Ale, Belgain Specialty, 5.20%
Goemon’s Honey Lemon Ginger, Braggot Ale, 6.60%
Fresh Hop, Session IPA, 5.60%
Amarillo Pale Ale, Pale Ale, 5.60%

Bayern Brewing, Inc.
Bayern Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest, 6%
Montana Helles Lager, Helles, 5.6%

Beehive Basin Brewery
Drunkelweizen, DunkelWeizen, 4.80%
Green Bridge IPA, IPA, 6.40%
50. Cal Coffee Porter, Coffee Porter, 7.90%

Draught Works Brewery
Last Rites Mexican Chocolate Porter, Chocolate Porter, 5.80%
Pineapple Express Tropical IPA, American-Style IPA, 7.40%
Mae West Huckleberry Sour, American Sour, 5.70%
Clothing Optional Pale Ale, English-Style Pale Ale, 5.20%

Great Burn Brewing
Bourbon barrel aged Double Down Oatmeal Brown, Brown Ale, 7.7%
Montana Creamsicle, Cream Ale, 5.2%

Busted Knuckle Brewery
Rusted Nut Amber, Amber Ale,  5.2%
Black Nail Stout, Stout, 5.9%

Blacksmith Brewing Co.
Chocolate Porter, Porter, 6.60%
EKG IPA, English style IPA, 7%
Oktoberfest Beer, 5.40%

Missoula Brewing Company
Highlander Pintler Peak Doppelbock, Doppelbock, 7.4%
Highlander Mount Baldy Belgian Strong Ale, Belgian Strong Golden, 10.6%
Highlander Warrior Mountain Robust Porter, Robust Porter, 7.6%

Cabinet Mountain Brewing Co.
Bourbon Barrel Peach Wheat, Fruit Beer, 5%
Yaak Attack IPA, IPA , 6.6%
Bad Medicine Smooth Dark, Strong Ale/Scotch, 7.4%
Fresh Hop Ale, Fresh Hop, TBD

Flathead Lake Brewing Co
Beardance Black IPA, Black IPA, 6.9%
Le Cygne Biere de Garde, Biere de Garde Ale, 7%
Lone Walker Ale, American Pale Ale, 4.5%
Galaxy Pale Ale, American Pale Ale, 5.5%
Swimmer’s Itch Saison, Belgian Saison, 5.3%

Katabatic Brewing Co.
Katabatic Oktoberfest, Lager, 6.3%
Anabatic Amber (NABA Gold Medal Winner), American Amber, 6%
Katabatic APA, American Pale Ale, 6.1%
Katabatic Hefeweizen, American Hefeweizen, 5.7%
Katabatic Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale, 7.3%

Muddy Creek Brewery
Occupy Oktoberfest, Special Spiced Beer, 6.9%
Muddy Creek Chocolate Stout, Chocolate Stout, 6.5%
Blasted IPA, West Coast IPA, 6.5%

Tamarack Brewing Company
Redemption Red, Imperial Red Ale, 10%
Headwall, Double IPA, 9.6%
Rutting Raspberry Elk, Raspberry Bourbon Scotch Ale, 7.7%
Hat Trick Hop, IPA, 7%
Yard Sale, Amber, Red Ale, 5.5%
Sip ‘n Go Naked, Apricot Hefeweizen, 5.5%

MAP Brewing Company
Smoked Lion Wheat Ale, Gratzer, 3.30%
Northbound Blonde, Blonde Ale, 4.80%
Destination Ale, Session IPA, 4.50%
Big Relief Stout, Stout, 6.50%
Steep Terrain Double IPA, Double IPA, 8.50%

Bonsai Brewing Project
Big Ole’ Poppa, Barrel Aged Imperial IPA, 9%
Lil’ Miss Thang, Blonde Ale w/ Ginger and Habanero, 5.7%
Toasted Roper, Oatmeal ESB, 5.8%
ShowBiz, Fresh Hop IPA, 6.5%
Sheriff John Brown, American Brown Ale, 6%
The Unkindness, Stout, 6.6%

Canyon Creek Brewing
O.N.S. Blonde, Blonde Ale, 5.5%
C4 IPA, American IPA, 6.9%
Rabbit Head Red, Irish Red Ale, 5.5%
What The Hell, Specialty Beer, 9%

Black Eagle Brewery
S.O.S. IPA- Save Our Stack, India Pale Ale, 6.00%
Smelter Men, Blonde Ale, 5.30%
Smoke Stack, Scottish Ale, 6.10%
Half Stack Heffeweizen, Heffeweizen, 5.80%

The Front Brewing Co.
Punkin Rye Ale, Spice, Herb,Vegetable beer, 8.80%
Sunset IPA (Citra Fresh hop), American IPA, 7.50%
Vanilla PackMule Porter, Spice (Porter), 5.10%

Bandit Brewing Co.
Squeeze Me IPA, American IPA, 7.00%
Bliss Stout, Imperial (milk) Stout, 8.00%

Quarry Brewing
Youz Guys ESB, English Style ESB, 5.50%
Open Cab Copper, Irish Red, 5.20%
Gneiss IPA, American style IPA, 6.80%

Big Sky Brewing Co.
Missoula Fresh Hop Ale, Fresh Hop Pale ale, 5%
Powder Hound Ale, Winter Ale, 6.2%
Ivan the Terrible, Russian Imperial Stout, 9.5%
Surprise Firkin

Mighty Mo Brewing Co.
VIP, Vanilla Imperial Porter, 8.20%
Coco Brown, Coconut Brown Ale, 5.30%
Lip Ripper, IPA, 6.50%
Oktoberfest, German Marzen, 5.50%

Madison River Brewing Company
Green Emerger Fresh Hop Ale, American Pale Ale, 5.90%
Salmon Fly Honey Rye, Unique Ale, 5.20%
Copper John Scotch Ale, Scottish Ale, 7%
Irresistible Amber Ale, Amber Ale, 5.50%
Hopper Pale Ale, Strong Pale Ale, 6%
Black Ghost Oatmeal Stout, Stout, 8%,
The Juice, Double IPA, 9%

Kalispell Brewing
Two Ski Brewski, Pilsner, 5.2%
Winter at Noon, Dunkel Lager, 5%
Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest, 6.1%
Fresh Hop by Pop, Fresh hop ale, 5.8%

HA) Brewing Co.
Foundation Witbier, Belgian Witbier, 5.5%
Boulder Mtn. Stout, Stout, 6.6%

Bitter Root Brewing
Wet Hop Imperial IPA, Imperial IPA, 7.70%
Bitter Root IPA, IPA, 6.20%
Single Hop Ale, Northwest Pale Ale, 6.30%
Huckleberry Honey Ale, Fruit Beer, 5.10%

KettleHouse Brewing Co.
Garden City Pale Ale, Fresh Hopped Pale Ale, 5.80%
Joe Haul, IPA, 6.50%

Neptune’s Brewery
Oktoberfest, Oktoberfest, 6.40%
Montana Wild Hop #1, Fresh Hop, 4.20%
Latte Stout, Stout, 6.50%

Wildwood Brewing
Organic Lucid Cream Ale, Cream Ale, 5%
Organic Bodacious Bock, German Amber Bock, 7.50%

Beaverhead Brewing Company
Dawg Red Ale, Irish Red Ale, 7.80%
Poindexter Pilsner, American Pilsner, 4.80%
Whitetail Witbier, Belgian Witbier, 5.00%
Beaverslide IPA, India Pale Ale, 6.70%

Bozeman Brewing Co.
Bozone Terroir, Fresh Hop, 6.50%
Bozone Select, Amber Ale, 5.50%
Hopzone, IPA, 7.50%
Bozone Berliner Weisse, Berliner Weisse, 4.00%

Triple Dog Brewing
Vanilla Hoarder Porter, Porter, 4.7%
Mt. Otis, Pale ale, 5.7%

Red Bines, Fresh hop Red IPA, 7.1%

Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company
Harvest Ale, Fresh Hop All Montana American Pale Ale, 5.10%
Oktoberfest Lager, Marzen Lager, 5.00%
Easy Sippah, Session IPA, 4.50%

Bridger Brewing
2015 Saison, Saison, 7%
Lee Metcalf Pale Ale, APA, 5.40%
Ghost Town Coffee Stout, Coffee Stout, 6.5%
McTavish Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale, 7%

406 Brewing Company
Mosaic Fresh Hop, Pale Ale, 5.2%
Hop Punch IPA, IPA, 6.5%
Chinook and Cherries Imperial IPA, Imperial IPA, 8.3%

Philipsburg Brewing Company
Five Phantoms, Spiced Pumpkin Barley Wine , 8.50%
Rope Swing Saison,Chardonnay Barrel Aged Saison, 5.70%
Badfinger Imperial Stout , Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout , 10.00%
Razzu !, Raspberry Wheat , 5.20%

Higherground Brewing Co.
Fall Fur Pumpkin Cream Ale, Pumpkin Cream Ale, 5.3%
Hurruh Scotch Ale, Scotch Ale, 7.2%
Borderland Sour , Sour, 5.8%
Hula Hopped IPA, Double IPA, 8.1%

Meadowlark Brewing
Squashtoberfest, Oktoberfest-Style Lager, 6.6%
Argo, Biere de Garde, 8%
Orion, Belgian-Style Tripel, 11.2%
Car Ramrod, Imperial Pilsner, 7%

Lewis & Clark Brewing
Pumpkin IPA, IPA, 5.50%
Miner’s Gold, Hefeweizen, 5.10%
Crystal Dry-Hopped Prickly Pear, Pale Ale, 5.60%

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Imagine Nation Brewing Hosts Grand Opening and Imagine Fest

It's hard to believe, but Missoula's second newest brewery is about to have its Grand Opening. Yes, Imagine Nation Brewing, which opened its doors in the summer of 2015 already has more beers under its belt than the newest, Missoula Brewing Company. But don't worry, this isn't a competition. It's beer!

Anyway, on September 19, from noon to 8 p.m. (the same time of the Missoula Brews Cruise), Imagine Nation Brewing will host its grand opening celebration and first Imagine Fest, which will highlight the brewery's unique community center.

“While we are very excited for the grand opening, we are especially thrilled to launch the Center for Community Transformation,” remarked co-owner, Fernanda Krum. Krum continued, “The inclusion of this educational center in the brewery is what defines the unique mission of the INBC.” This concept has piqued the interest of many local groups. Susan Hay Patrick, chief executive officer of United Way of Missoula County, said, "Getting together over a beer to discuss the issues of the day is a very 'Missoula thing.’ We've been impressed by (co-owners) Robert and Fernanda's determined efforts to provide a unique space for individuals and groups to find common ground over a good brew."

Here's the schedule of events, as listed at

Live Music
  • 12-12:45pm:  Community Drum Circle
  • 1-3pm:  Local Yokel
  • 4-5pm: Caleb Van Gelder Trio
  • 6-8pm:  Wartime Blues
  • 11-11:45am: Kids’ Vibrations, hosted by Tangled Tones Music Studio (donation-based)
  • 1-2:30pm:  Theatrical Improv for Kids, hosted by Kevin Harrington
  • 3-4pm: “How do We Create Social Change” with Mayor John Engen and Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way of Missoula
  • 3:30-4:30pm and 4:45-5:45pm:  Appreciate Beer Like a Pro, hosted by Alan McCormick, MT contributor of Rocky Mountain Brewing News and author of  Growler Fills
  • 4:30-5:30pm: Compassion Without Borders, hosted by Kim Maynard, Mansfield Fellow in International Affairs
Local Food Vendors
  • Clove Cart Pizza Peddlers
  • Bao Chow Hot Asian Buns
  • Covered Wagon Hot Dogs
  • More to be announced!
Special Art Show
“Wild Propaganda,” by award winning independent film director and artist Rob Whitehair from Tree and Sky Media Arts.

After Party
The Top Hat Lounge, located at 134 W. Front St. in Missoula, will feature INBC’s beers on tap, a first for the brewery, which has been selling beer exclusively out of its brewery taproom for the past six months. The Big Sky Mudflaps will be playing to celebrate their 40th anniversary of performing together. The show is free and begins at 9 p.m.

I must give a special shout out to Imagine Nation's newest beer release, their double IPA. It's Robert's favorite beer he's brewed so far, and the taste I had from the tank (#humblebrag) was incredible. Look for it during Imagine Fest! 

And if you haven't see this video, you should:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Inaugural Missoula Brews Cruise

Townsquare Media, Montana Brewery Passport, and Missoula Bike Source have teamed up to present the inaugural Missoula Brews Cruise on Saturday September 19, 2015. This day-long event features a poker run by bicycle, where participants pedal to Missoula breweries and bars to collect cards. Proceeds go to MTB Missoula, the area’s only mountain bike advocacy group.

“Our radio stations reach a diverse audience, but a love for local beer and riding bikes is a common thread,” says Christy Lefler, Marketing Specialist for Townsquare Media. “Our team has been looking for a unique way to blend bicycles and Missoula breweries, and thanks to Ryan Newhouse and his Montana Brewery Passport, and Chris Larson at Missoula Bike Source, we were able to collaborate and create this amazing event.”

Participants can register for the event online at or at any of the participating locations (see map below). Registration will close on Thursday September 17.

On Friday September 18, participants can pick up their registration bags at Bayern Brewing between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m., when it is expected that Bayern will be offering its new food menu to the public.
On the day of the event, riders will meet at Kettlehouse-Northside at noon and begin their poker run through Missoula. In order to participate, riders will need to stop at a minimum of five partner locations to collect a card. When they have collected their cards, they will be turned in at Great Burn Brewing starting at 5:00 p.m. (but no later than 6:30 p.m.). The best male poker hand and female poker hand (ties will be broken) will each winner a new cruiser bike, courtesy Missoula Bike Source.

Want a sneak peak at the locations? It's all here:
Still wondering how it works? Read this:
1. Sign up here: or at a participating brewery. Registration will close on Thursday September 17. It's only $10.
2. On Friday September 18 from 5-8 p.m. join us at Bayern Brewing try their new menu, pick up your registration packet, and plan your route.
3. Starting at noon on Saturday September 19 at KettleHouse Northside Taproom, launch your steel steed (i.e. bicycle) on a citywide tour. If you missed getting your packet at Bayern, you can pick up your packet at Kettlehouse-Northside before you start the tour. If you purchase a beer at Kettlehouse-Northside, you will be entered to win a cool Coldsmoke neon sign.
4. Start pedaling! Stop by at least five different participating locations to collect your cards and build your poker hand. There are at least seven stops, so feel free to collect up to seven cards (only your best five cards will make your hand).
5. Starting at 5 p.m., Great Burn Brewing will kick off its after-party festivities, complete with food trucks, games, and live music! ALL HANDS MUST BE TURNED IN BY 6:30 P.M. to be eligible to win prizes.
6. Throughout the day, tag your social media with #‎mslabrewscruise. We’ll be looking for them to share!

For more details, visit the Facebook event page:
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