Monday, February 4, 2013

Vintage Sellers in Great Falls Expanding

Gene Betz Vintage Sellers
(Gene Betz, photo courtesy Ryan Pfeifle)
Compared to some of the other great beer cities in Montana, Great Falls has seemed like a beer desert. But the times are a changin’. Within the last year, Great falls has seen two breweries (Bowser and the Front) open and now the one bright spot of the past is expanding. Vintage Sellers a beer and wine shop is moving across the hallway to a larger area and installing big beautiful new beer cooler.

Back in October 2000, home winemakers Gene and Jill Betz opened a boutique wine store. Their friend and local homebrew shop owner, Stan Guedesse (now co-owner of Harvest Moon Brewing), convinced them to also carry a selection of craft beer. The first six months of beer sales were disappointing but with input from their customers and help from distributors beer has grown to 50% of their sales.

When asked why the move, Gene said, “The new location will allow us to be more customer friendly”.  Great improvements include a 33-foot long beer cooler to optimally store most of their normal alcohol beers, more floor space for wider aisles and an expanded selection. Gene even spent the extra money for LED cooler lighting which emits a safer light spectrum for beer over the standard fluorescent lights.
Vintage Sellers in Great Falls Montana
Gene concluded our visit by saying, “Never in my wildest dreams did I think the store would be so popular. We have great staff and the greatest customers”. The new location will be open sometime in March. So when you are in Great Falls head over to 105 Smelter Ave NE and pick up some great craft beer.

-by Ryan Pfeifle

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