Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New Kalispell Brewing Company plans to open summer 2013!

   Kalispell, Montana, April 10, 2013—Kalispell is the largest city in Montana without a craft brewery, but that’s about to change come summer 2013 when owner and brewer Cole Schneider plans to open Kalispell Brewing Company in historic downtown Kalispell. Kalispell Brewing Company has been the decade-long dream of Schneider’s and along with his wife, Maggie Doherty, the duo are hoping that once the building’s extensive remodel is complete, they can begin to serve the Flathead Valley their lineup of German-inspired lagers and hoppy ales. With his lagers, Schneider intends to use the traditional decoction mash method. Kalispell Brewing Company has a ten barrel system and will operate a tasting room next to the brewery.

   The seventy-seven year old Main Street building, which totals 9,000 square feet, has been undergoing extensive renovations since Schneider purchased the property in March of 2012. With the summer season just months away, Schneider hopes that his dream of opening a craft brewery will soon come to fruition. “In all areas, from construction to sourcing materials we are moving along quickly. I can’t wait to start brewing,” says Schneider.

   Schneider’s love for beer introduced him to the art and science of home brewing, an endeavor he’s experimented with for more than ten years. Schneider moved to Whitefish, Montana from Nebraska in 2005, and in 2010, met Doherty at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Doherty grew up in northern Michigan and moved to the Flathead Valley in 2004. A writer and a Creative Writing MFA candidate at Pacific Lutheran University, Doherty will serve the brewery in public relations and as the “beer ambassador”. The couple shares a love of skiing and a love of craft beer.

   While the building has undergone a major remodel from adding steel I-beams to support the sagging roof, to repairing the aging original brickwork on both the interior and exterior, Schneider says that the long-term renovation process, while lengthy in time, has been worth the wait. “The building has such character and I wanted to house my brewery in downtown Kalispell. The building has enough capacity for our equipment and then some and we've got a great design in place for the taproom, including a roof-top patio.” With the construction process well underway, Schneider has been fine-tuning his craft beer recipes with his elaborate and largely self-designed and engineered 10-gallon homebrew set up.
   The brewery’s equipment arrived on New Year’s Eve, a week and half before its intended delivery date, and Schneider jokes that these unexpected events happen and will probably continue to happen for Kalispell Brewing Company, like in any small new business. For now, while the construction work is focused on the brewery floor, the equipment sits in the tasting room. For Schneider, whose experiences in beer have taken him to Munich’s Oktoberfest and other travels across the Europe and the United States, his hope is to cultivate an appreciation of beer with his brews. “No snootiness, just beer,” he adds. With Montana ranking as second in the nation in the number of breweries percapita , Schneider notes that the state has a palate for craft beer.

   Schneider’s target date for opening Kalispell Brewing Company is July 2013 but notes that sometimes projected dates, especially with a major remodel, don’t always stick to schedule. One thing that he is certain of is how eager he is to beginning brewing. Kalispell Brewing Company will launch with five to seven signature beers and feature seasonal varieties and brewer’s whims. For Kalispell Brewing Company’s progress and updates, please visit:

An artist rendering of what the new Kalispell Brewing Company will look like.

The old Cadillac service department, a cavernous 6000 sq. ft. area, will now serve as Kalispell Brew Co.'s brewing facility.

One of the original murals from the old Cadillac dealership that will be preserved in the tasting room.

The brewing equipment occupies the space where elegant Cadillacs were once on display.  Once the brewing facilities concrete floor is poured, the brewing equipment will be moved and work will begin to transform the old show room into a tasting room.

Maggie describing her vision of what's planned for the area leading up to the rooftop tasting room.

 Cole and Maggie stand next to a wall, that will ultimately lead to the rooftop patio, where craft beer lovers will be able to imbibe while taking in the sunshine and beautiful views of the Swan Mountains.  Note, in the background, what's left of the original Cadi"llac" dealership mural.

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