Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Kalispell Brewing...1st Look


After a 59 year absence, Kalispell once again has a brewery.  Can I get an Amen!?  Located in a historic downtown building that once housed the Henrickson Oldsmobile-Cadillac dealership, Cole Schneider and his wife Maggie Doherty have just made a decade old dream of theirs become a reality.  It was Kalispell Brewing's soft opening tonight (6.18.14), and like two proud parents they were both eager to show their baby off to the lucky members of the Demersville Drinking Club; KBC's version of what most breweries refer to as a "mug club."


As luck would have it, I happen to be fortunate enough to be in that club, and as a result I got a first look at Kalispell Brewing's operation in action.  I won't go into the trials and tribulations of the project or how long and how much it took to get to this point; that has all been written about before.  No, tonight is about what it has become, what it is now.

What that is, is a welcome addition to a downtown main street who has seen better days due to the tough economic climate we are all too familiar with and the addition of strip malls that have sprung up north of downtown.  Locally owned ma and pa shops, restaurants, and specialty stores can still be found on both sides of Main Street, but there are, sadly, a fair number of empty buildings as well.  For those businesses that are still open, there is not as much foot traffic going by them as I would like to see.  What this street needs is a draw, a reason to once again walk down the sidewalks of downtown Kalispell.

As you know, craft breweries have long been regarded as a community center of sorts.  A place where people gather to socialize, discuss current events, talk about their passion for craft beer, to expound on the beer's attributes and its qualities, and in general, just a great place for us to be really very brilliant.  Craft breweries are wildly popular these days and people are flocking to them.  There's your draw!  It is my hope that what Cole and Maggie have created will be a part of what draws people from the surrounding neighborhoods and communities back to downtown to walk those sidewalks and, hopefully, rediscover the charm of downtown Kalispell versus just dismissively driving by like so many do on a daily basis.

Now, on to the soft opening.  All in all, a very positive experience and I could wax poetic about the vibe, the character, the nuances, and the construction materials used in the creation of KBC, but I will spare you all that and simply let the photos do the talking.  Click on each photo to enlarge it if you wish.  Enjoy the tour.

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