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The 8 Best Breweries In Montana – Find Your Favorite Brewing Company

Montana is the place where conditions allow some of the finest barley and hops in the world to be grown and produced. So it’s no real surprise that the state is renowned as one of the top beer-making regions in the whole of the US, making it a definite stop-off point for any discerning beer connoisseur.

The sheer number of brewing establishments in the state is slowly edging towards the 100 mark, taking into account not only the regular breweries but also the growing numbers of microbreweries and even nano breweries. They certainly have it down to a fine art here, and it’s easy to see how they undoubtedly take real pride in their craft.

When you consider this, it’s not hard to see why Montana produces a great range of innovative and unique beers and ales. Sampling the various brews among locals is a great way to get the real feel of a place, and also figure how many of the various intriguing brews are named after certain intricate traits of Montana.

8 of the Best Breweries In Montana

  1. Lewis & Clark Brewing Company
  2. Blackfoot River Brewing Company
  3. Flathead Brewing Company
  4. Big Sky Brewing Company
  5. Kalispell Brewing Company
  6. Montana Brewing Company
  7. Bitter Root Brewing Company
  8. Bozeman Brewing Company

1. Lewis & Clark Brewing Company, Helena

lewis & clark brewingco
Image: Lewis & Clark Brewing Company

Let’s start in Montana’s capital with a brewery that has a stand-out name in historical terms of the region. The brewery is housed in some pretty authentic old buildings, which adds even more appeal to its already attractive range of handcrafted beers.

This is a strictly old-school brewing establishment that produces and bottles its wares as traditionally as possible. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is apparent in the range of beers that the company produces.

What to Try

The Flagship Juicy Hazy Obsession for its creamy, wheaty IPA shades and 6.0% volume, or the Back Country Scottish Ale with its rich and malty, yet subtle flavors and a mere 5.8% volume.

2. Blackfoot River Brewing Company, Helena

blackfoot river brewing company
Image: Blackfoot River Brewing Company

Staying with Montana’s capital for the moment, here is a brewery that has been in existence for a couple of decades, and so is still in its infancy compared to some of the others. Blackfoot River Brewing is in fact a pretty modern affair and has a cool-looking tasting room that opens every day.

This is very much a Bavarian-style affair and thus excels in the type of smooth and wheat-edged ales that lean towards the best German beer, not discounting the odd mind-blowing stout.

What to Try

If you think you are up to it then check out the Brett the Viking brew sour beer with its fermented, ancient Norwegian yeast flavors paired with citrus, weighing in at a hefty 8.5% volume. Or if you fancy something a bit lighter then Blackfoot Brewery has its own Japanese Pilsner with reduced gluten.

3. Flathead Lake Brewing Company

flathead lake brewing company
Image: Flathead Lake Brewing Company

Bigfork is another Montana brewing hotbed, and this establishment has some impressive views of Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake Brewing has both indoor and outdoor seating from which to enjoy the surrounding scenery, while sampling some of the extensive range of beers the company offers.

This place has close to 20 different beers on tap, including such delights as Zero Day Double IPA and Painted Rock Porter. There is also a dining area for sampling some great pub fare to go with the liquid refreshment.

What to Try

There’s the draft or canned Two Rivers Pale Ale with its sweet malt flavors containing hints of pine and citrus, at a very drinkable 5.6%; or maybe a German-style Light Ale is just the ticket for summertime by way of the brewery’s Montana Light Kolsch.

4. Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula

big sky brewing company
Image: Big Sky Brewing Company, Missoula

Big Sky Brewing has developed a strong presence in Montana since its inception almost 3 decades ago. The taproom operates six days a week and dispenses a wide range of various unique brewing delights that can be enjoyed from a mezzanine overlooking the brew-room. Check out the Moose Drool brown ale, and the wheaty Trout Slayer, along with many other unique and heart delights.

What to Try

Sometimes nothing but an Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout will do, with its rich and intense 12.4% ‘aged barrel’ punch. Or if it’s the holiday season, then maybe the slightly milder 9.5% Biere de Noel is more the ticket, with its Belgian malts and Trappist yeasts that give it a distinctly Christmassy edge.

5. Kalispell Brewing Company

kalispell brewing company
Image: Kalispell Brewing Company

Here we have Kalispell’s first independent craft brewery that first established itself just over a decade back. Owned by a husband and wife former ski-racing duo, you’ll find some delightful craft beers and German-style offerings in this place’s taproom.

There isn’t any food in this place though, so be prepared for a spot of beer-tasting on an empty stomach unless you’ve already eaten. There are non-alcoholic beverages available for anyone who turns up with the kids in tow though.

What to Try

The Winter at Noon Dunkel for its smooth, malty, and ever so slightly sweet undertones; or maybe the Two Ski Brewski Pilsner with its full-bodied, crispy German malt flavors.

6. Montana Brewing Company, Billings

Here we have something along the lines of an award-winning, tried-and-tested establishment that knows the hand-crafted brewing ropes pretty well. Beer lovers will know this from just a few sips of any of their wares, like the orangey Whitetail Wheat or the mild (but not bland!) Sharptail Pale Ale. The establishment also excels in its food menu, so you might be in for the long haul if you pay them a visit.

What to Try

The Whitetail Wheat is a sweet and malty, American-style beer with citrus undertones that have made it a popular choice; then there is the Custer’s Last Stout with its rich, oatmeal smoothness and 5.2% volume.

7. Bitter Root Brewing, Hamilton

bitter root brewing
Image: Bitter Root Brewing

Hamilton is only a moderately-sized rural town near the bordering mountain ranges of Idaho, but the brewery packs quite a punch. After a couple of decades of operation, Bitter Root has perfected its craft and ingredients admirably. The range of beers includes such delights as the brewery’s own IPA and even a reduced-gluten ale, and there is also some decent food available at this establishment.

What to Try

The gluten-reduced Barley Ridge Nut Brown Ale is well worth a try for its English-style, mild-roasted aroma, and the Huckleberry Honey American-style fruit beer is certainly a unique option.

8. Bozeman Brewing Company, Bozeman, MT

bozeman brewing company
Image: Bozeman Brewing Company

Bozeman is a somewhat bohemian university town, and this is reflected in many of the seasonal beers and lagers available from this establishment. The German influence is again inherent in the brewery’s style, albeit using the finest local Montana ingredients.

The tasting room is open seven days a week for the sampling of such delights as the staple Bozone Amber Ale. Like many of the brewery’s creations, this has undergone a few fine tweaks over the years and the decades, but the seasonal ales like the Imperial IPA are also well worth a taste.

What to Try

The Hey Bear Berry Kolsch is certainly a unique and refreshing option with its combination of German malts and various berries; then there is the slightly more robust option of the Buzzkill Java Stout with its blend of various malts with a dark house coffee.

Wow! So there you have it — a truly unique and outstanding range of beers from some of Montana’s finest. Now you can see why Montana is, amongst other things, truly a beer connoisseurs paradise!

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