#montana Archives – PorchDrinking.com
There’s no question that barrel aging and blending beers are a true form of art. I have admired this art form for years and after moving to Bozeman, Montana, I quickly learned that Bozeman Brewing excels at it. They have a wide variety of beers in their sour program, dubbed the Bozeman Underground. They affectionately gave it that name because their barrel aging facility is actually underneath the brewery — hence the name Bozeman Underground. The beers within their sour program range from Goses, Lambic-inspired Ales, Tripels and Flanders style to name a handful. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Ryan Beal, brewer and cellarman at Bozeman Brewing, to discuss their sours, the barrel aging process and blending. Ryan is responsible for overseeing the sour program and everything that goes along with it. The knowledge and passion Ryan possesses for his craft, clearly shine through in his sour and funky ales.
Bozeman is a growing and thriving city, nestled in the mountains in Southwest Montana. Bozeman residents love the outdoors, and they also love their beer. Montana has one of the highest brewery per capita numbers in the nation. Bozeman currently has eight breweries one can visit, with more in the works. The city also supports some production-only breweries and a kombucha producer. If you ever find yourself in Bozeman, here are some excellent beers to try (and breweries worth visiting).
There are currently well over 7,000 breweries in the U.S., each of them have a unique story to tell. Bunkhouse Brewery in Bozeman, Montana is a unique nano-brewery located steps away from the campus of Montana State University and the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse. Bunkhouse is what many would consider a neighborhood brewery. They only distribute to a couple accounts and heavily rely on taproom foot traffic and sales. These types of breweries have been hit hard during the COVID pandemic and have had to get creative and adjust on the fly. Fortunately, Bunkhouse is producing as much beer as ever and is still focusing on the community aspect of the brewery.
While Oktoberfest style beers and Pumpkin Ales get all the attention as summer turns to fall, true beer fans know what September brings: fresh hop season. Fresh hops or wet hops, depending on who you talk to, are only available for an extremely limited time frame and are usually brewed within a day of being picked. Their distinct flavor and unmistakable aroma are as exciting for brewers as they are for beer fans. But the story doesn’t start with the harvest—it starts years earlier under the care of hops farmers.
With fresh hop season quickly approaching, we chatted with Jake TeSelle, founder of Crooked Yard Hops, to discuss every beer lover’s favorite ingredient: hops.
It seems like it was a lifetime ago when I was writing a craft beer guide to the freshly canceled SXSW Festival. The weeks continued to roll on and, like the majority of urban apartment dwellers, my partner and I felt cooped up with nothing but canceled plans to keep us company. At the end of May, after hearing that my husband and I would both be working remotely at least until the end of the year, we packed up the pup and left Austin, TX.
It had been a long time since my last road trip and much had changed. We headed north to escape the Texas heat and barren landscape. On this trip, masks and hand sanitizer were our new road trip essentials; we stayed at AirBnBs whenever we could and restricted our indoor activities to buying groceries. And after two months on the road, our trip took us to Glacier National Park and Kalispell, MT, a little town with some sizeable beers, like at Sacred Waters Brewing Co.
Every year a handful of breweries burst onto the scene and seem to gain overwhelming popularity overnight. These breweries are often coveted in trading circles and are setting the tone in their local communities. A brewery that one could say fits into this category is Mountains Walking. Mountains Walking in Bozeman, Montana has been open for a couple of years now and has quietly been perfecting their craft and people have been taking notice in 2020.
With Selection Sunday coming up on March 15, March Madness 2020 will soon be in full effect. As more and more colleges are teaming up with local breweries to create school specific brews, this March Madness Ultimate 6er features six beers from universities (and breweries) we’ll likely see playing in the coming weeks.
Montana tends to fly under the radar when it comes to craft beer. There are plenty of people that know about one or two breweries in the state, but many might be surprised at how much Montanans love their craft beer. Montana has a lot of breweries and ranks second in the nation in breweries per capita. Given the low population of many cities in the state, a significant number of breweries can/bottle their beers and distribute across the state, as well as many of the neighboring states.
It’s still hard to believe that it’s 2020. There are a lot of people out there that were convinced we’d have flying cars and be living like the Jetsons by now. While we’re not quite there yet, we have a ton of great craft beer to explore and experience in the meantime. This is what we’re drinking.
In a way, it is fortunate that President Thomas Jefferson wasn’t able to read his distant successor’s “The Art of the Deal.” If he had, he might have learned that one does not kick the tires after making a $15 million purchase (as providence would have it, Jefferson’s profligacy was vindicated and the French ended up looking like suckers). So it was that in May 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark boldly commanded their corps to paddle furiously upstream from St. Louis, Missouri.
One full year later, Lewis and Clark found themselves in present-day Montana. By August 1805, two events critical to the expedition had happened: Lewis and Clark successfully navigated the Missouri River past Great Falls and what is today known as Helena, Montana; William Clark celebrated his 35th birthday with nary a beer in sight.
Luckily for you, the extended family at Lewis and Clark’s namesake brewery have labored so you do not have to be so deprived. For your next expedition (e.g. trip to the bottle shop) or special occasion (e.g. Tuesday), we suggest Lewis & Clark’s Prickly Pear Pale Ale.
What consists of the mountain region of the United States, if you didn’t know, is a highly contested debate. What we at PorchDrinking.com consider the mountain states are Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Nevada. Most of the natives from any of these states use the Rocky Mountains as a directional point of either east or west and will happily bring a 6-pack of our favorite IPAs on camping trips or hikes.
Here’s a small dent in the IPAs the mountain region–and us at PorchDrinking–like to call “local favorites.”
Laws, laws and more laws. All around the country, states are scrambling to either put more restrictions on the brewing industry or introduce legislation to support it. Find out if your state is moving forwards or backwards with all of the details in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.
Laws, laws, laws. On the week we gain a new President, we are covering all sorts of new proposals that may change craft beer regulations. New York may allow beer sales in movie theaters, Montana could allow road beers, and Massachusetts may ease restrictions on brewer-distributor relationships. Don’t miss out on all this good craft beer news. Keep reading to catch the details of these stories and more in this edition of the Weekly Growler Fill.