#montanabeer Archives – PorchDrinking.com
In Episode 25 of the “Boys Are From Märzen” podcast, Kindsey Bernhard is joined by Kate Bernot of Good Beer Hunting and Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine.
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.
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.
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.”