Montana Brewers Association


Winning Beers at the 2015 Montana Brewers Fall Festival

Posted On November 10, 2015

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Re-posted from Growler Fills, Alan / October 17, 2015

The 2015 Montana Brewers Fall Festival featured more than 150 Montana-made beers from across the state on a perfect October evening in Missoula, MT. Missoula’s local homebrewing club, the Zoo City Zmurgists, judged the beers using the BJCP style guidelines in a blind-judging format. (Disclosure: I participated in the blind-judging round to select the best-of-show winner.)

Here are the winning beers from this fantastic showcase of Montana beer:

Best Amber: Tamarack Brewing Co.- Yardsale
Best Belgian: Flathead Brewing Co.- Swimmers Itch Saison
Best Brown: Mighty Mo- Coco Brown
Best Cream/Blonde: Map Brewing Co.- Northbound Blonde
Best Dark Lager: Kalispell Brewing- Winter at Noon Dunkel
Best Double IPA: Tamarack Brewing Co.- Redemption Red
Best Hefe/Wit: Lewis&Clark Brewing- Miner’s Gold Hefe
Best IPA: Draught Works Brewery- Pineapple Express Tropical IPA
Best Irish/Scottish: Katabatic Brewing Co.- Katabatic Scotch Ale
Best Light Lager: Kalispell Brewing- Two Ski Brewski Pilsner
Best Pale Ale: Katabatic Brewing- New ‘Merica Pale Ale
Best Sour: HigherGround Brewing- Borderland Sour
Best Stout/Porter: Big Sky Brewing Co.- Ivan the Terrible
Best Specialty: Philipsburg Brewing Co.- Badfinger Imperial Stout

Best of Show: Tamarack Brewing Co.- Redemption Red
Best of Festival: Muddy Creek Brewery- Occupy Octoberfest

Note: Best of Show was chosen by a five-judge panel from among the highest scoring beers. Best of Festival was chosen as the highest scoring beer among those first released for the festival during the preliminary judging rounds.

Flathead Valley Community College looking for: Program Director, Brewing

Posted On October 13, 2015

Flathead Valley Community College is an outstanding public community college located on a beautiful campus in Kalispell, Montana with panoramic views of the northern Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park. Our vision is to improve lives through learning, and the trustees, faculty and staff are dedicated to values that foster and preserve the spirit of our College and promote and support the well-being and economic development of the communities we serve.

The College is seeking applicants to fill the position of Program Director, Brewing

This position is full-time professional, salaried. The pay range is $39,000 to $60,000 and is augmented by a competitive, fringe benefits package. Anticipated start date is January 4, 2016.

Please see attached position description for more information about the areas of responsibility and minimum, required qualifications.

You must apply online at If this is the first time you are using our online job application, you need to create an account with a Username and Password. After creating an account, click on the “Build Job Application” link. This application can be saved and used to apply for more than one job opening. This position is open until filled, however we anticipate review of applications to begin ASAP.

We ask that you submit the following application materials (may be added as attachments to on line application)

A cover letter indicating exactly how you meet the required qualifications.

A current, comprehensive resume.

Transcripts from all colleges or universities you have attended.  (Copies of transcripts are acceptable now; however, official transcripts will be required at time of employment offer.) Only transcripts from accredited colleges or universities will be used for employment considerations.

Names, addresses, phone numbers of three professional references.

NOTE:  For a step by step guide on how to apply using the online application process, click on this link to the Online Employment Application Guide.


JOB TITLE: Program Director, Brewing

DEPARTMENT: Educational Services

PAY GRADE: 50-54

PAY RANGE: $39,000 – $60,000 depending on education and experience, full-time, 12 months per     year, benefit eligible


Flathead Valley Community College is an outstanding public community college located on a beautiful campus in Kalispell, Montana with panoramic views of the northern Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park. Our vision is to improve lives through learning, and the trustees, faculty and staff are dedicated to values that foster and preserve the spirit of our college and promote and support the well-being and economic development of the communities we serve. The new Brewing Science and Brewery Operations program was created to prepare graduates for careers in the brewing industry through coursework and hands-on training in brewing science, technology, and brewery operations. This position will design, facilitate and implement brewing science and brewery operations, assist with curriculum development; support the college by providing leadership to the production activities; monitor brewing facilities and equipment; and assist with planning, budget and purchasing for both curriculum and non- curriculum activities. Anticipated start date of January 4, 2016.


  • Administers the Brewing Science and Brewery Operations program including, but not limited to; student intake, teaching, advising, curriculum review and development, and brewery operation.
  • Provides career-oriented instruction and support to students in such areas as practical brewing, brewhouse processes, cellar processes, packaging, sensory evaluation, safety, and sanitation to assist them in brewing program and operations.
  • Recruits and coordinates adjunct and full-time faculty to meet the instructional requirements of the program.
  • Oversees operation and use of the campus brewing facility; maintains production equipment and supplies.
  • Convenes and works with Brewing Science and Brewery Operations advisory committee, inaccordance with the guidelines for Career and Technical programs at FVCC.
  • Conducts regular reviews of program and curricula, and revises content in conjunction with appropriate FVCC staff, faculty and advisory committee members.
  • Advises students according to established guidelines
  • Fosters positive student, staff and community relations
  • Maintains and submits instructional records in accordance with requirements and participates in assessment activities
  • Maintains professional ethics and confidentiality of students in accordance with applicable laws and policies
  • Remains current in practices, trends and research related to areas of assignment
  • Develops and maintains professional networks and relationships with brewing community
  • Attends meetings and participates in student and/or program assessment
  • Performs other related duties as assigned


  • Associate’s degree or higher in a brewing science-related field (e.g., chemistry, microbiology, physics, biology) or completion of a professional or university-affiliated brewing program.
  • Three years’ work experience as a Brewmaster, Head Brewer, Brewing Supervisor or Operations
  • Manager at a commercial brewing facility.


  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Chemistry, Microbiology, Fermentation Science or related field.
  • Three years documented work experience in an industry-notable brewing facility.
  • Master Brewer certification
  • Experience working with instructional technology
  • Higher education teaching experience
  • Experience working with advisory boards


  • Ability to effectively teach content material in using a variety of instructional methods to facilitate student learning
  • Ability and willingness to serve as a representative for the College by interacting appropriately with the community
  • Ability to work within policies and procedures of FVCC
  • Ability to maintain effective and positive professional relationships
  • Ability to follow and issue instructions
  • Demonstrated communication, project management, presentation, educational service and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work effectively with people from a variety of culturally diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to maintain regular and acceptable attendance levels
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check
  • Ability to perform a Medium Duty job, according to the Selected Characteristics of Occupations Defined in the Revised Dictionary of Occupational Titles, U.S. Department of Labor and Industry. Medium Duty involves exertion of 20-50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 10-25 pounds frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds continuously to move objects.


Posted On August 14, 2015

48 Hours in Southwest Montana

Re-posted from All About Beer Magazine , July 1, 2015 By

406 Brewing in Bozeman, Montana.

Montana is best known as Big Sky Country. Mention of this mountainous majesty of a state conjures up images of wide open spaces, free-flowing rivers and pristine views. Boasting more than 50 breweries, the state’s beer industry is strong and continues to grow, in the southwest region of the state in particular. A budding beer hub is taking shape in the Gallatin Valley towns of Bozeman (where two more breweries will open in 2015) and Belgrade and neighboring Paradise Valley’s Livingston. Accessibility to these breweries is made easy thanks to their close proximity to the I-90 corridor and the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN). Renting a car and bringing along a camera are highly recommended as you are bound to encounter scenic views.


Upon your arrival, stop at Bridger Brewing (1609 S. 11th Ave.) for daily happy hours from 2 to 4 p.m. Located near Montana State University, the brewery opened its doors in early 2013. During the semester, the college scene makes up a large part of the clientele, but you will still find a good mix of locals at the bar. Try the flagship IPA, Vigilante, which head brewer Daniel Pollard refers to as an entry-level “sessionable” Northwest-style IPA, with hints of caramel and biscuit and a balanced, but not overpowering bitterness, thanks to Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hops. The single-hop Lee Metcalf Pale Ale is a two-time award-winning Montana Brewers Association Fall Festival Gold Medal beer. Bridger also has a reputation for some of the best pizza in town, according to a local 2014 poll.

If pizza isn’t your thing, take a short drive or long stroll through campus toward downtown Bozeman toMontana Ale Works (611 E. Main St.). Established in 2000, this award-winning restaurant and bar makes its home in a retro-industrial railroad freight house and features 40 taps—one of the most extensive regional beer selections in the Northern Rockies. Here you will find locally sourced, upscale dishes like bison potstickers, house-ground beer burgers, or the roasted beet and grilled asparagus salad. Wind down after dinner with a pint and game of pool on one of the billiard tables that line the back wall.


Fuel up for the day’s adventures with a hearty breakfast at a local landmark, The Western Cafe (443 E. Main St.). Iconically nicknamed Bozeman’s “Last Best Café,” a spin-off of the state’s moniker, “The Western,” as locals call it, features rustic, but classic diner styling and down-home Montana cooking right on Bozeman’s main drag. Order the The Rocky Mountains: eggs, apple wood-smoked bacon or sausage, hash browns and toast. If you are especially hungry, the chicken-fried steak served with a side of eggs, hash browns and toast is sure to appease even the most ravenous of appetites.

Brewery tap rooms won’t open until noon or 2 p.m. Looking to improve your mind? Consider a visit toMontana State University’s Museum of the Rockies (600 W. Kagy Blvd.). Featuring a vast collection of dinosaur fossils and several complete skeletons, some of which were found in Montana, the museum is home to well-known dinosaur specimens like Tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops.

After leaving the museum, grab some snacks for the road at Bozeman’s Community Food Co-op (908 W. Main St.) and prepare for some sightseeing. Head west on I-90 across the Bridger Mountains to the town of Livingston (an approximately 30-mile drive) located in the picturesque Paradise Valley. The Absaroka Mountains act as a backdrop for this mountain town, and the Yellowstone River runs through its heart.

Your first stop will be nautical-themed Neptune’s Brewery (119 N. L St.), which in addition to beer, serves up favorite bar food and sushi. The Bozangeles Light Ale is a crisp, light pilsner with a slight bitterness that even the nondiscerning beer drinker can appreciate. For a Belgian flair, give the “She May” Knot a try. Aged for three months and naturally conditioned, this ale has a fruity ester aroma and soft yeasty flavor character.

Next, head back up the main drag to area newcomer, Katabatic Brewing Co. (117 W. Park St.) located down the street from Livingston’s historic Murray Hotel. Owners Brice and LaNette Jones began beer production with the help of their Great American Beer Festival award-winning brewer, Jason Courtney, in the fall of 2014. Katabatic refers to the down-sloping, sometimes severe winds that are common in the area. The space is beautiful and inviting with a long L-shaped bar and walls covered with exposed brick and reclaimed barn wood. The bar’s foot rail is a Montana Rail Link train track pulled out of a yard in Livingston.

Head to the car and make the drive back to Bozeman for a visit to Outlaw Brewing (2876 N. 27th Ave.). This brewery keeps a range of regular beers on tap year-round and switches out new seasonal releases every six weeks. Beers names like Horse Thief IPA, Hangman’s Imperial IPA and the gluten-friendly Gambler American Amber stay true to the brewery’s outlaw theme. A small-capacity brewery, Outlaw started in a facility slightly less than 250 square feet in neighboring Belgrade. It expanded production capacity in December 2014 when it moved into a 2,400-square-foot facility on the north side of Bozeman.

Wind down at 406 Brewing Co. (101 E. Oak St., Suite D). This brewpub caters especially to those who appreciate variety with its ever-changing beer lineup and is sure to have something to suit almost every palate, from the always-evolving Hop Punch IPA to a classic oatmeal stout. For dinner take your pick of artisan breads, pizzas and calzones made using the brewery’s beer, plus sandwiches, soups and salads. Just like the beer list, the menu changes weekly in line with ingredient availability. Monthly changing gallery showings from local photographers and artists make for a beautiful backdrop to enjoy music by local bands.


Experience a rustic breakfast of biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon at the Stockyard Cafe (1018 E. Griffin Dr.), cooked up in a rugged, retro bungalow at the former location of the Bozeman Livestock Auction. After breakfast, take a short drive to the trailhead of the “M” trail to hike and take in some amazing views. The iconic 250-foot-tall white “M,” which marks the summit of the trail, was first inscribed onto the mountainside of the Bridgers in 1915 by Montana State University students. Dependent on whether you take the easy or difficult loop and your fitness level, expect the hike to take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes. From the top you’ll have an unobstructed view of Bozeman.

Before leaving town, grab a beer at the oldest operating brewery in the area, Bozeman Brewing Co., established in 2001 (504 N. Broadway Ave.). Support local charities in the process at the weekly Sunday FUNday event, which features a different nonprofit every week. Fifty cents from every pint sold benefits the chosen non-profit. The flagship beers of this brewery are made up of the strong, bold and fruity Hopzone IPA; Plum Street Porter, with its rich blend of seven malts and hint of chocolate; a slightly malty and mildly yeasty hefeweizen; and the Select Amber Ale. A variety of seasonal rotators like an imperial IPA, kolsch and pilsner are available throughout the year. This brewery also cans its four mainstay beers, so be sure to pick up a six-pack of your favorite as a souvenir.

If time allows, stop in for a bon voyage pint at Madison River Brewing Co. (20900 Frontage Rd.) in Belgrade, which is conveniently located less than a mile from the airport. Founded in 2004, this brewery is famous for its fly-fishing-themed favorites like Hopper Pale Ale and Copper John Scotch Ale and has a great selection on tap to make your goodbye a memorable one.

Finding Montana Beer

For listings of all the beer stops on this trip, plus others across the state, visit

Montana Brewery Passport

Need a logbook to record your adventures to Montana breweries? Get yours


Bozeman is your best option for lodging due to its central location to the breweries you will visit and its wide selection of hotels. To stay within walking distance of downtown, try moderately priced The Lark (122 W. Main St.). For a more low-cost option, try the Lewis and Clark Motel (824 W. Main St.).

Best Time of Year

Summer is the best time to visit southwest Montana, with sunny skies and warm temps in the 70s and 80s. Spring is a little chilly and wet at times. Fall can also be an option, but can be hit or miss with early season snow and cold. Winters are brutal, but can be well worth it for snow lovers, with excellent skiing and snowboarding options in close vicinity.

ON TAP: Montana

Posted On July 15, 2015

Re-posted from Men’s Journal, 2015

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You probably already know about the unmatched fly fishing, rock climbing, and mountain biking in Montana. But Big Sky Country is also one of the top craft beer states in America, ranking ahead of even Colorado in breweries per capita. The brewers and outdoors enthusiasts here are cut from the same cloth. So with the help of host Zane Lamprey, we sought them out, finding some of the best adventures — and brews — throughout the state.

Click here to read more on Men’s

Montana Brewers Association

Montana Brewers Association

P.O. Box 763

Helena, MT 59624

406-948-BREW (2739)