Montana Brewers Association

Montana Brewers

Winter Newsletter

February 2018

Beer Maven: Montana’s first- ever beer event series celebrating women and beer

Bozeman, MT – Fermentana kicked off Beer Maven, Montana’s first-ever female-only beer event series celebrating women and beer in January. Beer Maven is offering women the opportunity to expand and develop their beer knowledge through a variety of exciting beer tastings, unique food pairings, and fun, educational discussions with guest industry speakers at local community establishments.

Beer Maven is unique because it brings light to a growing segment of Montana’s beer-loving populace – women. According to the Brewers Association, women currently represent slightly more than half of all beer drinkers. Of that number, approximately 25% of those female drinkers choose craft beer. Through Beer Maven, Fermentana seeks to grow their fellow females’ appreciation for craft beer by bringing women of varying palettes, diverse beer style preferences, and multiple fermented interests together to learn and experience beer in new and interesting ways.

Loy Maierhauser leads the first event of the Beer Maven series at Bozeman Brewing on January 23rd.

The inaugural event series is being held at varying locations around Bozeman, MT during the months of January, February, and March. The first event in the series occurred on January 23rd, 2018 from 6-8pm at Bozeman Brewing Company in Bozeman, MT. Attendees were treated to a sensory analysis training with Fermentana co- founder and certified beer judge, Loy Maierhauser, during a tasting of a series of beer styles. The evening also included a tour of the brewing facility.

Second in the series, women will have the opportunity to again learn from Maierhauser, as well as other industry experts, about the complex flavors and aromas hops impart to beer via a tasting event at MAP Brewing Co. on February 20th. An exclusive beer brewed especially for Beer Maven will also be released and available for attendees to sample. Light snacks and plenty of time for mingling and discussion will also be included in both events.

Beer Maven will finish the last leg of its tour with a Sour Beer Pairing Dinner hosted by Montana Ale Works on March 27th. A special hand-picked collection of beers featuring a spectrum of sour flavors will be paired with creative savory, spicy, and sweet small-plate dishes prepared by Ale Works’ master chefs. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit Haven, a Bozeman-based nonprofit which offers support to women and families affected by domestic violence.

Individual tickets for each event in the series (limited to 45 people each) will be offered to beer drinkers at a price of $30 each for the first two events and $40 for the beer pairing dinner. Tickets include entrance to the event, beer samplers, and light snacks, or, in the case of the beer pairing dinner, small plated foods. A special Beer Maven Pass, which includes entrance to all three events, is also available for $90 each.

Loy Maierhauser (left) and Jesse Bussard (right), co-founders of Fermentana.

“Whether you’re a woman who already loves beer or are just getting started, Beer Maven offers something for every female drinker,” says Fermentana co-founder, Jesse Bussard. “These events give women a chance to build their beer knowledge, discover new beers, meet like- minded women, and in general, feel more confident about their future beer decisions. Through Beer Maven, we hope to educate more women about beer and continue to build the community of female beer drinkers one pint at a time!”

Complete event details and tickets are available for purchase online at

About the Organizers:
Fermentana is a fermentation-focused events promotions company whose mission is to develop and grow Montana’s local communities through events which intrigue, engage, and excite fermentation enthusiasts. For more information about Fermentana, please email [email protected] or visit our website at

2018 Montana Brewers Rendezvous Schedule Announced!

  • Friday, May 11 at Haynes Pavilion in Bozeman
  • Saturday, August 4 at Memorial Park in Helena
  • Saturday, September 29 at Caras Park in Missoula

Interested in being a part of this year’s events?

Check out our 2018 sponsorship opportunities!

How Many Breweries Can You Fit Under the Big Sky?

We often hear the question: Has (insert town name here) reached capacity for breweries? It’s obviously just speculation and only time will tell, but it sure has been interesting to watch the number of breweries increase beyond what people thought was possible just five or ten years ago.

Ruby Valley Brew opened in Sheridan in June 2017.

First, a bit of history. In 1968, Great Falls Select closed its doors and so began a Montana beer drought with no breweries in the state. That began to change in 1984 when Kessler Brewing opened in Helena. The brewery used the same name as the historic brewery that operated in Helena from 1865 to 1958. That second edition of Kessler Brewing closed in 2000, but Bayern Brewing filled the void opening in Missoula in 1987. Bayern is now 30 years old and as Montana’s oldest operating brewery, marked the beginning of the modern craft brewing era in Montana.

Anaconda welcomed its first brewery when Smelter City Brewing opened in July 2017.

Several breweries opened during the 1990s, bringing the number of breweries in Montana to 10 by 2000. That’s when things really started to take off. By 2010, the ranks swelled to 23 and have more than tripled since then. Since 2010, not a year has gone by without at least one new brewery opening in the state.

Today, there are 73 breweries open and operating in Montana and each year we see the addition of several new breweries. Ten years after Bayern opened, Montana’s craft brewing industry was still focused in just a few places – Bozeman, Flathead County, and Missoula. Today, there are breweries in 42 communities across the state with several more on the way.

Construction coming along at Conflux Brewing, a two story, 15-barrel brewery and restaurant opening in Missoula in 2018.

Last year, several breweries opened across Montana, most of them in towns that did not yet have a brewery until they opened. We welcome and congratulate Gally’s Brewing, Ruby Valley Brew, Cut Bank Creek Brewery, Elk Ridge Brewing, Smelter City Brewing, and Mountains Walking Brewery for joining Montana’s craft brewing scene.

There are currently another 14 breweries in planning, showing that Montanans’ appetite for craft beer is not waning. We look forward to the addition of the following breweries to the Montana Brewers family.

Montana breweries coming to a town near you soon!

  • Bias Brewing, Kalispell
  • Big Springs Brewing, Lewistown
  • Blue Ridge Brewing, Malta
  • Conflux Brewing, Missoula
  • Crooked Furrow Brewing, Helena
  • Gild Brewing, Missoula
  • Golden Triangle Brewing, Fort Benton
  • Limberlost Brewing, Thompson Falls
  • Old Station Brewing, Havre
  • Ronan Co-Op Brewery, Ronan
  • Sacred Waters Brewing, Kalispell
  • Snow Hop Brewery, Helena
  • SunRift Beer Co., Kalispell

Renovations on an old gas station in Havre – soon to be Old Station Brewing!

Walls going up at Snow Hop Brewery, coming to Helena in 2018.

Sunrift Beer Co. in Kalispell, opening Spring 2018.

Big Raffle under the Big Sky

Get your MBA Raffle Tickets

Grand Prize: Custom Sherpa Offroad Camper Trailer

Winner receives an offroad teardrop trailer from Sherpa Trailers with two roof racks, double awnings, a stereo, a TV, a solar power system, and more great features.

1st Prize: Great American Beer Festival

Winner receives a trip for two to the 2019 Great American Beer Festival, the premier U.S. beer festival and competition, in Denver, Colorado.

2nd Prize: NRS Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard

Winner receives AIRE’s premier stand up paddleboard. Package includes a paddle, bag, and air pump.

3rd Prize: Avalanche Safety Packages

Winner receives two avalanche safety packages, complete with Pieps Beacons, touring shovels, and touring probes.

4th Prize: MT Beer Kegerator

Winner receives an Edgestar Kegerator with a custom tap handle and one free keg from the MBA member of your choice!

Tickets are $100 each and include a Montana Brew Crew Membership (Brew Crew Card entitles you to a free beer at 35 breweries). Funds support the MBA’s work to promote Montana craft beer and create a regulatory environment that allows Montana’s craft brewing industry to flourish.

Tickets are limited and can only be purchased at an MBA member brewery.

Montana Brewers Association

Montana Brewers Association

P.O. Box 8591

Missoula, MT 59807

406-948-BREW (2739)