Montana Brewers Association

Montana Brewers

Summer Newsletter

August 2018

29 Breweries and 105 Beers Coming to Helena August 4th

One of Helena’s favorite summertime events is back! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Montana Brewers Summer Rendezvous at  Memorial Park in Helena on Saturday, August 4th

Get your presale tickets here!

In partnership with Bike Helena’s Summer Shuttle Fest, the festival will feature 29 Montana breweries pouring more than 105 Montana-brewed beers. A wide variety of beers will be available to taste – everything from Smelter City Brewing’s Tropical Island Gose with passionfruit, guava, and lava salt to Blackfoot River Brewing’s Wine Barrel-Aged Baltic Porter. No matter what kind of beer drinker you are, there will be plenty there for you to enjoy!

We are excited to cohost this event with Bike Helena as part of the 5th Annual Bike Helena Shuttle Fest! They’ll be providing three days of FREE bike shuttles to Helena’s best singletrack on August 3, 4, and 5 — check out the schedule here.

When you’re done biking for the day, come by to taste beer from the far reaches of the state, whether it is from long-established breweries in Montana or the newest breweries just starting to share beer with their communities. All of the delicious craft beers will be served alongside local food vendors and live music from the Dodgy Mountain Men.

Get your tickets now to save $5 off of the gate price!

This is a family-friendly event. Children 12 and under receive free admission, and non-drinker tickets will be available for $15.

None of this would be possible without our amazing sponsors: Bank of the RockiesBig Sky Gas, General DistributingMalteurop North America, McDantim, Montana Beer and Wine Distributors Association, Rock 96.3, and YCH Hops! Thank you sponsors!


Two New Breweries Coming to Missoula This Year

If you’ve passed through Missoula lately, there’s a good chance you’ve seen lots of construction and new things going up around the downtown area. Well good news for beer lovers, two of these construction zones are two new independent craft breweries in the works! Conflux Brewing and Gild Brewing will soon bring the total number of breweries in Missoula to ten, and each will bring a new & unique style to the Garden City.

Conflux Brewing Company, located on the corner of Main Street and Pattee Street, is the brain child of Missoula couple Hugh Yates and Meghan Casqueira. Born and raised in Missoula, Yates has a background in Missoula restaurants, and envisions Conflux becoming a big part of the Missoula community.  “We want this to be an inclusive place for everyone – people by themselves, groups, families, and to show off what Missoula has to offer,” says Yates. They plan on working closely with local nonprofits and are already teamed up with the Clark Fork Coalition for their grand opening. They will also be implementing a program where a portion of every kid’s meal sold will be donated back to a nonprofit benefitting children and families.

This community-based vision also ties into the brewery’s name. ‘Conflux’ comes from the word confluence, describing a point where things come together. The term is not only representative of the geographic location of Missoula, which acts as a confluence for five valleys and three rivers, but of breweries themselves, acting as a meeting place for people from all around the community. The two-story brewery and restaurant has outdoor patio and deck seating, an outdoor fireplace, a community meeting room, and a kids area. They plan to hire 55 full and part-time staff once they are open and in full swing and will have 5-6 beers on tap for their grand opening, which will be announced soon.

Gild Brewing is located in the renovated building that housed the historic Crystal Theatre on Missoula’s popular Hip Strip. The Gild team is made up of Erin McEwen and Dmitri Murfin-Simmons, owners of Bridge Pizza, and Matty Kerr and Matt Blair. All are born and raised Missoulians, and are excited to bring life back to the historic building.

The name ‘Gild’ is pays homage to ‘The Gilded Lily’, the restaurant that McEwen’s mother owned and operated in the same building in the 1970s. It also aligns with their vision for the brewery– ‘to gild’ means to cover lightly with gold, which is symbolic of the work they’ve put into the historic building. “We wanted to create a balance between the old and timeless with the new to create a clean, viable community space,” says Kerr, “so we’re keeping many of the vintage parts of the building but also doing a lot of work to update the building.”

Gild’s offerings will be spread across three stories, with 20 tap handles located on each floor. Each floor will have the option to order from a selection of up to ten Gild brews, other local beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages, and from their handcrafted menu of ‘Mexican drinking food’. The main floor will serve as a traditional tap room, with the upstairs functioning as a study lounge gathering area with space for live music, First Friday exhibits, fundraisers and more. The basement of Gild will host a full arcade, complete with pinball, Mario Cart 64, and more of your favorite classics. The basement portion of this building hasn’t been open to the public since 1970, and features river rock walls and plenty of space for their many arcade games.

The grand openings of each of these breweries have not yet been announced, but their progress can be followed on their social media accounts. Check out Gild’s Instagram here, and Conflux’s Instagram and Facebook here.


MT Office of Outdoor Recreation and Craft Beer Industry Host Great Outdoors Brewery Tour

The Montana Office of Outdoor Recreation and the Montana Brewers Association announced the Great Outdoors Brewery Tour last week.

According to Rachel VandeVoort, Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation, the state-wide tour is intended to be a public venue to discuss opportunities to enhance Montana’s multi-billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry and learn more about important conservation programs that support the outdoor industry.

“I invite all Montanans to come have a beer with me, learn about Montana’s Office of Outdoor Recreation, and discuss how we can continue to strengthen our public lands, waters, and the 70,000 jobs that our outdoor assets support,” said VandeVoort.

The Office of Outdoor Recreation was established in 2017 by Governor Bullock to grow and enhance the state’s $7.1 billion outdoor recreation economy. Montana was the 4th state to create an outdoor recreation office and a total of eleven states now have such offices. The Office of Outdoor Recreation works collaboratively with other states, departments and agencies within Montana’s state government, as well as federal government agencies.

The tour began Wednesday August 1st at Draught Works in Missoula, Montana.  The tour will continue with multiple stops in community breweries across the state this summer.

The Great Outdoors Brewery Tour is hosted by the Montana Brewers Association.  Matt Leow, Executive Director of the Brewers Association, says enhancing Montana’s outdoor economy is an important conversation for craft brewers across the state.

“Our members not only live and breathe the Montana outdoor way of life, we depend on it as part of our business models and as a crucially important marketing element for Montana craft beer,” said Leow.

The Great Outdoors Brewery Tour will include three initial stops with stops in Bozeman and Kalispell to be announced later this summer:

Wednesday August 1st, 3:00pm, Draught Works Brewery, Missoula

Wednesday August 8th, 3:00pm, Thirsty Street Brewing Company, Billings 

Wednesday August 15th, 3:00 pm, Mighty Mo Brewing Company, Great Falls

7th Annual Montana Brewers Conference and Trade Show set for September 27-28

Conference offers variety of talks focused on technical brewing, business, and front-of-house topics

Brewers and beer industry representatives alike will have the opportunity to elevate their craft through a variety of talks and panel discussions at the 2018 Montana Brewers Conference and Trade Show happening September 27-28, 2018 at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel Missoula-Edgewater in Missoula, MT.

Presented in partnership by the Montana Brewers Association and Fermentana, the conference will feature plenary talks, as well as breakout sessions covering three topic-focused tracks – technical brewing, business, and front-of-house operations – over the course of the two days. Several networking activities for attendees will also be held during the event. Over 150 attendees are expected at the seventh annual event, including over 15 businesses exhibiting in the trade show.

The keynote speaker for the event is John Holl, Author and Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing (speaking on Thursday at 10:10am). Additionally, Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D., Diversity Ambassador for the Brewers Association, will give a plenary session talk (Friday at 10am) on the second day of the conference about strategies and tactics for being inclusive and building diversity in craft beer.

Kara Taylor, Senior Laboratory Manager of White Labs, will share steps on setting up a brewery lab to test for the essentials in beer quality. In addition, Ian Hughes, Sustainability Ambassador from the Brewers Association will present on sustainability resources for brewers, as well as moderate a group discussion on current Montana examples of brewery sustainability in practice.

A panel discussion focused on understanding the use of distilled hop oils in brewing will feature Tom Britz, CEO of Glacier Hops Ranch; Tim Schnarrs II, Chief Brewing Officer and Director of Brewery Operations at Meadowlark Brewing; and Marcus Duffey, General Manager and Managing Partner of Great Northern Brewing; moderated by Niki Bates, Marketing Director of Great Northern Brewing.

Other speakers and panelists include Acacia Coast, State Brewers Guild Manager from the Brewers Association; Kori Christianson, Marketing Manager for Draught Works Brewery; Nicko Lannan, Creative Manager for Draught Works Brewery; Jon Graber, Sales Manager at Micro Matic; Isaac Taylor, General Manager at Neptune’s Brewery; Loy Maierhauser, Marketing Manager at Map Brewing; and Leif Miltenberger, Hired Guns Creative.

The conference will end on Friday with a final breakout session featuring talks in each track including a panel discussion exploring the ins-and-outs of barrel-aging beers with speakers Ryan Beal, Brewer at Bozeman Brewing; David Brendgard, Director of Brewery

Operations for Flathead Lake Brewing Company; and Mike Elliott, Head Brewer for Philipsburg Brewing Company.

The complete conference schedule can be found on the event website.

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)