Posted On April 4, 2022
Wednesday is April 6th and that means it’s Montana Day (also known as 4-0-6 Day), the unofficial holiday celebrating the Big Sky State. It also happens to be New Beer’s Eve, the day before National Beer Day. To mark the occasion, breweries across Montana will be releasing the 2022 Last Best Pale Ale, a collaboration of Montana Brewers Association (MBA) member breweries.
“I can think of no better way to celebrate our great state and its people than with a Montana-made beer brewed with Montana-grown malt and hops,” says MBA Executive Director Matt Leow. “We’re so thrilled to have Montana hop growers, Montana barley growers, Montana maltsters and, of course, Montana brewers all participating in this collaboration beer. From the barley fields to your local taproom, Montana farmers, maltsters and brewers have produced a beer that embodies why this state we love is known as the Last Best Place”
This is the second year Montana brewers have teamed up with Montana producers to create a 100% Montana-made beer in celebration of craft in our state. Thanks to the generous support of Farm Power Malt, Gallatin Valley Malt, Malteurop, Montana Craft Malt, Big Sky Hops, Crooked Yard Hops, and Flathead Valley Hops, brewers purchased their ingredients at reduced rates from local growers. From there they got creative with their own, unique Pale Ale recipes. Now, they’re ready to share their brews with craft beer enthusiasts.
“What’s fun about this beer is that it allows us to connect in a special way with not only our fellow brewers but also the consumer,” says Ethan Kohoutek, co-owner of Ten Mile Creek Brewery. “With all the amazing brewers and craft beer lovers spread out across such a large area, the Last Best Pale Ale lets us share a common brew all over the state. All of this really shines a light on the uniqueness of our industry in the state, from the farms to the pint glass to the consumer.”
So far, fifteen Montana breweries are brewing the Last Best Pale Ale, though Leow says more will likely join in. Twelve breweries are planning to release their take on the collaboration beer on Montana Day. Each brewery will also donate a portion of the proceeds of their Last Best Pale to the Montana Brewers Association to continue to further the mission of promoting the production and sales of the freshest and highest quality Montana made beers. The MBA will use a portion of donations raised to fund scholarships for student researchers at MSU’s Barley, Malt & Brewing Quality Lab.
“Brewing the Last Best Pale Ale is a great way for us to create a beer that showcases the incredible locally grown and produced beer ingredients that we have access to right here in the state of Montana,” explains Loy Maierhauser of MAP Brewing, “But even beyond that, it’s an opportunity for us to create a connection with other breweries around the state, as we continue to build this community of collaboration in support of a common cause.”
Montana beer lovers can support the collaboration beer project and ring in New Beers Eve on Montana Day by enjoying a pint of the Last Best Pale Ale on tap in the following breweries:
2 Basset Brewery (White Sulphur Springs)
Bitter Root Brewing (Hamilton) **
Blackfoot River Brewing Co. (Helena)
Bonsai Brewing (Whitefish) **
Burnt Tree Brewing (Ennis)
Cabinet Mountain Brewing Co. (Libby)
Draught Works Brewery (Missoula)
Highlander Beer (Missoula) **
Kalispell Brewing (Kalispell)
Katabatic Brewing Co. (Livingston)
KettleHouse Brewing (Missoula)
MAP Brewing Co. (Bozeman)
Ronan Coop (Ronan)
Sacred Waters Brewing Co. (Kalispell)
Ten Mile Creek Brewery (Helena)
Participating breweries will be pouring the Last Best Pale Ale collaboration beer throughout the year while supplies last.
The Montana Brewers Association works to protect and strengthen a diverse and independent Montana craft brewing industry, and facilitate cooperation and unity between all Montana breweries. The organization influences public policy to allow Montana’s craft brewing industry to thrive, provide educational opportunities for members of the industry and promote Montana craft beer.
For more information about the MBA, please visit montanabrewers.org.
**The Last Best Pale Ale may not be on tap by 4/06 at these breweries, check their websites for what’s on tap and their collaboration beer release dates!