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The Treasure State

Along with many other western states, Montana breweries began emerging in the 1860s at the time of the gold rush. The first well-known brewery in the state was called Gilbert Brewery. Gilbert Brewery was started in 1863 and founded by three men: Henry Gilbert, Christian Ritcher, and William Smith. The brewery was originally named Thorn-Smith Brewery; it then later became Virginia Brewery at its Virginia City location, and finally Gilbert Brewery.

The state of Montana had only 10 breweries prior to Prohibition, and six made it through, one being the Gilbert Brewery. Montana was actually the first state to essentially lift the alcohol ban in 1926. Unfortunately World War II came along shortly after and disrupted the Montana brewing industry, leaving only Gilbert Brewery to make it through and last until 1974.

By the mid 1980s, craft beer started becoming incredibly popular. It was in this decade that the oldest Montana brewer still around, Bayern Brewing opened its doors in Missoula in the year 1987. Since the 1980s, the brewers of Montana beer have received over 40 GABF (Great American Beer Festival) medals.

Since every state seems to be different, so what time can you buy beer in Montana?

Beer from Montana can be purchased from grocery and convenience stores between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m.; liquor stores are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and are closed on Sundays; restaurants typically sell alcohol from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; breweries serve from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and can only provide each customer with a maximum of 48 ounces.

One Montana brewery, Blackfoot River Brewing Company is known for their Montana IPA beer, which is brewed solely with Montana ingredients, specifically Montana grown barely and hops. The beer is also specially crafted to reduce the gluten in the beer.

Some of the best beer in Montana come from the Montana craft breweries:

• Great Northern Brewing in Whitefish
• KettleHouse Brewing in Missoula
Madison River Brewing in Belgrade
• Montana Brewing in Billings
• Red Lodge Ales in Red Lodge

We have had the pleasure of featuring Montana craft beer in our subscription beer boxes from some of the best breweries in Montana including Madison River Brewing Company and Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company. Join to day and see what it's like to drink like a local in every state we feature!

Montana Breweries