Montana, land of big sky, beautiful mustangs, and some serious craft beer enthusiasts. Ok, perhaps they’re not always serious, as we found plenty of folks with down-to-earth values mixed with one outrageous sense of humor. However, the craft beer is definitely of a serious level of quality! This mountainous state features some awesome craft breweries that are kicking out great brews.
We decided to hopscotch this absolutely lovely western state and take a taste of how the West does craft beer. We have to admit, we’re pretty darn impressed! These folks are just as dedicated to their brews as they are to everything else they do, which is apparently a lot more than you’d think. Did you know Montana holds the claim to the only North American gem to be included in the Crown Jewels of England? Yep, this gorgeous state lays claim to the Montana Yogo Sapphire, the only gem in North America to have been coveted by England for its Crown Jewels collection. Although this claim is sometimes questioned, we’re going to leave them to their glory as we’re not gemologists and we’re far more interested in their awesome craft breweries.
During out trip through Montana, we chose a couple of awesome craft breweries to visit. The first brewery we visited during our journey was, of course, Montana Brewing Company, and we were not disappointed! This outfit offers not only amazing craft beer but some pretty impressive food as well. Their taproom has a really comfortable atmosphere and we actually didn’t want to leave at the end of the day. If you get a chance to stop in, check out their Custer’s Last Stout. Whether you’re a stout drinker or not, this is a great oatmeal stout that offers a smooth texture and not too much bitter to “stand”. Overall it was the best brew we tried, though the rest were quite delicious as well. Their White Tail Wheat was great too and we wish we’d brought some home with us!
Although we could have stayed there forever, we knew we had to get going, so we headed for Beaver Creek Brewery in Wibaux, Montana. Yes, we did grin a bit just saying the name of the town. If you think that is grin-worthy, wait til you try to say DaBlondski or Rusty Beaver Wheat. We couldn’t help it, we nearly laughed while giving our orders. Hey, you have to have a sense of humor when traveling the circuit of awesome craft breweries right? However, it wasn’t the names that really caught our attention in the end. Their Redheaded IPA is what took us by surprise. We definitely understand how it gained the People’s Choice Award in 2009 at the Montana Brewers Association Brew Festival. This brew is simply outstanding. It holds a lovely dark amber color and the sweet malt finish is divine.
Finally, we stopped in at Quarry Brewing Company in Butte, Montana. If you’re going through Montana, you absolutely must make a stop in Butte. The city is great, the people are lovely, and the beer is astounding! This brewery is located in the historic Grand Hotel, built before 1913 and “purchased” during its construction by Senator Burton K. Wheeler after he became “stranded” in Butte. The method by which he became stranded will remain unnamed, but you can read about it HERE for a giggle.
Quarry Brewing Company is located in this lovely old hotel and they offer some great craft beer. We tried a few of their brews including their Open Cab Copper, which was delicious. The hints of caramel complement the brew very well and we can see why it is a local favorite, as this Irish ale had a great finish! If you’re more into Porters, try their Open Pit Porter before you go. The nearly mocha flavor is outstanding and the finish was silky smooth. It is certainly a great choice as a sipping brew to enjoy while chatting with the locals.
We hope you get a chance to visit these outstanding breweries during your travels, as we’re going to remember them for a long time to come. Also, while you’re traveling through Florida (if you head that way), stop in and see us at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault after our opening in April! We plan to feature some great craft beer and premium wines as well!