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Innovate Montana:
MicroBreweries and Distilleries

MicroBreweries and Distilleries

If you’re an entrepreneur thinking about starting a brewery, think of Montana as the Napa Valley of Beer.

Montana grows some of the highest quality barley and specialty malts in the nation, so it’s no surprise we’re also growing one of the most robust craft brewing industries in the United States.  Our craft breweries don’t just offer entrepreneurs a great place to socialize and brainstorm - they offer serious revenue generation potential.  There are currently 50 craft breweries serving up delicious beverages in tasting rooms all across the state, creating 673 full-time jobs and nearly $60 million in annual sales - and consumer demand continues to grow. The Montana Brewers Association created in 2008 is a statewide association of breweries organized for the purpose of promoting the production and sales of the freshest and highest quality Montana made beers - and serves as a powerful peer network for entrepreneurs in the industry.

Delicious beer isn’t the only locally-crafted libations business on tap. Craft distilleries are also quickly gaining traction in the state, with a growth rate of 433% (from 3 distilleries to 16) between 2010 and 2014.  One of Montana’s forerunner craft distilleries, Headframe Spirits recently announced an expansion of their Butte, Montana facilities that would make them the largest distillery west of the Mississippi.

All of this growth in Montana’s craft beer and spirits market is also fantastic news for our state’s value-added agriculture industry, since the majority of these distilleries are using locally-produced fruits and grains to create the rich flavor of their products.  In a single year, Montana breweries use over 6.0 million pounds of malted grain - approximately half of which is grown right here in Big Sky Country.


Meet the Montana Ecosystem