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Mike & Erin Garrity

Triple Dog Brewing Company

Mike and Erin Garrity have deep roots in Montana, and weren’t afraid to go big when it came to following their dream of opening a craft brewery in Havre, Montana.

Both Erin and Mike were raised on Northern Montana’s “Hi-Line”, an area whose unique beauty and homesteading legacy was celebrated in a National Geographic photo essay from January 2012.  The Hi-Line has always been known for producing pioneering souls who have the vision to identify a great opportunity, and the tenacity to see that opportunity come to fruition. Erin and Mike certainly fit that mold when they set forth on the path of opening Triple Dog Brewing Company.  As Mike tells it:

“One day I was having a beer, and I started questioning how it was made. So, I got my first home-brew kit and set it up in the garage.  That hobby quickly became my passion, and I got more scientific about it.  I saw how I could make unique, tasty beers that would appeal to a lot of people.  I knew I could make brewing on a much larger scale work.”

At the same time, the craft beer industry in Montana was growing rapidly.  As of 2014, the Montana Brewers Association counts 22 craft breweries in the state that contribute a net impact of over $200 million to the annual economy.  Delicious beer is good business in Montana, but it takes guts to take the leap and start your own thing.  Sometimes it takes a little extra motivation.  For Mike, that was his family:

“The people and the atmosphere in this town are outstanding, and it’s a perfect size for us to raise a family. Everybody works together here and supports each other. And, we have mountains, rivers, and prairie right here. We can’t imagine being anywhere else, honestly.”

“My daughter was born 27 months ago, and that really inspired me to ‘do something’ career-wise.  It was the push I needed to do this.”

Mike had the beer brewing skills, but he lacked experience in business development.  He turned to Havre-based Bear Paw Development Corporation for help with his business plan and mentorship.  After an 18 month approval process, Mike and Erin secured a capital loan to buy the commercial-scale brewing equipment they needed and secured a lease on a building in downtown Havre.  Triple Dog Brewing officially opened their doors for business on March 27th, 2014.

To say Triple Dog has been busy so far would be an understatement.  Mike says the biggest challenge they’ve had so far is keeping up with demand:

“We’ve already run out of beer twice.  The beer taps never stop working during business hours. We just expanded our brewing capacity to keep up with demand - and it seems pretty clear we’re only going to get bigger from here.”

Mike and Erin feel lucky that they’ve been able to start a business doing something they love, but the feel even more fortunate that they get to do it in Havre:

“The people and the atmosphere in this town are outstanding, and it’s a perfect size for us to raise a family.  Everybody works together here and supports each other.  And, we have mountains, rivers, and prairie right here.  We can’t imagine being anywhere else, honestly.”

Given Triple Dog’s capacity crowds during business hours, it’s pretty clear Havre beer aficionados want to keep them around for the long haul, too. 

 

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Author: cg0137 STATE
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