Local Craft Beverages
Relax and enjoy Montana-made brews, hard cider and spirits.
After a day of playing in the Flathead Valley or Glacier National Park, there is no better way to relax and recap the day’s adventure than a stop at a local brewery, distillery or winery. Have your pick of local potables — Northwest Montana has become a veritable oasis of the craft and small-batch beverage industry.
There are so many options to try that you may not want to relegate your taste testing to evening hours. Designate a driver and make a day of sampling small-batch porters and pilsners, rieslings and ryes found in tasting rooms across the valley.
Whatever your preferred beverage, the vibrant city of Kalispell serves as an ideal jumping-off point for a tasting tour of the region.
On the corner of Fourth and Main streets in a renovated, 10,000-square-foot space behind massive glass windows, professional skiers Cole Schneider and Maggie Doherty, his wife, own and operate Kalispell’s first modern craft brewery. The two-story Kalispell Brewing Company tasting room features live music and other events, events, and a rotating selection of eight to 10 beers on tap including its famous German-style Two Ski Brewski Pils and Winter At Noon Dunkel.
Sunrift Beer Company opened their doors in 2018, serving quality craft beers in a warm and friendly historic building in downtown Kalispell. They pour a variety of beers from IPA's to Belgians, stouts to lagers, each inspired by Montana's mountains, sun and water.
The latest addition to downtown Kalispell is Bias Brewing whose owners have an experimental streak to nurture so feature a rotating selection of beers such as blackberry sour, a pale ale steeped in black tea leaves and a chocolate porter that has been rested on cacao nibs.
Local favorite Flathead Lake Brewing Co. is located on the north shore of Flathead Lake overlooking the sprawling lake. The pub offers 16 beers on tap, wine and a full liquor bar plus cocktail menu using FLBC beer and fresh ingredients. Dark-beer lovers must try the 369’ Stout, a World Beer Cup winner.
On the opposite side of Flathead Lake, in the small town of Lakeside, the Tamarack Brewing Company Alehouse & Grill is hard to miss. With its eye-catching modern design and long list of beers (including everything from traditional IPAs to an apricot ale called Sip and Go Naked), the Tamarack is a buzzing hub of activity year-round.
Visit the cozy taproom and spacious outdoor seating area at Sacred Waters Brewing Company, dedicated to making superb beer with the sacred waters of the Flathead Valley. Sacred Wates has developed an enthusiastic following in the two years they've been open. Keep up-to-date with their latest brews and events on Facebook!
Located almost at the doorstep of Glacier National Park, Glacier Distilling Company in Coram specializes in small-batch whiskeys that reflect the rugged beauty of the surroundings. Using local grains and pure glacial water from the Northern Rockies, the distillery produces traditional as well as specialty spirits such as a peach-infused rye whiskey.
Even if Bigfork’s Whistling Andy Distillery hadn’t won the 2011 platinum award at the Spirits International Prestige Awards, you’d probably still be tempted by its unusual specialty: a hibiscus coconut rum. Try the rum, gin and other savory spirits and cocktails at its tasting room on Montana Hwy. 35.
Whitefish Handcrafted Spirits crafts with care. Their spirits use only the finest (locally sourced whenever possible) ingredients. Visit the comfortable tasting room to warm up on a cold night with the Orange Clove Rum, giving a warm hug of citrus, cinnamon and clove, along with a bite to eat from the diverse menu.
Willie’s Distillery embodies the independent spirit and authenticity of the American West. Add a twist to your favorite cup of coffee or hot-toddy with the Coffee Cream Liqueur or Bighorn Bourbon. Available at Montana Liquor Stores and the tasting room in Ennis, Montana.
Small-batch Rum by Portal Spirits is made from fine raw sugar from Louisiana, and pristine water from Rocky Mountain aquifers. Inspired by Flathead Lake, try the Flathead Fog Rum with a splash of vanilla and a perfect touch of bergamot. Available at all Montana Liquor Stores.
MontaVino Winery & Tasting Room selects wines produced from reputable and well established family vineyards located in the Pacific Northwest, including critically acclaimed vineyards and cellars in the states of Washington & Oregon. Think of a brew pub but for wine. Enjoy a variety of quality wines in a relaxed atmosphere in the heart of downtown Kalispell.
At Kalispell’s Glacier Sun Winery enjoy tastings of its unique blends featuring Washington grapes and Montana-grown fruit, including apricot and chuckleberry (blending local cherries and huckleberries) dessert wines, or its more traditional white and red selections.
Water's Edge Winery and Bistro is Kalispell's newest location where wine lovers can find an array of varietals. Wines are blended and bottled in-house from grapes sourced from the best growing regions across the globe. Fresh, well-paired food items are offered as well.
Unleashed - A Winery, inspired by the love of dogs, offers their own specialty wines that have been produced on site using grapes from Central California. The tasting room offers small bites and a comfortable environment where all can unleash and enjoy!
Rough Cut Hard Cider uses apple juice from the Pacific Northwest and fruits from right here in Montana. Jaden Berends brings craftsmanship and creativity to the traditional English Cider by using unique flavors and styles offering a rotating selection of flavors.
At Big Mountain Ciderworks, the Desmul Family creates distinctive hard ciders using apples, pears and cherries from their own orchard and others in Northwest Montana. Their taproom offers a small menu of shareables, burgers, brats and rustic pizzas.