24 Jan Blackfoot River Brewing
1993 was an important year for Brian and Brad. That is the year they decided to give up drinking beer. Give up drinking bad beer that is. What followed was a couple of years of brewing like maniacs in Brad’s basement. Brian and Brad soon discovered that not only was it possible to make great tasting beer, but it was also great fun. And judging from the many friends who magically appeared on brew night it was easy to see that good beer and good friends were a good combination.
Now in a serious mode of homebrewing the pair opened Howling Wolf Homebrew Supply in Downtown Helena (over on Placer Street) in 1995. The biggest customers of the supply store were Brian and Brad, whose real motivation at the time was not to make money, but figured as a retailer they could buy malt & hops at wholesale! Soon Greg (another passionate homebrewer and all around fun guy) joined the business.
For a couple of years the three kicked around the idea of opening a brewery, envisioning a brewery that would produce the finest, handcrafted, traditional beers to be found in Montana carefully handcrafted 15 barrels at a time. Blackfoot River’s beers would be unfiltered, never pasteurized and available exclusively on draught. It was hoped that the brewery would be a community-oriented locale providing a comfortable alternative to the typical bar scene.
In May of 1998, the dreams of a brewery were coming to fruition in a recently vacated garage building located next door to Miller’s Crossing in Downtown Helena. With lots of creativity, loads of hard work, and tons of help and encouragement from many friends, Blackfoot River Brewing Company became a functional brewery. The first test batch of beer was brewed on December 1st, 1998. The brewery received its federal brewery license on December 31st and has been busy making great beer and great friends ever since.
In October of 2008, after eight years of thriving in the cozy environment of the original building, the brewery moved into a wonderful new facility built on what used to be a parking lot next to the old brewery. Many customers were at first wary of leaving the old brewery for the new one, but the friendships and community thrived in the new space.
In 2014, two new partners, Bethany Flint & Tim Chisman joined the ranks of Blackfoot owners and the wonderful Blackfoot staff to help continue the legacy of the Blackfoot and move the business into the future.
Thanks to all of the folks- staff, business partners, and customers, who have helped make the brewery such a great success!
At Blackfoot River Brewing, we believe in making our handcrafted beers the right way. We use only the finest traditional ingredients, specifically tailored to each style of beer. Call us to book a show!