The Ultimate Hobby: Homebrewing in Montana
On a recent Friday evening, several people are packed in the kitchen of a small Bozeman house scrutinizing the flavors, aromas and body of several Indian pales ales.
“I’m getting a floral aroma and a little bit of cattiness, and the flavor is very hoppy with passion fruit and tropical fruit,” Scott McCormick says of one beer.
McCormick is president of the Bridger Brew Crew, a group of 15 or so home brewers that had gathered for the club’s monthly meeting where members sampled homemade beers and took suggestions for how they might improve their brews.
Bridger Brew Crew is one of at least five homebrew clubs around the state. In addition to Bozeman, there are clubs in Missoula, Helena, Butte and Billings. All the clubs are dedicated to what Christian Claeys, a founder of Helena’s High Mountain Hoppers, calls the “ultimate hobby,” a hobby that combines science, creativity and, perhaps most of all, community.
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