• 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.

    To read the rest of Brewer’s story about homebrewing clubs across Montana, find this issue on newsstands now. To read more Montana all year, subscribe now.

1 Comment

  1. caroline says: January 3, 2014 at 10:59 pmReply

    20 years ago we started the Exhaled Brewers in Great Falls. We had monthly meetings, a newsletter and serious beer drinkers (except for Jeff, god rest his soul, who was thrilled when he brewed a perfect batch of Bud.) We have supported the local home brew store through two
    owners, judged State Fair beers, and supported our local brewers. We just hung up the old mash tun and carboys because suppliers only carried kits and we actually can buy decent beer here now (Cheers to Brandon and his Mountain Man!) This is not a new trend. We started brewing in Oregon 25 years ago. Now that you can fill your growler with a decent brew – why piss the wife off with a filthy sticky kitchen?! Support you local brewer (as long as he doesn’t live with you!)