Since being revived in 2011, Great Northern Brewing Co.’s Beer Barter has been a highlight of the popular Whitefish Winter Carnival. Fellow blogger Ryan attended the 2012 event and received the VIP-behind-the-scenes treatment.
This annual event asks “What would you do or trade for a year’s supply of beer?” Contestants display their creativity by offering up unique barter items or by displaying a wide range of talents. Previously known as the Black Star Beer Barter, the name of the event changed this year after Great Northern ceased production of Black Star Beer. The grand prize also changed as a result. This year’s winner will receive a 52 cases comprised of Wheatfish Wheat Lager, Going to the Sun IPA, and Wild Huckleberry Wheat Lager.
Whitefish City Manager Chuck Stearns denied Great Northern’s permit application for this year’s event, citing concerns expressed by the Chief of Police over open containers and underage drinking. After Great Northern proposed additional security measures and decreased the duration of the permit, the City Council approved the permit on a 4-1 vote. Tristan Scott of the Flathead Beacon has the full story on the permit saga here, including a stern warning issued by the Council and some great quotes from last year’s winner, a retired Presbyterian minister.
If you’d like to take part in the contest, preregistration for the Beer Barter is already open and continues until 3:00 p.m. on February 8. The 2014 Beer Barter begins in front of the brewery (2 Central Avenue, Whitefish) on Saturday, February 8, following the Winter Carnival’s Grand Parade around 4:30 p.m.