Winners of the Harvest Montana Beer Competition

The Montana Farmers Union hosted its first Harvest Montana Brew Fest and Competition this past weekend in Great Falls. Twenty two breweries participated in the brewfest portion, handing out samples and chatting with participants while enjoying the rockabilly sounds of Cold Hard Cash.

Montana Brewery of the Year

Flathead Lake’s David Brendgard and Nate Willette Photo Credit: Harvest Montana Grain Conference

Many more Montana breweries took advantage of the opportunity to have their beers judged by eight professional judges flown in from around the U.S.  Some 170 or so beers were submitted, demonstrating a significant interest in continued competitions of this sort.

For qualifying entries, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded in fifteen categories.  Each judge also picked a “best in show” winner with the brewery tallying the most votes named the Montana Brewery of the Year.  Each attendee received a vote for the “People’s Choice” award among breweries participating in the brewfest.  Here are the winners:

Double IPA
Gold – Katabatic Brewing Company – Double Danger
Silver – Lone Peak – Imperial IPA
Bronze – Flathead Lake Brewing – Imperial IPA

IPA
Gold – Blackfoot River Brewing – Single Malt IPA
Silver – Katabatic Brewing Company – IPA
Bronze – Bridger Brewing – Antilogy Black IPA

Porter
Gold – Bowser Brewing Company – Baltic Porter
Silver – Blackfoot River Brewing – North Fork Organic Porter
Bronze – Beaverhead Brewing Company – Pioneer

Stout
Gold – Blackfoot River Brewing – Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Silver – Neptune’s Brewery – Venti Grande GFY Stout

Red and Amber
Gold – Lolo Peak – LouLou Amber
Silver – Uberbrew – Alt 0220
Bronze – Bridger Brewing – Opus 1 Amber Ale

Scottish
Gold – Blackfoot River Brewing – Tartanic Scottish Ale
Silver – Triple Dog Brewing Company – Aberdeen Scotch Ale
Bronze – Meadowlark – Ole GusHarvest-Montana-Logo

Light Lager
Gold – Lone Peak – Swift Winter Pilsner
Silver – Montana Brewing Company – Czhillsner
Bronze – Bowser Brewing Company– Oktoberfest

Wheat
Gold – Canyon Creek Brewing – Beer Hefe
Silver – Lewis and Clark Brewing Company – Miner’s Gold Hefe
Bronze – Harvest Moon Brewing– Beltian White

Fruit and Veggie
Gold – Mighty M0 – Coco Brown
Silver – Bridger Brewing – Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe Imperial Brown Ale
Bronze – Bowser Brewing Company – Jalapeno Hefeweizen

Specialty
Gold – Flathead Lake Brewing – Wild Mile Sour
Silver – Flathead Lake Brewing – Fall Equinox
Bronze – Bowser Brewing Company – Spring Cleaning Monster

Dark Lager
Silver – Mighty Mo – Doppleback
Bronze – Beaverhead Brewing Company – Dark Lager

Blonde/Cream
Gold – Bitterroot Brewing – Sawtooth Ridge
Silver – Lewis and Clark Brewing Company – Yellowstone Golden Ale
Bronze – Blacksmith Brewing – Brickhouse Blonde

Barrel Aged
Gold – Uberbrew – Wyoming Whiskey Barrel Aged Uberstition
Silver – Lone Peak – Bourbon Barrel Stout
Bronze – Big Sky Brewing Company – Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout

Pale Ale
Gold – Lolo Peak – No Salmon Pale Ale
Silver – Bridger Brewing – Lee Metcalf Pale
Bronze – Mighty Mo – Rising Trout
Honorable Mention – Uberbrew – Draft Punk

Brown Ale
Gold – Bitterroot Brewing – Blown Out Brown
Silver – Flathead Lake Brewing – Bufflehead Brown
Bronze – Beaverhead Brewing Company – Brown

People’s Choice
Meadowlark

Best in Show
Flathead Lake

Full Disclosure:  Due to the unexpectedly high number of entries, I and another knowledgeable beer enthusiast were enlisted to help share the judging load.  We were each paired with a professional judge and followed typical protocols for blind judging.

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2 thoughts on “Winners of the Harvest Montana Beer Competition

  1. Great visiting with you. That was an amazing experience. I hope even more Montana breweries submit next year. What a wonderful event for the Montana brewing industry and Great Falls.
    Regards,
    “another knowledgeable beer enthusiast”

  2. Ha. Yes, indeed, you are the other “knowledgeable beer enthusiast.” Wasn’t sure if you wanted to be identified. It was a great experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity. Looking forward to visiting with you more in the future.

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