A Road Trip for Beer to Big Sky Brewing Co.
What happens when three friends and home brewing beer geeks get together on an idea? Something truly wonderful if you’re talking Big Sky Brewing Co. in Missoula, Montana, where my favorite all time beer, Moose Drool Brown Ale is lovingly created and bottled.
A friendly, low key, smaller scale brewery, Big Sky knows how to make you feel welcome. It’s no wonder they have a following across the nation.
For me, any road trip to Montana dictates a visit to Big Sky. I’ve been known to drive miles out of my way to visit my favorite brewery that now makes my other favorite beers: Trout Slayer, Summer Honey, and a few others soon to be favorites as well.
The taproom is where you’ll want to try some samples and consider buying some fun souvenirs. Yes, I guard and protect my Moose Drool T-shirt and my empty growlers that eagerly await my next 963 mile pilgrimage to get them refilled. A staircase from the taproom allows a bird’s-eye view of the brewhouse, cellar and bottling line and when the beer geeks who started it all are able, guided tours are also available.
With about 40 employees and producing around 40,000 barrels of beer, the operation is small enough to make it cozy and welcoming to visit yet large enough to produce and share the best beer around, throughout the country, and at a gradually growing pace.
Over nearly 20 years, the three beer geeks – Neal Leathers, Bjorn Nabozney, and Brad Robinson – have gone from home brewing, to a small 7,000-square-foot brewery, to nearly 2 million six packs sold to 24 states produced in about 30,000 square feet at their current location.
It’s been an interesting journey and wonderfully crafted beers have resulted. If you find yourself anywhere near Missoula, Montana, on your next road trip, stop in for a treat and the ultimate road trip refreshment.
Carmel L. Mooney is editor of our sister site Road Trips for Couples.