The Quest for the Holy Grain - Best Brew Pubs




Great Northern Brewing Company
2 Central Avenue Suite 1          
Whitefish, Montana 59937  
Phone: 406-863-1000

           In the town of Whitefish, Montana, a half hour from Glacier National Park, and located in the tallest building downtown is the
Great Northern Brewing Company.
The ground level holds the brewery and a very small bar/swag sales area.
Upstairs are several bars, quiet corners, and a "sports room" with darts and other games.
The main bar on the upper level has floor-to -ceiling windows and there are several small balconies from which one can enjoy a beer and view the magnificent scenery.
Eight beers were on tap when I visited. I had to try the Tea Pale Ale or "TeaPA" as it is infused with Earl Grey Tea and bergamot. This is a spring seasonal beer and I was there on the fourth day the beer was released! I didn't catch any of the tea flavoring when the glass was consumed, but there was a pretty wild aftertaste, much like when drinking Earl Grey tea. This is a pretty hop forward beverage with an IBU of 50. If I didn't have such a long drive back to the hotel, I would have tried a Going to the Sun IPA at 54 IBU's. This is one of Great Northern's flagship beers and one that is bottled and sold in liquor stores.

Western/Northwest Montana has a burgeoning craft beer industry with over two dozen microbreweries in Missoula, Great Falls, Bozeman and environs. In fact, the best beer I had on the trip was locally produced: Missoula's Draught Works Brewing Scepter Head IPA. This ranks in the top ten of any IPA's I've enjoyed, hitting the right notes of bitterness, hops, citrus, and pine. The Montana Brewers Association has a Trail Map, and it's one I'd like to "hike"