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Bozeman Brewing

From, 11-23-08 of published article, Microbrew Montana: Bozeman Brewing: The Only German Brewery in the Rockies, Bill Schneider. This article is presented in agreement with All rights reserved, Copyright (© 2008)

Bozeman Brewing Management Team Lisa, Todd and Morgan.
Photo by Bill Schneider.

Todd Scott, owner and brewmaster at Bozeman Brewing Company in Bozeman thinks I have the world's second best job, traveling around visiting breweries, tasting some local brew, and writing about it, but of course, he also believes he has the best job, making that beer.

He is, in fact, so passionate about his job and his product that he mixed some of the chocolate malt he uses to make his Plum St. Porter with the drywall texture when he refurbished a corner of his facility, a retired pea cannery, into his tasting room, which is, according to Scott, "is a little known fact."

I told him I could keep his secret, but couldn't vouch anybody who used the Internet, so if you see chocolate addict chewing the walls, well, you'll just have to blame it on me. Sure adds to meaning to the words, "tasting room," don't you think?

When I asked Scott the standard question, how is his brewery different than the rest, he had the best answer so far: "We don't concentrate on being different; we concentrate on being the best."

But in addition to his malty-tasting walls, there are differences. "We're the only Montana brewery that has its own Frisbees," he said with a grin, making his point that, in reality, there isn't that much difference among microbreweries--and perhaps giving me a little unspoken jab i.e. dumb question, Bill.

"We have as much passion," he noted, "but not more than the others."

Point taken, but Bozeman Brewing is the only brewery in Montana to offer the cool-looking Palla growlers and that has a company crest composed of bits and pieces of the historic logos of famous Montana beers like Great Falls Select and Highlander.

And Scott believes, "We have the most drinkable amber," referring to his flagship beer, Bozone Select Amber Ale, which I can confirm, is quite tasty.

"We have a simple flavor profile," he explained, "but our beer is stronger than most."

Scott worked for Spanish Peaks Brewing for 11 years until 2001 when the long-time Bozeman-based brewery moved to California. He bought the equipment left behind by Spanish Peaks, hung up his own shingle, and started a race to have his first batch of local brew done before he and his wife Lisa had their first child. Their daughter, Morgan, won the race by a few days, and now, like several other Montana breweries, Bozeman Brewing is a family affair. Lisa works with Todd at the family business and gregarious, eight-year-old Morgan bounces around the facility entertaining patrons and workers.

The Scott family and a handful of employees make four basic beers and four seasonals, and after a 2008 expansion, produce 2,400 barrels of it per year and expect a "major increase" in 2012. That's already more than most Montana breweries, and he noted, "We're selling all the beer we make as fast as we can make it."

The expansion allowed Scott to expand his markets, but not in the way most brewers do. "We'd like to make our beers more available in our current markets," he said, "and I want our focus to be on selling beer through wholesalers and retailers.

In 2011, Bozeman started to can Bozone Select Amber Ale. Six packs of 12 oz. cans are now available around southwestern Montana, most notably in Bozeman, Billings, Belgrade, Livingston, Helena and the small communities in between. In the near future, Scott reports, he will also be offering his IPA, Porter and Hefe in cans.


For a brewery that doesn't emphasize taproom sales, Bozeman Brewing has a lot of special, community-based events to attract more customers. On Friday from noon to 3 pm, you can get $2.00 off growler refills. On Sunday, called "Funday" in this taproom, $0.50 from every pint sold goes to "the non-profit of the day."

So, it seems, for a brewer who thinks his business isn't different than his brethren, Todd Scott certainly seems to do a lot of things differently.

-Bill Schneider

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