Flathead Lake Brewery Trail
Starting and ending in Whitefish, 4 breweries, 2 days.
View Flathead Lake Brewery Trail in a larger map
and his Jim Beam bourbon barrels.
No need to leave Whitefish early in the morning because you won't want to get to your first stop, The Rack in Lakeside, until around noon for lunch and your first microbrew.
You could make good use of the time with an early morning round of golf at one of the famous local courses, a scenic bike ride around Whitefish Lake or up to Whitefish Mountain Resort, a hike up the Danny On Trail to the top of Big Mountain, or a leisurely breakfast at one of several superb restaurants specializing in morning fare.
To find The Rack, head south from Whitefish on U.S. 93 through Kalispell and onto Lakeside. It's on your right at the juncture of the Blacktail Mountain Ski Area road, which would make a nice side trip if interested. The Rack is actually a combination of Tamarack Brewing and a great restaurant called the Tamarack Alehouse and Grill. The Rack is as close to a traditional brewpub as Montana laws allow.
After lunch and a sample of the local brew, continue south on U.S.93 to Polson. Find a motel and then head out for a late-afternoon brew at the recently expanded taproom of Glacier Brewing. If you like pizza, you can buy it right there or check out one of Glacier Brewing's recommended nearby eateries for dinner.
You'll have some extra time in the morning before you need to head for the next brewery. Spend it checking out one of the local museums (Polson-Flathead Historical Museum or Miracle of America Museum or driving down to see Kerr Dam. If your timing is good (i.e. mid-July), you can also pick your own supply of Flathead Lake cherries from one of many local orchards or attend the annual Cherry Festival.
In late morning, head up the east side of Flathead Lake on State Highway 35, enjoying sweeping views of the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi, until you reach the tiny resort community of Woods Bay. On your right in the middle of town, you'll see Flathead Lake Brewing. You can have lunch there in the taproom, courtesy of the recently installed kitchen that puts out some great pub fare to go with the award-winning microbrew.
From Woods Bay, continue north on State Highway 35, through Bigfork, to Kalispell, and then back on U.S. 93 to Whitefish where you end the Flathead Lake Brewery Trail at Great Northern Brewing in historic downtown Whitefish. This taproom, officially called the Black Star Draught House, also has a beer and wine license, so it stays open until it closes, about midnight usually, instead of closing at 8 pm like most Montana breweries. You can get soup and sandwiches in the draught house, but if you prefer fine dining, you can find several great restaurants within three blocks of the brewery.
Options: You could also start and end this trip in Polson.
Your safety is important to us. Please drink responsibly. If you are drinking alcholol, please be certain to include a designated sober driver; do not drink and drive. It is against the law to drive or be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle when blood alcohol content level is at .08% or more.