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Vizsla Brewing takes top award in Great Falls

All three Havre breweries participate in event


Havre’s three local breweries competed in the Montana Brew Fest in Great Falls and left with one of them as the overall winner.

Havre’s Vizsla Brewing won Montana Brewery of the Year and also three gold medals in three categories.

Its Bichon Saison won the the Belgium Ale Category, Brown Lab won the American Brown Ale Category and Winter Red Ale won in the American Amber Ale Category.

“I was excited because it was our first big brewfest. I wanted to put on a good showing. We took what we believed was some of our best beers and wanted to go have a good time,” Vizsla Brewing co-owner Maria Naranjo said.

The traveling Montana Brewery of the Year award goes to the brewery that scores the most points for all of its entries.

Named after the Hungarian dog Vizsla, the brewing opened less than a year ago, in October, in Holiday Village Mall and has eight beers on tap with names based on different dog breeds.

“Good beer, good dogs, good life,” Naranjo said is the business’ slogan, to try to appeal to the outdoorsman, people who love dogs and just the representation of what Montana is.

Naranjo said Vizsla has plans to continue to be involved in more brewfests and to do something big for their one-year anniversary.

Havre’s Triple Dog Brewing Co. also came home with awards from the brewfest, first place in the Scottish Ale Category and third place with their Smorz Porter. Those bring the brewery’s overall awards to 17.

“Winning an award is a representation of acknowledgement of what you’re doing. Kind of like someone saying, ‘You know what you are doing, keep it up.’ First, second, third, it just feels nice to know you are good at what you are doing,” Triple Dog co-owner Michael Garrity said.

“Havre Made, Havre Kegged, Havre Pour Me Another,” Triple Dog Brewery opened in 2014 and was Havre’s first brewery in decades. The brewery has 10 beers on tap, but will be moving up to 12.

Garrity added that a gluten-reduced Frazzberry will be on tap permanently.

Last but not least, Old Station Brewery Co. also attended the Brewfest, for the first time, but did not win any awards.

“We entered a couple new beers, mostly to get feedback from the judges,” co-owner Steve Neiffer said

The brewery’s name was taken from the history of the building, which was a service station in Havre from 1939 to its closing last decade. The company opened up more than a year ago, and has 10 beers on tap and contines to make more.

“We are always making new recipes for our beers. We just released our first lager (The Long George Lager) and have a Mexican lager in the fermenter,” Neiffer said


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