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People can take a virtual state beer tour


April 13, 2020

Press release

Montanans may be quarantined at home, but they can still explore the history of the Montana beer industry through a new interactive web map by the Montana Historical Society.

For example, people might not know that Philipsburg once had eight breweries? The oldest was the Charles Kroger Brewery, which opened in 1875 and operated for 22 years. And they may not have heard of Limberlost Brewery in Thompson Falls, which just opened recently.

The Montana Historical Society invites people to explore the history of the Montana beer industry through the new interactive web map. It includes present-day breweries as well as those that operated back when Montana was still a territory, and everything in between. The link is https://bit.ly/39ScWA6 .

The map provides a spatial perspective for history, allowing people to see where breweries were before and after prohibition, as well as the modern craft beer boom of the late 2000s. People can even see which ones are currently operating and begin planning their next brewery tour to celebrate, once the COVID-19 stay-at-home order is lifted for Montana.

The search bar allows people to zoom to their location of interest, use the filter tool to refine the results by city, era, number of years the brewery was or has been operating, then find breweries that are open. 

If more than one brewery has existed at the same community, people will see this in the top left corner of the pop-up box and can use the arrows in the top right corner to scroll through the other entries. 

The select tool will highlight the properties they chose and display them in the attribute table, which can be opened by clicking the grey arrow at the bottom of the map then choosing “show selected features.” 

People can take a virtual tour from the comfort of their own couch to learn more about Montana’s love affair with beer.

In the future people can also swing by the Montana Historical Society to check out its new exhibit “Good Beer Here: Montana Brewing History.” While all the exhibits are temporarily closed to the public, though, people can take a virtual tour at https://bit.ly/2UTRSFa.

The society will reopen as soon as possible, once the stay-at-home order is lifted.

People also can listen to or read the brewery oral history project at https://bit.ly/3e8g9hY .


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