Montanan's love our breweries. I couldn't find an exact number of currently operating breweries in the state, but a 2019 article in the Missoula Current said there were around 80 at the time. I would suspect we're closer to 90 here in late 2021.  Data released from the Montana Brewers Association in 2017 noted some interesting facts.

  • Montana ranks 2nd in the US for breweries per capita.
  • Over 2,700 Montanans are employed in the brewery industry.
  • Montana brewers produced 188,449 barrels of beer in 2017. There are 248 pints in a barrel of beer. I'll do the math for you... that's over 46.7 million pints of beer. Wow.
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Support local and drink local beer.

Even most smaller towns in Montana will have a brewery or two, and bigger cities offer a wide assortment of local brews. Billings is no exception and we're blessed with about a dozen local brewers, cider mills, and craft distillers.

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Put on some comfortable shoes and hit the street.

A handful of Billings breweries are on the West End, but six of the best are all located within a few blocks of each other in the heart of downtown Billings. There are actually eight stops if you include a distillery and cider mill. It's very easily walkable. In fact, the Downtown Billings Association calls it Montana's Largest Most Walkable Brewery Trail.  On a brisk December afternoon, I set out to give it a shot.

Billings Brewery Walking Trail