It is with gratitude and sadness in our hearts that we bring you the news that local award winners and all-around wonderful humans Fernanda Menna Barreto Krum and Robert Rivers are selling Missoula's Imagine Nation Brewing.

A Refresher on How Amazing Imagine Nation Brewing Is

Launched as "the country's first microbrewery and center for community transformation" nearly 7 years ago, the brewery has hosted thousands of community events - everything from HIV testing, to building face shields for healthcare workers, to being a welcoming place for refugees. INB has also supported more than 500 local organizations, including independent artists, non-profits like the Poverello and the Food Bank, and LGBTQ+ causes. Western Montanans have used their Tap Room Dialogues to ask questions and bring change to our community. Musicians and dancers have lit up the main room with international sounds and movements that have brought awareness and knowledge of various cultures and countries to light.

And, of course, the beer!

Fruity, pilsner, stout, milkshake, I.P.A. pastry, sour, doppelbock - INB has introduced the country to dozens and dozens of amazing flavors from their headquarters here in Missoula. And Imagine Nation, being what it is, gives 25% of profits back to the local community. Could this place be any more wonderful?

A heartfelt explanation from Fernanda herself.

For the past two years, we have pivoted, employed creativity and care at each juncture, and developed a regional reputation and national recognition both for our beer and community engagement. But, the world has changed in ways none of us could've projected nor controlled, and the pandemic has exacerbated problems in the world and greatly hindered our ability to live out the deeper mission of the brewery - which revolves around gathering community around those things that connect all of us and challenge us.

 

While the brewery has become more successful, we have found ourselves feeling increasingly distant from our vocations as trauma psychologist and peacebuilding specialist - skillsets needed more and more in many parts of the world - as we have moved deeper into the necessary roles of general manager and beer salesman, respectively. After two years of discernment, the wind that blows through us is calling us away from Imagine Nation Brewing back to the world and to humanitarian work. It has not been easy to arrive at this point, but for our own wellbeing, for the health of our marriage, and for our hopes for what positive changes we can make with our lives at this critical juncture we face as humanity, we know it is the right decision.

Imagine Nation's DOPPELT GEMOPPELT Doppelbock
Imagine Nation's DOPPELT GEMOPPELT Doppelbock
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What's Next for Imagine Nation Brewing?

Fernanda and Robert have put together a "one-pager" for those seriously interested in the opportunity to buy the brewery, which you can find below. They are so dedicated to its continued success that they are also offering to stay on for 3 to 6 months to ensure a successful transition. Adding:

We want to assure you that nothing (e.g. beer quality and community engagement) will change while we search for the next owners. We anticipate that, if all goes well, we will still be in Missoula for another 6 months before returning to Europe to use as a home base for our continued engagement in humanitarian work in the Middle East, Africa, and wherever else we are invited. During this time, if any of you would like to unpack any of this with us, we are always open to connecting, whether it be in person or virtually.

INBC is tied for the highest-rated brewery in the state (out of over 100) on Untappd and highlighted by Tavour as one of 4 noteworthy small town breweries in the country. In the almost 7 years they have been in business, Imagine Nation Brewing has accomplished the following.

  • Hosted over 4,000 community events.
  • Supported over 500 organizations.
  • Given back 25% of their net profit to groups working on constructive change in Missoula.
  • At the beginning of the pandemic, built more than 350,000 face shields for healthcare workers on the frontlines while providing over 30 liveable wage jobs for people who had lost theirs due to Covid.
  • Working together, helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for local initiatives by implementing a model that transcends pint nights and released nearly 40 can collaborations with local organizations to highlight their work.

Thank You, Fernanda and Robert

It is with immense gratitude that we thank Fernanda and Robert for allowing us to be part of their vision. While they both will be missed by so many of us here in Missoula, I personally am so thrilled that they are choosing the path that is right for their hearts and souls. Missoula is genuinely a better place because of this incredible couple who brought understanding, thoughtful conversation, compassion, and togetherness to underrepresented groups that would not have gotten such exposure otherwise. They created a safe space for so many, I can't even express what an inspiration they both have been to me and to this amazing community.

Fernanda and Robert, I only wish all humans could possess your compassion and conscientiousness. Thank you for including us in your journey, we are so thrilled and honored. -Angel

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