Missoula Downtown Association Readies for the Third Winter Brewfest

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on January 29, but with Brewfest coming up this weekend, we thought our readers might like a refresher. Cheers!


Much like the US Postal Service, neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, or ice will keep Missoulians away from their brewfests.

On Friday, February 15, the third installment of MDA Winter Brewfest, co-hosted by the Kettlehouse Brewing Company, will take place at Caras Park.

Each year now this festival of good beer and wine has been held in a different place. The first year it was at the former Macy’s building. Last year at the old Safeway building on Broadway, and now it comes back downtown to the iconic and ever-loved Caras Park.

But it’s wintertime. Won’t it be cold in February? Maybe (likely). But we’re in Montana and we know how to deal with cold temps… with fire.

To keep patrons warm and toasty while imbibing the local brews, the MDA will supply giant heaters and bonfires to keep us cozy. Not enough fire you say? The Missoula Sea of Flames will also be on hand to showcase their fire dancing abilities. You might want to stand back for that one.

Nothing beats the cold like a good ol' brewfest.

Music will be supplied by the Kevin Van Dort Band, Three Eared Dog, and Mark Myriad. A 3D art projection will be shown by artist Amber Bushnell. Food vendors include El Cazador and Mackenzie River Pizza Company.

The 30 beers available on tap will be from local, state, and regional breweries.

Tickets for the event are $10 and include a seven-ounce tasting glass and two beer tokens. Additional tokens are $1 each. The brewfest kicks off at 5 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m.

The Winter Brewfest is being held in conjunction with the opening of the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

The film fest is offering a free screening of Nina Davenport’s “First Comes Love” at the Wilma the same night as the Winter Brewfest, so be sure to check that out.

The MDA says that if all goes well at Caras Park (as it should), the Park could be the new permanent home for the Winter Brewfest. This brewfest, like others from MDA, will raise money for various MDA projects.

To get in the spirit, check out this video of fire dancers from last year’s Black Star Beer Barter:




Thirsty for more? Missoula’s beverage expert, Ryan Newhouse, has plenty on tap: The Best in Missoula for LibationsFamily Friendly Fridays at the Top Hat, and Meet Missoula’s Serious Scotch Gals.

Looking for a local bar or pub? Check out our Missoula Restaurants and Dining and Missoula Nightlife sections.

   Visit the Drink It Missoula archive.


Ryan Newhouse tips one back.

Ryan Newhouse has lived in Missoula since 2002 and has tipped his glass in most of the town’s establishments. He is (in no particular order) a full-time writer, husband, and parent, and a part-time zymurgist. He makes a mean hard cider and pairs his cocktails with dishes from his blog, Cooked Animals: Recipes for Wild Game.His latest concoction is Montana Beer Finder.