Cheers! To 30 Years of Garden City BrewFest!

Often imitated but never replicated, Montana’s original and largest beer festival will take place Saturday, May 4 in Caras Park in Downtown Missoula. This year’s event will feature over 50 beers, ciders, hard seltzers, and wines. Garden City BrewFest will take place from 12-7 pm and features local food trucks and live music from three Missoula-based bands.

Kicking of the festival on stage is bluegrass band Blue Point (12-2pm). Next, the country group Tanner Laws Band will be on stage 2:30-4:30pm. Closing out the night, Kyle Curtis and the Promised Lands bring their soul and funk sound to the BrewFest stage from 5-7pm.

While Garden City BrewFest is admission free for all to enjoy, those interested in sampling the brews can purchase a 7-ounce commemorative glass, wristband, and four tokens for $20. Additional tokens are 2 for $3.00. In celebration of the 30th anniversary, three hundred 12-ounce glass steins will be available for purchase at $30, which includes the wristband and four tokens. Food can also be purchased from some of Missoula’s favorite food vendors: Big Dipper Ice Cream, Clove Cart Pizza, M-80 Chicken, Servin’ Thyme, and newcomer Sista Elmmy. The Sentinel Kiwanis Club will also be serving up brats.

One aspect that sets this event apart from others around Missoula is the Garden City Beer Awards, judged and provided by Missoula’s local brewing club, the Zoo City Zymurgists, who sample and judge each beer for a variety of awards that will be presented around 4:30pm.

New this year is the Brew Games Cornhole Tournament organized by students in the University of Montana Entertainment Management (UMEM) program.

“This is a great opportunity for students to have hands-on experience organizing an event, and it allows us to expand what is offered during Garden City BrewFest,” said Kristen Sackett, Marketing & Events Director for the Downtown Missoula Partnership. “It’s important that we continue to strengthen relationships between Downtown and the campus community by providing these kinds of opportunities for students. We’re grateful that UMEM approached us about a collaboration.” Two-person teams can still register at a cost of $10.00.

Started in 1992, the event was originally called BRIW Fest, as the creators of the event were Bayern Brewing, the Rhinoceros, the Iron Horse and Worden’s Market. It was the first brewfest in recent Montana history and offered special beers that were not typically available for purchase. The event was gifted to the Missoula Downtown Association in 2003 and has served as a major fundraiser for the organization’s projects and programs.

Major sponsors for this year’s Garden City BrewFest include Bayern Brewing, Stockman Bank, Trail 103.3, MariMint, Revolvr, TDS Fiber, and Windfall.

Garden City BrewFest coincides with opening day of the Saturday Markets in Downtown Missoula. Community members are encouraged to bike, walk, or utilize Mountain Line to travel to events. If driving, ample parking is available in the Central Park, Park Place, and ROAM parking garages. Parking is free throughout Downtown on weekends. Garden City BrewFest attendees are encouraged to drink responsibly and get a safe ride home. For more information, visit or call the Downtown Missoula Partnership at 406-543-4238.