Brewery near fieldhouse to finally open

By MICHELE McDONALD/Montana State News

Bridger Brewing Co. will finally open this February at the Town and Country Foods building across South 11th Avenue from Montana State University’s Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

The brewery’s owners, which was slated to open last fall, has not said why they are four months behind schedule.  There are, however, reports that David Breck, one of three co-owners, was petitioning the city for a building permit to construct an area facing the street last fall.  Its purpose was to house the company’s brewing equipment.

According to Bridger Brewing Co.’s Facebook page, interviews for prospective employees were conducted Jan. 25 and 26 with anticipation of opening “mid-February-ish,” as reported by Alan from Growler Fill’s – Craft Beer Enthusiasm.

A variety of innovative brews are to be expected to be on tap at all times from Breck and Dan Pollard, another co-owner. Dan has previously brewed for Pelican Pub and Brewery, an award-winning brewery on the Oregon coast. Breck also has prior experience at the now-closed Spanish Peaks Brewing, Full Sail Brewing Co. and Snoqualmie Falls Brewery.

Montana ranks second in the nation in breweries per capita, behind Vermont, and saw craft beer product grow by about 13 percent in 2011, said Tony Herbert, executive director of the Montana Brewers Association.

There has been a concern about flooding the local brewery market with Bridger Brewing Co. being the fourth brewpub in the Gallatin Valley.

“I still think there’s room for growth here,” said by Tyler Walsh, a brewery enthusiast and applicant to join the Bridger Brewing team. “In general the craft brewing industry is on the rise. Bozeman area has a lot of young people willing to try new beers.”

The final co-owner will be running the kitchen side following a long-term dream of starting his own restaurant. He plans on using local ingredients and creating pizzas that are as original as the beer. Several varieties of pepperoni will be on hand, including a bison version. The team’s initial plan is to offer slices during lunch and whole pizzas at dinnertime.

-Edited by Levi Worts

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