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SPIRITED AWAY IN PUREWEST COUNTRY Main Photo

SPIRITED AWAY IN PUREWEST COUNTRY


Local distilleries offer a chance to get out of the spring chill and warm up with a locally produced spirit
Posted: March 11, 2024 by Erin Duval

Montana's allure extends beyond its majestic landscapes; it permeates the vibrant local businesses that add flavor to daily life. In recent years, craft distilleries have emerged as gems in Montana's culinary tapestry, offering a spirited journey for both locals and visitors alike. Let's embark on a tasting tour, spotlighting a few exceptional craft distilleries from across the Treasure state, plus an extra along Montana's western border near PureWest’s newest office in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Whistling Andy Distillery (Flathead Valley): Nestled in the heart of the Flathead Valley, Whistling Andy Distillery embodies the spirit of Montana with its handcrafted small-batch spirits. From their well-known Pink Peppercorn Vodka to the flavorful Hibiscus Coconut Rum, each libation is a testament to meticulous craftsmanship. The distillery's rustic charm and dedication to using locally sourced ingredients create an immersive experience for visitors seeking the authentic taste of Montana. 

 

Wildrye Distilling (Bozeman): Bozeman, a bustling town surrounded by mountainous beauty, is home to Wildrye Distilling—a haven for those with a penchant for finely crafted spirits. Their commitment to sustainability and community shines through in every bottle. Whether sipping on their award-winning spicy rye whiskey (it’s in the name!) or enjoying the tasty Wildrye Apple Pie, visitors can relish the fusion of innovation and tradition in this Bozeman gem. For a creative twist on a traditional cocktail, use Wildrye’s Queen Bee Honey Gin! 

Montgomery Distillery (Missoula): In the eclectic town of Missoula, Montgomery Distillery stands as a beacon of artisanal distillation. Known for their meticulous approach to creating spirits with character, Montgomery Distillery offers a diverse range of libations and a superb tasting room atmosphere. From their rich Single Malt to the Nordic Skadi Aquavit to the nuanced Whyte Laydie Gin, each bottle reflects the passion and precision embedded in Missoula's craft distilling scene.

 

Trailhead Spirits (Billings): Montana's largest city is home to Trailhead Spirits—a distillery that combines innovation with a nod to tradition. This family-owned establishment takes pride in producing spirits that capture the essence of Big Sky Country. The award-winning Great North Vodka  and Healy’s Reserve Gin are complements to any classic cocktail.

Bonus Stop: Pink Bench Distilling (Troy, Montana - Near Idaho Border): Just before the Idaho border along Highway 2, in the scenic town of Troy, Montana, lies Mill Town Distillery. This is one of the newest additions to the state’s brewing scene, having just received their distilling license in February! The tasting room is almost ready to open, and the small-batched recipes the distillers have spent ears experimenting with are just about ready for prime time! Pink Bench focuses on fruit-forward spirits like apple and pear brandy, a nod to the rich orchard heritage of the region. And, just a scenic one-hour drive from Sandpoint, this makes an excellent day trip from PureWest’s newest office location!

Each sip along this spirited journey through Montana's craft distilleries, tells a story of passion, innovation, and the unique flavors of the region. These distilleries not only craft exceptional spirits but also contribute to the rich tapestry of Montana's local businesses, making them must-visit destinations for aficionados and adventurers alike. Having these excellent small businesses in the community is yet another great reason to call Montana home! 

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