~ Montana Distilleries

Discover the History & Spirits Visiting These 11 Montana Distilleries

The glorious state of Montana is known for its big sky and breathtaking vistas. While your visit itinerary is likely full of outdoor activities, you’ll need to come in from the wilderness every once in a while. When you do venture toward the indoors, be sure to check out the growing craft distillery scene in Montana. This is the craft spirit ultimate guide to some of the best distilleries in Montana and the craft spirits they are making. 

1. Bozeman Spirits Distillery

The award-winning Bozeman Spirits Distillery is located in the heart of downtown Bozeman. It produces whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin. They use as many locally-grown ingredients as possible in support of the local community. The star of the show is the artisan 300-gallon copper pot still. Experience the winning lineup of craft spirits by visiting the tasting room. Be sure to taste the huckleberry vodka that made the distillery famous. 

2. Glacier Distilling

A group of dear friends conceived the idea of Glacier Distilling during a snowstorm in 2010. Today, they have one of the best distilleries in Montana. They distill craft spirits of whiskey, brandy, eau de vie, vodka, gin, rum, and liqueur. Each craft spirit embodies the natural and native flavors of Montana. The distillery has winter and summer operating hours, so be sure to verfiy before booking the distillery tour or visiting the tasting room. In addition, no spirits are served after 7:30 pm, as per Montana law. Each distillery tour is $35 per person and includes the tour, tasting experience, and souvenir glass. 

3. Mountain Wave Distilling

Big things are happening at Mountain Wave Distilling and its Great Falls downtown location. Its craft spirit lineup includes whiskey, vodka, gin, and agave. Renovations are well underway, with plans for a distilling facility, distribution, and tasting room. 

4. Trailhead Spirits

The still at Trailhead Spirits is an impressive 300 liters and made from hand-hammered copper made in Markdorf, Germany. Its craft spirit lineup includes vodka and gin. The award-winning Healy’s Reserve is a unique offering, aged in used oak whiskey barrels. You can visit the tasting room and sip on the craft spirits distilled by Trailhead Spirits. 

5. Westslope Distillery

Visit Westslope’s Distillery and experience a relaxed, community-oriented vibe. You can sip craft spirits straight or try a selection of cocktails. The distillery makes brandy, whiskey, vodka, and gin. The focus of each craft spirit is to showcase the natural flavors of Montana. Local honey, apple cider, and sugar beets are used during the distillation process. 

6. Whistling Andy

Founded in 2010, Whistling Andy is the oldest distillery in Montana. Its craft spirits are infused with the local flavors of grains, cherries, botanicals, and sugar cane. The spirit lineup includes whiskey, gin, rum, and vodka. A unique offering also includes Hopshnop, distilled from Bonsai Brewing Project’s Due North India Red Mash. When tasting the craft spirit lineup, you will experience flavors of hibiscus, pink peppercorn, pear, huckleberry, and cucumber. You can take a distillery tour for $10 per person. All distillery tours include a tasting flight at the end of the tour.

7. Dry Hills Distillery

The founders of Dry Hills Distillery are fifth-generation farmers whose legacy date back to 1905. Today they have a thriving distillery that makes whiskey, vodka, and gin craft spirits. The distillers pride themselves on sourcing their ingredients from local farms to support the community it calls home. You can taste the magical fruit of their labors by visiting the tasting room. It’s designed to feel like coming home after a long day in the field. They also offer a craft spirit loyalty program that includes weekly events and deals. 

8. Gulch Distillers

The Gulch Distillers isn’t just the only micro-distillery in Helena; it is one of the best distilleries in Montana. They do all of their distilling on-site in the old Montana Distillery and Bottling Warehouse. They welcome visitors to come and visit for a distillery tour or tasting experience. You can sip and sample one or more of the many craft spirits in its lineup. These include aperitivo, whiskey, rum, brandy, gin, and vodka. For a hands-on experience, sign up for one of the distillery’s cocktail classes. They happen once a month and cost $20 per class. 

9. Lolo Creek Distillery

The Lolo Creek Distillery is a fourth-generation business. But the distillery and tasting room opened in 2018. It boasts a 500-gallon hybrid still, the largest operating still in Montana. The experience and equipment have enabled the distilling team at Lolo to have a 20-year relationship with a local farmer to supply the best quality grain. When visiting the tasting room, you can sample the different craft spirits while nibbling on a charcuterie board. Its craft spirit lineup includes gin, vodka, and whiskey. Be sure to try a local favorite, the huckleberry whiskey. 

10. Headframe Spirits

The team at Headframe Spirits takes an innovative approach to micro-distilling. They worked with engineers to build a still that does continuous distillation. They make whiskey, bourbon, liqueur, gin, and vodka. Visiting the tasting room lets you sip the craft spirits and try a variety of custom craft cocktails. In addition to craft spirits, Headframe also offers several still services. They can help you customize your still, consult on operations, training, and maintenance. 

11. Spotted Bear Spirits

The distilling team at Spotted Bear Spirits takes a garden-to-glass approach using local organic ingredients. The craft spirit lineup includes vodka, gin, agave, liqueur, limoncello, bourbon, and whiskey. Make a reservation at the tasting room for a sensory-guided tour of the different spirits. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the oldest distillery in Montana?

The Whistling Andy is the oldest distillery in Montana. It opened its doors for the first time on New Year’s Day in 2010. 

What whiskey did the cowboys drink?

American cowboys from the wild west drank alcohol with names like chain lighting, coffin varnish, and mountain howitzer. The spirits were homemade and made with what was available, similar to moonshine. 

What alcohol is Montana known for?

The distilleries in Montana make all kinds of spirits. There isn’t a specific one that Montana is known for. 

What cocktail is Montana known for? 

The whiskey ditch cocktail is a classic and straightforward cocktail of whiskey and water. The term “ditch” refers to adding water.  So asking for a “whiskey ditch” cocktail is asking for whiskey and water. 

Discover the craft distillery scene in each state with Distillery Nearby. 

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