Montanans may be quarantined at home, but we can still explore the history of the Montana beer industry through a new interactive web map by the Montana Historical Society.

For example, did you know that Philipsburg once had eight breweries? The oldest was the Charles Kroger Brewery, which opened in 1875 and operated for 22 years. And have you heard of Limberlost Brewery in Thompson Falls, which just opened recently? What about your community – what’s its beer history?

The Montana Historical Society invites you to explore the history of the Montana beer industry through the new interactive web map. It includes present-day breweries as well as those that operated back when Montana was still a territory, and everything in between. The link is https://bit.ly/39ScWA6.

The map provides a spatial perspective for history, allowing you to see where breweries were before and after prohibition, as well as the modern craft beer boom of the late 2000s. You can even see which ones are currently operating and begin planning your next brewery tour to celebrate, once the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order is lifted for Montana.

The search bar allows you to zoom to your location of interest. Use the filter tool to refine the results by city, era, number of years the brewery was or has been operating, then find those that are currently open.

If more than one brewery has existed at the same community, you will see (1 of #) in the top left corner of the pop-up box. Use the arrows in the top right corner to scroll through the other entries.

The select tool will highlight the properties you chose and display them in the attribute table, which can be opened by clicking the grey arrow at the bottom of the map then choosing “show selected features.”

So take a virtual tour from the comfort of your own couch to learn more about Montana’s love affair with beer.

Speaking of which, don’t forget to swing by the Montana Historical Society to check out our new exhibit “Good Beer Here: Montana Brewing History.”

While all our exhibits are temporarily closed to the public, you can take a virtual tour here: https://bit.ly/2UTRSFa. We’ll reopen as soon as possible, once the shelter-in-place is lifted.

You also can listen to or read the brewery oral history project at https://bit.ly/3e8g9hY.

See you soon and stay healthy.

For more information, contact Eve Byron, Public Information Officer, at eve.byron@mt.gov or 406/444-6843.