Where you’re drinking:
Tucked away in a solitary brick building along a sleepy main drag in northwest Montana is a craft beer joint known colloquially as “Libby’s living room.” The proper name is Cabinet Mountain Brewing
, a nearly two-year-old venture started by Kristin Smith and Sarah Dinning, but a few moments inside this heavy wooden door are all you need to understand how it earned its nickname. The vibe here is part brewery, part coffee shop, part community center—right down to the dancing kids and running tally of trivia scores. If there’s a party going on, this place is anything but sleepy.
What you’re drinking:
Cabinet offers the wide variety of brew styles Montanans have come to expect from local breweries, and the Bullbucker ESB is a great place to start. Don’t let the Extra Special Bitter label fool you. Bullbucker has all the smooth, flavorful sessionability of an American pale ale without being all that bitter. From there we suggest the Yaak Attack IPA and Ross Creek Red, both of which earned medals in Sip Northwest Magazine’s “Best of the Northwest” awards competition last fall.
Why you’re here:
Maybe you’re in the neighborhood for some late-season turns at nearby Turner Mountain Ski Area. Or perhaps some pre-melt fly fishing has brought you to this neck of the woods. Heck, you could just be taking the long and scenic route to Spokane. Whatever the reason, let’s face it: Passing up a brewery in Montana is borderline criminal. And while Libby may be a remote community, there are plenty of reasons to add it to the weekend road trip list. Cabinet should be one of those reasons.
Where to find it:
Cabinet Mountain Brewing is located at 206 Mineral Ave. in downtown Libby. FYI, they also serve soup, sandwiches and appetizers.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email firstname.lastname@example.org.