The backstory: A while back, the minds behind Missoula's microbrew community started kicking around the idea of pooling their craft beer expertise. Now it's official. Big Sky, Draught Works, Bayern and Kettlehouse, in league with the Missoula County Tavern Owners Association, will release a limited edition brew twice a year—the Garden City Community Brew. The five-way partnership has already raised $4,000 for the Missoula Food Bank, and the first round of kegs haven't even been tapped yet.
What you'll be drinking: The debut Garden City Community Brew, set for limited release on Dec. 21, sounds like a doozy. Brewers from all four breweries gathered at Draught Works on Dec. 5 to start work on a Black IPA. Don't expect to see this one in the brewery tap rooms though. It'll be available exclusively at 20 MCTOA-member bars across town. The second communal brew could be out as soon as next spring.
Who's benefiting this time around: The plan is to direct proceeds from the biannual community brew to local charities, starting this month with the Missoula Food Bank. While the Black IPA hasn't been released yet, each participating brewery and bar pitched in for a combined $4,000 donation just in time for Christmas. The money will be awarded to the Food Bank on Dec. 19, and according to MCTOA spokesperson Laurie Clark, the various community brew participants are currently discussing criteria for selecting future nonprofit beneficiaries.
Where to pitch in: Come Dec. 21, the first Garden City Community Brew will be available at: Al's & Vic's, Bodega, Brooks & Browns, The Depot, Double Front Lounge, the Eagles, Elbow Room, Iron Horse, James Bar, Joker's Wild, The Keep, Missoula Club, both of Missoula's Montana Club locations, Paradise Falls, Red's Bar, The Rhino, Sean Kelly's and the Stone of Accord. Updates will be posted to the Garden City Community Brew Facebook page.
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