Happiest Hour 

Moscow Mondays

Why you're here: About three months back, Montgomery Distillery became the latest local watering hole to enter the world of boozy philanthropy. The original concept was to have a special on Moscow Mules to benefit nonprofits, co-owner Jenny Montgomery explains. Hence the name: Moscow Mondays. But the idea quickly blossomed to the entire distillery. Every Monday, a select nonprofit gets its fullrun of the place, setting up tables, handing out leaflets and telling fellow drinkers what the effort's all about. With similar nonprofit fundraisers already established at a number of local breweries, Montgomery says they picked Monday because they "didn't want to step on anyone's toes."

What you're drinking: Montgomery has an ever-changing menu of vodka- and gin-based cocktails, from the Moscow Mule to the Hollywood-inspired Dude Abides (a White Russian named for Jeff Bridges' Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski). The nonprofit-of-the-night gets $1 from each drink you buy. Montgomery estimates the distillery raises between $200 and $400 each Monday, donation jars not included.

click to enlarge CHAD HARDER
  • Chad Harder

Who you're drinking to: Moscow Mondays offer drinkers an opportunity to raise a glass to more than just stress relief. On a recent Monday, Montgomery Distillery's beneficiary was ADAPT, a national grassroots nonprofit that fights for disability rights through "nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience." Past beneficiaries include the Clark Fork Coalition, the Moon Randolph Homestead and Fishabilities, a local nonprofit that focuses on helping individuals with disabilities go fishing. Montgomery says the distillery has already booked its Moscow Mondays through the end of 2013.

Where to steer your thirst: Montgomery Distillery hosts its Moscow Mondays every week at 129 W. Front St. You can also drink your way to philanthropy on Tuesdays during Bayern Brewing's Biers for Benefits or Draught Works' Chug for Charity, and on Wednesdays at the Northside Kettlehouse during Community UNite. That's probably just the short list.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email editor@missoulanews.com.

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