The Montana Brew Fest is excited to continue an amazing festival that has been in Great Falls for the last 3 years. Even though the name changed, the same high level, quality judges and organizers are still on board making this THE Brew Fest in Montana. Here are the details you need to know if you want to participate in this year’s Montana Brew Fest:
- Beer and Cider Judging: The beer and cider judging will once again be a key component of this event and we are super excited to announce that it will be a BJCP Sanctioned event. That means we will have TOP NOTCH judges and even a Grand Master judge (see the judge bio’s below). We will again be awarding medals for the first, second, and third highest scoring beers and ciders in their respective style categories. The brewery or cidery with the highest cumulative score for all beers or ciders submitted will be awarded the “Montana Brewery of The Year” trophy. This a traveling trophy and will reside at the winning brewery or cidery’s establishment until June of 2020. We also award a “People’s Choice” champion as voted on by festival goers at the brew fest and a “Best in Show” category. Beers and ciders for the judging must be submitted at the judging location (TBD) before 9:00 am on June 8th,as the judging will be begin at 9:00. Beers and ciders can be submitted as early as 7:00 am. Beers and ciders can be submitted in cans, bottles, growlettes, growlers, etc. We need about 16 ounces of each beer for judging. Whichever beers or ciders are submitted for judging, must be poured at the brew fest to give festival goers an opportunity to sample/taste the winning beers and ciders. Within two weeks after the judging, the breweries and cideries will be sent (via email) the judging notes for each of the beers and ciders that were judged. Once a brewery or cidery is signed up for the brew fest and judging, more specific information and details will be well in advance of the event.
- Kegs for the Brew Fest:We are suggesting that you bring 1/6 or 1/4 barrels of each beer or cider for the brew fest. In 2018 it was HOT and we blew kegs-that is our intention this year as well. We do not want any wasted beer or cider, hence the suggestion of bringing 1/6 or 1/4 barrels. It is also it is acceptable to serve from bottles if the beer or cider is not available in kegs. You may not give festival goers a glass bottle, as they are not allowed in the park. All beers and ciders must be poured into and served in the “official” brew fest cup.
- Cold Storage: We will once again collaborate with our local partners to offer cold storage for your kegs and judging samples if are planning on arriving in Great Falls prior to Saturday, June 8th. The brew fest event planner will be picking up all beer and cider samples that are in the cold storage the morning of the judging at about 7 am and delivering them to the judging location for submission. We will advise you of the cold storage location and keg drop-off and pick-up times well in advance of the event.
- Brew Fest Details and Set-up: The brew fest will be from will be from 3-9 pm on Saturday, June 8th at the Mansfield Convention Center and Whittier Park, #2 Park Drive S, Great Falls, MT 59405. Set-up will be from 12:00 to 3:00 pm. This year we will feature a VIP hour from 3-4 pm. During this time the Beer Now Conference will be hosting a live beer social that consists of beer writers, bloggers, and influencers live blogging about beers they are sampling from 3-5pm. Please contact Reno Walsh with Zephyr Events (888.758.8687 x 704 or firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions regarding the conference. You will check in at the brew fest venue and receive your brew fest cup and wristband at that time. As always, we will provide ice and tables to participating breweries and cideries. More detailed information will be sent out to breweries and cideries that are signed-up to participate in the brew fest well in advance of the event.
- Great Falls Craft Beer Week Craft Beer and Cider Tour: On Friday, June 7th local bars and restaurants will be participating in a Craft Beer and Cider Tour. If you are in town on Friday and would like to participate in a tap takeover, let us know. We will need to collaborate with your local distributor if you would like to participate. If you are not distributed in Great Falls, we also have options to make this work, just let us know. The tour will consist of a “walking tour” in downtown Great Falls and a bus tour with multiple buses shuttling folks from bar-to-bar on a predetermined route. There is no cost for the bus—bus riders only pay for the beers and ciders at the bars.
- Brewers’ Luncheon:As part of Great Falls Craft Beer Week & Brew Fest we are offering a free brewers’ luncheon in appreciation of your participation in the brew fest. This will be similar to the luncheon we held in 2017 in advance of the brew fest. We are still working out the details and more information will be forwarded to participating breweries and cideries well in advance of the event.
- Hotel Accommodations: The Great Falls Craft Beer Week planning team partners with local hotels and motels to offer reduced rates and room blocks to breweries and cideries that are attending and participating in the Craft Beer Week events on Friday June 7th and the Brew Fest on June 8th. Reduced rates and room blocks are only available Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 8th. We will send out more details regarding lodging to participating breweries and cideries well in advance of the event.
Our returning breweries and cideries know that you can reach Melissa Darko, brew fest planner, by cell phone at (406) 403-1393 or at email@example.com with any questions or issues you may have. For new attendees, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa with any questions or concerns—she is almost always available and eager to answer all questions. Like and follow our Facebook page to stay in the know: https://www.facebook.com/greatfallscraftbeerweek/ .