2018 was the inaugural year for Craft Beer Week in Great Falls. The three local breweries and the Downtown Great Falls Association wanted to offer the community a way to learn about and enjoy the growing craft beer industry.

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Attending Brewery info

Thank you for choosing to participate in the Montana Brew Fest, we couldn’t do it without you! Below is all of the information you will need to know about attending the Brew Fest as a brewery- Beer submission, judging, accommodation’s, etc.

  • 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 once again be a BJCP Sanctioned event.  That means we will have TOP NOTCH judges to determine the best of the best. 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 2025. 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 drop off location, Magpie (202 2nd Ave S) before 9:00 pm on June 21st, as the judging will be begin at 9:00am on the 22nd. 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 provided 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 the past it has been 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 or cans of beer. All beers and ciders must be poured into and served in the “official” brew fest cup and only to those that have a wristband on.
  • 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 22nd. 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 4-8 pm on Saturday, June 22nd outside, along Central Avenue, on the 200-300 blocks. Set-up will be from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. This year we will feature a VIP hour from 4-5 pm. During this time VIP guests will have the opportunity to chat with the brewers, sample their favorite brews and get a head start before general admission begins at 5pm. 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 drain/pour buckets 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 Events: During the week of June 17, Monday thru Friday there will be several events taking place. Check the full schedule under the “Craft Beer Week Schedule” section. If you are in town on Thursday or Friday and would like to participate in a tap takeover or any other event, 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.
  • 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 throughout the week. Reduced rates and room blocks are available at O’haire Motor Inn, please call to make your reservation and mention Beer Week room block (406) 454-2141 -A limited number of rooms will be set aside, reserve early. 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 brewfest@gfcraftbeerweek.com with any questions or issues you may have, or Craft Beer Week coordinator Kellie Pierce at (406) 727-5430. For new attendees, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa or Kellie with any questions or concerns—we are 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/ .