There’s soon to be a new beer in town, and drinking a pint will help fill the shelves of the Missoula Food Bank.
Four local breweries have teamed up with the Missoula County Tavern Owners Association to create Garden City Community Brew.
Twice a year, one of the four breweries – Bayern, Big Sky, Draught Works and Kettlehouse – will brew a one-of-a-kind, limited-edition beer to be sold exclusively at MCTOA taverns, with the proceeds going to aid local charities.
First up: a black India Pale Ale, or IPA, from Draught Works. Twenty kegs’ worth will be brewed next Wednesday and distributed to 20 Missoula taverns on Dec. 21, and $4,000 will be turned over to the food bank.
There was a bit of a rush to collect the money before the beer has even been brewed or a glass poured. Laurie Clark, executive secretary of the tavern owners association, said they wanted to get the $4,000 in the hands of the food bank by Friday, when it would qualify the charity for a matching funds commitment from Town Pump.
So the breweries each chipped in $500 and the bars $100 apiece, and the money was ready to be given the day of the deadline.
“But we just found out Town Pump puts a cap on the amount they’ll match, and the food bank has reached that,” Clark said Wednesday. “The money’s ready to go, we’ll just wait to do it closer to the time the beer is ready to go into the taverns.”
That will still give the food bank extra funds before the Christmas season, and will hopefully draw more interest in the beer in three weeks when it’s available to customers, Clark said.
If the program proves popular, it could double the amount of beer brewed, and the resulting donations for local charities, in the future, according to Clark. Another brewery will produce its limited-edition batch next spring or summer, Clark said, and the plan is to continue on a biannual basis.
You can follow the news at the Garden City Community Brew page on Facebook.
The 20 taverns that lined up for the initial 20 kegs, and will begin serving it on Dec. 21, are Al & Vic’s, Bodega, Brooks & Browns, the Depot, Double Front Lounge, Eagles, Elbow Room, Iron Horse Brew Pub, James Bar, Joker’s Wild, the Keep, Missoula Club, Montana Club (on both Brooks and Reserve streets), Paradise Falls, Red’s Bar, the Rhino, Rowdy’s Cabin, Sean Kelly’s and Stone of Accord.
Reporter Vince Devlin can be reached at 1-800-366-7186 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.