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Business Buzz: Draught Works seltzer; local credit unions announce news
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Business Buzz: Draught Works seltzer; local credit unions announce news

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Here's some business news in the Missoula area:

Draught Works brewery in Missoula has announced it is releasing canned hard seltzer called Water Works.

"It’s no secret, Montana beer drinkers are drinking hard seltzer, and LOTS of it," the company wrote in a social media post. "True to our roots, and dedicated to each and every one of you, our loyal loving customers, Draught Works is diving head first into the hard seltzer game."

The first flavors are Mountain Berry and Tropical Express and will be out in early March.

Big Sky Brewery in Missoula also has a line of hard seltzers.

"As proud Montanans, born and bred, it is absolutely paramount to meet our customers' demands with high quality beverage options crafted close to home," the Draught Works post read. "With the hard work and dedication of our exceptionally talented team, we are over the moon to be able to pursue and offer this new product without ever undercutting our beer production and innovation whatsoever."

The Downtown Business Improvement District of Missoula has been renewed for another 10 years, according to a press release from the Downtown Missoula Partnership.

"With more than 72% approval and less than 3% protest from Downtown property owners, the Downtown Business Improvement District of Missoula (BID) was renewed for another 10-year period on a 9-3 vote by the Missoula City Council on February 3," wrote Partnership operations director Bram Moore in a press release. "Renewal of the Downtown BID means the common-area maintenance and management of Downtown will be continued for the next 10 years, through May of 2030."

The Downtown BID of Missoula was created in 2005 and is responsible for a variety of programs that have improved the health, safety and economic well-being of Downtown Missoula. Funded by nearly 600 distinct property owners in the district, the BID provides the following services for the Heart of Missoula:

  • Downtown Maintenance: Removal of garbage, recycling, snow and graffiti.
  • Downtown Ambassadors: Hospitality, education and business services
  • Downtown Clean Team: Sweeping, weeding, tree-well maintenance and ice chipping.
  • Dedicated Downtown Police Officer: Dedicated patrol of Downtown on foot and on bike.
  • Downtown Business Development: Retention, recruitment, data acquisition and planning.

While the Council supported renewal of the district, it opted to exempt all residentially zoned parcels in the district from being assessed. An estimated 60 properties zoned RM1-35 and RM1-45 will no longer be assessed. The exemption reduces the annual assessment funds by an estimated $15,000 annually.

The BID is one of three organizations with the Downtown Missoula Partnership. It is managed by a board of trustees, comprising property owners appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council.

“During this yearlong renewal process, we heard a ton of positive feedback and support for continued services that have contributed greatly to making Downtown Missoula the best it can be,” said Tim France, owner of Worden’s Market and president of the BID Board. “The affirmation of the current programs and the changes that have occurred Downtown since the BID was created has been phenomenal, and we will continue to seek input and engagement from our Downtown property owners for how to best meet their needs.”

Park Side Credit Union has announced six local nonprofits for partnerships in 2020, according to Josh Kroll, vice president of marketing and business development at Park Side.

"Park Side Credit Union announced the exclusive group of 2020 Partners and is already working to increase exposure and awareness of some of the critical nonprofit organizations in our local communities through strategic philanthropy," he said in a press release.

Through a selection process, the credit union has established relationships with Missoula Children’s Theatre, Tamarack Grief Resource Center and Arts Missoula, all based in Missoula.  In the Flathead Valley, the partnerships include the Kalispell Education Foundation, Code Girls United and the Flathead Food Bank.  Each participating organization will receive cross-promotion, shared advertising and a significant donation from Park Side.

The campaign is in its ninth year and Park Side has donated more than $200,000 to more than 30 nonprofit organizations through the Partner Program. 

“Our objective is to create an unparalleled network of collaboration within and among the nonprofit sector, and the credit union couldn’t be happier to facilitate such an achievement," Kroll said.

The Montana Grape and Winery Association will hold a convention in Hamilton in early March.

From identifying challenges in the vineyard to improving wine-making and marketing efforts, the sixth annual conference for the Montana Grape and Winery Association offers something for everyone again this year.

The group will convene at the Bitterroot River Inn at Hamilton for a three-day session, March 5-6, and kicks off with a wine tasting event Thursday evening where attendees can sample and rank Montana wines produced by members. Awards will be presented for the top entries at a banquet Friday evening.

The main sessions of the gathering kick off Friday morning with five presentations ranging from troubleshooting grapes to an update from the Montana State University Western Agricultural Research Center in Corvallis on the health and vitality of Montana vineyards.

To register or learn more about the event, or to talk to members, go to MTGWA.com.

Clearwater Credit Union has announced the grand opening of its newly renovated branch at 3600 Brooks St. in Missoula. The improved branch will be open for business Monday, Feb. 24. The grand opening event will take place on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the new branch.

The remodel focused on updating an older, existing building on the Brooks Street campus. According to a press release from the company, the goal of this project was to enhance the member experience, unite lobby and drive-thru services, improve safety and ease of access, and demonstrate the credit union's commitment to social, economic and environmental sustainability.

The new branch will be certified LEED Silver. The building will generate all of its energy from an on-site solar array installed by Jordan Solar. The siding is Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified wood from the Rice Ridge Fire (Seeley Lake, 2017), provided by Sustainable Lumber of Missoula and logged by Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake. Interior trim includes repurposed wood from the Missoula Mercantile building and the old Bonner mill, provided by Heritage Timber of Missoula. Local architects McArthur Means and Wells led the design. Quality Construction of Missoula was the general contractor, and local tradespeople were used wherever possible.

This project retains significant green space, improves safety at the Brooks Street/Dore Lane intersection, and lowers vehicle traffic on neighboring residential streets, according to the release. Sophisticated lighting controls will minimize light pollution from the site, and an advanced water treatment system will handle parking lot runoff before the water is returned to the Missoula aquifer, the release said.

The new space also celebrates Clearwater’s community partnerships and will feature art from the Montana Museum of Art and Culture, coffee from Black Coffee Roasters, and will showcase Opportunity Resources Inc. Artists’ of Opportunity program.

Clearwater members are invited to join the celebration, explore the space, and learn about the sustainable features of the new branch.

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