Montana February 21, 2019
Tour This 130-Year-Old Distillery In Montana For An Unforgettable Experience
Believe it or not, Montana’s first distillery in over a century opened in 2005. That’s because Montana didn’t relax the rules banning craft distilleries until that year, so we went quite awhile with a distillery drought. And while Missoula’s oldest distillery, Montgomery Distillery, didn’t open until 2012, it’s housed inside a 130-year-old building — and you’ll want to see it.
This building at 129 W. Front St. dates all the way back to 1889. It was constructed by Edward Schilling, a German immigrant who operated a liquor store in Butte before bringing his profits to Missoula.
Schilling ran a liquor warehouse in the west half of the building and a saloon in the east half before converting it to a gentleman’s clothing store in 1892.
While alcohol played a large role in the building's past, it also served as other stores as well.
This photo is from the 1950s, when Davies Farm Supply occupied the space.
When Jenny and Ryan Montgomery opened the distillery in 2012, they returned the old building to its former glory.
During the 19th century, 12 saloons called this block home, so it seems especially appropriate to have a distillery here now.
The spirits here are distilled exclusively from Montana-grown grain.
The family grows their own wheat and rye at the Montgomery family ranch near Lewistown, and all the white spirits are made from their own grain.
The cocktail menu here consists of classics and a few creative concoctions, all made from Montgomery spirits.
There's even a booze-free Temperance Menu for children or adults who don't imbibe.
Distillery tours are available on Fridays from 5-6 p.m., and they're both fun and informative.
You'll learn about the distillation process and the illustrious drinking history of Missoula's Front Street. Tours cost $5, but that will earn you a $5 discount on a bottle. Call (406) 926-1725 ahead of time to confirm availability.
Montgomery Distillery is open Monday - Saturday from noon until 8p.m. and on Sundays from 2 - 7.
Come see why Food & Wine Magazine named this spot one of the 50 Best New Bars in America in 2014.
Have you ever been to Montgomery Distillery? Montana has some
fantastic wineries worth visiting as well.