Montana Brewery Oral History Project

The Montana Brewery Oral History Project takes an in depth look at the rebirth and rise of the craft brewing industry in the state of Montana during the final two decades of the 20th century. Although seen as a booming industry now, a ban of on-site sale through taprooms hindered breweries from reaching their full potential in the early years. After two failed attempts to legalize taprooms in the 1995 and 1997 Montana legislative sessions, in 1999 a compromise mapped out on a bar room napkin was finally reached which resulted in the passage of a taproom bill. Since that time, brewery taprooms have become cultural hubs in the communities they occupy, bringing together individuals from all backgrounds who all share the same love for Montana brewed beer. 

The collection contains a series of interviews, conducted in 2017, with brewery owners, wholesalers, and retailers. These individuals worked in the industry in the 1980's and 90's, many of whom lobbied in multiple sessions for the legalization of on-site sales. 


Anneliese Warhank, Montana Historical Society Archives