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Montana Named ‘America’s Most Beer-Friendly State’ Study Shows

Big Sky Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Jon King

A recent nationwide study by a website called The Motley Fool found that the best place to drink beer is Montana. But why?The Motley Fool cited Montana for having less expensive beer taxes, a high number of award winning craft breweries, and the most bars per capita of any state.

Research Economist Colin Sorenson with the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana said the bureau has done some research with microbreweries in the state that elaborates on The Motley Fool‘s study:

“It’s an interesting phenomenon,” Sorenson said. “That’s something we’ve seen in some other states as well such as Oregon and Colorado, and Montana certainly has a very strong following of our beers. Some of the beer brewed in Montana goes all over the country, as a matter of fact. I think part of that is the strength of the ‘Made in Montana’ brand.”

Sorenson said not only do folks like to support local businesses, but people also take a lot of pride in the products they produce. He added that the support received may be leading to the construction of two new breweries in and near Missoula:

“There’s at least a couple of new breweries coming online in Missoula, planned for this year, and another one in Lolo,” Sorenson said. “I don’t think businesses necessarily need people to drink more beer, they just need people to drink more local beer in order for the industry to grow more. I think consumer tastes play a big role in that and the saturation point could be a moving target based on shifting tastes.”

The Motley Fool cited “nationally renowned” Big Sky Brewing Co. as the 46th largest craft brewery in the county.

The study showed that there are 59.30 bars per 100,000 people in Montana with a beer excise tax of 14 cents per gallon.

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