Recently, there was a "Freedom" report published by the CATO Institute ranking each state by how much freedom they possess. Find the overall rankings here. 

Overall, Montana ranked in the top half of the country in freedom, but the study was fleshed out to analyze different subcategories. Some of the highlighted freedom categories were taxation, insurance, telecom, gambling, gun rights, cannabis and travel.

But one that jumped out to me was alcohol freedom. 

For how much we love our Kettlehouse Brewing Cold Smokes and Jeremiah Johnson Mountain Mans, it's surprising to see Montana so far down the list in "alcohol freedom." Montana was 47th in alcohol freedom... wow!


How do they judge alcohol freedom?

CATO's website describes it as "The alcohol category includes restrictions on distribution, taxes, blue laws, keg registrations, and "happy hour" bans."

One of the most significant rules the study observed was the way alcohol was distributed. Does the state distribute all booze (Control System)? Or does the state allow license holders to distribute (License System)? The study says that "rule" makes up more of the total score than any other regulation.

Montana is a controlled state per the state's government website. Montana is one of 17 states in the nation in which the state's government controls alcohol distribution. According to the website, the University of California Los Angeles discovered alcohol consumption is 5 percent lower in states with a controlled system. From my day-to-day life, it doesn't seem like Montana eases up on its alcohol consumption, but maybe that's a knock on me rather than the state...

The other factors that hurt a state's alcohol freedom were Blue Laws and happy hour bans. Fortunately for drinking Montana, Blue Laws are not a thing in the Treasure State. As for happy hour bans, Montana is one of 18 states that don't have any sort of happy hour bans.


Having only lived in a few states, all of them Northern drinking states - Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, it seems like we have drinking freedoms here... but what do I know?

Let us know in our mobile app or on Facebook if you think Montana is a strict drinking state or not.

Every Montana Restaurant That Has Been Featured on Food Network

It's always awesome to see something from your hometown or state on TV. When Food Network comes to town, Montanans are ready. These restaurants have been featured.

Gallery Credit: Jesse James

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM