Member Spotlight: Blackfoot River Brewing Co.
Blackfoot River Brewing Company was established in 1998 in Helena, Montana. As Montana’s first and only certified organic brewery, Blackfoot has been producing organic beer since its very first batch in 1998. Blackfoot is certified organic by the Montana Department of Agriculture since 2002. Blackfoot produces both organic (20% of volume) and conventional ales and lagers. We are a draft only brewery with about half of our beer sold on-site through our tap room, and the remainder distributed to restaurants and taverns across Western Montana. Blackfoot River Brewing is running near capacity and will produce approximately 3,200 barrels in 2011.
Our Organic Beers
Blackfoot produces two year-round organic beers: Organic Pale Ale, and Northfork Organic Porter. We originally created these beers using New Zealand-grown Hallertauer and Cascade hops, but have been transitioning to U.S. Grown organic hops as they become available and as contracts allow.
Organic Pale Ale (aka O.P.A)
A classic British-style pale ale brewed from the finest certified organic 2-row malt and certified organic hops. Golden in color, medium-bodied, and crisp in flavor. (IBUs: 26, ABV: 5.6%)
North Fork Organic Porter
A traditional English-style Brown Porter brewed from the finest certified organic 2-row pale, munich, crystal, chocolate malts, and organic hops. Dark reddish-brown in color, full-bodied, with a roasty coffee-like character. (IBUs: 43, OG: 1.065)
Why we support Organic Hops
We support the growth and use of organic hops primarily because of good land stewardship. As we all know, hops can be a very chemically intensive crop, and we believe that farming without chemicals is better for people and the Earth in the long run. Furthermore, we really believe in sourcing ingredients as close to home as possible. We much prefer to source U.S. grown organic hops over imported ones any day, besides, they are just plain better hops.
We have been deeply involved with the Montana Brewer’s Association since its inception and understand the need for a small niche industry to be well organized and represented. We support the AOHGA because we really need to grow the organic hop industry in this country, and having a strong, effective trade association is key to making that happen.
On the selfish side, we really want to see more varieties of U.S. grown organic hops. We like to make many different beer styles through the year, and we need a wide variety of hops to do it right. We are really looking forward to the day when we can get organic hops in almost any variety! The biggest obstacle for our brewery to making more organic beer has been the lack of organic availability in more than just a few varieties.
For more information on Blackfoot River Brewing, visit their website at www.blackfootriverbrewing.com.