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Downtown distillery to open next month

By Will Wadley, KECI Weekend Anchor, wwadley@keci.com
Published On: Aug 09 2012 12:34:07 PM MDT
Updated On: Aug 08 2012 06:39:40 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Butte and Bozeman have one. The Flathead has four. And soon, Missoula will join in on a wave of new micro-distilleries opening all over Montana.

The Montgomery Distillery is slated to open downtown on Front Street next month, and its owners hope the same people who love locally made beer will love their locally made liquor.

"I’m feeling pretty excited,” said Ryan Montgomery. “It's been a long time coming, a long time in development, but we've finally got our equipment here, we're getting the building set up, so we're really looking forward to opening as soon as we can."

On Wednesday, Montgomery and his associates peeled the wrapping off of a brand new, custom made still from Germany. Over the next few weeks, they’ll install and set up thousands of dollars worth of distilling equipment.

Montgomery said he is hoping the path blazed by micro-breweries in Montana can handle micro-distilleries too.

"What the breweries in town did was open people’s eyes to what's available in beer, and we hope to follow that path and do the same thing."

The use of local products is one trend local breweries have followed that Montgomery said he’ll follow too.

"All of the wheat for our vodka and our gin comes from the Bitterroot Valley. Our barley comes from the great falls area. We use a lot of local well crafted herbs and botanicals for our gin flavorings."

"I’m mostly excitement, a little bit of nervousness,” said Montgomery. “We're making sure that everything works properly, and most of all, that we come out with a good tasting product."

He said he hopes to be open in three or four weeks. The first product they’ll serve is Vodka.