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Kalispell brewery aims for community, tradition behind beers

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Jul 11 2013 06:07:50 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 16 2013 08:53:44 AM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

In 1894 the Lindlahr brothers started a Kalispell tradition with the Kalispell Malting and Brewing Company on Center Street and Fifth Avenue West. One-hundred twenty years later and a few blocks over, Maggie Doherty and Cole Schneider are giving a nod to the Lindlahrs by opening Kalispell Brewing Company. It's the first brewery in the city since 1955.

"Our hopes are to make some great beer, become a community gathering place," said Schneider.

The couple purchased a building on Fourth and Main in 2012 and began renovating what was once a car dealership.

"We had no idea that this mural which reads 'Safety Tested Used Cars' was behind until a crew started tearing down the drywall." explained Doherty.

They're no strangers to suds - Schneider has been home brewing for the last 10 years.

"The first beer I brewed did not turn out very well," Schneider said. "But I'm a pretty persistent person and I stuck with it."

Schneider swears his batches have improved since then and he's now ready to incorporate German-style lagers and "hoppy, northwest-style pale ales" into the KBC mix.

"We want to pride ourselves on making very decent beer with no flaws."

It's all about community, and Doherty and Schneider are proud to say that folks in town will soon have a place to call their very own, as residents once did when the Lindlahrs were in town.

"They were really invested in the community and that's how we want to be too," said Doherty. "We're really excited to kind of resurrect the Kalispell dream."

Doherty and Schneider hope to open their doors in September.