A Walking Tour of the Breweries for what Ales You
There’s something about the downtown area of most cities that attract people. Perhaps it is the old historic buildings. Maybe it’s the dense population so you don’t have to go far between destinations. Or perhaps it’s the idea that downtowns have become hubs for creativity and entertainment. Whatever the reason, when is the last time you hit up downtown Billings and walked between destinations?
Aspinwall Mountain Wear chose North Broadway because it’s in the heart of the brewery district. The shop is in an historic building and surrounded by others. And it’s located right near the start of your walkable brewery tour of (almost) all of Billings’ breweries and distilleries.
Scroll all the way down for a map of the walking tour to the breweries.
Montana Brewing Company
First stop: Billings’ oldest brewery. With multiple award winning beers on their flagship menu, you know there is something that you’re going to like; but take time to view the seasonal choices too! With a full liquor license, as opposed to the tap room license, you can start at The Brew Pub for lunch before the other breweries open their doors.
Stop into Aspinwall Mountain Wear
Head just a few doors over and swing on into Aspinwall. If you’re heading out in the summer for your brew tour, you’re going to need a hat to keep the sun off your head. If you’re opting for fall or winter, then pick up a sweatshirt.
Thirsty Street Brewing Company
Donning your new mountain wear, walk a couple blocks west. Thirsty Street and Angry Hanks share a wall, so you won’t have to go far between these stops. Thirsty Street, known for their cool game room and sour beers, open their doors at 3pm (noon on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday). They’re open until 11 and often have live music, so you may want to swing back around at the end.
Angry Hanks Micro Brewery
By 4pm the rest of the breweries will be open. Angry Hanks is best known for Street Fight Irish Red; in fact that brew makes up about half of their production! At just $3 per pint, you may be tempted to stick around a bit longer, but you have quite a few more breweries to get to, and that extra pint will cost precious minutes in the 4 hours you get to sample from breweries.
If you have a little buzz going, don’t worry; Carter’s Brewing is a 4 block walk down the road. Long enough to burn off that buzz, but not too long to wear you out. You brought some water didn’t you? Carter’s recently expanded their area taking over the Railyard space. Now the area that was the brewing room and seating is dedicated to just brewing. The seating area is much bigger and there is a designated play space in case your kids are out with you (not on this night though, this night is for adults). Carter’s Brewing has great Belgian style beers.
Time for a break from beer. Trailhead Spirits opened their doors in 2013 as one of the only distilleries in the area. You can get gin or vodka, mixed or neat. It’s all made in house, and you can buy a bottle or two to take along with you. A popular choice is the Moscow mule. You can sit inside, or gather around the fire pit on the patio.
On the same block, but across the street, is Billings’ brewery with a German flair. By now you’re likely in need of a meal, so here’s your chance. Überbrew offers a variety of great meal choices, and they pair wonderfully with their beers. Überbrew is one of the newer breweries in Billings, but they have won multiple awards for their Iconic beers.
Last Chance Pub and Cider Mill
A block down the road you get the opportunity to veer away from the beers again. Or stick with (mostly) local brews. Last Chance makes delightful ciders from Montana grown apples. Their beers come from Red Lodge Ales and are still considered by many to be local brews. If you didn’t grab a bite to eat at Uberbrew, you can get something here.
Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company
Yellowstone Valley Brewing, AKA The Garage, is one that slides under the radar quite often. They stick primarily to the brews they know and do best, with a focus on the local artist scene. Nearly every night of the week there is music performed by a local or indie band. Make sure you save a few bucks from your beer money, there is often a cover (rarely more than $10).
Explore Downtown Billings, Montana
When you finish your pint at Yellowstone Valley Brewing, you’re about half a mile from where you started. It’s the perfect time to sip your water and walk around downtown taking in the sites. Linger a little longer, admire the architecture, and pop into the art galleries to see what has been created recently.
Of course, stop in and get a t-shirt to show off that you love Montana.
Honorable Mention: Canyon Creek Brewing
We covered almost all of the breweries in town, but we left out Canyon Creek Brewing. It’s not that they’re bad, but rather they’re outside of the downtown area. Canyon Creek has the distinction of being the only brewery on the west end of Billings. With more space they have the biggest tap room and the biggest patio. With at least a dozen beers on tap at any given time, Canyon Creek has something for every beer drinker’s taste.