Photo Essay: Missoula, Montana, an Underrated Booze City in America

Here's the thing. Everyone thinks their city is the best city for beer, wine and booze. I recently wrote a post on the best (and most underrated) beer cities in America and I got a lot of comments about cities I left off the list, including Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, the entire state of Michigan, Charlottesville, and a whole lot more. Evidently it should have been something like, "The 200 best beer cities in America." History repeats itself, so here I am again giving my take on America's best boozy cities, except today I'm talking about what I think is one of the most overlooked regions of America, Montana's Glacier Country, and more specifically, Missoula. If there was more in the way of wine, I might would say that it's the most underrated booze city in America hands down, but alas, Montana's climate isn't so conducive for growing wine. But what Montana's Glacier Country lacks in wine, it makes up for in craft beer and spirits.

But beer and whiskey wasn't even on my radar when I went to Montana in June. And it's only been recently that it could be on anyone's radar, since Montana state laws (especially on spirits) have long been strict on brewing and distilling. It wasn't until 2009 that the first distillery opened in Montana (RoughStock in Bozeman). But have no fear, several distilleries have since opened, and Montana actually has one of the strongest craft beer scenes in America. How strong? Well Montana ranks No. 2 in America (behind Asheville) for craft breweries per capita.

But rather than bore you with statistics, I'd rather show it off to you in photos.

Thirst Gear Brewery Tour Montana
Thirst Gear Brewery Tour Montana
 Big Dipper ice cream in Montana

Big Dipper ice cream in Montana

 James Bar 

James Bar 

 Big Sky Brewing--Missoula Montana

Big Sky Brewing--Missoula Montana

 KettleHouse Brewing Company 

KettleHouse Brewing Company 

 Cold Smoke beer at KettleHouse Brewery in Missoula

Cold Smoke beer at KettleHouse Brewery in Missoula

 Bayern Brewing 

Bayern Brewing 

Beer sample at Bayern Brewing in Missoula, Montana
Beer sample at Bayern Brewing in Missoula, Montana
 Bayern Brewing and Brewpub 

Bayern Brewing and Brewpub 

 Draught Works Brewery 

Draught Works Brewery 

 Montgomery Distillery 

Montgomery Distillery 

 Cocktail at the bar of Montgomery Distillery

Cocktail at the bar of Montgomery Distillery

What are your favorite boozy destinations?