News & Features

The 2019 Drinks Issue

Quench your summer thirst with everything from cold brew coffee to killer kombucha, craft beer and snappy spirits

It’s August, historically the summer’s hottest, smokiest month in the Flathead Valley. If you’re looking to cool down by sipping a cold one, there are plenty of watering-hole options for you to consider, as well as a host of delicious options for the teetotalers among us.

There’s also a few important questions to keep in mind before settling on the perfect beverage.

What’s the science behind craft beer? How does fermentation produce kombucha? Is cold brew coffee just cold coffee? What are the latest trends in craft cocktails?

Belly up to the bar and find out in the 2019 Drinks Issue. Cheers!


Dark Side Fermenters makes fermented tea Kombucha in the Flathead Valley of Montana. Photo by Mandy Mohler courtesy of Dark Side Fermenters

Kombucha’s Dark Side On Tap

Dark Side Fermenters makes fermented tea a fun, non-alcoholic addition to brewery menus

By Charlotte Bausch

If you’ve never had kombucha, the appeal of a fizzy, sour drink made from fermented green or black tea might seem strange, but the drink has gained popularity in recent years for its sour-sweet flavor and its probiotic benefits.



Joe Byers, brewer for Sacred Waters Brewing Company in Kalispell, on Aug. 7. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Q&A with Sacred Waters Head Brewer Joe Byers

Byers, who is also FBCC’s brewing program director, talks about his favorite local beers, tips for home brewers and the future of Montana’s craft beer scene

By Justin Franz

Joe Byers knows beer. The 34-year-old head brewer at Sacred Waters Brewing Company in Kalispell has worked at Tamarack Brewing Company and is currently the director of the Flathead Valley Community College’s Brewing Academy of Montana.

Last week, the Beacon sat down with him to talk about the local beer scene and his favorite brews.



Gabe Mariman, co-owner and general manager of Bias Brewing, is pictured in front of Glacier Distillery Company barrels inside which the brewery is aging new brews in Kalispell on Aug. 8. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Experimentation Through Fermentation

In an increasingly crowded craft beer market, local breweries are getting creative with their offerings

By Andy Viano

There was a time not long ago when craft breweries were funky little upstarts trying to gain a foothold in a world dominated by legacy brands and traditional styles. A time when brewing things like IPAs was way outside the box, and when a generation of old-school drinkers rolled their eyes at the sight of dozens of new labels in expanding grocery store beer aisles.



Kalispell Kreamery’s Cold Brew Coffee with Milk pictured at Kalispell Kreamery on Aug. 7. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

From Moo to Cold Brew

Kalispell Kreamery’s seasonal cold brew drink combines fresh milk and Montana Coffee Traders coffee

By Molly Priddy

Dairy farmers know early mornings.

When the cows need milking, there’s no way around having to get up and get to work, rain or shine or light or darkness. So it would make sense, then, for the folks at Kalispell Kreamery to develop a delicious seasonal coffee drink to perk up the rest of us.



Wine pairings from Brix Bottleshop in downtown Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

Tips on How to Wine and Dine

Mission Mountain Winery owner and wine maker Thomas Campbell discusses favorite pairings

By Justin Franz

There are few better ways to catch up with old friends than sharing a meal. And the quality of that meal only increases when it’s complemented with a nice bottle of wine.

Or maybe a couple bottles of wine.



Trego Pub and General Store on Aug. 10. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Trego on Tap

Community hub provides gathering place for eclectic patrons in the Tobacco Valley

By Tristan Scott

A strong sense of community has always run deep in Trego, the tiny outpost situated in the forested Tobacco Valley south of Eureka. It’s far removed from the hustle and bustle of Whitefish and Kalispell, but kinship is stoked at the local post office and general store, where folks are eager to greet their neighbors and share a cool beverage.



Glacier Distilling’s Fire in the Hole cocktail in Coram on Aug. 9. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Crafting a Killer Cocktail

Mixologists around the Flathead Valley are finding new ways to showcase local spirits

By Andy Viano

There is no shortage of joy to be taken from a perfectly mixed martini, a refreshing margarita, a tangy bloody mary or a well-balanced old fashioned. But like in the diversifying world of craft beer, those on the cutting edge of making spirits are venturing outside the norm to satisfy every taste, and cocktails are following right along with that trend.


If you enjoy stories like this one, please consider joining the Flathead Beacon Editor’s Club. For as little as $5 per month, Editor’s Club members support independent local journalism and earn a pipeline to Beacon journalists. Members also gain access to, where they will find exclusive content like deep dives into our biggest stories and a behind-the-scenes look at our newsroom.