News & Features

The 2020 Drinks Issue

Quench your summer thirst with a touch of the grape from a local winery, a soupcon of snobbery from craft beer purveyors, a DIY drink or a healthy elixir

It’s August, historically the summer’s hottest, smokiest month in the Flathead Valley. If you’re looking to cool down by sipping a potent potable or a cold quaffable, there are plenty of libations for you to consider, as well as a host of delicious soft drinks for the teetotalers among us.

To keep this as educational as it is refreshing, there are also a few critical questions to keep in mind before settling on the perfect beverage.

What are some helpful tips for navigating the world of craft beer? How does the “champagne of kombucha” yield gut health and effervescent goodness? Who’s behind the wineries springing up around the valley? And what are the latest trends in DIY craft cocktails?

Belly up to the bar and find out in the 2020 Drinks Issue. Cheers!


Trevor Zuba and Angela Zuba, owners of Waters Edge Winery and Bistro, enjoy glasses of wine in their new space in Evergreen on August 4, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Wineries Align in the Flathead

A growing number of wineries specializing in different grapes, blends and atmospheres are popping up across the valley

By Maggie Dresser

In a part of the country that’s known for its long, cold and dark winters and short summers, Montana isn’t exactly conducive for grape growing, which typically thrives in the Pacific Northwest.



A mango, pineapple, spinach and coconut milk smoothie, pictured on August 10, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

DIY Drinks

Three local experts share handy tips and easy recipes for those who prefer to sip their coffee, juice or cocktail from the safety of home during the coronavirus pandemic

By Andy Viano

Whether an occasional indulgence or a staple of the routine, a trip to the counter for your favorite early morning, mid-day or after-hours drink could be counted on to brighten your day in addition to quenching your thirst.



Raymond Dickinson of Brix Bottleshop pours a milk stout nitro from Left Hand Brewing Company, a Trappistes Belgian ale by Rochefort Brewery and Duvel’s Tripel Hop Citra in downtown Kalispell on August 5, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A Guide to Navigating the Craft Beer World

Tips for discovering and tasting new brews from Brix Bottleshop’s Raymond Dickinson

By Micah Drew

“This beer is rounded; it has that silky mouth feel to it,” Raymond Dickinson said, swirling the hazy yellow beer in his glass. “There’s a core of pineapple juice going on and you can smell it, too. It’s got that tropical nose.”



Canning at Kalispell Brewing Company on August 6, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Increased Beer Demand Causes Can Shortages

Breweries pivot to packaging, face supply challenges

By Micah Drew

Breweries have been dealing with an increased demand for empty beer cans during the Covid-19 pandemic, as more consumers have opted to buy beer to drink at home.



Jun tea from Vibrant Roots in Whitefish, pictured on August 10, 2020. This flavor is dubbed, “Not Your Sweetie,” lemon and herbs de provence. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Creating a Vibrant Culture

Whitefish business owner promotes health and wellness, brewing ‘champagne of kombucha’ and offering mushroom-based elixirs

By Tristan Scott

Ask Brooke Dodson about the genesis of Vibrant Roots, a Whitefish-based company specializing in mushroom-based drinks and elixirs, and she’ll describe a lonely path that’s led her toward health, wellness and her burgeoning business success.


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