Bias Brewing Reopens on Main Street

The craft brewery moved from its previous location on First Avenue East in downtown Kalispell, expanding its production space with plans to grow its wholesale business and start a canning line

By Maggie Dresser
Bias Brewing at its new location in the former Kalispell Brewing Co. building in Kalispell on Nov. 2, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Since Bias Brewing opened on First Avenue East in Kalispell four years ago, the beer manufacturer had already outgrown its capacity, limiting the company’s ability to adequately distribute its product while staff operated the brewery in tight quarters.

But when Kalispell Brewing Company (KBC) was listed for sale earlier this year, Bias co-owners Gabe Mariman and Adam Robertson jumped at the opportunity to expand the brewery’s production and relocate to Main Street.

The owners purchased the building and much of the brewing equipment this summer and reopened Bias on Main Street last month after a swift move.

Along with the building, Mariman purchased additional tanks, cold storage space and a canning line from former KBC owners Cole Schneider and Maggie Doherty, which will allow brewers to quadruple the production at Bias.

“When this opportunity came up, it was never anything we ever could have imagined because, frankly, we loved having Kalispell Brewing a block away,” Mariman said. “We were shocked when they were selling, but we thought – it’s a heck of a factory, it’s a heck of a location and the building is so nicely renovated.”

A customer enjoys a flight of beers at Bias Brewing in downtown Kalispell on Nov. 2, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

While the taproom is roughly the same size as the former location, Mariman said the added beer production space will allow Bias to expand their wholesale and distribution to local bars and restaurants.

Mariman recently purchased a van with a high-capacity ramp to deliver beer to more than 60 local businesses in Flathead, Lake and Lincoln counties.

“We don’t want to be the biggest brewery in the state, but we want to have a vibrant taproom and a bustling wholesale business,” Mariman said. “We love the regions that we do business in and it’s fun to be able to control your own destiny.”

In addition to keg distribution, Mariman and Robertson will start canning beer soon and can labels are currently in the design phase.

Bias now operates with additional brewers after retaining two KBC brewers, and the Dunkel, a former KBC brew, is currently on tap and the Tank Rip Hazy IPA will soon return. Bias flagship beers like the Jewel Basin IPA and the Better Sweater Cashmere Pale Ale will consistently be sold at the taphouse and at restaurants in the Flathead like Desoto Grill and Jersey Boys Pizzeria.

Brewers also plan to continue experimenting with “alternative fermentables,” like kombucha, hard seltzers and daiquiris along with cold brew coffee and “reverse osmosis water.”

“Adam is constantly pushing awesome experiments,” Mariman said. “We got into seltzer right before it became cool … It’s just part of who we are – we’re very experimental and we’re constantly researching and looking for other fermentable products.”

The brewing room at Bias Brewing at its new location in the former Kalispell Brewing Co. building in Kalispell on Nov. 2, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

In the basement, crews converted storage rooms into kitchen space to bring Heck’s Kitchen to the new location where staff are preparing food items like rice bowls, pizza and hot sandwiches with plans to add to the menu in the summer.

Mariman and Robertson have kept some of KBC’s décor while modifying things like furniture, which have been painted orange. Crews stripped the performance stage and the flooring, which has been replaced with an epoxy floor to appear like a showroom, reflecting the building’s history as a former car dealership.

Open mic night, running club and trivia night will continue at the new location.

Despite the loss of KBC in downtown Kalispell, Mariman predicts that more craft breweries will open as the city continues to grow.

“I’m hopeful that there will be a third brewery again and I think the craft beer culture is still growing,” Mariman said.

For more information, visit www.biasbrewing.com.

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