SigMT Vol 13 Iss 4

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SiG MT 20 The Brewing Force Behind Craft Beer in 2021 TEXT BY MARK BAUNE BEER MAN GREAT FALLS HELENA HAVRE The Beverage Company NOW AVAILABLE Available SOON! Last year was arguably one of the most challenging on record and that goes double for breweries, bars, restaurants, and anyone who sells beer for that maer. Beer, to many is the "social lubricant" that brings friends together. When the rules changed last year, Great Falls' Mighty Mo Brewing Company owners, Seth Swingley and head brewer, Casey Kingsland, met the challenge head-on by continuing to do what they do best – creating and releasing innovative beverages that keep consumers engaged and coming back for more. Brewery Strategy In December of 2019, Swingley said the brewery was forced to discontinue packaging 6-packs and 12-packs when they were unable to renew the lease at their canning facility. Meeting demand was already a problem and then COVID hit! Faced with challenges before, the brewing team quickly devised a plan to get back up and packaging quickly. e new course of action called for new bole conditioned beers in 22 oz boles. "We released the first of our private reserve series beers just before Christmas with the first one being a Belgian Blonde and the second, a very tasty Belgian Double," Swingley said. "We just have to roll with the punches and adapt quickly to keep our heads above water and come out on the other side of this pandemic." IPAs Dominate the Cra Beer Landscape India Pale Ales (IPAs) are still the "king of cra," and brewers continue to add innovative offerings to the hop-filled category. Kingsland tries not to get caught up in beer trends, but he believes the IPA will hang around for a long time. "Hop farms are constantly producing new hop varieties and those make for a lot of experimentation on the IPA front," Kingsland explains. "ere are definitely hop heads out there who prefer a west coast style, pallet wrecking, hop bomb, but the Hazy IPA style has exploded due to the fact that these beers are so much more approachable for the average cra beer drinker," Kingsland adds. e dry, brut-style IPAs seem to be fizzling out with a growing appetite for soer, less bier, and even juicier IPAs. "e IPA style in general has become very broad by definition. ere are now Milkshake IPA's, Black IPA's, Fruited IPA's, Session IPA's and on and on and on," says Kingsland. IPAs continue to make a big presence with lots of IPA-innovation on the horizon. Don't expect to see them fade out any time soon. e Health-Conscious Consumer Non-alcoholic beers have evolved significantly since their inception. Remember the early 80's when "Near Beer" made an appearance on the N/A stage? Yeah, I've tried to forget it too. Now there are some great tasting N/As with less than half a percent of alcohol in them. Kingsland says he definitely sees a trend towards a more health-conscious consumer. As more people cut back on alcohol for health reasons, the market is responding with a wider range of offerings with lile to no alcohol. But brewing N/As are not as easy to make as some may think.

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