The 12th annual Montana Brews and BBQs event is almost here! The event is held outside around the lake at Metra Park on Saturday, July 16. 

The event is put on by the Hedin’s from Rimrock Promotions, the same people who put on the famous Home Improvement Show at MetraPark in the spring. The Hedin’s say it would take about 2,000 miles to visit all the Montana Breweries at the event. This gives guests the opportunity to explore breweries across Montana in just one afternoon.

The free and family-friendly event features only Montana brewed beers in kegs because it provides a fresher taste of the beers. With 80 flavors of beer from breweries across the state, Montana Brews and BBQs offers diverse beer flavors that will make it hard to find something you don’t like. Some of the breweries at the event include Neptune’s Brewing in Livingston, Flathead Brewing in Kalispell, and so many more! There will also be brewers on hand at the event to answer any questions people may have and give descriptions of the featured flavors.

Mark Hedin says the original idea for the event was a barbecue cookoff and Beerfest where people could judge the best barbecue and beer. They found out from the health department that it would be virtually impossible due to the number of restrictions. They made a few changes to the event but kept the name. Barbecue food is featured at the event but offers a variety of other food choices.

Montana Brews and BBQs will also have live music from local band D’tective and twenty food trailers with plenty of variety to choose from. Some of the options for food include Blue Moose BBQ, 406 wings, Taste of Asia, and the Corndog Company.

Those participating in the beer tasting get a sampler glass to use during the event with ten tokens for twenty-five dollars. Guests use the tokens for each brewery they visit. There will also be a presale for the event two weeks before the event at three different locations in Billings which is five dollars cheaper.

Presale locations will be at the two Thirsty Street locations downtown, and at Shipton’s Big R and Cell Phone Repair in the Heights. Shipton’s Big R and Canyon Creek Brewing on the Westend will also be a part of the presale.

There will also be a Peoples Choice Award for the best beer at the event. Each brewer is given a 16-gallon keg and whichever one runs out first means it is the most popular. The best brew of the day receives a special People’s Choice trophy. There’s also a contest for the people that come out to the event as well. Guests put their name and number on a piece of paper. The name pulled at the end of the night wins beer for a year at Uberbrew in Billings.

Montana Brews and BBQs partners with the Breakfast Exchange Club and members are the ones who pour the beer during the event. They take a training course on how to properly pour beer and go over sanitary protocol. They are also trained on how to watch signs of intoxication and can cut people off if it is clear a person has had too much to drink at the event. 

Members of the Breakfast Exchange club are also in charge of the ID checking. When a person is ID’d at the event, they get a wristband that allows them to drink. If a person does not have a wristband, they will not serve them beer. All of the Breakfast Exchange Club proceeds go towards local charities in the community.

Enjoy everything local from food, beer, and music at Montana Brews and BBQs this summer!