Me and Bert Hit the Beer Trail – A Retrospective
I already know what you’re thinking – “It was irresponsible and dangerous for a sloth and a bison to be out drinking alcohol.”
But don’t worry we were completely safe – I was the designated driver. Plus, the Billings Beer Trail is walkable for those of you who… you know… like that walking thing.
Here is the official trail map, but I will walk you through the way Bert and I did it. The main trail is Montana’s only walkable beer trail at 1.5 miles. Or in sloth terms, the longest distance ever.
Once we got to Billings via “borrowing” the Zoo’s van, our first stop was Thirsty Street at the Garage. This is a great place to kick off the trail because they have a nice variety of beers, from hoppy ales to sours. They also often have live music and entertainment, which sure beats Bert’s karaoke skills.
Next, we switched things up a bit and hit Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill. I enjoyed small samples of the in-house ciders and took in the authentic, industrial warehouse ambiance while Bert got to work on some artisanal foods. I might have mentioned this, but Bert is a bison. So, he likes to eat. A lot.
Asylum Distillery is right next door, and they serve a variety of cocktails crafted with Montana-made gin, vodka, rum and even moonshine. The décor is meant to depict life inside an asylum, and they even have an old electric chair on display. Bert played a horrible trick on me, but that is another story for another time.
Onward we went to Uberbrew. They have a great selection of craft beers, as well as a full menu. Obviously, Bert feasted. I also checked in with my humans at ZooMontana to let them know we were safe, and to apologize for taking the Zoo’s van. Again.
The Zoo search party hadn’t caught up with us, so next we headed to Carter’s Brewing. Carter’s has several handcrafted beers to choose from, including their Coldwater Kolsch, De-Railed India Pale Ale, Black Magic Porter, Farmhouse Ale, StationMaster Pale Ale and Boxcar Brown Ale.
At this point, we were still in the clear so we decided to head to Angry Hank’s to see what he was so upset about. Pints were just $3, and they had some free snacks like popcorn with hot sauce. Some of the beers Bert tried included Anger Management Belgian- style Wheat, Angry Hank’s Blonde, Street Fight Imperial Red, Dog Slobber Brown, and Head Trauma IPA. Unfortunately, we never learned why Hank was angry.
With just two stops to go on the main walkable beer trail, the Zoo called me on my cell phone and urged Bert and I to stay right where we were. So naturally, we moved along to the next stop, Thirsty Street Brewing Co. Taproom & Bottle Shop.
As you might have guessed, this is the sister-site to our first stop at Thirsty Street at the Garage. This location had all sorts of cool stuff: fresh, full flavored beers on tap, including a Belgian Blonde and Belgian Dubbel, along with Montana made hot dogs and sausages. I watched the local news coverage of the search for Bert and me on the big screen TV in the game room before suggesting we hit the final stop and complete our mission.
The last location on the walkable portion of the beer trail was Montana Brewing Company. They served wood-fired pizzas, fresh local beer such as Skypoint IPA and seasonal ales along with pasta, salads, burgers, steaks and fries.
Bert and I were just finishing some salads when our humans from the Zoo arrived to take us home. Surprisingly, they weren’t too mad and even commended us on completing the trail.
I pointed out, however, that there were still three stops “off the brewed path” we had not visited.
Trailhead Spirits is a craft distillery located on the west end of Billings. They create one-of-a-kind spirits that reflect the soul of the Billings community. Canyon Creek Brewing is Billings Montana's first brewery and tap room build from the ground up and offers a variety of delicious brews. And finally, By All Means Brewing, which offers exceptional beer and great food.
“Maybe next time, Winston,” they said. “Maybe next time.”