A Crafty Partnership: Helena Industries and Local Breweries

by Katie Gallagher

  • Posted on August 24, 2016

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Gowler Box 1

Montanans love craft beer

According to Steve Lozar, Montana beer guru and beer historian, “craft brewing has been around in Montana since 1859- 17 years before Custer’s Last Stand…having a brewery meant you had a stable town…it was part of the economic fabric and was tied to industries like logging and mining that produced ‘thirsty kinfolk’.

In 2015, Montana ranked in the top five states for the number of craft breweries per capita, just more evidence and as pointed out in a 2012 Montana Business Quarterly article that

it appears Montanans are still pretty thirsty today.

A Commitment to Community

Local Montana breweries are committed to supporting our state and communities where they do business. For example, according to the Montana Brewers Association, Montana craft breweries use 7.0 million pounds of malted grain every year, half of which is grown in Montana.

Helena breweries demonstrate their commitment to the community in many ways, and Helena Industries has benefited.

From pint nights to support local charities to featuring local musicians and artists, local craft breweries creatively support a variety of causes from nonprofits to entrepreneurs.

According to Ethan Kohoutek, co-owner of Ten Mile Creek Brewery on Helena’s walking mall,

Helena-area breweries have become an integral part of our community, and I think everyone’s goal is to be able to be as local as possible.

For Helena breweries, Ten Mile Creek Brewery and Blackfoot River Brewing Company, finding local manufacturers to create merchandise has been a priority.

Bethany Flint, co-owner of Blackfoot River Brewing Company, shares that,

It’s important to the Blackfoot to source local products as much as possible, creating relationships with businesses and artists that become friends and customers. It’s a way for us to give back to the community and support local businesses and nonprofits—like Helena Industries—that are doing great work.

We are proud to partner with companies in a growing industry. Our goal is to build reciprocal relationships with companies and organizations, which allow them to support our mission as a nonprofit and enable us to meet their needs as a business.

Hand-Made Wooden Growler Carriers Help Us Advance Our Mission

Team members who work in our wood shop located on our vocational campus produce affordable, hand-made growler carriers for both Blackfoot River Brewing Company and Ten Mile Creek Brewery. We’re able to produce quality growler carriers and fill small quantity requests, allowing businesses to cost effectively grow and promote their brands.

By ordering the carriers from our team, we’re able to provide skill building opportunities and meaningful work for 18 people with disabilities in our wood shop alone.

Ultimately, the support from businesses that purchase our products helps us achieve our mission: to provide vocational and rehabilitative services utilizing real work, related services, and individualized resources to empower persons with disabilities to lead productive and fulfilling lives in their communities.

Next time you’re at one of our local breweries enjoying a craft beer, be sure to toast to their notable commitment to making Helena the best it can be by supporting organizations like Helena Industries.

Bottom’s Up!

To learn more about products made at Helena Industries and shop online, click here.


About the Author


Katie Gallagher