Montana's Flathead Valley has gained a new homebrew shop and homebrewing association according to this article in the Flathead Beacon. Junior Szklarz and Karen Witt have opened The Beer Store which shares space with their other business Brass and Bullets. The shop is located at 2703 Highway 93 S, south of Kalispell.
Junior and Karen have also started the Flathead Valley Homebrewers Association to bring together area homebrewers for networking and education. Their first meeting, held at the Somers Bay Cafe, had twenty attendees and the next meeting is planned for January 2013. For more info, keep taps at the Association's website.
Check out the Beacon's full article for much more detail.
Despite having three strong breweries, the Flathead Valley's beer culture has been a tough one to figure out. Top notch craft beer taps are few and far between outside of the breweries and store selections have been less than inspiring.
That's all changing, though, with new stores and breweries forging ahead. Hop's Downtown Grill in Kalispell has done a wonderful job of advocating for great craft beer paired with great food. Brix Bottleshop is set to open any day at the Historic Loading Dock in Kalispell on East Center Street. Desert Mountain Brewing & Draughthaus is getting closer and closer to their opening in Columbia Falls. Up in Whitefish, Markus Foods always has a nice selection of bottles, and Ryan Zinke is working through the planning/permitting processes for his new Double Tap Brewing Co.
Having an active network of homebrewers and a shop with great supplies and expert assistance will only strengthen the craft beer tide in the Flathead.