Our mission is to strive for better, cooler times in the quality of our beer and our lives. By handcrafting the highest quality premium beers that convey our passion for an active Montana outdoor lifestyle and producing and packaging them in environmentally sensitive ways, we expect to grow a community of beer drinkers and thinkers that can help cool our warming world. We are… In Search of Cooler Times® .
Montana is Our Home
KettleHouse Brewing Company’s owners, Tim O’Leary and Suzy Rizza, are Helena High School classmates, late college sweethearts, and husband and wife. After the two spent some time away from the state they were raised in and loved, they yearned to return to Montana. While living in Colorado, Tim spotted a new business that cropped up; a Brew on Premise (BOP), a place where customers could come to learn about craft beer and brew their own beer. He thought “this is my ticket home to Montana.” In 1995, Tim and Suzy opened Missoula’s first BOP. A lot of people came to brew beer under the guidance of Tim and had a great time doing it. However, the business venture proved to be labor-intensive, to say the least, and wasn’t quite paying the bills. All the while, folks were discovering that Tim and his crew actually crafted tasty brews, wishing they could buy a cold, fresh, pint and relax after a day’s work. Tim and Suzy’s vision shifted but it could not be realized under current State law. The answer – change the law.
Rooted in History, Poised for the Future
In 1999, KettleHouse along with two other breweries lobbied the Montana State Legislature to legalize on-premise consumption of beers. KettleHouse became the first brewery to pour beer in their tasting room. The change in law transitioned KettleHouse into a small microbrewery and neighborhood taproom. We introduced growlers to our corner of Missoula, while the desire for KettleHouse beer to-go increased. In 2006 KettleHouse became the first modern brewery in Montana to package beer in cans and it soon became apparent that there were a lot of people enjoying KettleHouse beer at home and throughout Montana’s outdoors. With demand rapidly growing, owners Tim and Suzy started looking for a building to house a new production facility dedicated to canning our award winning beers. In 2009, they eventually settled upon a historic warehouse in Missoula’s Northside railroad district. The new brewery is complete with an expanded taproom to accommodate the ever popular Community UNite program, state of the art brewing equipment, and increased capacity to can beer to quench the thirst of Missoulians and Montanans.
In Search of Cooler Times®
KettleHouse encourages waste free consumption of their award winning beers through growlers offered as to-go options at both taprooms. KettleHouse cans are environmentally friendly too; they are 100% recyclable (unlike glass) and are easier to take with you on outdoor adventures, especially on Montana’s rivers where glass is illegal. Our boxes contain the highest amount of post consumer recycled materials that we could find, and in every step of the process we strive to reduce, reuse or recycle. The use of Montana-grown two-row barley, malted in Great Falls, MT, cuts back on excess shipping and transportation needs while supporting local agri-businesses. The spent grain generated through the brewing process is given to local farmers to feed livestock (one local pig’s favorite food is Cold Smoke® spent grain mixed with Montana Lifeline Dairy whey), and a small portion is given to Missoula’s Le Petite Outré Bakery where they make Brewer’s Spent Grain Bread. We even reuse water; the hot water generated by quickly cooling hot wort is used to start the next beer. We follow the mantra: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
And just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes some pretty awesome staff to brew the beer that we do.