First Craft Brewery In Kalispell Starts Hiring, About To Brew

KALISPELL – After nearly two years and $2 million, Kalispell’s first craft brewery starts hiring.
The very first batch isn’t far out.
Cole Schneider’s background is actually in industrial chemistry, but he’s been brewing beer at home for about a decade. Now he’s ready to try it on a bigger scale.
“I’m more excited than nervous,” said Schneider, the head brewer and co-owner of the Kalispell Brewing Company.
Before they make their first batch, they have to calibrate the system. That means they’re running water through the entire thing and setting the temperatures in the tanks just right so that it doesn’t lose any heat as the product goes through the pipes.
“It’s all about precision in this process and controlling every step of the process,” said Schneider.
They really had to gut the old building on Main Street, but you can still see little traces of the previous car dealership.
“It’s a daunting process,” said Maggie Doherty, the other co-owner, “There were so many little delays that added up.”
They’re hoping to start on their first batch this week and open sometime in mid-June. A definite date hasn’t been set yet, just in case something goes wrong.
So far, nearby breweries in Whitefish, Lakeside, and Woods Bay have been not so much competitive as supportive.
“There’s a really great sense of camaraderie, but of course, yeah you’ve gotta kind of stand out, which is why we’re excited to offer something different with our line-up of German lagers,” said Doherty.
This week they have to do just one more calibration with actual grain, instead of water, before the first batch can get going, which Schneider will be brewing all by himself.
When the system is completely up and running, they’ll be able to put out at least 700 barrels each year. That’s more than 21,000 gallons.

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