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Draught Works Brewing

406 Brewing owners, Matt and John
Jeff and Paul of Draught Works Brewing.

Draught Works opened on October 5, 2011 in a nicely re-developed old recycling center on Missoula's northside. The classic old building, built in 1931, is on the National Registrar of Historic Sites.

Staying with the recycling focus, the Draught Works owners Jeff Grant and Paul Marshall tore up the old floor and used the wood to make custom tables, doors and other furnishing. And they constructed a remarkable bar out of an old log that had been sunk in the waters of Flathead Lake for a hundred years or more.

Grant and Marshall are 50/50 owners, and Marshall tells a good story on how Draught Works came to be. He worked as a Human Resources Director and Grant worked for the same company. "Jeff used to come into my office and talk about beer and about how he wanted to start a brewery and be a brewer, and finally he talked me into doing it."

Grant, who does most of the brewing while Marshall takes care of most of the business duties, started out home brewing like a lot of brewers. His fauthr owned the now-defunct Milestown Brewing in Miles City, Montana, so he's a second-generation Motnana brewer, and he previously worked at the Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, Arizona. After the decision to start Missoula's fourth brewery was made, he completed his training at the Siebel Institute in Chicago famous for its Master Brewer Program, a partnership with the World Brewing Academy.

Grant, who does most of the brewing while Marshall takes care of most of the business duties, started out home brewing like a lot of brewers. His fauthr owned the now-defunct Milestown Brewing in Miles City, Montana, so he's a second-generation Motnana brewer, and he previously worked at the Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe, Arizona. After the decision to start Missoula's fourth brewery was made, he completed his training at the Siebel Institute in Chicago famous for its Master Brewer Program, a partnership with the World Brewing Academy.

"We have no barriers to our brewery," Grant added. "People can stand six feet away while we're working and watch what we're doing and ask questions, and we'll answer them if we can." "We're also very interested in educating beer drinkers." Marshall said. "We want to move our customers toward something with a higher taste profile that they haven't had yet," agreed Grant.

Plus, Grant noted, "We have a kick-ass patio with an uninterrupted view of the Hellgate Canyon." No other Missoula brewery has that.

"And we're also family friendly." Marshall added, noting that they welcome families and make root beer and ginger ale for the kids.

"We have carved out our niche of being a very community-oriented brewery with an emphasis on the neighborly feel," taproom/marketing manager Ana Pederson added. "We encourage families to come and hope that everyone enjoys our high quality brews and feels most comfortable in the Missoula atmosphere that we have created."

As far as the type of beer Draught Works produces, Pederson said, "We have a wide variety of seasonal ales and lagers.."

She also said Draught Works has weekly growler specials, live music three times each week, and support Montana nonprofits with their weekly "chug for charity."

Many brewers have a theme for their beer names, but not Draught Works, except, Grant noted, "we try to make it witty, funny and something off the wall," like Clothing Optional Pale Ale and Scepter Head IPA. Grant didn't mention it, but being the observant guy I am, I actually noticed a theme--all the logos contain a shapely female figure.

Draught Works
Draught Works Brewing.

No kitchen or food service planned, according to Marshall, but they invite food trucks from Wild Moose Grill, El Cazadar, Kind Swine or others (rotating throughout the summer) that park in their parking lot so patrons can buy a meal and bring it inside or go to the patio and enjoy a quality craft beer with it.

Finally, and in the not-so-unlike many other microbreweries category, Draught Works has already become part of the friendly local pub mantra that has made taprooms so popular. "We're already established part of Missoula's Northside Neighborhood," Marshall noted, so next time you're in that neighborhood, stop at its new neighborhood pub, Draught Works.

-Bill Schneider

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