Best Breweries in Bozeman, Montana

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Wide open vistas of green with dots of perfectly painted red barns, horses grazing in the fields, all surrounded by snow capped peaks and quaint Bozeman breweries. Yep, this is Montana. Big Sky Country and home to the quaint yet tight-knit Bozeman craft beer scene. These are some of the best breweries in Bozeman and beyond.

April and Ken with Montana mountains in background
When it snows in Montana, you hike…and then go drink beer!

Whatever leads you to Bozeman, it is a place to bask in the glory of nature, community, and obviously, beer. We may have been led by our journalism ventures in beer, but what really made this piece of Montana something to remember, was the beautiful Bozeman brewery scene nestled in the beauty of this world we live in.

Best Breweries in Bozeman and Beyond

With right around ten breweries in the area, we could have visited them all, but alas, we did not. However we did manage to make it to MAP, Mountains Walking, The Bunkhouse, and Bridger Brewing in Bozeman. We also managed to make it to Katabatic and Neptune’s in Livingston, which is only a half hour’s drive east of Bozeman.

Neptune’s Brewery – Livingston

Located in Livingston, less than 30 miles east of Bozeman on I-90, this little gem offered a beach oasis in the midst of the chill that naturally comes from being surrounded by mountains. Neptune’s Brewery, complete with ocean decor, including a gigantic fish tank behind the bar, offered the ambiance that matched their slogan, “Drink Like a God”.

The locals at Neptune’s are fantastic people!

Knowing how to draw the locals in, they had a variety of good craft beers including the foundations like pale ales, IPA’s and the like. But they also had a Honey Rye, a Latte Stout, a Chocolate Porter, and even a Scottish Ale. What made us really feel at home here, though, were the locals. Conversations were as easy flowing as the beer.

Katabatic Brewing Co – Livingston

With its red brick walls and wooden beer menu on the wall, Katabatic Brewing Company screams true Montana. With scotch ales to blondes to IPAs to rotating taps to flagship brews, this cozy little brewery is a great place to hang out with friends while sipping on a beer. And eating. Here you can also find some good pub grub that fits the style of whatever beer you so desire at that moment.

Katabatic Brewing Livingston Montana craft beer storefront
A beautiful small town site!

Wondering about the name? Livingston is a blend of outdoor enthusiasts alongside artists. It’s as though the wind brought them all together into one little town. And maybe it did. Livingston is also considered one of the windiest places in the country.

A katabatic wind is a drainage wind, meaning that it carries high-density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity. Wind here along the ranges combine with the winds from the valley. It’s true, too. We’ve experienced the wind here, and we’re grateful it blew us into Katabatic, one of the best breweries in Bozeman and beyond.

Mountain Biking and Coffee in Bozeman

After spending a day in Livingston, it was time to head to our true destination, Bozeman. But before heading out to work or drink, we had to play, so we hit some nearby trails.

Bozeman Mountain Biking

Just northwest of Bozeman proper we found ourselves on the Bangtail Divide Trail. Although rain turned our bike ride into more of a hike, it was still great to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of the Bridger Mountains. If you find yourselves looking some trails to ride, there are plenty around Bozeman, Belgrade, and Livingston. Check out Trailforks to find out more.

These roads lead to mountain biking trails – near Bangtail Divide Trail

Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot – Bozeman

Heading back into Bozeman, we had work to do. Wandering beautiful downtown, on another cloudy day – I think the sun took a vacation while we were here – we found ourselves in a cozy little coffee shop for some serious sit down, focus, and work time.

Joe’s Coffee Spot was a great place to work before drinking.

While most of our excursions involve breweries, this coffee shop definitely deserves a mention. Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot is Bozeman. You can’t go to Bozeman without going here. Located on historic Main Street with plenty of space for tourists, locals, hanger-outers, and need-power-and-wi-fi-internet-workers, along with plenty of options for great coffee, cookies called Compost Cookies made from the coffee, snacks, sandwiches, and ambiance galore, this was the perfect place to tap away on the computer. Feeling quite productive after three hours of work, it was finally time to ditch the coffee for beer.

Best Breweries in Bozeman

Mountain biking, working, coffee drinking in the books, it was time to explore the Bozeman craft beer scene. While we personally only visited four breweries as listed below, if you get a chance, pay them all a visit if you can. Because, well…why not? It’s Montana, and Montana’s beer scene is pretty legit. These are some of the best breweries in Bozeman.

MAP Brewing Company – Bozeman

Looking for some live music, we came across MAP Brewing Company. Conveniently close to our trusted Walmart parking lot, it was an easy decision.

With burgers the size of your head, beer as delectable as the view is heavenly from the patio and expansive windows that look out upon the Bridger Range, this brewery is a must visit when heading into Bozeman.

You can’t beat the views from MAP Brewing.

This place sums up Big Sky Country all in one building. With an outdoor, yet cozy feel, plenty of space to hang out with friends or meet new ones, MAP Brewing is definitely a place to hang out, eat, and drink. With names likes 80 Chain (an Oatmeal Stout), Dank Vader (an IPA), and Gravity Rider (a Märzen), how can anyone go wrong? Their beers are fantastic! And with varieties ranging from a Nitro Gosé to cream ales, it might be difficult to stick to the state law of 48 oz per person per day here. It’s hard to pick just one brewery, but if I was forced to do so, MAP Brewing might just be the best brewery in Bozeman.

A big place for big views!

I guess that means you just may have to stick around for a few days. This town and every single Bozeman brewery is not meant for a pass-through.

Mountains Walking Brewery & Pub – Bozeman

And stick around we did…by coming back through and visiting another fantastic Bozeman Brewery. Mountains Walking Brewery & Pub is one of those places that do food and beer extremely well. From the moment you walk in the door, you’ll know you’re somewhere special.

The vibe is artistic, yet classic, and the same holds true for the beers and food. Whatever you try here beer-wise – a pilsner, a dessert beer, a Japanese Rice Lager, a cold IPA – or food-wise – truffle fries, chicken thigh sandwich, or tachos, it will all compile into one of the best meals you’ve ever had.

Mountains Walking Craft beer in Bozeman Montana chicken and beer
Chicken thigh sandwich paired with a brilliant pilsner at Mountains Walking

Bridger Brewing – Bozeman

When you’re in the mood for craft beer, pizza, and community, Bridger Brewing is the place to be. Built off a passion for bringing people together like a bridge that connects communities (Get it?), Bridger Brewing prides itself on doing just that. With award-winning pizza and an array of fantastic craft beers, going out for pizza has taken on an entirely new meaning.

Bridger Brewing Bozeman Montana flight on the bar
A beautiful flight at Bridger Brewing

And with their second location just west of Bozeman in Three Forks, you can still get the great beer you should expect from Bridger, but you’ll also get street cut meats from local ranchers and butchers. But that’s not all. Their Three Forks location is all about community, too. And here it’s about the music. Lots of it! You can’t go wrong when bridging the gap with beer, food, and music!

The Bunkhouse Brewery – Bozeman

While Bozeman Brewing Company is the oldest brewery in Bozeman, The Bunkhouse Brewery is often referred to as the OG on the scene, as well. Opening their doors in 2015 next to the MSU campus, this place is well known amongst students, locals, and tourists alike. Its small yet vibrant indoor and outdoor space is the perfect pre-game gathering place for whatever your game may be.

From reds to sours to wits to smoky beers, your palate will surely find something that makes it happy. And now with two locations (its newest in the Four Corners area of Bozeman) finding a spot at the table at this intimate brewing operation just got a little bit easier. College student or tourist, this little brewery deserves your attention for one of the best breweries in Bozeman.

Bunkhouse Brewery Bozeman craft beer Montana storefront
One of the OGs in the Bozeman craft beer scene – Bunkhouse

Bozeman: A Hidden Gem in the Craft Beer Scene

Bozeman might just be the next craft beer mecca. Just don’t tell anybody. Bozeman is a gem that nobody else needs to know about.

Want More?

Learn more about Montana’s brewing community!

Listen to our conversation with Daniel Pollard from Bridger Brewing where we talk community and craft brewing and how to bridge the gap!

Also listen to the story behind Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Co, now in Whitefish!

Looking to stay in Montana even longer?

Take a look at our guide to even more Montana beer with our favorite breweries in the Flathead Valley!

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We Are…

Ken and April

Ken and April, craft beer and travel lovers. We live and work from, RAIF, our 24 foot RV, while traveling to drink good beer, visit Mother Nature, and mountain bike. We are not experts and don’t want to be. We are, however, tourists, just like you, and we want to do everything and visit everywhere. We also know that this is impossible (dammit – and wrote a post on it), so in order to help you experience as much as you can in the time you have, what we experience, we pass onto you. We hope to only give you guidance (although our friends say to never follow April), because you need to also create your own adventures along the way. Happy craft beer travels!


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