Big Sky Bucket List

John Steinbeck famously said “I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.”  

I’m lucky to have a job that requires me to travel across the state of Montana selling delicious indie crafted Iron Horse beer. Because of my job I have been able to experience how awesome this state is. I have met amazing, entertaining, interesting and sometimes strange people along the way but they have made it all worth it. I’ve participated in events, beer fests and been in some unique bars throughout my travels and through it all I’ve discovered that Montana freaking rocks! I would like to thank Montana and all the people I have met and been able to drink beer with along the way. These experiences have helped me discover the top Montana events you have to add to your bucket list.  

  • St. Patrick’s Day- When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day there is no place I would rather be than Montana. That may take some by surprise but Montana knows how to throw an Irish get down! Brannigan’s Pub in downtown Kalispell throws a hell of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Forget March 17th, they go for the whole weekend with music every night, corned beef hash and all the Irish Death you can drink! Another stop to add to the list is Butte, Montana. This place is a force to be reckoned with, come March 17th, it’s like nothing you’ve seen before. Butte started as a small mining community and by the early 1900’s was booming full of bars, breweries and the Irish. Due to their history, Butte has one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on this side of the country. Seriously, think no open container law, music in the streets and Irish pride. It gets insanely fun. If you need a point of reference, check out this YouTube video Butte, America.

  • Craft Beer Relay Race- This event is new and is only in its second year but from it should be added to the list. It is essentially exactly what it sounds like- craft beer festival, meets wacky obstacle course. Again, since pictures and videos are more fun than reading you can look at this to get an idea Montana Craft Beer Relay.

  • Testicle Festival- Or more commonly referred to as The Testy Festy. What you can expect is a wild weekend full of music, wet t-shirt contests, the Undie 500 and a ball eating contests. That’s right, the main event is a bull testicle-eating contest. This may seem a little strange but it is a loved tradition that has been going for more than 30 years. I am going to leave out the pictures and video on this one; you can look it up on your own.
  • Sip ‘n Dip- If you are making your way through Great Falls, Montana stop in for a drink at the Sip ‘n Dip. It is connected to the O’Haire Motor Inn and shares a glass wall with the hotel pool. From Monday to Sunday you can catch a show of mermaids swimming and dancing behind the bar top, sip on a Fishbowl and enjoy the sweet sounds from Piano Pat. For your viewing pleasure mermaids are real.
  • Hill ClimbIf you are looking for something a little more hard core, I would suggest checking out the Billings 98th Annual Hill Climb – yes, 98 years of all things extreme.  It is a two-day event at the end of July full of racing, hill climbing and beer drinking. Think NASCAR but better. If you need some motivation watch this, ‘Merica

If you haven’t already, add Montana to your to-do list.

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