Normally held in Dehler Park, the event will be held this year at the convention center at the Radisson Hotel on Midland Road.
Trailnet Executive Director Kristi Drake said the decision was made Thursday morning to move the fundraising event, which is set for Friday evening.
“Actually we had a lot of people call and ask 'Really? Are we really gonna do this at Dehler?'” she said.
Musicians and vendors with electronic equipment would have faced cold and wet conditions. The National Weather Service forecast high temperatures in the low 40s and an 80-percent chance of rain.
Drake said the event will go on just as planned, but with a roof. Taxi vouchers and dedicated Uber cars will be available.
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Montana has a long history of brewing which extends to before it became a state. Take a look at a few facts about Montana's brewing industry.
Above: The beer-bottle car is parked outside Billings Brewery ca. 1910. The brewery was torn down in 1959.
Montana is known for having a large number of craft breweries, despite having a comparatively small population. In fact, Montana ranks among the states with the most craft breweries per capita. In the most recent ranking by the Brewers Association, Montana ranked third, at one craft brewery for every 27,484 people, just behind Oregon. Vermont has the most craft breweries per capita, with one brewery for every 25,030 people in 2012.
In 1863, Henry Gilbert, Christian Ritcher, and William Smith founded the first brewery in the Montana Territory in Virginia City. The Gilbert Brewery would remain in business until Prohibition in 1920. Attempts were made to revive the brewery after the 1933 repeal of Prohibition, but none were successful. The building still remains, despite structural wear and deterioration.
New breweries are frequently popping up across the state. The Montana Brewers Association lists nine breweries that have either opened since late 2013 or are scheduled to open in 2014.
In 1926, Montana became the first state to repeal enforcement of Prohibition. Though it would be another seven years before the 18th Amendment would be repealed by the 21st Amendment (with Montana being the last state to officially ratify), the unwillingness to enforce the laws prohibiting the sale, transport and production of alcohol by states such as Montana proved influential in the demise of the "Noble Experiment".
Opened in Missoula in 1995, the Big Sky Brewing Company is by far the largest brewery in the state. Big Sky estimates that it will sell 48,000 barrels (or 1,488,000 gallons) of beer in 2014. In 2012, Big Sky was ranked as the 47th largest craft brewery in the U.S. Its most popular beer is Moose Drool, a brown ale, and its beers are sold in 23 states. Big Sky sells more of its beer in Montana than in any other state.
According to the Montana Brewers Association, Montana's breweries produce nearly 3.5 million gallons of beer per year, using more than 6 million pounds of malted grain. About half of that grain is grown in Montana. Montana grain growers also produce grain for some of the world's largest brewers, including Anheuser-Busch, Coors and Miller. The Montana brewing industry accounted for about $50 million in revenue in 2012, according to a study by the University of Montana's Bureau of Business and Economic Research.
There are seven licensed breweries in Billings: Angry Hank's, Canyon Creek, Carter's, Himmelberger, Montana Brewing Co., Uberbrew and Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company. Notable defunct Billings breweries include the Billings Brewing Co. (above), the Rocky Mountain Brewery (in what was then Coulson) and the recently-closed Bones Brewing.
Founded in 1987 by Jürgen Knöller, a German national who moved to Missoula to brew in the Bavarian tradition, Bayern Brewing, Inc. is the oldest Montana brewery still in operation. Bayern moved to a larger facility in 2002, and is currently Montana's second-largest brewery. In 2012, Bayern installed bottle washing equipment to allow reuse of their beer bottles.
Many of Montana's breweries were started by people who learned how to make beer by brewing at home. Montana has a number of home brewing supply stores that cater to a large community of brewers. Some of the larger cities have home brewing clubs, such as the Rimrock Brewers Guild in Billings, and the Zoo City Zymurgists in Missoula, in which brewers can share tips and recipes.
Five bands, brewery vendors and and other attractions will be on hand for the event, which begins at 5 p.m. Friday.