Madison River Brewing Company got its start in 2004 when founder and brewmaster Howard McMurry bought the brewery building and equipment of Moab Brewing in Belgrade, MT. Originally in business as a contract brewer producing beer for a few other local brewing companies, Howard was working toward the goal of establishing his own brand. In 2005, the proper state licensing came through and Madison River was granted the rights to begin producing beer under their own label.
Situated in Montana’s Gallatin Valley, in the southwest portion of the state, Belgrade sits in close proximity to the Madison River, which Howard chose to honor with his brewery’s name. A tributary of the Missouri, the Madison River is one of the premier fly fishing waterways in the world, a fact that inspires most of the names of Madison River’s beers (we have to admit we weren’t sure what to make of names like Green Emerger and Yellow Humpy until we learned that last tidbit).
Initially Madison River’s beers were available only on tap in local watering holes, but in September of 2006, Hopper Pale Ale and their current flagship (and one of this month’s features) Salmon Fly Honey Rye entered the market in bottles to the delight of thirsty beer lovers across the state. The company has experienced steady growth and as of 2012, their lineup has expanded to seven year-round brews as well as up to ten different seasonals. Madison River’s beers can be found throughout Montana, as well as portions of Wyoming, Idaho, and North Dakota.
For more info on the brewery or their taproom, you can reach them at 406-388-0322 or visit their website at www.madisonriverbrewing.com