Special beer brewed for the party

Deborah Courson Smith Big Sky Connection

BOZEMAN – Cheers to the Lee Metcalf Wilderness – literally.

A special edition craft beer has been tapped in Bozeman to mark a milestone. David Breck is co-owner of Bridger Brewing, which designed the official Summer of Lee ale.

“We are just really excited to be a part of the 30th anniversary of the celebration of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness,” Breck says, “and we brewed a special Lee Metcalf Summer Ale – absolutely delicious beer.”

The Lee Metcalf Wilderness is often called Bozeman’s “backyard wilderness.” Events are scheduled through Oct. 4 to celebrate the Summer of Lee.

Breck says the idea was to craft a brew that would be perfect after a day in the Lee Metcalf, whether playing in the whitewater, hiking, biking, fishing or hunting.

“The Lee Metcalf Summer Ale is just a really nice aromatic, hopped beer, smooth finish,” he said. “A real nice drinkable pale ale that will quench your thirst but with a lot of flavor, as well.”

The beer was tapped July 27 at Bridger Brewing, and a portion of the sales benefitted projects in the wilderness area.

Congress designated the Lee Metcalf in 1983 in honor of former Sen. Lee Metcalf, who died before the area was permanently protected. No new wilderness has been designated in Montana since then.