By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor

BOZEMAN – A lesson in history might be well-suited by a cold glass of beer—especially when it’s a local brew. That was the idea when the Museum of the Rockies began its fall and winter Brews & the Big Sky programming three years ago, pairing beer tasting with local history.

“The focus of Brews & the Big Sky is on regional brewers,” said Curator of History Michael Fox.
“Brewing has a long history in Montana,” he added, noting that in the late 19th century most small towns in Montana had a local brewery. In recent years, the state has seen a resurgence in local brewing, in a kind of “back to the future” phenomenon, Fox said.

Each Brews & the Big Sky event will feature a Montana brewery and a unique lesson in Montana history in a space-limited, adult-only fall and winter series. MOR will host this monthly education series on the last Tuesday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. September through November, and February through April. Visitors may wander through some of the museum’s exhibitions, enjoying light appetizers and samples from a featured Montana brewery while learning about Montana’s past. Each event will feature artifacts on display as well as those in storage, and “visitors will get to see some things that haven’t been on display for a long, long time,” Fox said.

In its third year, Brews & the Big Sky will follow a new format this year. Rather than host lectures in the Hager Auditorium as in past years, Fox will give informal gallery talks at each event at 6 and 6:30 p.m.

The series begins Sept. 26 with an opportunity to explore MOR’s extensive firearms collection, accompanied by brews from Bitter Root Brewing of Hamilton, Montana. Big Sky’s Beehive Basin Brewery will offer samplings at the second evening program on Oct. 31 for an evening curated in the spirit of Halloween. See some of MOR’s most haunting collections, including items from the permanent collections not currently on display for the public. The remaining topics include the work of photographer David F. Barry and MOR’s founder Dr. Carolyn McGill, as well as Euro-American fur trappers and the Rocky Mountain hospitality industry.

Tickets are required for the Brews & the Big Sky series and may be purchased for each individual night. To see a full schedule or to purchase tickets for the series, visit museumoftherockies.org/education/adults/brews-the-big-sky.