By SAM BROWN/Montana State News

In the last few years microbreweries have sprouted up all over the nation. According to The Brewers Association, craft brewing industry in 2011 was up 5 percent compared to the previous year’s numbers. Currently the Brewers Association reports 250 brewery openings in 2011 nationwide and of one those opened in Bozeman.

406 Brewery located on Oak Street opened  its doors in January. Owner Matt Muth was exited to become a part of the “fraternal society of small batch brewers in Bozeman.”

Along with 406, there are currently two other breweries in Bozeman: Montana Ale Works and Bozeman Brewing Company. Statewide there are 32 breweries, compared to 26 in 2010.

Not only do breweries provide jobs and a  popular local product, Montana Brewers Association gave back $100,000 to more than   400 local charitable organizations in 2010.

According to Tony Herbert, director of the Montana Brewers Association, Montana has the second greatest number of breweries per capita in the nation, right behind Vermont.

Breweries purchase raw materials locally.. Montana brewers use 5.5 million pounds of malted hops, half of which are grown right here in the Treasure State. Breweries in Bozeman have engrained themselves in community, acquiring a dedicated customer base. Be on the look out for spring and summer seasonal beers from our local brewers this season.

Edited by Jodi Wilson.

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