Great Falls may be small, but with three breweries to visit, it’s a great little stop for the beer lover. Being about halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Calgary, it’s also a great place to stay for those making that road trip. And you’ll want to stay, as there is a hilarious, over-the-top tiki mermaid cocktail bar which has to be one of the most random things I have ever encountered in a small town.
Called the Sip n’ Dip Lounge, it is located within the O’Haire Motor Inn, making it a little hard to find in the evening if you don’t know where you’re headed. There’s a big pool window behind the bar and women swimming around in mermaid outfits. Personally, my abs don’t permit me that level of grace with swimming, so I was pretty amazed!
And, yes, the cocktail below was as big as it looks.
Mighty Mo Brewing Co.
We stopped in at Mighty Mo Brewing Co. for lunch on the way down to Mount Rushmore, and again on the way back home after our time in Yellowstone. We tried five of their beers; three mainstays, IPA, pale ale and red ale, and two seasonals, a German style maibock, and a blood orange pale ale. Bold and flavorful, the red ale was a definite favourite, with a little extra kick at 6% ABV, but not so much that it was overly boozy. I’ve been surprising myself lately with how many IPA’s I’m loving, and theirs was no exception, slightly piney and refreshing, with a crisp, clean finish.
We opted to sit outside on their shady but open patio, on what was a scorching hot day, but inside had a great vibe as well. Two levels of casual metal chairs with a long bar on the main floor that those sitting inside could do the order right from. Their long list of live music acts made me think it isn’t a sleepy little bar very often, I’m sure the locals spend a lot of time here enjoying the brews, music, and food.
The humble pub style menu focused on pizzas, salads, chicken wings, and a selection of appetizers. We grabbed a personal pizza, salad, and beer pretzel bites. Everything was nice, nothing fancy but we weren’t expecting it to be, and it hit the spot. We couldn’t help but stop in for a drink when we stayed in Great Falls on the way back through and enjoyed a live band along with our beers. Definitely worth the stop, and then another, even if just to have some tasters on this way-too-cute fish paddle.
The Front Brew Pub
The Front Brew Pub Was located a bit outside of the main area of town, so we decided to drive over to this spot first for a snack and a pint. It is attached to a BBQ restaurant which allows it to be open later and serve more than is allowed at a Montana brewery. The place was very open, a little bare even, with beer tanks along the side, visible through a viewing window, and high top chairs and tables throughout. Along with their beer menu, which included some guest taps, they had an extensive cocktail menu.
We were pretty tapped out from doing beer flights in Billings, MT earlier in the week. So we just each chose single beers; trying their peach summer ale, two citrus hop beers – a pale ale and IPA – and their amber ale which was recommended as a bartender favourite. All the beer was well balanced, the two Citra ones were the nicest, just such juicy, fresh and fruity hops, showcased with no distractions. Plus did I mention it was 37 Celsius out? We needed that fresh hop flavour! We also ordered some chicken sliders, which came on beer buns and could be dressed with one of their five house-made barbecue sauces. Obviously, I had to try them all and rank them, fun and delicious.
Black Eagle Brewery
We got in too late to head to Black Eagle Brewery and had prioritized heading back to Mighty Mo Brewing, before they closed at 8:00 pm. But I mention it here because it was highly recommended by people we chatted to once we were there. We also grabbed a mix pack of eight tall cans to bring back home and try later. So far so good.