Big Sky Country might have a notoriously short growing season but there’s no reason to go hungry out on the range, whether you’re looking for succulent cuts of red meat or more interested in sweet cherries and hand-picked huckleberries. Microbrew optional.
With a well-deserved reputation for its grass-fed bison, beef and wild elk, Montana is a meat-lovers heaven, from burgers to juicy steaks. Wash a hearty meal down with a draft beer or two in Billing’s “Brewery District”, home to four breweries all within walking distance. A Billings microbrew tour offers a guided look around the likes of multi-medal winning Montana Brewing, Angry Hank’s Microbrewery or Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. as part of a beverage tasting foray. Other population centers like Missoula, Bozeman and even Whitefish boast their own specialty microbrews from Black Star Golden Lager (Black Star Brewing Company) to Open Pit Porter on tap at Butte’s Quarry Brewing, LLC where yes, dear reader, they dig beer.
Come late summer, escape up north to the Flathead Lake region where sweet Lapin and Rainier cherries turn up spiced, smashed, baked, bottled, canned, creamed and fresh, of course. See the cherry queen crowned and catch one of the area’s cherry festivals before pitting wits against the wilderness - hikers can hunt down huckleberries growing wild in the Rocky Mountains’ foothills and still make it back to civilization in time for supper (and something to drink).