Copper Furrow started planning seriously in January 2017, that’s when their group, David & Andrea McKeever, Mick & Lori Mondloch and Nick & Mindy Diehl started meeting on a weekly basis to follow a dream. They officially opened for business June 2018.
David started extract homebrewing while living in Portland, OR back in 2002. He quickly decided that he wanted to learn how to all-grain brew to replicate a commercial brewery because he began to dream about opening a brewery one day back in his home state of Montana. Andrea and David would talk for hours driving back and forth from OR to MT over the years about all the things they would “do” when they owned their own brewery. David shared his beer over the years with friends and family that would ask him why he wasn’t in the business because his beer was so good.
Nick started home brewing in his buddy’s basement in 2006. While the friend had purchased the kit, Nick was the one who self-taught and kept the hobby going. Nick says, “To be honest, I almost enjoyed the brewing more than I did drinking the beer, even though it was good.” It wasn’t long before the equipment moved to Nick’s basement and got progressively more expensive.
David and Nick met at a Helena, MT homebrew club in 2011/2012 and learned that they had similar tastes in beer, styles and brewing. They decided to do a collaboration brew and the rest is history! That started their years of brewing together, creating recipes and dreaming of owning a brewery together. At one of the parties the McKeever’s organized that centered around beer…Mick Mondloch met Nick and David, drank their beer, and again asked the question “why aren’t you guys in the business to sell this, its amazing!” Mick became the catalyst that ushered the guys into making that jump into owning a brewery. If it weren’t for Mick’s determination, Copper Furrow may not exist today!
“Today the beer we serve at Copper Furrow are a combination of recipes from David, Nick and the guys together. Mick even gets in there when it comes to the Belgium beer Nick creates plus his chemistry background is put to use when tailoring our water for each brew.”
When asked what you love about your brewery, they responded; “when designing our brewery, we wanted to create a space that we would all like to hang out and drink beer in. We took things we loved about all the breweries we’ve all visited over the years and formed it into what we have a Copper Furrow. We think we’ve hit it spot on…with our fire pit and great outdoor patio to the warm barn wood accents and tones in the tap room. We have used the sickle section shape (our logo) in our metal tables and our taster trays. We wanted a very industrial farming feel that the majority of people in Montana would feel comfortable in and the people from out of state would enjoy the friendly cozy feel. We are very proud of our customer focused staff as well. They do an amazing job at making our customers feel welcome and taken care of.”
“All the interactions we’ve had with the Montana Brewing industry have been so open and helpful. When one brewery succeeds, we all succeed, so everyone is willing to give advice and share tips and encourage each other. The great thing is, every brewery has their own style of beer.”
When asked about their tagline,“Furrow to Fruition” They explained; “The main ingredients barley & hops are both grow in large fields and are harvested. When you plant a dream or a seed it takes care and nurturing to make them grow and come to life…then you are finally able to harvest and gain something out of that seed. Fruition means: the point at which a plan or project is realized or the act of producing fruit and they all start in a furrow as a seed is planted. This has double meaning for our brewery in that we take fruit from the fields and create beer. Our dream of owning a brewery was also realized.”
David and Nick come from generational farming backgrounds and grew up working the family farm, so the theme and moto are very Montana Roots based. Copper is a nod to Butte, the hometown of the partner, Mick. From our logo being a sickle section with a furrow (which is a groove in the soil for seeds) to the barn wood tables and benches that are sourced from the Diehl Ranch and McKeever Farm in our brewery.
The folks at Copper Furrow want you to know that they are a family friendly brewery. Two of the three families have young children and always felt disappointed when breweries didn’t make it at least a little more friendly for families. “We were always more apt to re-visit those places that made us feel comfortable. We wanted to make sure the single dad felt good about bringing his kids in for a relaxing drink with his buddies just as much as the single mom could do the same. We also wanted to make sure the people who may not have or like kids can feel just as comfortable. We feel like we’ve been able to achieve that balance. We offer snacks, non alcoholic beverages, kids activities and lots of outdoor space.”
“Another goal we had was to make sure we were fully accessible. We have only one level, we have low tables, and our outdoor space is also completely accessible.”
“From the beginning the values of Copper Furrow have been to create style relevant beer and help educate anyone who would like to learn about the craft brewing industry. An example of helping to educate is in our English Bitter. We’ve talked for months about naming it something with the word Amber in it because that is what mainstream has done to this style. If a person doesn’t like the hop bitterness you find in IPA’s and you see the word bitter in a beer, you tend to shy away from it. The English Bitter style is not bitter. Instead of naming this beer something with Amber in the name to appeal to more people, Copper Furrow will maintain the bitter title and help educate people about the style that so many know as Amber.”
“For our servers to be able to help our customers to the fullest, we spend time doing off flavor trainings and beer style trainings with them. The off-flavor tastings help us maintain our beer quality. The style tastings help our beer servers learn even more about the beer we offer and help them feel confident to explain difference in styles to our customers. This helps the customer have the best brewery experience.”
Next time you are in the area be sure to stop in, check out the space, and enjoy a “Mexi” (Mexican Lager).