Sustainabrew 2018 Wrap Up

The Montana Sustainabrew Award was created to highlight a Montana brewery for their efforts in sustainability and to demonstrate that business decisions made with sustainability and conservation in mind are good for their beer, their business and their community. On April 24th, we were honored with receiving this inaugural award sponsored by the Montana Brewers Association, the Montana Conservation Fund, and the Montana Association for Renewable Energy. To celebrate, we invited everyone to come to our Pubhouse and check out all of the environmentally conscious features around our building! Those who came got to take home one of these sweet glasses:

Flathead Lake Brewing Sustainabrew Pint


On April 24th, we also had the honor of hosting Kevin Hyde, the Montana Mesonet Coordinator with the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. Kevin is a co-author of the recently released Montana Climate Assessment and discussed impacts on Montana’s clean and abundant water sources from climate change.  According to Kevin, the increasing volatility of temperatures and precipitation has made it harder for farmers to get a reliably sized crop. Last year in Great Falls, the hub where most of our state’s barley is grown and used for much of Montana’s beer, 28 of 31 days at the height of growing season saw temperatures well above the historical averages. “We know the climate is changing, the question is how we adapt,” Hyde said.

It was such on honor to receive this award and host such an amazing group of people at our brewery for the evening. We were behind honored to be recognized for our sustainability. For us, it just seems like the right thing to do in order to protect this beautiful area we live in and beyond! “We are truly honored by this award,” said Sandy Johnson, the FLBC Pubhouse owner. “As we state on our website: great beer calls for quality ingredients and quality ingredients require a healthy environment. We are proud to do our part to ensure a healthy environment, not just for our beer, but for everyone who enjoys the remarkable beauty of Montana.”


A brief history: The Flathead Lake Brewing Company was founded in 2004 in Woods Bay, just south of Bigfork, along the shores of Flathead Lake. A few years and many beer awards later, we needed more space. Instead of new construction on undeveloped land, we bought the old Bigfork bowling alley and committed to redeveloping the sight with sustainability in mind.

Our Bigfork Pubhouse was designed to LEED Silver standards. Our efforts toward sustainable redevelopment of the site have been wide-ranging, including vastly improving storm water runoff to protect our namesake waters, diverting most of the waste from the renovation away from the landfill by donating or reusing most materials (including 100% of the insulation), using reclaimed materials when available.

We also employ innovative technology to reduce their carbon footprint, including an innovative geothermal water system that pulls waste heat from the nearby municipal treatment plant that provide heating and cooling, a solar thermal hot water system, and energy efficient, low-emission and climate friendly equipment.