Warm, fuzzy sweaters are layered with big wool scarves as people sway side to side laughing, conversing and holding bright red drinks. This was the scene that officially declared fall for me, in the Lockhorn Cider House on a live music evening. For those of you who are not familiar, Lockhorn Cider House opened in January and was the first place in Bozeman to offer alcoholic cider made in-house.
The certified organic, gluten and sulfite free cider has no added sugar, so unlike most brands available in stores, it’s dry and very tart. There are usually four ciders on tap: the currant, ginger, hops and dry apple. However, soon they will be adding a dark cherry and pumpkin cider for the holidays.
Another piece of the Lockhorn’s appeal is the music scene: on the few occasions that I have popped in throughout the year there have been jazz, instrumental and solo guitar players. “We like to host local musicians whenever we can, but this month has been the first time that we have made a concrete list of all the showings that will be coming up,” Lockhorn manager Adam Olsen said. “We have been pretty busy for the music nights too, it adds a nice atmosphere.”
That it does — the cider house tends to be a bit more laid back than the college scene on the rest of Main Street. The house has large wooden tables throughout for visitors to sit at with friends and converse while they enjoy their drinks, and there is also an outside patio with a fireplace for the warmer nights. Lockhorn also has board games available, and decks of cards are scattered throughout the house. MSU student Stephen Barter said, “Lockhorn is definitely one of the best places in town. The set up makes it really easy to come and hang out as opposed to having to yell over the bar just to hear who you came with.” Barter said he comes out almost weekly for the music scene as “the bands they have hosted so far have been great. It is nice to hear what is going on around the community musically.”
Anna Deal, owner and organizer of the live music at Lockhorn, said, “We are pretty open to whoever wants to play here. We like to keep a variety of music but we love to support the local artists.” The music is anywhere from dark folk grass to country and blues, with a little bit of everything in between. Throughout October, the music is every Wednesday evening from 8 – 10 p.m., and there is also music some Sundays from 4 – 6 p.m.