Review: Bunkhouse Brewery serves up fresh Brews

Bozeman has no shortage of breweries. Between Outlaw, 406, MAP, Bridger and more, it can be easy to overlook the smaller places when you have the titans of Bozeman lording over you with their select brews. There is, however, a newcomer on the stage of the Bozeman craft brews. Bunkhouse Brewing opened with much fanfare on Leap Day this year and the exciting opening was well followed up by high quality beers.

The main attraction for any student, new or veteran, of MSU has to be the location. Situated next door to Jimmy Johns just south of Roskie, Bunkhouse is so easily accessible that you may even be on the school Wi-Fi when you walk in the doors. It is in the perfect place for when classes get out early and you need to forget what you just learned.

Modern and rustic meet and complement an ever changing selection of local art on display.
Modern and rustic meet and complement an ever changing selection of local art on display.

The bartenders have a lot of experience with the craft of brews and the quality of the drink shows it. Their signature stout is known as the Sheepherder Stout, a nitro-pour that is as refreshing as it is potent. You would not be mistaken, however, to think that Sabino Red is their calling card due to its award-winning flavor and its slightly under-carbonated taste. But as this is a Bozeman Brewer the main attraction is their rotators that can change on the whim of the brewers, and you’re going to have to be quick to make sure that you don’t miss the hot new items.

New to the season is the Placer Pilsner and the Broadhorn Brown Ale. The Placer Pilsner is inspired after the “Old Days” of Montana, back when the territory was still part of Idaho and the gold rush was still fresh in people’s minds. As gold as the metals found in the riverbed, this bright brew is made over the course of upwards of forty days and comes in with a nice IBU (bitterness rating) of 34 and goes down as smooth as it is gold. The Broadhorn Brown Ale, which falls under the category of an English Brown Ale, is a take on what those old Montana cowboys from the livestock trade might have liked to wind down with after a long day on the ranch. This ale is one of the lower on the bitterness scale (IBU of 26) and has a somewhat smoky taste to it that feels like you’re enjoying a drink next to a campfire.

Who needs handcarved taphandles? Bunkhouse favors the more unique wrench handle on their tap bar.
Who needs handcarved taphandles? Bunkhouse favors the more unique wrench handle on their tap bar.

Any student who wants to get into the beer tasting scene would be remiss to skip Bunkhouse Brewing. While it may not be the biggest locale in Bozeman, it comes equipped with more than enough charm to compete with the giants such as 406 Brewing and Outlaw, and the biggest single benefit to the Bunkhouse is its smaller size — because if you are lucky enough to go in at the right time, you can see the love they put into their brews a few mere feet from the chairs. Bunkhouse Brewing may be small but that doesn’t make it any less deserving of your attention.