The Cannery District has become one of the premier places in Bozeman for having drinks and a good time. With one of the most popular breweries in Bozeman, 406 Brewing, an excellent sushi restaurant, 7 Sushi, and the best place in town to drink kombucha, Dean’s Zesty Booch, just behind it, the building is one of the best all-around eateries in town. However, there is an excellent distillery in the same building that has flown under a lot of people’s radars, Wildrye Distilling.
Started in 2013, Wildrye offers unique, local spirits prepared mostly from local Montana ingredients. They pride themselves on their originality above all else. Instead of following in the footsteps of many distilleries who import materials in order to mimic classic liquor beverages, Wildrye uses local ingredients to create spirits that are unique to Montana in both taste and style. Apart from creating drinks that can’t be tried anywhere else, using local ingredients greatly helps the support of local agriculture. Not only are all of the ingredients locally made, they are also made from healthier ingredients than traditional alcoholic beverages.
Wildrye takes many traditional liquors and provides a twist on them, the most unique of them being their beet-created rum, or brum for short. When first distilling spirits, they had to be made from local ingredients, so brewing rum was difficult given that the typical ingredient is sugar cane, which isn’t grown anywhere in Montana. Because of this, a substitution for distillable sugar was found. The substitution was sugar beets, given that Montana is one of the largest producers of sugar beets in the country. Wildrye uses these beets to create Ramsdell’s Parrot Brum, a beet-made rum that is unlike any other rum that is on the market.
However, brum isn’t the only unique drink that Wildrye offers. They offer many drinks that are primarily made from corn. From bourbon to white lightning moonshine, Wildrye provides more twists on traditional liquors. Their Five Drops Bourbon is made out of sweetcorn grown in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley paired with distilled water, barley, and aged oak. This creates an interesting beverage for bourbon drinkers and provides a smooth taste that is near impossible to match. Their White Lightning creates a similar sort of feeling. Using dry sweetcorn as the main ingredient, Wildrye’s White Lightning sets itself apart from other moonshines by not burning the drinker’s throat all the way down. Instead, they tried to make a smooth beverage that brings out the sweeter side of the corn, setting it apart from any other moonshine. They also use this moonshine to make my personal favorite, Wildrye Apple Pie. Using White Lightning, apples, cinnamon, honey, and other spices, their Apple Pie is one of the best liquors I have ever drank. It’s delicious on ice and can be mixed with multiple other drinks to create mouth-watering mixed drinks. That being said, it is also very easy to drink, so pacing is required if you’re looking to drink their Apple Pie.
Using local, GMO-free ingredients sets Wildrye apart from any other liquors on the market. With their unique style, great story, and local persona, they’re a can’t miss location in Bozeman. If you’re feeling adventurous, or even just feeling classier than beer, try some of Wildrye’s delicious takes on classic beverages.