After deliberating for a pint's worth, I decided to sort Montana breweries into the next-door regions group, even though the state does not touch Washington. Idaho's panhandle, while extravagantly beautiful, has very few breweries, and western Montana, which has many, does drain into the Columbia. So here I was, in Missoula on a fine spring day, looking at the Kettlehouse brewing works on the railroad tracks over Orange Ave. Mt. Sentinel was reflecting the late afternoon sunshine off to the east.
It turns out that the tavern owners lobby had defeated the small brewers lobby at the legislature on a bill to extend closing hours to 10 p.m. Kettlehouse has a nice looking system, with a separate lauter tun and a canning line.