You’ll Like Highlander Beer
While the beer industry gained its first foothold in Montana in 1874, the Highlander label originated in 1910 under the auspices of Garden City Brewery located in Missoula. George Gerber, the owner, wanted his beer to be advertised as “Highlander” but the name was already taken by the New York Highlanders baseball team. Fortunately for Mr. Gerber the Highlanders were transitioning their name to the New York Yankees (!!!) and did not have a problem with him acquiring the name.
In 1919 the grains and hops business was put on hold for Prohibition. Upon its repeal in 1933 Highlander found its way back to the market under the newly formed Missoula Brewing Company owned by Emile Sick. Through his business acumen Highlander Beer became a Northwest presence and stayed in the market under family supervision until the brewery shut down in 1964.
Most recently in 2008 the label was introduced to the public by Bob Lukes, a Missoula resident, and is being received enthusiastically. Very impressive 40 foot wide Highlander Beer advertisements still exist in Butte, Montana. Others were reportedly painted across the state and I hope to discover them. Also evident on the Butte signs is the advertisement of Bertoglio Storage who distributed Highlander beer in Butte. Because Highlander changed its label in the 50′s to a tartan plaid branding, and because the sign on the side of the building is more of a plaid design this sign should be at least 50 years old. You Butte or Highlander blog followers may know more so log on and let me know what you think.
For the beer enthusiasts of Montana there is a comprehensive article of Highlander beer in the April 29th, 2010 issue of the Missoula Independent by Alex Sakariassen and from the pen of a home brewer here are a few of the Highlander beer recipes . I guess you can’t keep a good thing like Highlander beer down.