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Economy

Missoula Taps the Power of Beer

How much can craft brewing power economic development? This Montana city is trying to find out.
Patrons at Missoula’s Dram Shop, one of the city's many outlets for locally brewed libations.
Patrons at Missoula’s Dram Shop, one of the city's many outlets for locally brewed libations. Michael Haywood

On a recent evening in Missoula, Montana, Nick Munoz and two friends from Logan, Utah, stood in a taproom called the Dram Shop, desperately contemplating a prodigious beer list projected onto the wall.

The trio—all college students—were pre-gaming before a tour of Missoula aboard Thirst Gear, a 12-seat, canopy-covered “bicycle” that roams this university town’s many craft breweries.