Once Upon A Brew Pub: Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company

After working all week and not seeing much of each other, Canda and I decided we needed to explore and so we took a little road trip west to Libby, Montana. Surprise, Libby is home to Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company, the first and only brew pub in Libby and Montana’s first and only brewery owned exclusively by women.

Friends Sarah Sorensen and Kristin Smith have owned and operated CMBC for almost four years. As you enter the front door you pass the brewery on your right, and then enter the brew pub. Very homey, like a comfortable living room. Cozy chairs, a coffee table, couch and an electric fireplace make the space rather intimate. There are also regular tables and chairs. Located in the oldest brick building in Libby, the walls are beautiful old brick. Nice atmosphere, sandwiches, delicious homemade soups and salad for food. Stop if you are in the area and enjoy. We definitely plan on returning. Now onto the most important part, “BEER.”

Bobtail Blonde

The hop and malt aroma were both light and pleasing. Golden and clear with a long lasting white foamy head. Low body and mouthfeel, with a slight hop bitterness. Crisp, dry and refreshing. This is a great crossover beer to those who are new to craft beers.

5.5 % ABV 16 IBU’s

Peak Baggin’ Pale Ale

Upfront northwest hop aroma with notes of citrus, orange and grapefruit, some malt sweetness. Bright and amber hued. Light to medium bodied, great hop flavor, the bitterness is well balanced with the sweetness of caramel malts. A nicely done pale ale.

5.8% ABV 30 IBU’s

Yaak Attack IPA

An award winning IPA, and I can see why. A fresh, crisp moderately intense hop aroma with a hint of malt. Medium mouthfeel, with a great hop flavor from the Crystal, Chinook and Cascade hops. The hop bitterness is followed by a mild malt sweetness and a somewhat dry resiny finish. You IPA lovers out there should enjoy this one. Give it a try if you get a chance.

6.5% ABV 65 IBU’s

Bulbucker ESB

English Extra Special Bitter contrary to what you may think as the name implies, is not a particularly bitter brew. The hop aroma on this version is moderate and balances nicely with a pleasant malt aroma and caramel notes. Medium light bodied, the bitterness is not overpowering, the malt sweetness with caramel notes makes this an easy drinking bitter.

5.6% ABV 30 IBU’s

Ross Creek Red

Moderate to medium high caramel malt aroma accompanied with a touch of toast. The hop aroma is low to none. Bright and clear with nice red notes, a very pleasant caramel malt sweetness with just a touch of toasted malt which leaves a slightly dry finish. A smooth, easy drinking ale. An award winner.

6.5% ABV 27 IBU’s

Colter Creek Porter

Great coffee and roasted malt aroma, low to no hops. The color is darkish brown with some reddish highlights. Medium body, coffee and roasted malt dominate the flavor but it is not overly harsh. Nice easy drinking porter, well balanced. Colter coffee is a local coffee company and was used in brewing this great porter.

6.2% ABV 27 IBU’s

Don Williams, A News Cafe’s Brew Pub reporter, hard at work.

Malachai’s Frostbite Imperial Stout

Aroma is rich and complex, malty, with fruity esters reminiscent of prunes, raisins and dark chocolate. You can smell the high alcohol. Visible legs on glass, dark with ruby highlights. Full bodied, very complex, intense with medium bitterness derived from the roasted grains. A well balanced Imperial stout with a fairly dry finish. A great winter warmer, which should improve with age. I am not sure if they bottle it, but if they do, put a couple up and I think you will be pleasantly surprised on how this stout ages.

9.2% ABV 25 IBU’s

Devils Club Double IPA

A prominent American hop aroma with the usual citrus and grapefruit notes. Golden amber in color with just a slight haze. Medium body with no harsh astringent hop bitterness, but Devils Clubs does have nice hop flavor with a lingering hop bitterness and a smooth dry finish. I really enjoyed this smooth well-balanced Imperial IPA. More please.

8.5% ABV 65 IBU’s

Cabinet Mountain Brewing Co.
206 Mineral Ave
Libby, MT 59923
(406) 293-2739

Don Williams
Don Williams has been a home brewer since 2002. He is a recognized BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) judge, and has taught brewing classes. Don enjoys visiting brew pubs in various parts of the country. He and his wife live in Kalispell, Montana.
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4 Responses

  1. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    Great review and this brewery. Your photos do a great job of showing the ambiance of Cabinet Mountain, and your beer descriptions make me thirsty. Thank you.

  2. name says:

    Thank you for the review!

  3. Richard Christoph says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable and educational article, photos, and tasting notes. Thanks.

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