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Helena brewers compete at the 'World Beer Cup'

Posted at 6:40 PM, Apr 29, 2024

HELENA — Two Helena breweries ‘raised the bar’ and won awards recently at the World Beer Cup.

“There were some tears shed, and we were super excited,” said Max Pigman, the owner and president of Lewis and Clark Brewing Company.

Lewis and Clark Brewing Company struck gold with Miner’s Gold Hefeweizen American wheat beer.

It is the first beer that Lewis and Clark Brewing Company brewed, and its owner, Max Pigman, says it is the most award-winning wheat beer in history.

This is the second time it has won gold at the World Beer Cup.

Pigman said, “[I’m] So proud of my team for really focusing on the quality and consistency of that product.”

Miner’s gold is 5% alcohol, and Pigman says it has a cloudy citrus flavor.

Stack of Miner's Gold

“It’s just a great beer to go to as your go-to beer,” he said.

Over 2,000 breweries submitted over 9,000 beers.

Brewing tanks

Judges gave out around 300 awards in roughly 100 categories.

Copper Furrow partner and head brewer Nick Diehl said, “Beers from all over the world—Japan, England, Germany, Canada—all won. So, it’s definitely a big deal if you’re a brewer to win one.”

Copper Furrow Brewing earned a bronze award for its Tmavé international dark lager, the first time it has medalled at the World Beer Cup.

Copper Furrow Brewing

“To get feedback from those people that have really worked at their craft in terms of judging beer and to say that you make a world-class beer is a pretty big deal,” said Diehl.

Tmavé is a dark Czech lager, and Diehl says it is similar to a pilsener, but it has more richness and a slightly roasted taste.


“It’s still lighter. It’s not going to be heavy like a porter or a stout. It’s going to be very drinkable,” he said.

Copper Furrow Brewing has been brewing Tmavé for more than two years,

Diehl is Copper Furrow’s only brewer.

Tmavé sign

He said, “Being the only guy, it is a little bit self-gratifying to be like, ‘yeah, I won an award that was really major.’”

Two other Montana breweries won Bronze, Sacred Brewing Company in Kalispell and MAP Brewing Company in Bozeman.

Click here to see the list of winning beers.