Ronan Cooperative Brewery
We are Montana’s first community owned and run brewery.
Our aim is to help revitalize Ronan’s Main Street, craft amazing beer and create a welcoming community space for all.
Starting with Community
In 2016, the people of Ronan, Montana came together to assess the state of their community. Creating a vibrant, thriving downtown emerged as one of the major priorities of this assessment. The idea to start a brewery and taproom on Main Street Ronan as a place for the community to gather and enjoy great beer emerged. Breweries can play a significant role in downtown revitalization, especially in small towns like ours.
In April 2017, over 50 people attended the first community interest meeting introducing the cooperative brewery model. In cooperative breweries, the community members come together to finance, plan, and start-up the business. It was the perfect strategy for making our vision of a brewery in downtown Ronan a reality.
Our brewery incorporated as a cooperative association in October 2017. Our 7-9 member board of directors, which is elected by the co-op members, directed the process of feasibility studies, site assessments, business planning, and membership drives and fundraisers.
Our members make our brewery possible.
In November 2018, we selected the former Masonic Lodge on Main Street as our location.
On Valentines Day 2019, we said “be mine” to brewing equipment from another small brewery in Wyoming. We purchased the equipment, and members hauled the equipment from Saratoga to Ronan.
In October 2019, we were approved for a federal license, and construction began on the old Masonic Lodge. Since then through the dedication and work of our members, we have completely renovated the space. Today, we have a lively taproom with a small brewing area and cold room in the back.
After an unsuccessful national search for a head brewer, board member, Jim Myers, offered to step down from the board and take on the position of head brewer so that we could get started making beer. Brewing began in July of 2020.
In September 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with masks on, we opened Montana’s first cooperative brewery. We are proud to be serving the community members who made our brewery a reality.
We know that working together works. Today we have nearly 400 members in our cooperative. Ronan Co-op Brewery provides a gathering space for our community, and our ownership structure fosters collaboration. Our brewery created several good jobs in Ronan. We are using craft beer as the medium for building an economically robust and culturally vibrant downtown.
Local just tastes better. We are committed to supporting our local agricultural producers and farmers. We are proud to use Montana malt and hops in our beers. From grower to growler, our beer is truly local.