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Kalispell brewery hopes to bring a new music, food venue to key corner of downtown

SunRift Beer Company
Posted at 3:22 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 18:04:10-04

KALISPELL — A brewery in downtown Kalispell is expanding its outdoor space to diversify not only its food options but also offer local musicians a new arena to perform.

SunRift Beer Company is expanding by creating an outdoor area that will feature a food truck court and even a stage.

“Just trying to create a big public space that’s warm and friendly and invite people down to our neck of the woods," said SunRift co-owner Craig Koontz who added the expansion will bring in more summertime fun for visitors. “Some other food trucks or other vendors, some other little festivals or events that the community could use. A good open space for,” said Koontz.

The new offering aligns with the company’s motto “our attitude around here is a rising sea lifts all ships,” he added.

That means that even when COVID-19 impacted the business, they had the idea to integrate the space with the new Kalispell Parkline Trail that connects downtown Kalispell to Evergreen and all the way to Kila. As far as the future of the new area, Koontz says the company will hopefully give more opportunities to small businesses.

“There's talks of coffee shops and maybe some other sandwiches around some Thai food? Who knows? I mean, we talk about it all, but we're just hopeful that we just keep inviting people down here to join us in downtown. And again with the trail coming in. We just hope there's more and more,” said Koontz.

Koontz says he does not have a specific timeline when the space will be open, but Mountain Berry Bowls is there right now. He added that the process used for the "beer garden" will be organic and they want to ensure the space is comfortable as possible.

"What Craig is doing is going to change the key corner of downtown Kalispell and it will be a huge asset to not just tourists but residents," Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President Lorraine Clarno told MTN News.