MISSOULA — The Missoula Downtown Association hosted a brand new event Saturday in effort to pivot programming.
They've responded to changing health restrictions, and Brews n’ Bonfires was the first big community gathering the association has been able to hold in well over a year.
With reserved fire pits and alcoholic beverages provided by The Dram Shop, this event was sure to spark joy and create a renewed sense of normalcy.
“Obviously things haven’t been normal, so it’s nice to get back to a little bit of normalcy and be able to just help create a nice opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy the springtime a little bit and see each other,” The Dram Shop owner, Zachary Millar, said in an interview.
It’s the association's first opportunity to bring people out in 2021 to Caras Park.
County restrictions have prevented large community events since the onset of COVID-19.
“It’s been tough. I won’t lie about that, you know, we’ve had to re-imagine ourselves over and over as restrictions change, and it’s been hard on our employees and staff as well,” Millar explained.
Typically, the popular brew fests feature copious beer sampling. But this year, community members are encouraged to fill their growlers instead.
“We have eight different local breweries on tap, and I like all of them equally,” Millar said.
To keep the community safe, the event is utilizing crowd control measures, social distancing, and masks—when not sipping beer, of course.
“At this point, events like this, any little thing that we can do to feel normal I think is great," Millar said.
The Missoula Downtown Association is planning another brew fest later this summer, with details yet to be determined.
Missoulians seem to have a taste for the event—it sold out in just three days.
MTN News will continue to keep you posted on 2021 summer community events and changing health protocols.