GREAT FALLS — Downtown Great Falls will soon be home to Mountain Wave Distilling, a craft distillery, at 313 Central Avenue.
Bringing the business to life has been quite the journey for Jeff Miser, as he is now two years into the project.
“People always ask me if this was my dream to be a distiller, but really I just love the idea of being an entrepreneur, not necessarily in any specific area," explained Miser, who retired from the Air Force.
Although not a Montana native, Miser has a huge love for Great Falls as he was stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base as his very first base — and then again as his last base.
“When I was here there wasn’t really a lot to do in Great Falls so I want to be able to bridge that gap between the people of Great Falls and those who are on the Air Force base.”
What began as just an idea for his future has turned into a much bigger project than he ever imagined.
“I had a hunch of what it would take but you are never really prepared for that kind of delays and shortages and things of that nature.”
Miser gives a walk-through of the work-in-progress:
First it was a pandemic, then it was the shortages of basically all of the materials he needed, then a shortage of workers, and now it’s companies being backed up due to high demands.
“It’s just so hard to get the people that we need to get in here,” said Miser. “I’ll give them a call and because they are so busy it’s a few weeks in advance that I have to call.”
It seems like one step forward almost always means two steps back, but he and his team are working diligently to be able to open early in 2022.
“I want to get to the point where I am making spirits, I want to get to the point where I actually have a product and that I am making some money instead of just losing money.”
The Mountain Wave website says:
"The distillery will produce batch spirits through a farm-to-glass process using locally sourced grains and ingredients. Along with vodka, gin, agave and whiskey, Mountain Wave will produce seasonal spirits that capture the flavor of Montana’s wild and varied harvests."