BUTTE — A beer trailer sits behind a wrought-iron fence at Butte's Finlen Hotel serving pretzels as big as your head, served with authentic Bavarian mustard and a stein of beer.
The Goethe Institut and the German government hosted a year of German-American friendship by traveling throughout the country and selling authentic German beers and pretzels from the trailer. Butte was a stop on their list.
J.J. Adams said that the trailer and much of the décor was purchased from the Goethe Institute and the German government.
"The tents that you see here are from the Hofbrau brand of beer which is a brewery that’s owned by Germany. It goes back to an act like a purity of brewing act where you can only put certain ingredients into the beer and so a lot of national heritage and pride go into that beer. These tables came from Germany, they’re authentic German beer garden tables." said Adams.
This new beer garden was inspired by the German roots here in Butte. The German community were some of the very first pioneers that came here. The very first records of the Germans were in German Gulch in Silver Bow County.
"We found that they really were the bakers, the butchers, and the brewers," said Ellen Crain, the Butte-Silver Bow Archives Director.
One of the most prominent brewers in Butte was a man named Chris Nissler.
"Nissler was one of the very first brewers to come to Butte and he opened his brewery at Nissler Junction, and it's still, that malt house is still visible," said Crain.
Another stand-out décor piece in the beer garden is the fence designed by Jason Barnes.
"It was salvaged from a building they were gonna tear down back here for the new medical arts building and then I just pretty much cut it apart into panels. . . Really it’s all original paint that’s why it looks so cool, it’s all patina and I tried to save most of that where you know I just tried not to burn it up too bad and the weld rust makes it look even cooler," said Barnes.
The Finlen Hotel beer garden will be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.