Great Northern Brewing Company

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Great Northern Brewing Company
Location Whitefish, MT
United States
Opened 1994
Annual production volume 8,000 US beer barrels (9,400 hL)
Active beers
Name Type
Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager American Pilsner
Wheatfish Wheat Lager Unfiltered American Wheat Lager
Wild Huckleberry Wheat Lager Fruit Lager
Going To The Sun IPA IPA
Fred's Black Lager German Black Beer
Big Fog (Extra Special Bitter) Amber/ESB
Buckin' Horse Pilsner Bohemian-Style Pilsner
Special Release/Seasonals beers
Frog Hop Fresh Hopped Pale Ale Fresh Hopped Pale Ale
Glacier Chaser Marzen Lager German Marzen
SnowGhost Winter Lager Winter Lager
Limited Draught Only beers
Pack-String Porter American porter
Little Buckaroo Root Beer American Root Beer
Centennial American Ale American Ale

Great Northern Brewing Company is a traditional “gravity flow” brewery located in the northernmost block of downtown Whitefish, Montana. The brewery opened in 1995 under the stewardship of Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of Henry Weinhard. It is approximately 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) and has a maximum annual capacity of 8000 barrels.[2]


The Great Northern Brewing Company was built by renowned architect Joe Esherick in 1994.[3] The brewery was built over 6 months, from June to December in 1994 and officially opened its doors in January 1995.[4] Minott Wessinger, great-great-grandson of Henry Weinhard, founder of Blitz-Weinhard Brewing of Portland, Oregon, started GNBC.[5] Built with a strong family tradition of brewing, the brewery features a three story brewhouse tower, housing the brewing vessels and copper kettle to allow for a traditional “gravity flow” process.

After 7 years of brewing Black Star, Wessinger decided to stop brewing at GNBC in order to pursue other projects. In 2002, the brewery was placed under the ownership and management of Dennis Konopatzke and GNBC continued to produce their other beers.

On February 6, 2010, fifteen years after the Great Northern Brewing Company was first built, Minott Wessinger and GNBC began to produce Black Star beer again [6] . Great Northern has since ceased brewing Black Star.

The Brewery[edit]

The average batch size for GNBC is 20 beer barrels (620 gallons). It takes six to eight hours to produce each batch. The brewery produces 160 barrels per week, approximately 8000 barrels per year.[7]

The Draught House[edit]

(Formerly known as a Tasting Room) Recategorized as an on-premises retailer in January, 2009 the Draught House replaced what was formerly the brewery’s Tasting Room.[8] The Draught House (pronounced draft) is located within the Great Northern Brewery facility. The Draught House exclusively serves Great Northern beers and a variety of northwestern wines. The Draught House is open daily, year round.[9]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°24′45″N 114°20′12″W / 48.412472°N 114.336699°W / 48.412472; -114.336699