HELENA – At the 2018 Labor Day Report presentation on Tuesday, Governor Steve Bullock announced that the first-ever Montana Registered Apprenticeship in brewing will begin soon in Helena.
The apprenticeship in brewing is first being implemented at Blackfoot River Brewing Company and already has three people enrolled.
An apprentice in the program will need to complete 140 hours of online courses through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, and roughly two to three years of on-the-job training for the program.
Montana has the second-most breweries per capita in the nation and the number of breweries in the state has doubled in the last five years, growing from 29 in 2012 to 80 in 2017.
Bullock praised the new brewing apprenticeship program and Blackfoot’s willingness to take the first leap.
“From start to finish a Montana microbrew really does represent some of the best of Montana, “ said Bullock.“Brewery employment really is a growing industry, up by 20 percent annually over each of the last 5 years.”
Blackfoot’s apprenticeship program sponsor Tim Chisman says he’s excited to help cultivate this program in Montana.
“We are looking forward to helping other breweries get involved in the program,” said Chisman, “And we want input too on how we can make it a better program.”
Chisman wants to ensure the program will have rigorous standards to ensure the next generations of Montana brewers have the skills to succeed.
Once apprentices complete the program they will receive a certified national credential through the state of Montana.
Although the program is being first implemented at Blackfoot River Brewing Co., the state plans on expanding to more breweries across the state in the near future.