Future Fort Benton brewery faces shutdown woes

Posted at 3:42 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 17:49:47-05

In 2018, Brandon Roberts and Stacia Fuzesy started their new adventure in Fort Benton with the Golden Triangle Brew Company.

Their goal for the brewery is to get back to local ingredients.

“It was really a no brainer that there is a great opportunity to be able to get wonderful ingredients to put into our beers,” Roberts said.

But with the government on its 34th day of being partially shutdown, the process of opening the brewery is at a standstill.

They are currently in the permitting process and are considered a brewery in planning.

“The Alcohol and Tobacco tax and Trade Bureau, they are the ones that will give you a brewer’s notice, which is one of the key hurdles you have to have to continue on with your state permitting,” Roberts said.

Roberts added they have submitted their application, but are unsure how long it will take for them to get their permits in place once the government reopens.

They are also unable to apply for a historical tax credit that will help with renovations.

The building that will house The Golden Triangle Brew Company is on the historic register of significant places in Fort Benton.

“The National Park Service does the reviews for this application. We are still working with the state on making sure what we are doing will qualify for this. Then it will go on to the National Park Service,” Roberts said.

Since the building was built in the 1800s, they also have to remove hazardous materials, like asbestos, and that is also delayed due to the Environmental Protection Agency not being open.

“We really are looking forward to getting open and having little roadblocks like this do increase the level of frustration,” Roberts said. “I do not think they compare necessarily to these families that have been without paychecks going on a month.”

Roberts said they hope to be open in June for Fort Benton’s Summer Celebration.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News