Missoula gets three new liquor licenses due to population growth

Posted at 2:51 PM, Jul 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-23 17:47:20-04

MISSOULA – Three new liquor licenses for Missoula will be available to bid on starting July 31.

One restaurant beer and wine license, one beer license and one “floating license” are all available to be purchased through a competitive bid process.

Montana used to distribute liquor licenses through a lottery system but since 2017 they have been using a competitive bid process that starts July 31 with the last opportunity to apply coming Sept. 5.

The different licenses have varying degrees of value and with the bidding for the floater license being the most valued coming in at $323,000.

The restaurant beer and wine license starts at $42,000 and the beer license has a minimum bid starting at $122,000.

Montana’s liquor license laws seem complicated but its all in an attempt to keep the right balance in the state.

“State legislatos didn’t want there to be a simply unlimited amount of bars everywhere and at the same time you know Montanans want of course to be able to visit the right number of bars and restaurants in their community so its a balance,” Montana Department of Revenue spokesman Sanjay Talwani said.

Missoula gets three more licenses because the city’s population has gone up and Bozeman also gets two new licenses because of their population growth as well.

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News