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  Comments (2) Total Thursday Apr. 17, 2014
Whitefish Denies Permit for Downtown Beer Barter
Brewery is appealing decision at Monday’s city council meeting
A large crowd gathers around the stage constructed on Railway Street outside the Great Northern Brewing Company and Black Star Draught House to pick up free six packs of Black Star Beer after the conclusion of the barter in 2011. - Beacon File Photo
The City of Whitefish has denied a permit for the Great Northern Brewing Company’s popular Beer Barter and Talent Show over concerns of open containers and underage drinking during the Winter Carnival on Feb. 8. According to general manager Marcus Duffey, the brewery will appeal the decision during the Feb. 3 city council meeting.

Duffey said the brewery was notified last week that the permit had been denied. The event was slated to take place in front of the brewery on Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish. The Beer Barter first took place in the late 1990s and was revived in 2011. Last year it attracted nearly 1,000 spectators who watched participants barter talents and items for a year’s supply of beer.

Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld said the concerns of open containers and underage drinking were brought forward by Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial.

"The police chief and police department believe the brewing company has not met the permit requirements over the last few years," Muhlfeld said. "But I hope we can reach a compromise."

Muhlfeld said he encouraged Duffey to come to the city council meeting and put forth a plan that will ease the city's concerns. Duffey was also hopeful the permit would be approved.

“If (the permit) is denied on Monday, there is no recourse for us. We’ll just focus on our 19th Anniversary Party on the same day,” Duffey said. “If the barter doesn’t happen, we’ll just have a good time at the party.”
On 02-01-14, MontanaTrace commented....
No mention of the City working “with” the brewery to make it safe, legally secure and make it happen. Marcus doesn’t want MIP or open containers. Local governments, too often, are not deal makers but deal breakers. C’mon City Leaders, work “together” with Marcus to establish parameters…
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