By Dillon Tabish, 2-21-12
||Caption: An IPA and black lager from the Great Northern Brewing Company. - Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
The festivities surrounding this year’s Bigfork Brewfest are no longer limited to simply drinking beer.
The inaugural Continental Divide Brewers Hockey Challenge is being held at Woodland Ice Center in Kalispell in conjunction with the third annual brewfest this weekend.
Inspired by “two of North America’s great loves – craft beer and hockey,” the Continental Divide Challenge will pit four teams against each other in a two-day fundraiser tournament Friday night and Saturday morning. The teams are comprised of representatives from craft breweries and beer distributors from across the state and Canada. The tournament is free for spectators but donations will be accepted to raise money for Flathead Valley youth hockey programs.
“We’re hoping to have a real laid back, fun time but also hopefully there will be some decent competitive hockey,” event organizer Mike Lozar said.
Lozar said this weekend was a perfect fit for the first-ever hockey challenge because of the timing of the Bigfork Brewfest, which has grown into a popular event drawing more than 500 people every year. This year’s brewfest, which is expected to be much warmer than last, will be in downtown Bigfork from 3-8 p.m. on Saturday. The proceeds will benefit the Bigfork Youth Coalition, the Ski Bus, the Foundation for a Better Bigfork and the Children’s Theater. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the event. Tickets can be purchased at the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish, Shepherd’s Glass in Kalispell and at Glacier Sotheby’s and the Jug Tree in Bigfork.
The first hockey game will start at 8 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, a consolation game will be played at 10 a.m. followed by a championship between Friday’s two winners.
Teams will include members from breweries across Montana, including Flathead Lake Brewing, Tamarack, Great Northern and Glacier.
For more information visit www.bigforkbrewfest.com
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