Family aiming to open Harlowton's first modern brewery in December
By Erik Olson - MTN News
Gally's Brewing will offer 10 taps when it opens in Harlowton in December. photo courtesy of Gally's.
Drew Galahan is a co-owner of Gally's Brewing in Harlowton. courtesy of Gally's.
Gally's Brewing will operate in a renovated, 104-year-old building. courtesy of Gally's.
HARLOWTON - A Harlowton family with deep roots is opening the town’s first modern brewery in December.
Drew Galahan and his sister, Shanda Speed, are renovating the old Montana Bar building to open Gally’s Brewing at 30 Central Ave. S. in Harlowton, which is about 92 miles northwest of Billings in Wheatland County.
Galahan, 26, previously worked as a financial analyst in Great Falls and Billings and has been planning this new venture for the past 18 months. He said he started brewing beer about six years ago and plans to rotate 10 taps.
Galahan is an IPA fan, but the brewery will have stouts, blondes and other style to appeal to a variety of palates, he said.
Galahan is aiming to open in the first or second week of December.
The other co-owners are Galahan’s fiance, Melanie Bock, and his brother-in-law, Matthew Speed. Galahan estimated they’re investing between $300,000 and $350,000 into starting the business, which includes major renovations to the 104-year-old building.
The family is the third generation in Harlowton, and their grandparents previously owned the Gally’s hardware store in town.
“Part of this whole theme was trying to bring something back to Harlowton, bring back something to the community,” Galahan said.
The community is buying into the idea. Galahan said 72 people in town have donated $30,000 to the effort, which paid for all the brewing equipment.
The tap room will seat up to 50 people. The brewing area, which was once a pharmacy, will house six brewing vats, Galahan said.
Gally’s is hoping to cash in on Montana’s growing beer tourism movement. According to the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, sales at Montana breweries doubled over the first half of this decade. The Montana Brewers Association has marketed local establishments through brewery maps and driving tours.
“I want us to be competitive with all the other larger breweries in the state. We’re going to be marketing heavily to Billings and Great Falls and Bozeman to pull as many people in as possible,” Galahan said.