Like John Henry and Paul Bunyan, the name Jeremiah Johnson conjures up an image of a heavily muscled mountain man with a thick beard, a deep rumbling voice like rolling thunder, who may have at some time wrestled a grizzly bear or two.
But despite his prodigious amount of facial hair, Jeremiah Johnson is not a character out of American folklore, nor is he a bull frog, and I only wish he were a good friend of mine since he’s the kind of friend every craft beer lover dreams of having because his beer brings joy to you and me.
Jeremiah and his wife Katie took ownership of The Front Brewing in Great Falls, MT in 2018 and rebranded the brewery, subsequently adding to Montana folklore by giving it his name. They source the ingredients for their beer locally to ensure the freshest, most flavorful beers with that little extra something that you can only find in Montana.
Jeremiah himself has a warm personality that will make you feel like old friends as soon as you shake his hand. And it is obvious that he is very passionate about crafting the finest hand-crafted beers.
You’re probably thinking, “He sounds great, but what about the beer?”
Well, their flag ship beer Mountain Man Scotch Ale is so good, it will have you feeling the breeze between your knees and hearing the pipes on the evening breeze.
His Golden Bobcat Pale Ale, brewed to pay tribute to MSU’s (Montana State University) agricultural heritage, uses five varieties of hops and locally harvested honey to achieve a real taste of Montana.
The Citra IPA, with its grapefruit aroma, golden orange color, wonderfully hoppy taste, is everything an American style IPA should be.
Oh, and then there’s the Blond Ale, the Imperial IPA, the Honey Weizen, and, well, you get the picture. Each one is carefully crafted to be the best he can make it, and he does a fine job. A very fine job indeed.
Jeremiah also likes to experiment with different ingredients. While visiting the brewery I was lucky enough to get a little taste of an experimental beer brewed with lentils, and was really impressed. I would never have expected those tiny little beans would create such a rich flavor.
If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in Great Falls, Montana, make sure you stop by the soon to be legendary Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company and have a pint or two. You’ll be glad you did.
And if you see Jeremiah, ask him to tell you the story about the time he took on a bear of a clog in one of the tanks. I heard it was grizzly.