Montana Ale Works

Bar, Eatery

601 E Main St
Bozeman, Montana, 59715-3468
United States

(406) 587-7700 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 34 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dbl_delta
dbl_delta from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Visited while passing through Bozeman. Impressive repurposed railroad building (with a lot of very modern add-ons) with tons of seating. Beer selection was extensive - mostly regional, but a few more widely-distributed options. I didn't see a bad choice among them. Food was excellent and more than adequate, serving-wise. Speaking of serving, the service was excellent. Definitely a must-visit if you're in Bozeman!

Jun 26, 2019
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YaeFerAle from Montana

4.83/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Just moved to the Bozeman area, and we made Montana Ale Works our first foray into the local bar/beer/food scene. We were not disappointed with our choice. My bison burger was tremendous, almost an inch thick and cooked perfectly to Medium-Rare (who ever cooks burgers the way you ask for them?), the chanterelle risotto was delectable, and the Reuben was the best I've ever tasted. But enough about food - we're on BA because we want to know about BEER! And yes, with 40 taps, the selection is bound to be good, especially with a strong focus on Montana beers and a few from elsewhere in the Northwest and a handful from elsewhere (they even have good old Pabst Blue Ribbon if you need to cleanse your palate). I thought the selection was IPA-heavy, but that's probably just them responding to demand. I, for one, would have preferred more than one brown ale on tap (although the brown they had was on Nitro, so that was a unique experience all by itself) when I saw the dozen IPA options. Nevertheless, there's something for everyone here, in an atmosphere that's just a little too swanky for my tastes, but a great culinary and beer experience.

Oct 19, 2016
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Stopped in after dinner for beers during a one-night stay in Bozeman after leaving Glacier National Park and heading into Yellowstone National Park. This seemed like the best option for craft beers in downtown Bozeman.

The bar is located in an old train station/brick building which is very welcoming and the interior did not disappoint. Large restaurant with a rectangular bar surrounding the taps/bartenders with plenty of seats as well as endless tables around the restaurant. Certainly not a beer geek atmosphere but not a dive or sports bar either, although there were TVs with sports playing (a thing I like at bars).

Draft selection was very nice. I had heard of many of the MT breweries on the list but did not have close to enough time to visit any of them, it was great to see such a huge selection of beer out of MT specifically. Also the range of styles was great for beers made in ID, MT and WY (stouts, porters, browns, IPAs, APAs, lagers!). I wish I got more than two beers but circumstances did not allow it. If you are in MT (which you should definitely be at some point!), go to Bozeman and visit this place and the Co-op (amazing grocery store with low prices and a pretty good beer selection). A very cozy, comfortable atmosphere where you can try brews out of the Northern Rockies.

Dec 30, 2014
Photo of blkdth1313
blkdth1313 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Awesome place.

Great local brews, great knowldge, amazing local food, cool building, wonderful staff and service.

Try the Bison meatloaf. you won't be disapointed!

The first craft beer bar where I felt like I was below the median age and I am 52. Not sure what that means, but I kind f liked it...


Oct 29, 2014
Photo of loren01
loren01 from Washington

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I've been here a bunch of times, its a must that you visit Ale works if you are anywhere around Bozeman. Its probably one of the better beer places in the state of MT. Tap selection is very good, mostly MT beers...hard to find stuff outside the state of MT. There are a few beers from OR and WA as well. Food is exceptional, have never had anything that was less than that here. Service has always been great as well. I highly recommend checking this place out if you are a beer and food nerd like I am.

Mar 10, 2011
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websherpa from Montana

4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The ale works is the go to beer bar in town. They don't quite have the number of beers that Old Chicago has, but they way out class it. The building is an old rail building, with a car as add on wing dining room. They have a 360 wrap around bar with screens inside and a variety of seating options from booths to bar tables. The selection is good, with a nice menu and quality beers all around. I'm cheap, so the beers are a little pricey, and I can't get there as much as I would like. The food looks like a classy version of the typical bar servings.

If you are in bozeman, it should be on the hit list.

Edit: They serve fantastic burgers and fries. Bar food yes, but with way more class than you will get elsewhere.

Jan 24, 2011
Photo of zhanson88
zhanson88 from California

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Atmosphere: I went here for the first time a couple weeks ago. It's in a tastefully redone train depot, and it's huge when you go inside. Very open. They have several pool tables on one end, a bar in the middle, and the rest is booths and tables for seating. They even have tables set up inside an old rail car that is connected to the building. Pretty cool.

Quality: Both the food and the beer we had was excellent.

Service: Our waitress was awesome. Very friendly and gave good suggestions when asked.

Selection: I didn't see anything too outlandish as far as food, but there was a wide selection and I'm guessing it's all very good. As far as beer, I think they must have had at least 2 or 3 beers from every microbrewery in Montana as well as some other well-known beers from the Pacific NW. Very nice selection.

Food: I had Mahi Fish Tacos and my girlfriend had the Bison Patty Melt. Both were awesome. The food wasn't super flashy, but it was solid and I'll bet anything on the menu is good.

Aug 30, 2010
Photo of lehows
lehows from New York

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Located in a huge building on the eastern end of Main St. There is an old railroad car attached to the front of the building and the entire site used to be part of the railway system. Very big space inside with high ceilings. The rectangular bar is to your left when you enter. There is a dining area to the right along with several pool tables. They also have live music here on certain nights. The tap list was the largest I have seen in Montana and consisted of mostly local Montana beers and some regional northwestern brews. Montana beers are marked on the menu with the Northern Pacific logo, which is also used in part of the logo for Montana Ale Works. They have their own house beers, brewed for them by Blackfoot River Brewing in Helena. All of the beers I had were very good. The food was pretty good too and the service was excellent. Everyone working there was super friendly and very knowledgeable about the beers. This place is a must-stop if you are near Bozeman.

Aug 05, 2009
Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
BeerisfoodLLC from Maryland

4/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Cool atmosphere, unique in that it is a converted train station or some such. Large and open. Big bar, plenty of tables and pool tables as well. There is a good selection of beers on tap, their own brewed there as well as a broader selection. Beer was excellent and the wait staff was very knowledgable. The food was decent and fairly priced although not a huge variety on the menu. Overall this place is a must stop at if you are in Bozeman. Not a whole lot of other places to get a good pint in that town.

Jul 15, 2009
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HeyItsChili from South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went here with my brother and a bunch of his friends from MSU. The atmosphere is pretty cool, the building is a repurposed train station with lots of pool tables and seating, and an open feel from the relatively high ceilings.

Service is friendly and knowledgeable, with a firm grasp of beer styles and breweries.

The selection is chock full of western/northwestern microbrews and heavy on Montana beers, much to everyone's delight. There is a decent selection of imports and macros as well.

Food was solid. Meat is good. Bacon is like fairy dust to bar food, just sprinkle it on everything and its fantastic.

Jan 06, 2009
Photo of antilogic
antilogic from California

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

If you're in Bozeman, definitely check out Ale Works. The selection is mostly Montana and other North West Beers. They have a featured beer that is usually local and a solid selection of their own Microbrews + other brews from Montana.

The building is a neat old re-done rail station, with pool tabels and airy seating for eating. The food is a pretty good deal. I can recommend the Montana Meatloaf, Bison Burger, and Texas Oilstrike sandwich, all of which are reasonably priced ($8-12 burgers with a side) and $4 beers.


Oct 10, 2008
Photo of josiahschlender
josiahschlender from Oregon

4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Montana Ale Works is a big, open almost-brewpub that's in a tastefully remodeled train depot. I grew up in Bozeman, but now only come through for visits. Revisiting Ale Works makes me wish it was closer by, I would probably frequent it. The floor design is very open, yet varied. I liked the options of sitting is a secluded booth, at the bar, or in the middle of the floor. The pool tables looked nice, not trashy. This is a quality establishment.

I went there with my wife a little after 11pm on a Saturday. Unfortunately they stop serving food at 11pm. The menu looked good, and some Parmesan fries sounded great with our beers, but no such luck.

We came to get a drink after a long day. The bartender made us feel at home. He was very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable about the beer. He had great suggestions for us based on our tastes, and offered us a number of samples. I had the Tumbleweed IPA, which was excellent, and the house Scottish Strong ale, which was very good. I tried my wife's Ale Works Organic Porter, which was a quality porter. The only detriment to the experience was that they served the IPA and Porter in chilled glasses, which I don't prefer and didn't expect.

Their selection was great. I counted their tap list from their website ( and came up with 36 beers, 21 of which are Montanan, the rest being split with quality Northwest/Western craft brews, a few imports, and a few macros. A really good selection with a few surprises, especially for out in Montana.

A great stop if you live in Bozeman, or are just passing through on I-90!

Jun 06, 2007
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biking4beer from Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by this place again while visiting family in Bozeman. Nice place. Typical brewpub (not listed at one, but they do some contract brewing). There is a nice big bar in the very center of the former train depot, and 4 real pool tables (no quarter slots/pay by the hour) in the back.

They have tons of beers in addition to the contract brews. Most are from Montana, but some are from the Northwest region. We had an attentive waitress while we were there, and she offered samples when we couldn't make up our minds. My first beer was the Strong Scottish Ale. Definitely worth a try. It came in a warm glass as it should. I ordered the Tumbleweed IPA glass next. I didn't request a warm glass since the first beer didn't come in one. Big mistake. The glass the IPA came in was so frosty that in made the beer noticeably watered down. Big mistake for a beer bar.

The food is worth having if you are hungry. Definitely swing by this place if you are in Bozeman

Jan 10, 2007
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orsulacp from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Again I have to give props to this site for telling me where to go on business trips. I was very surprised by the quality and selection of this bar; it is up there with most bars on my native East Coast.

I had dinner at the bar; the bartender was very prompt, friendly and knowledgeable. Someone next to me asked for a Red Stripe for one of her friends, they didn't have it so she asked what would be close on draft and he said nothing, she should have a Coors Light, " We don't have that kind of beer on tap", I knew I was in the right place. They have "house" beers from Blackfoot River Brewing in Helena, MT, I had the Strong Scottish Ale and the Crankshaft Stout, the Scottish was very good and the Stout was excellent. I also had a Big Sky IPA that was also very good.

Some of the dinners are a bit pricey (if you are ordering Ahi Tuna in MT you deserve to pay) but the beers are 3.50 - 4 for a pint, 3 for a pint before 6pm. I had three beers and the buffalo burger and the bill was 20.
I have to go back tomorrow to try the rest of the house beers.

Aug 16, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
objectivemonkey from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Montana Ale Works is the place to go for local Montana or surrounding state beer, a whole page of the menu dedicated to local micros, their own contract beer, Bozeman Brewings' offerings. This is I guess my first real beer stop in Montana or surrounding area, and I have to admit, I'm quite surprised, even a but jealous. The selection would rival quite a few of my favorite places at home, and even give Colorado a run for its money. I mean, considering the state population, the beer scene here does pretty well.

Anywho, walking into the place, a very modern and really pretty cool place, somewhere between industrial and barn. Lots of stainless steel and concrete, lots of wood rafters. Pretty cool. And them menu looks pretty good, though I didn't have any food.

The waitstaff could have been a little more helpful, but was mostly prompt. When asked about a few of the local selections, I got pretty generic answers, even though my questions were pretty specific. So, ya. So, basically, a place I'd love to have at home, and the shining jewel of Montana beer bars as far as I can see.

Jun 25, 2006
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kcsc007 from California

3.78/5  rDev -9.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I just moved to Bozeman from San Francisco and have been frenquenting Aleworks for two reasons; it is two blocks from my job and it has the best beers in town.

Maybe it is the influence of the early German settlers or the need to pass time during the extremely cold winters (compared to SF), but the beer selection there rivals any selection I have seen in California. They have an extensive list of local and regional brews plus a nice smattering of quality micro-brews from around the country and some bottled goodies from Europe.

I am also impressed by there selection of IPAs and ESBs from local and regional breweries. Locals like Bozone's Batch 101 IPA and another IPA called Tumbleweed are nice hoppy and a little herbal, similar to my favorite Anderson Valley Hop Otin or the Stone IPA.

Now the downside; the waitstaff is inexcusably beer-illiterate. Beyond describing beers by color and "strength", the waitstaff (mostly young women) provide little insight into the actual makeup and qualities of the individual beers and even general styles, this includes the bartenders. The long and short is, they don't come of as beer advocates! Also, there are little, if any meals/dishes under $12. This includes such cheap standard as fish and chips. I know there aren't much cod up here, but come on! There bison cut is over $30. Pretty decent food, but nothing that will knock your socks off.

Overall, the place is large and expansive, a good place to grab a pint or four if you don't require much guidance. Be prepared to drop some serious cash for dinner and drinks, this isn't by any means a pub.


Feb 18, 2006
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elmocoso from Nebraska

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

What a great place to have a few beers and play a game of pool. You have a historic building, where you can view green Montana mountains out of every wall-sized window. The staff were friendly. The selections was good and local, and the food was good.

They had about 25 beers on the list with a large amount of them being on tap, there were even some listed as specially brewed for the bar.

The food was good and diverse. I had fish tacos that were good but a little spicy, but others in the group were all satisfied.

If you are in bozeman, this is the place to go for a beer lover. It seemed to have everything i look for in a good beer bar, except maybe cozyness. but there are times when you aren't looking for that either.

anyway, try it out.

Jul 06, 2004
Montana Ale Works in Bozeman, MT
Place rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 34 ratings