Sheriff Henry Plummer’s Outlaw Brewing
Regena Ozeryansky, photos by Jenny Barth
It is our intention to deliver a unique spin on traditional dining reviews, we feel every reader should have the opportunity to form their own opinion, and by bringing the owners to you, we can create added synergy in an already awesome town.
An establishment with more than just great beer, this one has an interesting story cemented with solid, old west tradition. Sit back, relax and Listen Good Now, you hear! This is... Sheriff Henry Plummer’s Outlaw Brewing.
Regena Ozeryansky: Why a Brewery?
Todd Hough: I fell in love with beer early on. As a young Virginian, I’ve always had a micro brew on hand, they hit home with them even then. I always loved Montana, it’s such a great brewery state known as (one of the) top 3 states for barley, good water, great hops, and great beer. My love of beer, the great state and my passion for both came together. We opened the brewery 3 years ago in Belgrade, and moved to the new location in December. We’re bringing in a unique food truck concept which includes a truck on Friday and another on Saturday, and pizza Sunday to Monday soon to come.
RO: What was your dream job growing up?
TH: Well, hard to believe I’m sure, but I wanted to be a weather man. I thought that the weather man created the weather, and I always wanted to be in the Rockies. Something in me, wanted to make the snow fall in Virginia. I used to say often that the stork dropped me off at the wrong side of the country.
RO: What was your favorite job? Your least favorite?
TH: I used to be a home builder, and I loved it. As the market fell apart, I decided to pursue my passion, which those that know me would say and I had been saying for years- was brewing, it was my dream. I was very fortunate to have worked in a brewery for 2 years, the Madison River Brewing company where I learned a lot from those guys. That was my school, my Alma Mater, so much so that I still wear the coat jacket. People ask me often if I see it as competition, I say no way! My favorite job is the one I have right now! I love the community that we create; seeing kids play in the corner of the Brewery is awesome. Neighbors meeting each other for beers; it feels great to be part of that. We close early, which is great for families. There’s a saying that “a man can only get in so much trouble at a brewery,” (chuckles Todd with a pleasant smile). There’s a saying I’ve heard our patrons say, “Wives say no to bars, but it’s ok to go to the brewery.” My least favorite job was the one I had as a stock broker, I had a small family and although I love people, I found it challenging to work with people’s money is such a way. It’s not what I was or am designed for.
RO: What’s your favorite part of owning the Brewery?
TH: I love people and I feel good providing people, what some of my brewery acquaintances call a 16 oz vacation. I love making Craft Beer, it’s a beautiful product made with care and grown locally which makes it even more amazing. We create friendships with our patrons, which is awesome. Many of our patrons, I consider to be very good friends. So much so in fact, we currently have a running contest, (shyly smiles Todd as he gently curls his exquisite Mustache). We play and taunt each other, about our mustaches, similar to those our founding fathers from the old west, we take pride in our mustaches, handling them with great care. The brewery is a great place for friends, and neighbors. The other thing I like best about owning the brewery is how awesome the industry is. It’s a special thing about Brewery’s in Montana, we work together. There’s no competition, we help each other, support each other, and serve as models for one another.
Todd continues to share his appreciation as he shares the phrase of a fellow brewery owner, Greg Koch “The only person who’s my competition is the one that makes bad beer.” We all know each other, he adds, it’s a small community.
RO: Are there any trends you see relevant in the industry that you feel guests can enjoy more of if they knew about? (in other words) What should/could guests expect to look for to create better experience for themselves at breweries?
TH: Growth and expansion for starters. The question is how many breweries can Bozeman support? I think there’s plenty of room. IPA’s for example, are the biggest beer selling style in the US, based upon an English beer it’s a style that’s been around for a long time, and re-created with an American spin. Really neat twist to the traditional. A lot of what we do here at Outlaw is brew a lot of very standard to the point traditional European beers with a handful of American ones with a twist. Nice split of both. A tribute to the past (Romanticism of the past) as well as progressive intake to give exposure to the new. Heavy Pale, a popular favorite of our patrons is similar alcohol content of an IPA (easy drinking) with our well known Passive Aggressive Pale Ale (affectionately known as PAPA). You can also Hop it with a lager that’s not typically used in Ale’s. We think PAPA is popular because it’s different.
RO: What do you want guests to experience when they come to the Brewery?
TH: I like the idea of the Old West, and always had a romanticized connection with it. The discovery of an unknown land, women helping to stabilize the west, as well as the Man. Remembrance and experience of the Old West is what we want to capture here, without the dark lighting, and of course, with more modern flair, that naturally is Bozeman.
RO: What’s most important for you to share with the readers and why?
TH: We are a young brewery, and it’s very important for us to create community while remembering and still giving homage to the Old West and the industry as a whole. I really appreciate and give respect to big beer companies, it’s not easy work. That said, our Craft Beer get’s touched 6-8 times in the making, we’re not an automated system. Typically we have 12 beers on tap, we make beer the hard way.
A unique background of kids toys displayed behind Todd as he depicts what a regular day is like in the brewery.
RO: What do you like best about Bozeman?
TH: Hands down, our patrons. Moving from Belgrade to Bozeman was a difficult decision for us, we wanted to be sure we made the right move. We like being northwest of town, many Belgrade patrons still visit, and we are very grateful for that. Love about Bozeman; the recreational opportunities here are amazing!
RO: If you had to choose one model or give credit to anyone for your current mustache inspiration, who would it be?
After thinking long and hard on this one Todd proudly gives credit where credit is due (a theme he generously offered throughout our meeting). He shares a theory his friend Robert from Madison River Brewing stated “If you look at the founding fathers from the first 100 years of the US, there’s a true connection between them and their mustaches.”
TH: It is with mine, that I give homage to the forefathers of our country. Two years growing strong, it’s fun, I’ve enjoyed it off and on. Finally, my wife seems to accept it too shares Todd happily.