Eagle Mount Hefeweizen

The special release Eagle Mount Hefeweizen, crafted by Julius Lehrkind Brewing. All proceeds of the beer go to Eagle Mount Bozeman, a nonprofit that provides camps and activities for people living with disabilities or cancer.

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Eagle Mount Bozeman and Julius Lehrkind Brewing have teamed up to make a special release beer in support of the local nonprofit.

Eagle Mount provides a variety of camps and activities for kids and adults living with disabilities or cancer. But because of COVID-19, the nonprofit has scaled back much of its activities. To add to the struggle, a fire damaged the administrative building at Eagle Mount early in the pandemic. Nobody was hurt, but it caused over half a million dollars in damage to the building.

“In the midst of coronavirus and what that has done to some of our operations at Eagle Mount, and in light of this fire that we had on our campus ... I think this partnership probably couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Kevin Sylvester, the executive director of Eagle Mount.

Sylvester said that the Lehrkind family has been involved with Eagle Mount in some capacity for decades through participating in events, donating and volunteering. The proceeds from the Eagle Mount Hefeweizen will all go to the nonprofit.

Rob Lehrkind, the owner of Julius Lehrkind Brewing, said the Eagle Mount Hefeweizen is a light, refreshing wheat beer. It’s been popular, Lehrkind said. The first round of the beer was a run of 100 cases, which Lehrkind said sold out “instantly.”

“The tentative plan was just to see how it did and call it a summer seasonal relationship, but certainly we’re willing to do it as long as people are enjoying it and Eagle Mount wants to continue doing it,” Lehrkind said. “It might turn out to be a year-round thing.”

Julius Lehrkind Brewing is named after the original Julius Lehrkind Brewery, which operated in Bozeman in the early 1900s before prohibition. It’s distributed by Lehrkind Distributing, owned by Rob’s brother, Carl Lehrkind. The companies share a name and work together often, but aren’t the same company.

The brewery doesn’t yet have a taproom, partially because of the high cost of renting or buying property in Bozeman.

Instead, it focuses on creating and distributing beer for people to buy and take home.

“I’m hoping within a few years to have a taproom somewhere,” Lherkind said. “Short of that though, I think we’re doing everything we can to get out there and be part of the community and Eagle Mount, the partnership with them, is definitely part of that.”

Sylvester said that he and Lehrkind have been calling the beer “a hefeweizen for a new horizon,” a fitting name as Eagle Mount continues to work out how it will provide programming and services to the community.

“As we look at what this ‘new normal’ is going to look like in the near term and how we’re going to continue to offer our programming as much as we can as safely as we can, I think we’re just looking at what our service delivery is going to look like,” he said.

Collaboration between the nonprofit sector and business sector is an asset to the Bozeman community, Sylvester said, and something that he’s glad to be a part of.

“When we look at how we’re taking care of each other, I think one big way to do that is through local partnerships, and supporting your local businesses,” he said. “We have a lot of local support from the community, whether that is individuals or whether that is local businesses.”

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.