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What sets Colin Ruh-Kirk’s brewery — and Bozeman’s newest place to grab a pint — apart is the quality of beer, he said.

“Our main focus is making good beer,” Ruh-Kirk said, owner of the Last Best Place Brewery at 605 N. 7th Ave in midtown Bozeman.

The Last Best Place Brewery will hold its grand opening on Friday. The brewery will be open from noon to 8 p.m. every day.

Ruh-Kirk, who moved to Bozeman to attend Montana State University, said he started home-brewing in Bozeman while in college.

Originally from Virginia, it was sharing his homemade beers with friends that first sparked an idea.

“I had a couple of friends that look at me and said ‘I’d buy this,’” Ruh-Kirk said. “That kind of started the wheels of thinking, ‘oh, maybe that’s what I should do.’”

Ruh-Kirk founded the brewing company in 2017. Originally, he looked at storefronts in Four Corners, but his parents, Bill and Karen Ruh, decided to invest in midtown Bozeman and built the Ruh Building.

With a background in homebrewing, Ruh-Kirk is especially partial to German beers, like true hefeweizens, doppelbocks and pilsners, he said.

Will Thompson, Ruh-Kirk’s head brewer, shares that passion and said the brewery will have several German beers on tap in addition to some mainstays and crowd pleasers like a hazy IPA and a sour.

By Friday’s grand opening, only four beers will be ready and tapped including a blonde, a pale ale, a vanilla porter, made with real vanilla, and a west coast IPA.

Within the next month, another six beers will be ready, Thompson said. His goal is to expand to 16 beers on tap before summer.

When the brewery gets going, bar manager Samantha Willey said Last Best Place will host live music, pint nights and trivia nights. The brewery can seat about 117 people.

The brewery doesn’t serve any food, but Ruh-Kirk encourages people to grab a bite from nearby food trucks and eat at the brewery.

Down the street several food trucks, including El Rodeo and Electric Poke, regularly park between Rikki’s Furniture Store and Access Fitness, and more trucks regularly park at Seventh and Villard.

The opening of the brewery had been pushed back. The Ruhs initially projected the building would be completed by Dec. 2020, later Ruh-Kirk aimed for an October 2021 opening.

But delays pushed it back further and further. Getting everything completed was a community effort, Ruh-Kirk said.

“This was a big family and friend help,” he said. “I had friends help put up shiplap, my uncle made the tables, Will and I made the bar. It was a lot of friends helping out.”

Some finishing touches on the interior are still needed, like hanging art, finishing the chalk beer board, and hanging a buddy board — where folks can “pay it forward” and start a tab or buy a beer for a friend to have at their next visit.

Despite some delays, Ruh-Kirk is excited for a New Year’s Eve grand opening.

“I’m just excited to get open and see what it’s like,” he said.

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Juliana Sukut can be reached at 582-2630 or

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