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Havre distillery’s successful first year leads to growth, relocation plans

Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-09 21:10:11-04

HAVRE – The Crawford Distillery is relocating after one year of being in business along the hi-line.

“It has grown so much more than we thought it would in a years’ time,” owner Alyssa Crawford said.

But the move will not be far. The owners have purchased the former VFW building located at the corner of 2nd Street and 4th Avenue.

“We actually told ourselves that we would expand hopefully within five years. And in about five years we would start looking. And honestly, the day that we opened, we started looking for a bigger location,” Crawford said.

Alyssa and her husband will be remodeling the place but will be keeping some of its original pieces.

“Our new location we will be utilizing the original bar from the VFW that is currently in there. We’re really trying to repurpose things that are here in Havre,” Crawford said.

In July, the couple will be celebrating its one-year anniversary for the business.

“We’ll be even more family friendly in the new location. With four daughters of our own, we welcome families to come. We want them to have a space where mom and dad can be able to sit and relax and the kids can color and have a snack,” Crawford said.

The Crawford Distillery is the town’s first legal distillery.

“We’re really trying to keep the history alive here in Havre and we try to use products that are from the state of Montana. Some of our products are now certified ‘Made in Montana.’ We really try to utilize those things that are here locally,” Crawford said.

Just as the Crawford’s are making history, they hope to teach others the history of Havre.

“All of our bottles have stories on them. For example, on the back of our moonshine bottles it has a story about how the bootleggers came across the river. Our rum is called the Great Northern Rum, so they have stories about the Great Northern Railroad and the alcohol and things that came through,” Crawford said.

The company distills rum, moonshine, vodka, whiskey, and bourbon.

“I think what’s important about shopping local, eating and drinking local, is supporting small business. Every time you buy a bottle, that is helping support our children. That’s helping to make sure they can play soccer this year. That’s helping to make sure if they want to dance they can dance,” Crawford said.

The Crawfords hope to open their new location in September or October. Eventually, their goal is to serve appetizers and have bingo games and more outdoor seating with roll-up garage doors.

“We want to provide a place where families can come and enjoy each other’s company of their friends, loved ones and sit down and have a cocktail and just enjoy the environment,” Crawford said.

Story by Elizabeth Transue, MTN News