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Cold brews benefit future ice arena

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POLSON – Guests were treated to tasty brews, food and a little lesson in Montana brewery history during the inaugural Oktoberfest celebration and fund-raising event hosted by the Mission Valley Ice Arena Association. 

“We had a great turnout,” said hostess Megan Comings.

The event was held at the Montana Brewery Museum located upstairs above Total Screen Design in Polson. About forty people were afforded the opportunity to stroll through Steve Lozar’s extensive personal trove of Montana beer memorabilia that represents more than a century of brewing in Montana.

Lozar’s fascination with brewing essentially stems from his great-grandfather, Joe Lozar, who immigrated to Montana from Slovenia in the late 1800s and was an associate with Kessler Brewing Co., in Helena. He also owned several saloons in East Helena.

“I grew up around beer,” said Lozar. “It was something that was common. It was not necessarily a taboo kind of thing.”

As a youngster, Lozar was fascinated with the colorful artwork on labels, advertisements, signs and boxes. He started collecting discarded promotional items, beer bottles, cans, signs and labels. The collection of Montana brewing memorabilia grew to such an extent that Lozar created a Montana Brewery Museum over his screen-printing shop more than a decade ago.

During the event, attendees sampled, rated and shared their thoughts on more than a dozen specialty beers crafted from brewers from around the state of Montana which included brews from Carter’s Brewing of Billings, Mighty Mo of Darby, Bozeman Brewing, Missoula Conflux Brewing Company, Imagine Nation, Great Burn and Highlander. 

Proceeds from the event benefit the Mission Valley Ice Arena Association’s proposed ice arena project that is to be constructed at the Ridgewater Complex next to the Aquatic Center and new soccer fields. 

With the popularity of ice sports increasing, the new ice arena will afford a closer alternative than the nearest available rinks which are located in Missoula, Kalispell and Whitefish. It will also serve the community by offering programs that include open public skating, youth hockey, skating lessons and curling along with a few other winter sports activities.

“We have over $2.5 million raised so far,” said Mission Valley Ice Arena Association Chair Hillary Lozar. “Our ideal target is another 2 million dollars but much of that last million would go into an endowment to continue to generate revenue for us in perpetuity.” 

For more information about the hockey association and the fundraising campaign, visit or

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