Montana Made Spirits
Montana is known for its vast fields of grain and pristine waters, a fitting compliment to the start of great spirits.
Casey & Steffanie McGowan
Casey McGowan was raised on their family farm in Highwood, MT, Attended Montana State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the college of agriculture at MSU. He started out his professional career as a marketing representative for a crop insurance company traveling Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming. Settling in Billings, he soon found himself working for Western States Insurance Agency selling commercial insurance products and managing the local branch office.
Steffanie McGowan was born and raised in Billings, MT. She received a marketing and communications degree from MSU-Billings. Steffanie’s professional career centered around real estate working both on the brokerage and title side of the industry. She oversees the tasting room, finances, marketing and communications for Trailhead Spirits.
Trailhead Spirits History
A dream, seven years in the making, came to reality early in 2013 when we successfully navigated the state and federal licensing procedures, installed custom equipment, and opened Trailhead Spirits. Spanning four generations and over 125 years… owning a distillery was our destiny.
In 1889 Casey’s Great Grandfather (Frank McGowan) was one of the original homesteaders along a little creek in the shadows of the Highwood Mountains. This area in North Central Montana with fertile soil would come to be known as the “Golden Triangle”. Although Oats and hay were the predominant crops before the turn of the century, early in the 1900’s as equipment and techniques improved and demand for other crops increased, wheat and barley began to take hold as the grains of choice. The McGowan family continues to work the original land today and wheat from the farm is the primary source of grains for our distilled products.
Early in the 1900’s Casey’s Great Grandfather (Michael Healy) arrived from Ireland in Butte, America. He owned several liquor establishments in Southwestern Montana. When prohibition went into effect, he used the establishments to sell tobacco, coffee, and candy in the front of the house while successfully running speakeasy behind closed walls. He was well known as a moon shining bootlegger but well positioned politically with his circle of friends including law enforcement, attorney’s, and judges. Upon retirement he sold his beautiful back bar from his most famous establishment “Radio Bar” as a gesture to a friend for $1. This oak masterpiece made its way up the Missouri River on steam boat to Fort Benton, was moved by horse and cart to Butte and can be seen today in use at the historic Pioneer Bar in Virginia City, MT.
Where’s Your Trailhead?
View pictures from around the globe that fans have sent in showing us where their trailhead is. To submit photos of your own, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Where’s your Trailhead”.