Historic Architecture 101: Walking the Town of Philipsburg with an Eye on Design (and a Beer in Hand)
One need not be a history buff or student of architecture to appreciate the distinct character of the buildings lining Philipsburg, Montana’s business district and surrounding neighborhoods. If you’re lucky enough to have visited our town, one building in particular has surely caught your eye: the colorful, ornate, and towering Sayrs building at the corner of Broadway and Sansome. Yes, the one with BREWERY inscribed in big gold letters on it’s big glass windows. Call us biased, but we have to say our Sayrs home is Broadway’s architectural champion.
Constructed by banker Joseph Hyde and his wife, Mary, in 1888, the Sayrs building was originally known as Hyde Block. It housed First National Bank until the silver crash in 1893, then reopened in 1894. The bank inspired the name of our taproom, as the original vault remains, just to the left of the bar. The Sayrs name graced the building in 1904 when Frank Sayrs bought it, and since then it’s housed a variety of businesses––including a tailor’s shop, drug stores, clothing store, liquor store, and recreation center––until 2012, when a gang of craft beer obsessives moved in with tanks, kegs, and a dog named Bruce.
Of course, our building is just one of the architecturally interesting structures in town, many of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. Philipsburg grew rapidly from the start, but it was two decades after settlement began that the most significant buildings were constructed––during the silver mining boom between 1881 and 1893, and again, to a lesser extent, during the early 1900s. Most construction even utilized locally sourced materials, including granite, brick, and wood, long before it was a box to check on your LEED application. Philipsburg is now considered one of Montana’s best-preserved late-nineteenth-century mining towns.
We’re so proud of our history that we’re just going to say it: you should make the trip to Philipsburg while the weather’s still gorgeous for an afternoon stroll around town––with an eye on design and a beer in hand. Yep, it’s legal to drink in the streets (one more reason to love Philipsburg!), so the Sayrs building is an obvious first stop. Read on for a quick lesson in architectural vocab to impress your friends when you make that trip, and grab a free Philipsburg Territory at any local business for a historic district map and guide (pages 16-24).
Spot these architectural elements on Philipsburg's historic buildings:
Think you’ve got it down? Head into town to test your knowledge or just stare at all the pretty. We’ll be waiting with your pint in the Sayrs building, every day from 10:00 to 8:00.
And one last thing! The stories of the people and businesses that occupied these architectural gems are seriously fascinating but far too numerous to include here. So if you’re itching for more, we highly recommend stopping by our local library, which has a section dedicated to books on Philipsburg history and cheerful librarians to help you browse. As our pal Arthur says, “Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!”
All of us at the Brewery are the ‘work hard, play hard’ types; you could say we were built for adventure (just like our bottles!). We asked five of the brew crew to share their favorite way to enjoy the outdoors and their answers did not disappoint.
This year we celebrated Earth Day with a series of daily feel-good Facebook posts on the positive impact of a PBC pint.
Click any photo to enlarge and read more, then scroll through the rest!
Our pals at Discovery Ski Area keep our whistles wet year round with our beers on tap and in the alumi-pint to take with you. We're celebrating the end of another season with the 3rd annual Closing Day Keg Hunt. Join us April 7th for some secret stashes that are worth a case of beer. Free to participate (while kegs last!) and no purchase necessary. Must be 21!
By now you know we’re just down the road from the Wild West’s hidden gem. Check out the first of some of our brew-crew highlights on how their love of hitting the slopes landed them a lifetime of beer making, pouring and selling. Our staff constantly take advantage of all this area has to offer for outdoor recreation and skiing at Discovery Ski Basin is no exception.
Owner Rob's first visit to Discovery inspired him to buy a building downtown Philipsburg. Here's his story.
Most people know we have a hometown ski resort but we’re always surprised to be asked by our friends in Missoula, Bozeman, Helena, and beyond: “Is there anywhere to stay in Philipsburg?” So we decided it’s high time we make a list of some of the many options to sip and stay with us.
Beyond our lovely hotels and cozy bed and breakfasts, we have a long list of vacation rentals (Airbnb, VRBO, etc.) that cater to any getaway style.
We think an overnight in the ‘burg is just a generally good idea to fully experience town: our newly refrigerated ice rink, local cross country ski trails, our world famous candy store, year-round fly fishing, just to name a few activities. Beyond that, we all agree that drinking and driving is a bad idea, therefore we are total advocates for having a small-town slumber party! (Please don’t actually try to sleep in the brewery; you will be removed.)
You could spend forever looking at vacation rentals in our area so to save you some time, here are four of our favorites, all within walking distance to the brewery:
The Burg Yurt – The Philipsburg Yurt is a stay you won’t forget: it has a great view of town, the outdoor ice skating rink, and the surrounding mountain ranges. Often when people hear “yurt” they think of compromises... not this yurt. It’s fully loaded with plumbing, a full kitchen and a gas fireplace.
Alpine Haus – This cozy, open floor plan is great for a couple or small group. It’s wood-burning stove and large living area sets the stage for a great evening (post-brewery, of course) for games, reading, or cooking. Oh, did we mention that your 4-legged friends are welcome to join? We think that sure helps paint the picture for a perfect winter evening.
The Historic Barn —This recently renovated historic barn is just steps away from PBC and has an approachable but modern design that will make any couple or small family comfortable during their stay. It has all the comforts of home but is much closer to great beer. Pups welcome here, too!
Rancho Deluxe – Rancho Deluxe is a stones throw from our front door! It can sleep up to 6 and has a great space for hosting dinner, playing games or just relaxing in the ‘burg. Bonus: the owners have a commercial fishing boat in Alaska and stock the fridge with wild-caught salmon available for purchase!
Although we highly recommend checking out this hidden gem, if you aren’t into hitting the slopes there is plenty of family-friendly fun to be had. These lodgings lend a cozy spot to hibernate with a growler…or not! Come raise a glass of Hygge Baltic Porter with us.