SOURCE: Black Star Beer

Black Star Beer

February 07, 2011 10:05 ET

Black Star Barter Reigns Over Whitefish Winter Carnival

Local Fans Exchange Creativity for Beer

WHITEFISH, MT--(Marketwire - February 7, 2011) - Black Star Beer (, the fun, quirky, and sometimes outrageous golden lager from The Great Northern Brewery in Whitefish, MT, held the annual Black Star Barter ( Saturday afternoon. The beer gods must have been listening for the sun was shining in the big skies over downtown Whitefish as the bartering began. A crowd of 1000 spectators gathered in front of the brewery, grasping their tin mugs full of Black Star while they watched the procession of barterers eager to win a year's supply of the Double Hopped Golden Lager.

There was an amazing display of talent, filled with both creativity and absurdity. Participants included familiar faces of many Whitefish residents as well as some visitors from Great Falls, Missoula and Kalispell. From singing dogs to fine woodcraft, whitewater rafting trips and personal aerial drops of beer to your doorstep, every submission was worthy of Black Star Beer.

Judges, Bee and Renee, the Viking Divas were dolled up for the occasion, dressed in true Viking garb. Entertainer, John Dunnigan and Marcus Duffey, general manager of the Great Northern Brewery ( rounded out the fantastic judging line-up. Emcees Donnie Clapp and Zak Anderson kept spectators laughing the whole time. The interaction between the judges, participants, audience members and emcees made for high spirits among all. "I loved it when you could tell the crowd was really embracing the event," said Marcus Duffey. "You could feel the buzz in the air. That's when I knew a group cheers was only natural."

While the competition was tough, some of the highlights included a young family of four willing to trade their hog and two egg-laying chickens, complete with a Black Star Beer rendition of Green Eggs and Ham. One gentleman offered his handmade Black Star athletic ensemble, which included a jock strap adorned with vintage Black Star bottle caps.

The audience's hearts went out to the harmonious singing duo. A hound dog named Nishka and his 5-year-old harmonica-playing owner. Emcee Zak Anderson said, "Although they didn't win the year's supply of beer, it's safe to say Nishka will be enjoying Black Star doggy treats for at least the next 5 months -- which is what, 10 years on the K9 calendar?"

With their submission of a year's worth of hilariously creative radio ad spots, filled with colorful vernacular and cunning wit, Tucker and Leah from Missoula, Montana won over the judging panel. Equipped with prerecorded sound bites and an anecdotal commentary of the greatness of Black Star Beer, Tucker and Leah took home the gold -- 52 cases of Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager. 

The Black Star Barter was an official new addition to the 52nd Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival ( Yetis and Viking Divas were scattered throughout the crowd. The bartering stage was even graced by the Whitefish Winter Carnival Royalty who shared a toast with the fair Citizens of the Realm. "The Black Star Barter fits right in with the quirkiness of the Carnival as a whole," said Minott Wessinger, founder of Black Star who built the Great Northern Brewery 16 years ago.

"Today has been such a great day; this year's Barter's contestants were absolutely amazing," said Minott Wessinger. "I am looking forward to many more Black Star Barters to come!"

The Black Star Barter was more than just a spectacle of creative competition. It was a celebratory event that attracted members of the community both young and old. Black Star Beer and The Great Northern Brewery are thankful to everyone who participated and joined in the bartering festivities today. They are excited for next year's Black Star Barter. It's never too early to start preparing.

About Black Star Beer
In 1994, Minott Wessinger, 5th generation brewer, chose to build a brewery in Whitefish, MT. He saw it as a fantastic place to create exceptional beer. Black Star ( is a double hopped golden lager. By hopping our beer in the kettle, and then again before finishing, Black Star opens up with a distinctive hoppy aroma and a rich, full bodied flavor. All this while remaining remarkably crisp, light and refreshing.

About the Great Northern Brewing Company
The Great Northern Brewery ( located in Whitefish, Montana, was designed by world renowned architect Joe Escherick in 1994. The brewery offers the finest quality ales and lagers in a variety of year-round and seasonal styles. Through the use of a traditional "Gravity Flow" arrangement, our beers are made in the tradition of artisan brewing with one of the most sophisticated brew houses for its size in the entire country.

About the Whitefish Winter Carnival
The 52nd Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival ( was held February 4-6, 2011. When February flakes fly in the village of Whitefish, Montana the town gathers to celebrate a unique tradition of fun, frivolity and friendship known as Whitefish Winter Carnival. For a list the Winter Carnival Schedule of Events --

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