← Older posts


Posted on by cassandra

1 Packet of Instant Yeast
2 3/4 cups Flour
3 Tb. Sugar
1/2 cup Lukewarm Water
1/4 cup Milk
2 Tb. Butter
1 Egg

1/4 cup Melted Butter
2 Tb. Cinnamon
1/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 cup Powdered Sugar
3 Tb. Melted Butter
1 Tb. Vanilla
1 shot of Orphan Girl Bourbon Cream Liqueur

Pinch of Cinnamon

In a bowl combine lukewarm water and yeast, mix until you see bubbles and the yeast dissolve. Add sugar, milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix. Slowly fold in the flour. Once combined loosely cover the bowl of dough in plastic wrap and keep in a warm area of the kitchen for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size. 

Preheat oven to 350. Powder a surface with flour. Take dough and begin rolling it out into a rectangular shape. Mix all ‘Filling’ ingredients in a spate bowl and spread evenly across the dough. Take the long side of your dough and begin to roll, like a sleeping bag, the dough into itself. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough vertically to make small pucks – 2 inches thick. Once all your cinnamon rolls have been cut, place them on an oiled cookie sheet and in the oven for 15 minutes or until the dough is firm. 

Combine your ‘Glaze’ ingredients into a bowl saving the Orphan Girl for last. Immediately pour Glaze onto warm cinnamon rolls and Enjoy!

Share your recipes with us on social media with our hashtag #HeadframeSpirits or send to marketing@headframespirits.com!


The Orphan Girl Killer

Posted on by cassandra

The Orphan Girl Killer….

Hey all. So you might have heard that the distillers of Montana brought a bill to the Legislature to allow you to sit and finish your drink in a distillery until 9, just like you currently get to do in a brewery. We had amazing support in the House with a 93-6 vote in favor, talk about both sides coming together on an issue!

Then we hit up against the Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs committee, chaired by a bar owner, Senator Buttrey. We thought we had a compelling case, a good set of rationales (basically just have parity with the brewers), and that with a 93-6 vote we were in the wheelhouse of what people wanted. But Senator Buttrey didn’t like adding an hour for people to finish their drinks and tried a number of ways to get a different bill passed that would directly have only a positive impact on his own business and industry.

None of that worked out and yesterday we finally got a vote on our bill BUT an amendment was proposed and voted into our bill which we’re calling the Orphan Girl Killer. Literally, the amendment to our tasting room hours proposal now means that you would not be able to buy Orphan Girl from our tasting room in Butte. Talk about political third rail….don’t mess with Orphan Girl.

To be very clear, we have no issue with Senator Facey, the amendment’s original sponsor. He didn’t want the amendment to pass at all once he knew more about the issue, but Senator Buttrey and those he could convince to vote with him saw this as an opportunity to make the bill so toxic that we’d have to pull it.

So, we’re asking you to reach out to your Senator via this link – http://leg.mt.gov/css/Sessions/65th/roster.asp?HouseID=2&SessionID=111 and ask them to kill the amendment and to give us an Up or Down vote on the “language of the bill” to expand tasting room hours, leave Orphan Girl alone, and allow all Montana distilleries to continue bringing economic development to MT.

-Team Headframe


How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for a Good Cause

Posted on by cassandra

By Henry Moore


St. Patrick’s Day has transformed into a holiday for celebration, parties, parades, and drinking in the United States. With the role that drinking establishments play in the holiday and the amount of patrons that visit these establishments, bar owners can use the holiday and the money spent celebrating for a good cause. To get you started in using your St. Patrick’s Day celebration to benefit your community, we share a few tips below.

1. Donate a Portion of Every Sale to a Local Charity

Drinking establishments will be very popular on St. Patrick’s Day, and they rake in a lot more cash from patrons looking for green beer than they do on regular business nights. Choose a local charity and donate a percentage of each holiday sale to it. Patrons will appreciate your generosity, and you may find that you get even more St. Patrick’s Day revelers through your doors because they want to give back to the community, too.

One way to get your bar noticed on St. Patrick’s Day is to make sure that all your patrons know that they are giving their green for a good cause. The quickest and easiest way to promote your fundraising event is to order screen printed T-shirts and start handing them out at least one week before St. Patrick’s Day. Your regular patrons will be happy to wear them to promote your establishment and your generosity. You will also most likely save money using this method of advertising rather than paying for traditional radio advertising. It’s also a good idea to print some for St. Patrick’s Day, too. Patrons will wear them as they attend parades and walk the streets, and drive more patrons to you (and more funds to your charity).

2. Host a Casino Night and See Who Has the Luck of the Irish

Of course, people love a little competition, so do a spin on the luck of the Irish and host a Casino Night. Rather than sport traditional St. Paddy’s Day clothing, dress yourself and your staff in casino clothing and bring in an entertainment agency to help with the games. Advertise the event early, and make sure you have enough staff to cover the games and your holiday revelers.

Sometimes, local nonprofit organizations have their own casino games for their fundraisers, so consider teaming up with them to use their equipment and then donate the proceeds from the games to their organization. They can help with advertising, too, and it will be a win-win for both of you.

3. Participate in a Pub Crawl
Pub crawls are already popular, so take advantage of the holiday and get other local drinking establishments to join in a St. Patrick’s Day pub crawl for charity. Once you get enough bars committed, pitch your idea to the local charity that you want to benefit from the fundraiser, and ask them to organize the pub crawl. Remind them to encourage patrons to arrange for designated drivers or other safe forms of transportation and to explicitly state that the group discounts will not apply this time around because that money will be given to the charity.

4. Donate Your Cover Charges

Rather than waive cover charges for St. Patrick’s Day, charge patrons and donate the money to a local nonprofit. Just be sure to line up killer musicians and promote your event well in advance so that patrons want to visit your establishment and will be happy to pay the cover knowing that it is going to benefit the community. You may want to book cover bands that play Irish music if you want to play on the St. Patrick’s Day theme.

If you own a drinking establishment, you can use the increased business you will get on St. Patrick’s Day to give back to the community. Organize fundraisers by donating portions of your sales to a local charity, hosting a casino night to benefit a local nonprofit, participating in a pub crawl that benefits an organization, or donating your cover charges to a good cause.


Mr. Moore co-created FitWellTraveler, which provides tips and advice to visitors about travel and health.

Image via Pixabay by jill111

Headframe Spirits Joins the B Corp Movement

Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Posted on by cassandra

B the change                                     

  Redefining Corporate Life in Montana

Butte, MT, January 19, 2017– Headframe Spirits is proud to announce it is now a Certified B Corporation®. We will be joining global innovators in a movement to use business as a force for good. Creating a corporation that values its employees, elevates social, environmental performance, and gives back to the community, which was already a passion for John and Courtney when they first started Headframe Spirits in 2010.  

“Our company is a mouthpiece for our values,” expressed Headframe Spirits CEO, Courtney McKee. “We believe in making the world a better place, even if it’s just our tiny corner of the world. The opportunity to add value is as close as we get to a mandate to do so. We take that seriously and we understand that the better each of us does, the better we all do together.”

Headframe Spirits will be recognized Thursday, January 19th in Missoula as one of four organizations in Montana to be a Certified B Corporation®. A panel will discuss the principles behind becoming a Certified B Corporation® and how they can improve the business climate by using business as an agent for change, purveying positive values, and ultimately transforming the definition of success from being the best in the world to being the best for the world. We hope to inspire the business community to join our efforts to redefine corporate practices and elevate business life in Montana.

About Headframe Spirits
Owners, John and Courtney McKee began their journey with this company in 2010, opening their tasting room doors in 2012. Since then, they have not only won awards and accolades for their products, but also for their impact to their community and state. In 2014 Governor Bullock recognized John and Courtney as Entrepreneurs of the Year and in 2015 as Ambassadors of the Year by the Montana Office of Tourism. Recently, they were award 2016 Small Business Champions of the Year by the Small Business Administration.

About B Corporations
Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. There are more than 1,200 Certified B Corporations from over 120 industries and nearly 50 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business.
For more information, visit http://www.bcorporation.net, http://www.bimpactassessment.net, http://www.b-analytics.net and http://www.benefitcorp.net

Headframe Spirits ~ Every drop is made with respect.


Meet Chris Byles Q&A

Posted on by cassandra

By Molly O’Neill

Chris Byles

We welcome Chris Byles to our team as production manager. He comes to us from Fort Worth, Texas where he resided for 36 years. Chris has been in the distilling business approximately 11 years. In that time, he has opened two distilleries, both from the ground up. We are fortunate to have his experience and diversity for a new chapter in Headframe’s story.

M: What initially sparked your interest in distilling spirits?
C: I’ve always been a big tinkerer. I like taking things apart and putting them back together. I’ve done home beer and wine. I have no formal education on distillation, but I soak up knowledge from outside sources.

M: Of all the places in America, why Headframe Spirits?
C: Initially, my girlfriend and I went on vacation in Colorado and saw 27 inches of snow in late May; we returned to Texas and decided we were done with 110 degree summers with 95% humidity. I was willing to trade cold winters for hot summers. I interviewed in Delaware, Michigan, Milwaukee, Idaho, Colorado, and Butte. This company is different from any other distillery out there; the people stand out, the distillery stands out, and the manufacturing side stands out. What John and Courtney are doing doesn’t exist anywhere else. Courtney has done an amazing job on both levels of my professional career and personal life to ensure I am happy here and welcomed. When you’re selling everything you own, throwing a dog in your car, and driving 1,600 miles and to know you have a support system here already makes the move that much easier. I’m excited for this next step in my career.

M: How did you first hear about Headframe and what enticed you to join the team?
C: On the ADI (Artisan Distilling Institute) website. There was a help-wanted ad from John saying something along the lines of, ‘we like to take long walks on the beach and save puppies.’ I sent John an e-mail and got a response from Courtney asking if I wanted to talk on the phone. Afterwards, I began searching everything about Headframe Spirits, Butte, and Montana. You get a quick sense of the pride in Butte.

M: What will be your role as production manager?
C: It will be ever-changing. And, I like that. I don’t want to pigeon hole myself. Rachel and Alysha are awesome and hungry to learn. They’ve kept production going with little upper management. It shows they care. It makes my life easier knowing I’m coming into a solid team. We all want to make the product better. I won’t let anything leave here that we are not 100% proud of; I expect a lot from my team, and I want them to expect a lot from me.

M: What do you foresee as a challenge?
C: Everything. It’s all new, but I love that. I want to pick John’s brain and understand the conversations he has with the still and its capabilities.

M: What is one facet of the company you intend to improve?
C: Gin, and production as a whole. It seems like production hasn’t been give the full fledge 100% chance of becoming great. You have someone here for a year or 18 months and then they leave. You start getting used to someone then they’re gone and back at square one. It’s been huge ebbs and flow for these guys. And that’s tough. As production gets better, it flows better in all directions.

M: How will our customers see your work in the spirits we produce?
C: I am a behind-the-scenes guy. Then again, I have been that person in a town of 900,000 people. I want the customers to see consistency in our products. I want 100% complete honesty from our customers.

M: How do you see Headframe progressing in the future?
C: To be here for three days and go and see the old building and come here and see what this building is surrounded by and realize it’s not a pipedream. We will be the largest distillery west of the Mississippi River. John and Courtney are the professional, personal team most people can only strive to be. And when you have that kind of upper management there’s no reason you can’t achieve dreams. Doing it here and supporting the community by putting the money back into the city through employment and opportunity is incredible. For me, it’s a surreal thing from the outside looking in. I want to prove that I fit in. That could just be 100% me and proving that to myself.

M: What do you like most so far about Butte and Montana?
C: I can get in my jeep, drive ten minutes, and I’m in the middle of nowhere. I am a big outdoors person. I was a competitive mountain biker and golfer. Montana — I know nothing about it, but I’m ready to know everything about it. I want to go to the Mining Museum. I want to soak in what makes Butte, Butte. I want the small -town feel. I won’t miss the hour commute. I am able to breathe fresh air when I step outside. When the plane landed below 10,000 ft., I said ‘I just landed on Mars—there’s nothing here.’
I like how the community has embraced the history of the mining history, and kept up the headframes.

Neversweat Pumpkin Pie

Posted on by cassandra

Pumpkin Pie
Halloween just got that much sweeter!

For the crust:
1 + ½ cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, cut into small cubes
⅓ cup ice cold water

For the filling:
1 can pumpkin puree
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 shots Neversweat Bourbon Whiskey
½ cup cream
¼ cup milk
2 eggs

Place the flour, salt, sugar and cubed butter into a large bowl; using a fork, rub the butter into the flour until there are some large, pea-sized pieces and a lot of small crumbs.

Slowly add the water and begin combining the mixture together. The dough should be sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic, and place it into the fridge while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350F, place the pumpkin puree, sugar and spices into a saucepan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes. You should see a few bubbles.

Remove from the heat, stir in the Neversweat Bourbon Whiskey, cream and milk, and add each egg, one by one.

Flour a work surface, remove the dough from the fridge and using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to ⅛ inch thick. Using a 9inch pie pan, line the dish with the dough, crimp the edges and pour in the filling.

Bake the pie for 45-50 minutes, or until the filling has puffed up, but still has an obvious jiggle to it. Let the pie cool down completely and then place in the fridge

Garnish with sweet whipped cream


Teddy Traparish

Posted on by cassandra

by Molly O’Neill

Walking into the tasting room at Headframe Spirits there’s an instant sense of satisfaction even before you sample their handcrafted spirits. The first thing you’ll notice is the statuesque back bar that stands tall and proud greeting customers. Its meticulous wood work, beauty, and strength has a story to tell –– if only inanimate objects could speak of their incredulous journey.

The backbar came down the Mississippi River in 1906 by steamboat. Simultaneously, Gabriel “Teddy” Traparish immigrated to Butte from Dubrovnik, Croatia. He was 19 years old and single.

He aspired to be a businessperson, and Butte was a desirable place to achieve this dream.

Traparish fit perfectly in Butte. He had an outstanding work ethic, a goal driven mind, and compassion and generosity for his community.

Traparish accomplished his goal after moving his way up the ranks after long nights of working in bars.

Teddy’s Rocky Mountain Cafe opened its doors in an Italian community named Meaderville, around 1929. His cafe was acknowledged by food critics nationwide. By 1935, his cafe was spotlighted and received attention from national magazines including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Saturday Evening Post that spoke widely of the restaurant, the food, and the people.

Teddy Traparish said, ”Henceforth, you will please forget New Orleans, refer Charleston to the rubble heap, abandon San Francisco, repudiate New York and dismiss Boston utterly. For Meaderville is the most incredible restaurant in (I swear) the world,” written in an article in 2004 by Tracy Thornton in the Montana Standard. Traparish was also known as, ‘Mr. Meaderville’.

What was once Meaderville, is now the Berkley Pit. During the mining encroachment, underground mining transitioned to open pit mining. Thus, the community of Meaderville was engulfed.  In 1961 Traparish chose to close his cafe at 74 years old. 5 years later he donated his back bar to the World Museum of Mining.

John and Courtney McKee, the owners of Headframe Spirits, were aware the backbar was being stored in the basement of the museum. They asked if they could display it in their distillery, thinking the least the owners could say is, no. The owners of the museum enthusiastically said, yes.

Headframe Spirits’s distillery was once home to a Buick dealership; although Traparish had a love for Cadillacs and would purchase a new one every year for almost 50 years, he wouldn’t be disappointed to know where his backbar stands today.

Mr. Meaderville was a restauranteur, a cadillac enthusiast, and a genuine man. He never did marry or have children that would carry on his namesake. But, his legacy is carried from each newcomer and patron who are welcomed inside the doors for Teddy resonates with the chatter of customers and the pour of our spirits alike.

Summer Menu

Posted on by cassandra

Headframe Spirits 2016 Summer Menu

Restore Our Creek Fundraiser at Headframe Spirits

Posted on by cassandra

On Tuesday, December 1st Restore Our Creek Coalition will host a fundraiser at the Headframe Spirits, 21 South Montana Street. The Coalition includes Project Green, Butte Citizens Technical Environmental Committee (CTEC), Butte Natural Resource Damage Restoration Council (BNRC), Trout Unlimited, Citizens for Labor and Environmental Justice (CLEJ) and other concerned individuals/groups. “Coalition members will be at the Headframe from 4:00 to 7:00 pm to provide information and discuss the need for removal of contaminated waste from Silver Bow Creek. The occasion will provide an opportunity to imagine how Restoring Our Creek can improve the quality of life for the people of Butte and the future generations of Butte children.” said spokesperson Northey Tretheway.

The coalition formed to unite Butte and downstream communities with the vision to “Clean the Silver Bow Creek corridor; to restore Silver Bow Creek, and create a greenway for public enjoyment. To accomplish this requires the removal of the Parrot Tailings, Northside Tailings and Diggings East. Removal of the tailings and restoration of the creek will safeguard protection of superfund cleanup actions downstream to Missoula and Columbia River Basin.”

Governor Bullock announced the removal of the Parrot Tailings will begin in 2016. The decision on the removal of the contaminants from Diggings East and Northside Tailings has yet to be made by the EPA, Governor Bullock, and Butte-Silver Bow. The Coalition believes removal of these other tailings is vital to the future of the community and is confident that the citizens of Butte will speak with a strong voice to Restore Our Creek.
Join us on December 1st to find out more about the upcoming events. Headframe Spirits is donating $1.00 per beverage that is sold throughout the day with proceeds to be used to continue public information and education forums. For more information contact us at restoreourcreek@gmail.com, or www.restoreourcreek.org or Restore Our Creek Facebook page.

Headframe Spirits is Hiring Production Team Members

Posted on by cassandra

Headframe Spirits is Hiring!

We are looking for a few great women and men to come join the production team at Headframe Spirits.  If you’re passionate about Butte, about distilled spirits and can’t wait to spend your days making great things happen in your community, this job might be for you.

Headframe Spirits is a growing company operating four distinct business units. We run a distillery where we produce beverage alcohol products, including Orphan Girl Bourbon Cream Liqueur, Anselmo Gin, High Ore Vodka, Destroying Angel Whiskey and Neversweat Bourbon Whiskey. These products are distributed throughout Montana, Illinois and are available online for purchase. We operate a tasting room, which is our retail presence in Butte. We manufacture continuous flow distillation equipment into the beverage alcohol market and operate a packaging facility, which co-packages other brands. This presents a diverse range of employment opportunities and resumes and completed job applications are always welcome. Please click the link below to download our employment application and please email it, along with a resume if applicable, to work@headframespirits.com.

Headframe Spirits seeks to employ outgoing, driven, talented individuals who will help us continue to build excellence into everything we do.

Production Assistant Job Description

Headframe Application for Employment


← Older posts

When you're in Butte swing by the Distillery and introduce yourself. We love getting to know the folks who share our passion. Cheers, John & Courtney.

Social Responsibility