Black Star Hosts Annual Beer Barter During Whitefish Winter Carnival

WHITEFISH, MT – At dusk on Saturday, February 4, 2012 in this snowy glacial town, beer enthusiasts will compete head to head at the Black Star Barter, showcasing what they would do or trade for a year’s supply of Black Star beer. Whether it’s tattooing a giant red bronco on their backs or producing witty advertising jingles, contestants must be creative in order to win a year of beer.

Black Star, the double hopped golden lager from the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish, is challenging beer-lovers for the second year in a row to bring any beer-worthy object or talent and barter it for the ultimate prize — 52 cases of Black Star. The 2012 Black Star Barter will be held during the 53rd annual Whitefish Winter Carnival in front of the Great Northern Brewery in downtown Whitefish, beginning approximately at 5 p.m. MST.

Contestants will present their barter items and performances in front of a cheering live audience and colorful judging panel. Each barter entry will be judged on its level of creativity, awesomeness, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm. Barterers and their entries must be present in order to win and there will only be one winner, so barter wisely, beer-lovers.

At the 2011 Black Star Barter over 1000 spectators came to watch contestants barter their most over-the-top, outrageous submissions to try and win a year’s supply of the crisp and refreshing golden lager. This year, Black Star and The Great Northern Brewery are expecting an even greater crowd with fierce competition among the contestants.

“There is no telling what this year’s Barter will bring,” says founder of Black Star, Minott Wessinger. “The suspense and spontaneity of the Black Star Barter is what makes the event so exciting. Well, that and the 32-ounce mugs of Black Star.”

The Black Star Barter will begin immediately after the Winter Carnival Grand Parade on Railway Street. Spectators and contestants will be able to enjoy an array of local food trucks, music, beer gardens and barter entertainment.

“The Great Northern Brewing Company has been a cornerstone of the community for years, woven into the fabric of what makes Whitefish an authentic mountain town,” said Jan Metzmaker, Director of the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’re thrilled the Black Star Barter is quickly becoming a Winter Carnival tradition and it is certainly a lot of fun to watch,” says Metzmaker.

Contestants must register their barter submission at the Great Northern Brewery on Saturday, February 4 beginning at 11 a.m. MST until just before the start of the barter at 4:30 p.m. MST.

In celebration of 17 years of fine brewing, Black Star beer and the Great Northern Brewery invite the community to join them after the Barter at 7:30 p.m. for the Great Northern Brewing Company’s 17th Anniversary Party. Celebrating the beers of Whitefish and Winter Carnival, festival goers can dance the night away at the brewery enjoying live music from Missoula band, The Lil’ Smokies with friends, family and the Black Star and Great Northern Brewery crew.

“Each year we look forward to opening our doors to the community in celebration of the Great Northern Brewery’s Anniversary,” says Minott. “2012 marks a great new year for Black Star and our home in Whitefish. We are looking forward to raising a glass to another great year of fine brewing.”

Joe Barberis, head brewer of the Great Northern Brewery, has prepared an Anniversary Black Lager especially for the occasion. “It’s a smooth and roasty Black Lager with sensible barrel-aged character that you won’t want to miss,” says Barberis.

For registration, updates and more information, head to or email

Black Star is currently available throughout Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada and will soon be available in Arizona.

About Black Star Beer:

Black Star ( is a Double Hopped Golden Lager first brewed at the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish, Montana in 1995. Black Star was created by Minott Wessinger, a fifth generation brewer and great-great grandson of West Coast brewing pioneer Henry Weinhard. Hopped first in the kettle and then again before finishing, Black Star is a refreshing beer with lots of taste. To find Black Star near you visit Black Star’s Beer Locator — For more information visit /

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, the beers are made in the tradition of artisan brewing with one of the most sophisticated brew houses for its size in the entire country. Learn more about other beers from Great Northern Brewing Company

About the Whitefish Winter Carnival:

The 53rd Annual Whitefish Winter Carnival ( will take place February 3-5, 2012. 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 —