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Happiest Hour: Rattlesnake Creek Distillery


What you’re drinking: Hogan’s Hooch at Rattlesnake Creek Distillery, which opened in late August to become the third distiller in downtown Missoula. Co-owner Sean Hogan says the only liquor currently on the menu, Hogan’s Hooch, is a light whiskey made with rye, barley and red wheat and briefly aged in oak barrels. The result is a lively spirit that packs a punch.

Rattlesnake Creek Distillery's cocktails feature the Hogan's Hooch light whiskey. - KATE WHITTLE
  • Kate Whittle
  • Rattlesnake Creek Distillery's cocktails feature the Hogan's Hooch light whiskey.

Mix it with:
The hooch is incorporated into an array of cocktails, from a classic Old Fashioned to the lemony Silver Spur. For a refreshing, summery vibe, try the Rattlesnake Punch, which features light whiskey, basil and muddled cantaloupe. With no added simple syrup, it’s a fruity, bright and not-overly sweet tipple.

The atmosphere: After a year of renovations, Rattlesnake Creek is a cozy watering hole with a gleaming copper-lined bar, tractor-seat-style barstools and wooden tables handcrafted by Hogan’s 80-year-old father. Hogan says they’ll also be decorating one wall with a prominent map of all the Montana distilleries. “There are very non-adversarial relationships between all of us,” he says.

Living the dream: Rattlesnake Creek owes its name to Hogan’s childhood memories of growing up in the Rattlesnake neighborhood and fishing as a kid. “There’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears in this joint,” Hogan says.

More to come: In coming weeks, Rattlesnake Creek will also add Circle Square Vodka to the menu, named in honor of the downtown plaza. A gin and more whiskies are on the way, as well.

Where to find it: Rattlesnake Creek is located at 128 West Alder Street, next to the Double Front, and open from noon-8 PM daily. Cocktails run about $5-$6. A bottle of Hogan's Hooch is $30.
—Kate Whittle

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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