If you're ever out in Southwestern Montana this summer, you may find yourself in Virginia City. The first capital of Montana is still bustling today as a tourist destination that gives them a slice of Western life. One of the best destinations in Virginia City is the oldest bar in Montana. You'll be transported to the Old West as soon as you walk through their doors.

Open Since the 60s...the 1860s

The Bale of Hay Saloon, formerly known as the J.F. Stoer Saloon, was opened in 1869 by Henry Schwenk. Since then, it bounced around many owners until 1908, when the building was unfortunately left vacant.

However, in 1946, Charlie Bovey purchased many buildings in Virginia City, including the Bale of Hay. Bovey was committed to preserving Montana's heritage; he began the Historic Landmarks Society and is credited with saving Virginia City's buildings and other old sites across the state. The Bale of Hay has been open ever since.

The Saloon Features Live Music and Events All The Time

The addition of the patio in the 1940s opened up opportunities for other events, such as live music. Many parts of the bar feel like an Old West museum. It also has the original bar; carved out of mahogany wood in Cincinnati, Ohio. However, it isn't open year-round, much like most attractions in Virginia City. You'll need to visit in the Summer when they operate.

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The Bale of Hay Saloon offers a great selection of Montana microbrews and has live music going nearly every night. You can find the full selection of events and menu on their website or their Facebook page. They're open seven days a week during the Summer months from 10 a.m. to midnight. One of the coolest attractions in Virginia City, preserved before your eyes.

h/t: 94.3 The Point

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To find the best beer in each state and Washington D.C., Stacker analyzed January 2020 data from BeerAdvocate, a website that gathers user scores for beer in real-time. BeerAdvocate makes its determinations by compiling consumer ratings for all 50 states and Washington D.C. and applying a weighted rank to each. The weighted rank pulls the beer toward the list's average based on the number of ratings it has and aims to allow lesser-known beers to increase in rank. Only beers with at least 10 rankings to be considered; we took it a step further to only include beers with at least 100 user rankings in our gallery. Keep reading to find out what the best beer is in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

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