As reported yesterday in the Missoulian, bars in Western Montana have been out of the famous Irish whiskey brand Jameson for the better part of two months. Bars in Missoula and Butte can't even get Jameson at local liquor stores, so what's going on? And, is this also happening here in the Eastern side of the state?

Why Is There a Shortage?

Montana is one of the many states that controls alcoholic beverages at the wholesale level. These "alcoholic beverage control" states prohibit the purchasing of liquor wholesale unless it's from a state funded liquor store. According to the article, it seems like the shortage is unique to Montana, as other alcoholic beverage control states such as Idaho haven't run out of the Irish Whiskey at all, and the Jameson website also doesn't acknowledge a shortage. An article from Fortune.com predicted an Irish whiskey shortage 4 years ago. "The issue comes with aging. By Irish law, all whiskey has to be aged a minimum of 3 years, but many are aged for a lot longer."

Is Billings Affected by this Shortage As Well?

I asked the bar owners, bartenders, and bar workers in Billings about it, and the shortage does seem to affect the Billings area in some way. Randy Napier, of The Loft Dance Club, stated, "Most state liquor stores have been out for the past month. The bars that carry a big inventory could possibly still have some left." The bar Cheyenne Nicole works at ran out of Jameson earlier this week. "We had stopped selling bottles maybe 2-3 weeks ago," Nicole said.

Our own Aaron Flint mentioned the article this morning on Twitter, and on Montana Talks. You can view the tweet below. The consensus among people I asked is that patrons have been asking about it nonstop, so hopefully, they'll have Jameson back behind the bar sooner rather than later.

Get our free mobile app

What Are the Signature Drinks From Every State?

LOOK: Best Beers From Every State

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.