If you’ve had a beer at Fenway Park, it’s been powered by a Helena company. If you’ve also had a beer at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium during an Atlanta Falcons game, your beer has been powered by that same Montana company. Since its move to Helena in 1995, McDantim, Inc. has been blending gases for beers and other industries for residents of the Treasure State and beyond.
Since 1988, McDantim has specialized in crafting on-site Tumix® gas blenders. McDantim assembles its blenders in Helena and conducts research and development there as well. The company focuses on creating products for two groups: industrial companies and the beverage industry.
McDantim is most known for its work in the beer industry. In this growing field with the boom of craft beer, McDantim’s blenders are used to keep beer carbonated and to push it from a keg. By using a McDantim blender, the company’s product allows beer to taste consistent with every pour until the keg runs out.
According to its website, mixed gases if used correctly will: prevent beers from going flat, reduce foaming problems to temperature fluctuations and will keep beers properly carbonated.
“Brewers go to great lengths to maintain the amount of carbon dioxide that’s in their beer,” said Justin Trafton, the CEO/president of McDantim. “Whether they want more or less they do it on purpose. So what our equipment allowed people to do was increase the pressure they applied to the beer under a variety of temperature conditions while maintaining the carbonation.”
Trafton said in the 1980’s and ‘90s, Guinness began using mixed gases. As locations began experimenting with levels of carbonation, it began affecting their other beers. Drinks would become under-carbonated which led to less yield from kegs.
“What it comes to is keg yield,” Trafton said. “What does a beer retailer really care about? They care about how many pints they get out of the keg. Now, before us if you had to pour a longer distance and increase the pressure on it, you would over-carbonate the beer and you would lose a lot of yield from each keg to over-carbonation. If you were pouring the beer on air you would have reduced sales because the beer would taste like crap toward the end of the keg.”
Today, bars and breweries are still concerned about getting the highest yield from a keg. While craft beer has opened the door to new tastes and flavors, kegs are more expensive than domestic beers. Trafton said by using mixed gas, bars and breweries can pour toward the end of the keg. McDantim also offers blending products for different industries including food packaging, laser cutting, industrial coatings, heat treating, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and many more.
2018 has brought several changes and updates to the company. Earlier this year, McDantim became an ESOP, an employee-owned company.
“Many sales of companies do not work out well for the employees or the companies they work with,” said Dan Fallon, McDantim’s CEO. “Without exception, the McDantim employees who are still with us have been committed to the success of the business. It is only right that they have the chance to continue to work for the positive success of the business they nurture and value, and share in the long-term profit.”
The company also said its blender panel has been upgraded to include metal body regulators. One of the many companies that use McDantim products is the Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Helena.
Tim Chisma, the production manager and co-managing partner of Blackfoot, said he believes they’ve used McDantim’s gas blender since they opened.
“They’re passionate about what they do,” Chisma said. “They’re very good at it. They’re extremely knowledgeable and they’re always willing to help. Anytime they have an idea or we’re having an issue they’re over here trying to help us make our beer carbonated and the best it can be.”
For more information about McDantim, visit their website at www.McDantim.com.