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Fresh Picks From Autumn Harvest Weekend

We’ve just enjoyed one of our favorite times of the year—our annual Autumn Harvest Weekend. While our Instagram followers experienced this celebration in real time through video “stories,” we wanted to hand pick some farm-to-table festivities to share with our Blog at Rock Creek readers. Before this blog ends, you’ll find a recipe for a cocktail that’s sure to be as bright and invigorating as a harvest moon.

Chef Josh Drage with daughter Juliette img_9311
Executive Chef Josh Drage prepared the Harvest Dinner and then celebrated his daughter Juliette’s first birthday. LeAnn Rimes sang, “Happy Birthday” to this sweet harvest baby. 

Our event planning team had just returned from the Relais & Châteaux The Art of Entertaining book release party in New York, when they put the finishing touches on another inventive seasonal celebration for our guests. The kitchen is busy serving up the best our local purveyors have to offer. The air is imbued with the aromas of pumpkin spice and apple cider as the The Spa at Rock Creek prepares seasonal treatments.


The Mercantile hosted a trunk show with local artisans C.Martini Jewelry and Behring Made knives. Holiday shopping lists shrunk as guests collect one-of-a-kind items.

Guests enjoyed lawn games outside the Buckle Barn before sitting down for Saturday’s Harvest Dinner.

To see a full list of the 2016 Harvest happenings, including a special performance by LeAnn Rimes, local bands and wagon rides, visit our Autumn Harvest Weekend itinerary.

Montana Craft Beer Dinner

To kick off the celebration, our culinary team hosted a Montana Craft Beer Dinner—the first of three harvest feasts. We paired beers from our local brewery, the Philipsburg Brewing Company, with local and regional victuals, like Totten Bay Mussels and Country Fried Bison Ribeye. Each course reminded us of how exciting it is to see what Executive Chef Josh Drage will come up with next. His menus are ever-changing, inspired by traditional ranching regions and delivered with epicurean style. At the end of the night, Drage and his team received a standing ovation in the Granite Lodge Dining Room.


We want to congratulate the Philipsburg Brewing Company on their recent award at the Great American Beer Festival. They received a bronze medal for the 5 Phantoms Pumpkin Spiced Barleywine. It shone last night paired with Cowgirl Creamery’s Mount Tam cheese and local stella blue squash.

Philipsburg Brewing Company’s Maddy Mason added, “The Montana Craft Beer Dinner collaboration between The Ranch at Rock Creek and the Philipsburg Brewing Company is a great reminder of the world-class experiences and products coming from our quaint community. We were especially excited to include 5 Phantoms Pumpkin Spice Barleywine at this year’s dinner. This brew requires multiple locally procured spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, mace and cardamom) and pumpkins and squash that our brewer, Ben Johnson, hand picks at the Farmer’s Market and roasts in his own home.”

A Taste of Autumn Harvest

As we roast local food, we hope you’ll join us in a toast to fall splendor. Ned, our Bar Manager, served up the Harvest Smash, a garden-fresh treat that will perk up your weekend. If you want to join us in the spirit of the harvest, please mix up this cocktail, ready a fire (even if you’re streaming it) and settle into the season!


Harvest Smash Cocktail

Rum (We use Montana-made Stonehouse Distillery Double Barrel Rum)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 apple
1 tbsp. lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1/2 oz. pure maple syrup


  1. In a shaker, strip and muddle one full sprig of rosemary and half of a tart, crisp apple.
  2. Add the lemon juice.
  3. Pour in maple syrup.
  4.  Measure and add one shot of rum.
  5. Fill with ice and shake well.
  6. Strain the drink over an ice-filled tumbler.
  7. Garnish with rosemary and an apple slice.


A Full Moon to Remember

The celebration culminated in a special Saturday performance by LeAnn Rimes. LeAnn’s beautiful performance and warm presence made the Buckle Barn come alive under the full moon on Saturday night. Ranch guests enjoyed old favorites and new songs that LeAnn  graciously shared for the first time in front of a live audience. LeAnn’s thirteenth studio album, Remnants, was just released in the United Kingdom and in Europe on October 28th. The album is set to be released in the United States on February 3, 2017.

LeAnn’s talent is always awe-inspiring. This year’s performance was extra meaningful for both guests and staff as she shared her personal stories and noted her love for The Ranch. LeAnn was accompanied by the exceptional guitarist Greg Hagan. They performed “The Story,” originally performed by Pacific Northwest favorite Brandi Carlile, and “Mother” from her new album.

We like to think that LeAnn Rimes is one internationally acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter who takes a little part of The Ranch at Rock Creek everywhere she travels.



Join us on Instagram to see highlights.  Our event planning team shared behind-the-scenes snapshots as they prepared for each delectable moment.

Event planning team member Alex Moore creates table settings from greenery harvested on The Ranch.

As Anne of Green Gables said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

We hope you have a wonderful October everyone. Happy Harvest from The Ranch at Rock Creek!

Enjoy more seasonal cocktails, like The Resolution and the Yule Mule, or take a peek at our upcoming holiday celebrations.