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A place for the Punk

Not too far into the new year, Whistle Punk will be pouring beer in a taproom of its own.

The home-based, family-owned Newman Lake brewery has signed a lease for the former Brooklyn Deli lounge space downtown at 122 S. Monroe. It hopes to open in mid-March.

“It’s right in the (downtown) brewery district,” says co-owner/brewer Matt Hanson. “We’re really excited.”

Food will be available next door from the new Texas True BBQ, which is working toward a January opening.

Plans call for 14 taps, with two regulars – a flagship IPA and the Espresso Milk Stout – plus a dozen rotators. Cask beers also will be tapped on a weekly basis.

“We want to give people something new every time they come in,” Hanson says.

The brewing system will likely be upgraded to a seven-barrel brewhouse with 15-barrel fermenters, he says. The current three-barrel system will remain in operation for small-batch specialties.

Whistle Punk has been distributing beer to select accounts around the area over the past year, slowly building name recognition. It also participated in this year’s Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival, finishing 14th in sales there out of 41 participating breweries.

While some limited distribution will continue, the focus will be on the taproom once it opens, Hanson says.

“You lose so much quality control when other people are serving your beer,” he says. “It will be nice to be able to focus on quality.”

In the meantime, several Whistle Punk beers are regularly available at Brewz on Barker in the Spokane Valley.