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Meet-up at the malt shop

Palouse Pint is ready to start putting its malt where your mouth is tomorrow night.

After months of preparation, the first beers (and a whiskey) made with locally grown and produced malted barley will pour in a showcase event from 6 to 9 p.m. at Palouse Pint’s Spokane Business and Industrial Park facility in the Valley.

Tickets are $40 (available online at the above link), with proceeds benefiting Second Harvest Inland Northwest.

“We’ve been talking about this since December, or even November,” says Dan Jackson of LINC Foods, the local farmer co-op that owns the operation.

Palouse Pint’s initial malts are made with grains grown by co-op member Joseph’s Grainery in Colfax.

The first 5-ton batch was released as an English pale, but subsequent testing showed it didn’t reach the required kilning temperature and turned out to be a lighter pilsner malt.

A few breweries did what are billed as English-style beers with it based on the early label, including an IPA by Perry Street, a pale ale from Hopped Up and a mild “with a bit of a twist” by Young Buck.

The malt’s character will be particularly prominent in a pair of SMaSH (single malt and single hop) ales: one from Black Label and Badass Backyard brewed with fruity, piney, spicy Cleopatra hops, and another by Orlison with floral, herbal Tradition.

Big Barn brewed a Farm Mosaic IPA, while No-Li brings a California common (think Anchor Steam).

And Bellwether’s Thomas Croskrey, who specializes in Old World styles, has a pair of non-hopped gruits: one with yarrow, lavender, sage and grains of paradise, and a braggot (honey) version with chamomile, sage, lemon verbena, mugwort, allspice, juniper berries and coriander.

Along with the beers, Tinbender Craft Distillery did a speed-aged single-malt white whiskey.

In addition to the liquid goodness, you’ll be able to sample malt in its raw form: the original pilsner batch, another attempt at an English pale (which is awaiting test results) and a third batch made with soft white wheat instead of the usual barley.

“That should be kind of fun, especially if someone’s a brewer,” Jackson said.

But that’s not all you’ll get to eat. Clover’s Travis Dickinson and Culture Breads’ Shaun Thompson Duffy are preparing a menu including a pig roast and both pretzel rolls and tortillas made with Palouse Pint malt. The tortillas will be fried on the spot as part of a taco bar that will feature produce exclusively from LINC growers.    

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