A one-stop resource for all things beer, both local and beyond

Send local beer
news and events to spokane7@spokane7.com

Your weekly roundup

Catching up with more news from the week in craft beer:

– No-Li's FrostFest small-batch festival drew more than 2,100 people to the Spokane Arena on Dec. 9, the brewery reports, including more than 300 from outside the greater Spokane area.

That contributed almost $121,000 to the local economy, the Visit Spokane tourism bureau estimates, counting related spending at restaurants, retailers and hotels along with payments to those involved in putting on the event.

"This $120,000 isn't like what Garth Brooks' seven-show run brought to town, but it's a great sign for what our city's craft beer industry and beer fans can do," No-Li's John Bryant said in a press release.

FrostFest moved to the Arena concourse for its second year with a winter carnival atmosphere that included ice carving and fire dancing.

– Brewers big and small got an early Christmas present in the tax package signed by President Trump on Friday.

It includes the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, which reduces federal excise taxes on breweries nationwide through 2019 based on their size. Craft brewers will see their tax cut in half, from $7 to $3.50 per barrel, on the first 60,000 barrels they produce each year.

That adds up to some $45,000 for No-Li, Spokane's biggest brewery by far, which will sell around 13,000 barrels this year; all of that will be re-invested in brewery operations including employees, equipment and community support, Bryant says. The vast majority of area breweries produce 1,000 barrels or less.

– FInally, some more numbers to chew on: Craft beer sales at grocery stores and other retailers rose by 5.5 percent in total dollars during the first 11 months of this year compared to 2016, compared to 1.1 percent for overall beer sales, Brewbound reports.

The numbers come from the IRI Worldwide market research firm and don't include on-premise sales at breweries, bars and restaurants.

Among major craft brewers, Founders was up a whopping 43 percent (thanks to its popular All Day IPA) while Firestone Walker saw a 16.8 percent increase, Stone and Dogfish Head each 14.8 percent, Lagunitas 9.8 percent and New Belgium 6.1 percent. Losers included Sierra Nevada (down 5.5 percent), Deschutes (5.4 percent), Craft Brew Alliance (including Redhook and Widmer, 5.3 percent) and Boston Beer (aka Sam Adams, 2.4 percent). 

IRI's definition of "craft" includes the likes of Molson Coors-owned Blue Moon and Leinenkugel, which were among the category's top three brands.