Selkirk Abbey celebrates its new non-Belgian brand on Saturday, but the event is about much more than beer.
The Post Falls brewery is donating proceeds from the day’s sales of its Northwest-style Northern Cross beers to the family of the late Coeur d’Alene Police Sgt. Greg Moore, who was killed in the line of duty two years ago, and to two Bonner County Sheriff’s deputies wounded in January.
In a heartfelt Facebook post, Selkirk Abbey owner Jeff Whitman explains the personal impact of Moore’s death in May 2015: “I wanted to do something. I needed to do something; but each time I went to the police station to inquire what to do, I felt as an intruder … because of the losses I had faced in my own life and because I knew how difficult it must be for them to put on the brave face.
“I agonized over my lack of spine and outward appearance of apathy for ultimately doing nothing when it would have actually been appropriate to have made a gesture of condolence.”
After Bonner County deputies Justin Penn and Michael Gagnon were shot during an arrest, Whitman was talking with two friends, fellow deputy Austin Rosedale and Bulldog Pipe & Cigar owner Paul Banducci, about offering their support. So he decided to formally launch the Northern Cross line and make it a benefit for those lawmen and for Moore .
“It’s a message that needs to be sent,” Whitman says. “There’s such a lack of unity in this country right now, and I’m hoping to help bring that back.”
Two Northern Cross beers have made appearances in recent months: a mellow amber that Whitman says is more akin to an English mild, and a roasty stout. A version of the stout also will be served that was infused with frozen huckleberries.
“It’s not something we’re going to be able to repeat, we just thought it would be fun for the party,” Whitman says.
Brand new is a sessionable pale ale (4.4 percent alcohol by volume) that Whitman calls “a lovely, easy-drinking thing. It’s a fabulous summer beer – clean, clear and dry.”
That will be replaced in the lineup come September with a heartier rye pale for the cooler months. A revised, drier version of last fall’s original Northern Cross release, an IPA, also is in the works.
Selkirk Abbey’s core Belgian-style beers also will be available inside the taproom for Saturday’s event, which runs from noon to 8. Two outdoor stations will be devoted to the Northern Cross offerings.