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Chalk up another one

Slate Creek celebrates its fourth anniversary Friday with some favorites returning to the tap lineup.

A fresh batch of whiskey barrel-aged Dead Fall barley wine will be released for the festivities, along with a reserve keg of Russian imperial stout. And the Mountain Hop imperial IPA recently returned to the taplist for spring and summer.

The party kicks off at 5 p.m. with $3 pints, food from Las Brasas Mexican Grill and music by Dario Re from 6 to 10.

“Four years – I can’t believe it,” says co-owner Jason Wing. He and his brother, Ryan, founded the brewery named after their favorite fishing and kayaking spot off the St. Joe River.

The past year was another busy one for Slate Creek. It launched 22-ounce bottles of its juniper-spiked Norse Nectar pale ale in August, and started Spokane-area distribution in October.

“We tried to reach into Southern Idaho but decided our focus is going to stay up north for now,” Wing says. “We’re putting more energy into Spokane and North Idaho. Just in the past two weeks we’ve started sending a lot of kegs over (to Spokane)."

The beers have been on tap so far at locations including Post Street Ale House,  Hay Jay's, Lost Boys Garage, Wild Dawgs, Prohibition Gastropub, Growler Guys, the downtown Tomato Brothers and the downtown and north Onions. Norse Nectar bottles are available at The Swinging Doors.  

“You have to find a beer that resonates with the market,” Wing says. “The Spokane crowd is a lot more receptive to imperial IPAs, while the Mountain Hop is harder to sell around here.”

More beers also will start showing up in bottles, including the Salmon Run Irish red and an IPA to be determined. Canning remains in the longer-range plans.

The Camp Chair session pale will return on draft in the late spring, with a new hop bill this time including fruity El Dorado (in place of last year’s Amarillo and Mosaic).

Also back for warmer weather will be the Slack Line saison, brewed with lemon peel and grains of paradise, which won a gold medal at last year’s North American Beer Awards in Idaho Falls.