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Avista preview: Going with the grain

This is the second in a series of posts exploring the beer lineup for this weekend’s Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival.

Yesterday we told you about all the hoppy concoctions coming to this weekend’s Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival. Now it’s time to give grain its due.

Here’s a look at the more malt-forward offerings pouring Friday and Saturday, including fall seasonals and bigger beer styles:

Season’s greetings: Oktoberfest started last Saturday in Munich, and interpretations of its traditional Marzen-style lager are on the way from Dru Bru (4.7 percent alcohol by volume), Boundary Bay (5.7), Northern Ales (6), Waddell’s (6.2), Silver City (6.4) and Young Buck (6.8) with its Bucktoberfest through a Randall of coffee, cinnamon and French oak.

Fall also means pumpkins, and beers like Blewett’s Pumpkin Ale (5.5); Big Barn’s Golden Pumpkin, with homegrown gourds from the Green Bluff farm (6.3); Pike’s big Harlot’s Harvest (8.3); and Schooner Exact’s even bigger, barrel-aged Whiskey Dick Cantwell (9.9). Two Beers is bringing the Pumpkin Spice from its corporate sister Seattle Cider (6.9).      

Other cool-weather offerings include a pair of Marzen-inspired ales – Diamond Knot’s Fog Bank (5.6) and 7 Seas’ Autumn (6.5) – and Reuben’s Roasted Rye (7), described as a cross between a winter warmer and an IPA. And the coffee cinnamon version of Fremont’s barrel-aged B-Bomb winter ale (14) will pour on the rotating tap Saturday at 1 p.m.

Great Scots: Northern offers its Okanogan Highlander Scotch Ale (6) and Silver City its heartier Fat Scotch (9.2). Bellwether brings its Albion (8.2) – brewed with peated malt and Scottish wild heather, which adds a sour touch along with its floral character – and will have a rotating tap with selections from its recent small-batch series using Scots Bere barley, which originated in the Orkneys.

Down with the brown: This lesser-seen style is represented by Badass Backyard’s coconut-infused No Alibi (5), Orlison’s Boulder Garden (6.1) and a whiskey barrel-aged version from Bennidito’s (6.8).


Black beauties: Porters pouring include Bellewether’s lagered Fernweh Baltic porter (6.9), Twelve String’s tart, bourbon barrel-aged Volume 5 (8.3) and Fremont’s Smoked Imperial Porter (9.5).

On the sweeter side are Icicle’s coconut- and chocolate-infused Dark Persuasion (6.5) and Iron Horse’s Irish Death (7.8).

Standard stouts include Lumber House’s You Mad Brew Oatmeal Stout (6), Ten Pin’s Snake Eye (6.3), Steam Plant’s bourbon vanilla Double Stack (6.4), Hopped Up’s Irish cream Pogue Mahone (7) and Pike’s Organic Oatmeal Stout (7.5).

Coffee lovers will want to check out Badass Backyard’s Mojo Coffee Stout (6); No-Li’s RGV2 (6.1), an oatier, creamier update of the Rise & Grind coffee stout; the coffee version of Little Spokane’s Dark and Lovely (6.4); Bale Breaker’s coffee/oat Dormancy Breakfast Stout (6.8); and Whistle Punk’s Espresso Milk Stout (7.1).

Imperials include two variations on River City’s Midnight Marmot: the 2015 vintage aged with raspberries and French oak chips in a cabernet sauvignon barrel (8.7, Saturday only at 1 p.m.) and 2016 Oako-Coco Nitro (8.6, Saturday only at 5); Twelve String’s bourbon barrel-aged Double Chocolate Drop D (9.5); Little Spokane’s Bull Moose (10); Top Frog’s Nitro Fallen Frog (10.2); Hopped Up’s Bananas Foster (10.5, Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4); Waddell’s barrel-aged Imperial Alligator Oatmeal Stout (10.5); and Black Label’s maple syrup-spiked S.M.O.G. (11). Fremont’s rotating tap will feature the Spice Wars bourbon barrel-aged Dark Star (14) on Friday at 5, and barrel-aged Rusty Nail with licorice and cinnamon bark (12.7) on Saturday at 5.  

More muscle: Other heavy hitters are New Boundary’s pecan-flavored Pecanator doppelbock (7.5); River City’s Horned Marmot Shadow Ram (8.7, Friday only at 5:30), a blend of 2015 wine barrel-aged Congratulator Doppelbock and Midnight Marmot; and No-Li’s FrostFest barleywine (12), barrel-aged for more than two years.

Seeing reds: And for those who enjoy their malt in moderation, look for Two Beers’ Immersion Amber (5.2), Iron Goat’s Let It ESB (5.3), New Boundary’s Renegade Red (5.5), coffee-infused River City Red and Top Frog’s Espresso Red (both 5.6), Lumber House’s Rockslide Amber (5.7), Silver City’s Ridgetop Red (6) and Ten Pin’s Angle Amber (6.1). 

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