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Avista preview: Light, tart and fruity

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

Temperatures may have dropped, but that doesn’t mean everything at the Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival needs to be big or hoppy.

Here’s a look at some of the mellower fare being poured Friday and Saturday, including fruit beers and sours:

Lighter fluids: Bringing blondes are Diamond Knot (4.2 percent alcohol by volume) and Iron Goat (5). Honey beers are arriving from Dirty Bucket, with its Not Yo’ Honey Cream (5); Orlison, Hill Climb Honey Wheat (5.1); and Pike, Hive Five (5.5). V Twin weighs in with its Wind Whipped Wheat (7).

On the lager side, look for Fremont’s Helles (5.1), Reuben’s Pilsner (5.4), Top Frog’s Wobbly Leg pilsner (6.2) and River City’s Inconceivable Imperial Pilsner (7). Ale/lager kolsch hybrids include Twelve String’s A Cappella (4.5), Paradise Creek’s Kugar (4.8) and Iron Horse’s Life Behind Bars (5.5), while Boundary Bay’s Thirsty Ghost (6) is a sake/kolsch combo brewed with rice.

Coffee and spice: Wake up with a pair of coffee-infused cream ales, Georgetown’s Gusto Crema (4.5) and Black Label’s Coffee Cream (5.3).

And stay awake with pepper beers including River City’s Girlfriend Golden infused with jalapeno, lime and cilantro (5), Schooner Exact’s serrano-spiked El Nino (5.5), Waddell’s habanero Dragon Slayer (5.5) and V Twin’s Hella Jalapeno (6).

Fruited labors: There’s an array of fruit beers packing less heat, including Twelve String’s Mambo Mango hefeweizen (4.3), Hopped Up’s pineapple/coconut Wicked Wahini cream (5) and Tangerine Man pale (5.3), Orlison’s Orangelicious giolden (5.3), Fremont’s Universale pale infused with berries, rosemary and sage (5.6), Ten Pin’s Groove Pineapple Wheat (5.8), Badass Backyard’s Daring Diva raspberry wheat (6) and New Boundary’s Lemon Kick hard lemonade (6).

For heartier tastes, there’s V Twin’s single-malt, single-hop Blue Barry SMaSH (6.9); Big Barn’s Blackberry Porter (6.8) and honeyed Raspberry Braggot (10.5); and Twelve String’s gin barrel-aged Grapefruit Golden Strong (7) and tequila barrel-aged Imperial Mango Mambo (8.3).

Tart nouveau: The popularity of sours keeps growing, and there are several to choose from this weekend, both fruited and otherwise.

Sour, salty gose wheat beers are coming from Reuben’s (4.3); River City, with its blueberry/cranberry/orange Gose-Way (4.2); and Young Buck, bringing its orange-infused Mimosa Gose (3.6).

Other kettle sours include Paradise Creek’s Huckleberry Pucker (4.6), Waddell’s habanero-enhanced Strawberry Wild Fire (5), Dirty Bucket’s BlackBerry (5) and Raspberry Lambic (5.5), Black Label’s Rhubarb Cherry (5.6) and Iron Goat’s Blackberry Apricot (6.5).

And for barrel-aged offerings, there’s Waddell’s red wine barrel Blackberry Sour (6.5); Young Buck’s Farmhouse Funk (6.5), a blend of Belgian golden ale and French saison aged in a chardonnay barrel with bacteria and Brett; and Iron Goat’s Chocolate Cherry Sour (7.1).

Tis the saison: There also are some non-soured French and Belgian farmhouse styles including White Bluffs’ wheated Biere de Mars (6.5), Paradise Creek’s Peach Saison (7.5) and Little Spokane’s Mi Reina Saison (7.9). Fremont is serving two saisons from its Black Heron Project on the rotating tap: a dark saison with Brett on Friday at 7, and a Brett French saison on Saturday at 3.

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