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Your weekly planner

A look at the upcoming holiday week in local craft beer:

WEDNESDAY

– Community Pint's Friendsgiving craft beer and snack food pairing from 5 to 8 features five courses matched with beer sauces/dips and 6-ounce samples of each beer used; tickets are $28, available at the taproom or online through 3 p.m. Also get $2 off growler fills all day. 

Hopped Up is doing growler fills of regular beers for $8 and specialty rotators for $10.

OrlisonBadass and V Twin are taking $2 off growler fills.

Perry Street is offering a free pint with each growler fill.

River City has $2 pints and $10 growler fills.

Steady Flow Growler House has $3 pints and $10 growler fills.

238 will be open from 4 to 7 for Thanksgiving growler fills.

Selkirk Abbey opens at noon with 15 percent off bottled beers.

Bennidito's Brewpub has released a Winter IPA brewed with the first pellets from this year's Centennial hop crop.

– Daft Badger is pouring a small-batch Unrighteous Pale Ale (7 percent alcohol by volume, 45 International Bitterness Units).

– Twelve String has tapped the last remaining keg of its former seasonal Roundabout Confusion.

THURSDAY

Post Falls Brewing will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for last-minute growler fills.

Mad Bomber will be open from 2 to 6.

FRIDAY

– Green Bluff's 238 Brewing reopens for holiday weekends at 10 a.m., with pre-selection of Christmas trees from the farm. 

Selkirk Abbey has special pricing on its premium bottled beers from 10 a.m. to noon, specialty bottled beers from noon to 2 p.m. and regular bottled beers from 2 to 4.

– Get your first beer at half off with a merchandise or gift card purchase at Bellwether.

Nu Home Brew will pour $3 pints and $8 growler fills along with discounts on select merchandise.

– The Newport Highway Growler Guys taps a 5-gallon keg of Goose Island's annual Bourbon County Stout.

SATURDAY

Orlison has $3 pints all day for the Apple Cup.

– Several local breweries are offering discounts and activities for Small Business Saturday.

SUNDAY

Bellwether releases its Hygge Mulled Ale from 1 to 7.

And as always, keep checking back for more news about everything happening throughout the week.

Let’s get local

Following the feeding frenzy that is Black Friday, the more sedate Small Business Saturday is gaining traction around the country.

Several area breweries are participating this year with discounts and activities:

– Post Falls Brewing's party starts at noon with $1 off pints, merchandise specials, food trucks and live music by Echo Elysium from 2 to 5 and the Devon Wade Band from 6 to 10.

– River City celebrates with $2 pints and $10 growler fills.

Perry Street is offering a special gift pack for $25 that includes two pint glasses, a growler, a gift certificate for a fill for $25. The Apple Cup will play on the high-definition 12-foot projector screen starting at 5. 

– Black Label will have drink specials, a do-it-yourself art project and raffles from neighboring Saranac Commons businesses from 1 to 3.

Bellwether hosts is annual tree decorating party; bring an ornament and get $1 off your first beer.

Badass Backyard is providing rebates of 20 to 30 percent at various spending levels.

– Chewelah's Quartzite is taking 15 percent off merchandise.  

Your weekly roundup

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

• Tickets are almost gone for No-Li's FrostFest on Dec. 9. They must be purchased in advance; online sales will continue through Nov. 28, as supplies last.

The second annual event moves from the brewery to the Spokane Arena concourse with a winter carnival theme including ice carving, fire dancing, aerial performers, magicians and more. A dozen small-batch specialties will be tapped including five barrel-aged creations and three hazy offerings: a Secret Santa dry-hopped Born & Raised IPA, Snow White & No-Li pale dry-hopped with Topaz and a fruity Belma dry-hopped Pie in the Sky red. 

Tickets are $30 (plus fees), which includes a T-shirt, tasting glass and your first five 4-ounce pours. A portion of proceeds will help support the Washington State Fallen Heroes Project's Illuminating Courage monument at the Arena.

• The holiday event schedule continues to fill up. Bellwether's Hygge Holiday Market on Dec. 3 will include handmade leather goods, jewelry and soaps along with specialty food items, locally roasted coffee, fresh aebelskivers and mulled ale.  

And Community Pint has a Christmas party Dec. 7 featuring specialty beers from Firestone Walker, Fremont and Georgetown.   

• A hearty pair of old friends are returning for the season. Deschutes last Friday released this year's The Abyss imperial stout (with rum and tequila variants scheduled to drop Dec. 1), while Fremont issues the new B-Bomb barrel-aged winter ale this Friday. Look for both to arrive in local stores soon.    

• And finally, behind the first-place finish of its Fat Lenny's hazy IPA, Post Falls Brewing won Saturday's Brewery Battle against defending champion Waddell's at Steady Flow Growler House.

Your weekend planner

What's happening this weekend in local craft beer:

FRIDAY

– Downdraft's closing weekend Friday through Sunday will include beer and merchandise specials along with live music by Fair 2 Middlin' on Friday at 6:30 and the Las Brasas Mexican Grill and Iverson's Smokin Pig BBQ trucks on Saturday.  

– The PowderKeg brew festival, part of the Snowlander Expo on Friday from 4 to 9 and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Spokane Convention Center, will include beer, cider and mead from 23 local, regional and national purveyors. Tasting packages run from $15 to $25, in addition to Expo admission ($10.50/advance with fees, $10/door, good for both days; children 12 and under admitted free).

– The North Spokane Growler Guys has a Trickster's tasting from 5 to 7.

– A Boneyard tap takeover at Beerocracy from 6 to 8 will include Metabolic IPA along with two barrel-aged offerings, Wooden Femur barleywine and Suge Knite imperial stout.      

– The Lantern Tap House's sixth annual Flannel Fest on Friday and Saturday will feature No-Li beer specials plus karaoke Friday at 9:30 p.m. and live music by Partridge Sound on Saturday at 9.  

River City's Randall for the weekend is Oako-Coco stout through cranberries and star anise. 

– The seasonal Twelve Strings of Winter has returned at Twelve String.

Trickster's has started offering $1 off pints on Fridays with a purchase from the Iverson's Smokin Pig BBQ truck.

SATURDAY

– Seventeen Boneyard beers will pour for the Coeur d'Alene Growler Guys' second anniversary party from 1 to 4 p.m.  

– The third Brewery Battle at Steady Flow Growler House from 4 to 7 will pit defending champion Waddell's against challenger Post Falls Brewing; sample two beers from each in a blind tasting and vote for your favorite.

Moscow Brewing hosts a beer pairing dinner from 6 to 9 with four food courses from Forgotten Roots Catering accompanied by five house beers; tickets are $50/person, $90/couple.

And as always, keep checking back for more news about everything happening throughout the week.

Many bones about it

This weekend will be a bit of a feast for fans of Boneyard beers.

The appetizer is Friday evening, when Beerocracy features barrel-aged versions of two of the Bend brewery’s big beers – Femur barleywine and Suge Knite imperial stout – plus the Metabolic IPA.

And the main course arrives Saturday as the Coeur d’Alene Growler Guys celebrates its second anniversary from 1 to 4 p.m.

All three of the previously listed beers will pour along with the regular Femur and Suge Knite, plus a dozen other Boneyard offerings:

– Femme Fatale raspberry sour.

– The lambic-style Gooze Cruze sour.

– Incredible Pulp blood orange pale.

– Diablo Rojo red, and the habanero-infused Fuego Rojo.

– Skin N Bones session IPA, hopped with Mosaic and Citra.

– The flagship RPM IPA.

– Hop Venom double IPA.

– Armored Fist imperial Cascadian dark ale (a collaboration with Indiana’s Three Floyds).

– The sessionable Black 13 stout.

– The bigger, coffee-infused Backbone stout.

– And a large lager, the Dominator doppelbock.

The first 50 Boneyard buyers get a free pint glass. A brewery rep will be on hand with more prizes, along with additional raffles and giveaways for the anniversary.

The final Downdraft

Downdraft is preparing to close its doors after one last fling starting Friday.

Owners of the Post Falls brewery announced a month ago that they couldn’t afford the extra time and money it would take to succeed in an increasingly competitive craft beer market.

So they’re wrapping things up this weekend beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with more of the beer and merchandise specials that have been offered on a daily basis leading up to the grand finale.

Darker beers and the Project Pale are all gone, but there’s still some Anonymous Amber, Seltice SMaSH, Third Channel IPA and India Rad Red along with a few smaller specialty kegs.

Music will be provided Friday starting at 6:30 by Fair 2 Middlin’, who’ve been around since the brewery opened three years ago. “They told us, well, we’ll have to close down with you guys,” co-owner Aimee Brayman says.

Saturday will feature the Las Brasas Mexican Grill and Iverson’s Smokin Pig BBQ food trucks.

Customer reaction since the closure was announced has been gratifying, she says: “The people that we’ve heard from have all just been super kind. That’s always nice to hear when you’re making a tough decision like that.”

While Downdraft had its best year so far, Brayman says, taproom traffic is unpredictable and it’s hard to nail down tap handles at bars and restaurants with so many breweries in the market.

The biggest issue, she says, has been finding time to make it all work with everyone relying on other jobs as well. (The brewery is listed for sale in case anyone else wants to give it a shot.)    

“None of us has the ability to quit our day jobs and go full-time with the brewery,” Brayman says. “That’s really what you need to be successful. It’s been exhausting – it’s been great, but exhausting.”

They’re particularly proud of the Third Channel, she says: “We’ll put that up against any IPA on the market.”

And they’ll treasure the relationships with other brewers – “We have some great memories sitting in back rooms talking about beer and life” – and with customers.  

“A lot of them have become good friends,” Brayman says. “They’re people who are very important to us.”

Your weekly roundup

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

No-Li got in the Veterans Day spirit early on Wednesday with a $5,000 donation to the Washington State Fallen Heroes Project for maintenance of the organization's Illuminating Courage memorial statue at the Spokane Arena.

The contribution comes from sales of No-Li's We Are Spokane golden ale, which honors the late local World War II hero Samuel Grashio, a relative of No-Li co-owner Cindy Bryant (second from left).

• Paradise Creek on Tuesday put its first three beers in cans: Huckleberry Pucker sour wheat, Over the Hop IPA and MooJoe coffee milk stout. Look for those in area stores soon.

And Laughing Dog has canned its seasonal Pecan Porter, a gold medal winner at June's North American Beer Awards.

The Filling Station on 5th has become the latest local craft beer purveyor to package beer to go in 32-ounce Crowler cans, filled and sealed on the spot.

Bombastic, which so far has poured its beer for special events, is preparing to begin limited draft distribution in North Idaho from its half-barrel system. Longer-range plans call for contracting with other local breweries to produce beer for broader distribution. Also look for an announcement soon about a Bombastic membership program with special benefits.

• Tickets are on sale for Community Pint's Friendsgiving craft beer and snack food pairing Nov. 22, the night before Thanksgiving. For $28 you get five courses from Couple of Chefs catering (tortilla chips, pretzel bites, German sausage, chicken meatballs and a Twinkie) accompanied by a beer dip or sauce, plus a 6-ounce pour of each beer used.

• Through November, River City and distributor KBI Craft are donating $1 from every River City beer sold at Barracho Tacos & Tequileria to the Community Cancer Fund.  

Your weekend planner

What's happening this weekend in local craft beer:

SATURDAY

– Manito Tap House will contribute all proceeds from three donated kegs of special Fremont beers – a hazy version of the Cowiche Canyon organic fresh hop pale, the hazy Head Full of Dynomite IPA and a new specialty IPA – toward the medical expenses of late Iron Goat co-founder Paul Edminster.

– Bellwether's Landrace Grainfest from 3 to 9 p.m. will feature eight beers brewed with locally grown and malted Scots Bere and Purple Egyptian ancient barleys. Tickets are $25, which includes 5-ounce tasters of beers by Bellwether and six other breweries and a 12-ounce pour of a collaboration (the first 120 people through the door receive a souvenir glass).

– Mad Bomber celebrates its fourth anniversary with giveaways, the Wurst Man food truck and the release of tis year’s Black Hand barrel-aged imperial porter.

– Orlison is holding a Battle of the Beers between two new limited releases: the Spolunker imperial Cascadian dark ale, and Ankle Breaker imperial IPA. Get 10-ounce pours of both for $6 and vote on which one should be brewed as a bigger batch.

– Several area breweries and craft beer bars are offering discounts for Veterans Day.

– NovemBEERfest from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Bon Bon in the Garland Theater will include beers by Elysian, Ghostfish, Maritime Pacific, New Belgium and more plus live music and a raffle. The $5 entry fee benefits The Solution is Hours, which helps the homeless. 

– Rathdrum's Westwood Brewing, which has been operating as a bar so far, has the grand opening for its restaurant starting with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. A brewery is scheduled to be added later.

SUNDAY

– Twelve String’s fourth annual Barrelfest from noon to 5 will feature barrel-aged beers on all 18 taps.

– A Craft & Community fundraiser from 4 to 9 p.m. at nYne Bar & Bistro will help pay the medical bills of late Iron Goat co-founder Paul Edminster. Tickets are $50, which includes a complimentary cocktail, small plates by seven area restaurants paired with local beers, art and other auctions and live music.

A bigger Barrelfest

Twelve String’s fourth annual Barrelfest on Sunday is shaping up to be the biggest yet.

As many as 20 barrel-aged offerings are on the tentative taplist for the Spokane Valley brewery’s event from noon to 5 p.m., including the likes of:

– The last three anniversary beers: Volume 3 imperial red IPA aged in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels, Volume 4 barleywine in Woodinville Whiskey barrels and Volume 5 imperial tart porter in Woodinville bourbon barrels.

– Also on the sour side, an Alternate Tuning sour imperial IPA blended with whiskey barrel Electric Slide imperial IPA; Don’t Fret porter in Woodinville Whiskey barrels; and a rare tequila barrel Lemon Lime Pale Ale.

– The always popular Tequila Barrel Imperial Mango Mambo

– Both a golden strong ale and the Jam Session IPA aged in gin barrels with grapefruit.

– PinaCoco imperial porter aged in rum barrels with pineapple and coconut.

– A rare Ardennes the Menace dark strong aged for three years in Woodinville Whiskey barrels.

– A cask huckleberry- and jalapeno-infused RedX XXX red ale in Woodinville Whiskey barrels.

– Drop D Stout in Woodinville Whiskey barrels, along with blackberry-infused Drop D in Liberty Lake Winery syrah barrels.

– Don’t Fret porter in Liberty Lake Winery cabernet barrels.

– Heavenly Black Fog, Double Drop D Stout in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels.

– Red Heaven imperial red IPA blended with Double Drop D Stout in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels.  

– Beer de Cocoa, Double Chocolate Double Stout in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels.

As usual, they’ll be served in 5-ounce pours for $3. Most also will be available to go in 32-ounce grunts for $18.  

A toast to veterans

With Veterans Day being observed today by many government employees, and on its regular date tomorrow by everyone else, several area breweries and craft beer bars are honoring the occasion with discounts:

– Post Falls Brewing is offering a free pint today to veterans and active military, and a free personal pizza from Pi-daho Artisan Pizza for veterans on Saturday.

Steady Flow Growler House has a 15 percent discount for veterans on beer, food and merchandise today and Saturday.

– Veterans and active duty service members get their first beer for free at Daft Badger and Laughing Dog on Saturday, and $1 off pints at Badass Backyard and Quartzite.

– Black Label is offering $3 pints Saturday for active duty military, retirees, National Guard and reservists (with ID).

– Those with military ID get their first beer for free at Enoteca on Saturday, and $1 off beers at Community Pint.

V Twin is pouring half-price pints for veterans Saturday, while Wallace Brewing has a $1 discount.

 

Landrace to the finish

Bellwether is again breathing new life into old grains.

In February, the North Spokane brewery released a series of small-batch beers brewed with Purple Egyptian barley grown locally by Palouse Heritage and malted by Palouse Pint. It followed up in August with another series using another ancient variety, Scots Bere.

Now comes Saturday’s Landrace Grainfest, featuring eight beers brewed with those barleys by Bellwether and six other mostly local breweries.

“Landrace” refers to grains that were cultivated locally in regions across the globe, before the advent of more mass-produced, hybridized varieties. They provide distinctive flavors when used for baking and brewing.

“They’re so tall, they have much deeper root structures,” says Don Scheuerman of Palouse Heritage, which grows several strains on its farm between Endicott and St. John. “They can pick up micronutrients that aren’t available in the top two or three feet of soil.”

For Saturday, several brewers have made big beers with the Scots Bere, which contributes a deep, rich color and flavor. Those include a Belgian-style dubbel by Genus Brewing (at the Nu Home Brew supply store), a strong ale by Snohomish’s Lost Canoe (co-owned by a cousin of Bellwether’s Thomas Croskrey) and a barleywine by Young Buck.

On the lighter side, Black Label brewed an easy-drinking Kentucky Common with the fruitier, nuttier Purple Egyptian along with corn from the LINC Foods farmers’ co-op, the parent company of Palouse Pint. 

Both Scots Bere and Purple Egyptian were used in an amber autumn lager by Whistle Punk (which was conditioned over hazelnuts), an Amarillo dry-hopped pale by Bellwether and a strong bitter by Palouse Pint that included some lightly roasted Purple Egyptian.

An English-style strong ale collaboration by all the brewers features both roasted and smoked Purple Egyptian and Scots Bere along with a little landrace Red Russian wheat from Palouse Heritage.

The festival runs from 3 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 (available in advance at Bellwether and at the door), which includes a 12-ounce pour of the collaboration and 5-ounce tasters of the other beers; the first 120 people through the door get a souvenir glass.

There also will be bread and snacks for sale by Culture Breads using the Red Russian and other landrace grains.

And there’s more to come. A cooperative project called the Grain Shed, in a former grocery store on the north edge of the South Perry District (at Newark and Laura), will feature beers brewed with Palouse Heritage grains plus breads and small plates by Culture Breads. It’s in the permitting process and plans to open by spring.

“You’ll be able to come in and taste the full gamut, in food form, bread form and beer form,” says co-owner Joel Williamson, who's also the Palouse Pint maltster.

For Paul’s sake

When Iron Goat co-founder Paul Edminster died Sept. 30 from complications of cancer, it left not only a huge hole in the craft beer community but a small mountain of medical bills.

All proceeds from two events this weekend will go toward covering those costs:

Manito Tap House on Saturday is pouring three kegs donated by Fremont for the cause: a hazy New England-style version of the Cowiche Canyon organic fresh hop pale; the latest in the hazy Head Full of Dynomite IPA series, hopped with Azacca and Ekuanot; and a yet-unnamed specialty IPA brewed with Vienna malt, rolled oats and Comet and Crystal hops. Sales support the Edminster fund.

– On Sunday, nYne Bar & Bistro hosts a Craft & Community evening starting at 4 p.m. with a cocktail hour (your first Dry Fly signature cocktail is free, no-host bar after) and appetizers by Perry Street Brewing and Boots Bakery & Lounge.

At 5, seven small plates will be served from Casper Fry, Clover, Iron Goat, Lantern Tap House, Manito Tap House, Ruins and restaurant supplier Sysco Spokane (which is donating all the food), accompanied by beer pairings from Black Label, Iron Goat, No-Li, Paradise Creek, Perry Street, Quartzite, River City.

A live auction of high-end art starts at 7, and there also will be a silent auction of items donated by various businesses (plus a brown paper grab bag of specialty wines and beers for $10). Live music will be provided throughout the evening by Don and Thomas Thomsen, Mama Doll, Dario Re and friends.

Tickets are $50, in advance and at the door if available (sales are limited to the first 250 people). The event is 21 and older only.     

Your weekly roundup

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

• Tickets are on sale for River City's third annual International Marmot Festival on Dec. 2, featuring eight variations on the seasonal Midnight Marmot imperial stout infused with ingredients from around the globe.

For $25, the first 50 ticket buyers can get 2-ounce tasters of each beer, a 12-ounce pour of their favorite and a souvenir glass. After that, tickets will be $20 in advance (not including the glass) and $25 at the door.

• It may seem a bit redundant given current conditions, but Perry Street Brewing's Pray For Snow party returns for a fourth year on Nov. 16. Again look for snow sports-related raffles and giveaways, vintage ski attire and dance contests and classic ski films on the big screen; proceeds benefit Grant Elementary School's T.E.A.M. Grant.   

• Also on Nov. 16, Remedy Kitchen and Tavern is presenting a four-course Hop Valley beer dinner featuring the Light Me Up Lager, Hefe, Solid Baby and Imperial Mistress IPAs and VIP Vanilla Infused Porter; tickets are $55.

Badass Backyard has received the final permits it needed from the City of Coeur d'Alene to open its planned satellite tasting room there, in the back of the Coeur d'Alene Fresh retail complex. No opening date has been announced. 

Your weekend planner

A look at this weekend in local craft beer:

SATURDAY

Pints Alehouse features 11 barrel-aged Avery beers on Friday and Saturday including the Amicitia and Apricot sours; 2016 Samael's strong ale, 2015 The Beast grand cru and 2016 Mephistopheles imperial stout; 2015 PumpKYn porter and 2017 rum barrel Rumpkin; and the 2017 Nuttiest Professor peanut stout, 2016 T.W.E.A.K. coffee stout, 2015 Uncle Jacob's imperial stout and 2016 Vanilla Bean Stout.   

– North Idaho's Warriors of the Rotating Tap (WORT) club celebrates national Learn to Homebrew Day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the HopStop supply store in Post Falls with demonstrations, samples and snacks.   

– The Inland Brewers Unite (IBU) club celebrates national Learn to Homebrew Day starting at noon at The Porch with brewing demonstrations, samples, a potluck lunch and raffle drawings.

– Laughing Dog has a release party for this year's DogFather imperial stout from noon to 8; for $8, get a flight of the 2017, 2016 and either 2015 or 2014 vintages (while supplies last).  

– Bellwether releases The Sage oud bruin collaboration with Young Buck, a pumpkin/sage porter aged in wine barrels for a year, starting at 1 p.m.

– River City's Randall for the weekend is the Red through oranges and cloves.

– Twelve String has tapped a cask of fresh hop Simcoe IPA dry-hopped with Mosaic.

– Selkirk Abbey is pouring a new release of barrel-aged Guilt imperial porter. 

Home sweet homebrew

It's been 39 years since homebrewing again became legal in the United States, for the first time since Prohibition.

And for a 19th year, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) is again celebrating the hobby – or obsession, as the case may be – with National Learn to Homebrew Day on Saturday.

Last year, more than 6,200 gallons of beer were brewed at 300 participating locations across 46 states and 11 countries. This year's activities are expected to exceed those totals, including two local events:

– Spokane's Inland Brewers Unite (IBU) club will gather starting at noon at The Porch, 1804 W. Broadway. Club leaders will brew a demonstration batch; other members are invited to bring their equipment and join in, and to bring homebrew to share. (Anyone can attend, but tasting is limited to those 21 or older.)

There also will be a potluck lunch, and prize raffles for both members and nonmembers. New memberships and renewals will be offered at a discount price of $25, and you can also use IBU's link to start or renew an AHA membership (beginning at $43 for one year) and receive a free copy of the book "Brewing Classic Styles."

And whether you're a member or not, you can download the AHA's free BrewGuru app for information on deals at homebrew supply stores and breweries nationwide along with recipes.  

– In North Idaho, the Warriors of the Rotating Tap (WORT) club will mark the occasion from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hop Stop supply shop in Post Falls. There will be demonstrations of extract, Brew in a Bag (BIAB) and all-grain brewing along with samples and snacks.