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Your weekly roundup

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

• No-Li has a pair of new bottled releases on the way. The new spring seasonal is March Forth Citrus IPA (7.2 percent alcohol by volume, 26 International Bitterness Units), brewed with orange peel and hopped with fruity Amarillo and Comet; it's available on tap and in 22-ounce bombers at the pub now, with bottles scheduled to start rolling out to stores the end of next week.

Also shipping to stores and available at the pub then is a limited-release Ioane Coconut Porter (6.1, 22) – named after John Ioane, senior vice president of No-Li's distributor, The Odom Corporation – slightly sweet with hints of toffee and mild coffee, and hopped with Zeus for black pepper, licorice and curry notes.      

• Daft Badger will begin bottling its Blood Orange IPA, which has been the Coeur d'Alene brewery's top seller since its big-batch release at the beginning of the month. Look for bombers to be available in the taproom in a couple of weeks.

• An early alert on a pair of upcoming beer dinners: Prohibition Gastropub is hosting No-Li and New Belgium for a five-course dinner April 10, at $70 per person; call (509) 474-9040 for reservations. And Nectar Catering and Events in downtown Spokane presents a five-course Wander Brewing dinner April 25 featuring the Wanderale Belgian pale with a serrano ham/heirloom tomato salad, smoked Rauchbier with pork belly, Shoe Toss rye IPA with rye-crusted cod and beer cheese sauce, Global Mutt Baltic porter with chili- and coffee-rubbed ribeye, and Peach Millie sour with grilled peaches and goat cheese ice cream; tickets are $49.99.

• Tickets are on sale for the inaugural Tri-Cities Craft Beer Festival, the Washington Beer Commission's newest event, April 29 at the Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick. The 35 participating breweries include locals No-Li, Northern, Orlison, Paradise Creek, Twelve String and Young Buck; tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Your weekly planner

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 3/22

– German-style beers from Portland's Occidental Brewing will be featured at Enoteca in Post Falls on Friday starting at 5, including a kolsch and altbier on tap and hefeweizen and Bohemian-style pilsner in 16-ounce cans; get a free glass with your pint purchase while supplies last.

– Trickster's monthly Customer Appreciation Day on Friday features beer specials along with the Iverson's Smokin Pig BBQ food truck.

– River City's Randall for the weekend is VB Stout through blueberries.

 

UPDATES TUESDAY 3/21

Perry Street has tapped the second in its yearlong series of hazy, fruity New England-style IPAs, brewed with Maris Otter malt, Golden Naked Oats and Palouse white wheat and hopped with Galaxy, Simcoe and Citra powder. 

– Shin Splints IPA is beer of the week at Orlison, with $3 pints in the taproom.

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

MONDAY

March IPA Madness continues at Manito Tap House with a third weekly round of blind tasters of four Washington IPAs; the top customer vote-getter joins previous weekly winners Georgetown Bodhizafa and Bale Breaker Topcutter in the Final Four. 

TUESDAY

– Black Raven's Scotch Ale takes on Grand Teton's Bitch Creek Brown in a Dark Region showdown in the Elite Eight of The Lantern Tap House's Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket; vote by buying pints of your favorite ($2.50 today after 6 p.m.).

WEDNESDAY

– A Breakside tap takeover at Manito Tap House from 6 to 8 will include Wisco Tavern Beer cream ale, Mo' Money pale, Lunch Break India session ale, regular IPA, Safe Word Triple IPA and Salted Caramel Stout.

– Deschutes Fresh Squeezed takes on Fort George Vortex in an IPA Region showdown in the Elite Eight of The Lantern Tap House's Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket; vote by buying pints of your favorite.  

THURSDAY

– Week 5 of Bellwether's Purple Egyptian Barley Project from 5 to 9 features a roasty brown ale and chipotle chile pale ale brewed with the locally grown and malted grain, accompanied by barley bread from Culture Breads.  

– A Pints for Pups night at English Setter from 5 to 8 benefits Dachsund Rescue NW, which will receive $1 from each sale. 

– Get more Breakside beers including Wisco Tavern cream ale, Mo' Money pale, Bergamot Special Bitter and Bellwether gin barrel-aged sour with lime during a Brewery Night at The Lantern Tap House from 5 to 10, with live music by Buffalo Jones and The Tourist Union at 8. 

– Big Barn beers will pour in a pint night from 6 to 8 at McClain's Pizzeria, with raffles for swag.

– The local Backcountry Hunters and Anglers chapter meets from 7 to 9 at River City, with $1 from each pint sold supporting the organization. 

– "Fill the Funk" at Coeur d'Alene's Filling Station on 5th from 8 to 11 pairs an assortment of sour beers and a '70s-themed costume contest (with prizes).

FRIDAY

– New Belgium's new Voodoo Ranger series – 8 Hop Pale, IPA and Imperial IPA – plus the Belgian-style De Koninck Flowering Citrus Ale and Anne-Francois Spiced Dark Strong will pour in a tap takeover starting at 5 at The Flying Goat. 

– The Lantern Tap House's Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket continues with an Amber/Red Region showdown between Boneyard's Diablo Rojo and Boundary Bay Amber; vote by buying pints of your favorite.  

SATURDAY

– Representatives from the Spokane Riverkeeper water protection program will visit various downtown-area restaurants participating in this year's Riverwalk promotion, centering around River City's RIverkeeper IPA, in a pub crawl between 2 and 9.

– Breakside's Pilsner takes on Georgetown's Johnny Utah in a Light/Pale Region showdown in the Elite Eight of The Lantern Tap House's Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket (rescheduled from Thursday).

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

A ‘micro’ kind of craft

Another year, another 50 biggest breweries list, another shutout for Washington state.

The Brewers Association trade group last week released its annual rankings of the top-producing craft brewers nationwide, and four Oregon breweries again made the cut: Deschutes (No. 8), Full Sail (29), Rogue (30) and Ninkasi (33).

Washington breweries were again absent, which was no surprise. The state’s two largest brewers, Redhook and Elysian, aren’t counted as “craft” by the Brewers Association because of their connections to Anheuser-Busch.

Redhook is part of the Portland-based Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) – along with Widmer and Kona, among others – which is partially owned by A-B. Elysian was bought outright by Busch in 2015.

And no one else even comes close to qualifying for the Top 50 list. Washington brewers simply make less beer, and sell it closer to home, than their counterparts in states like Oregon, Colorado and California. 

After Redhook – which shipped 127,200 barrels in 2016, down a whopping 32 percent from the previous year – and Elysian, which produced 89,200, the state’s next biggest brewery was Georgetown, at just under 55,000 barrels, according to Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board figures.

The rest of the top 10 drops off quickly after that: Mac & Jack’s, 43,100; Fremont, 31,300; Iron Horse, 22,600; Bale Breaker, 19,300; Silver City, 14,700; Pike, 11,500; and Fish, 11,300. No-Li was next with 11,200.

In 2015, the last year for which state-by-state numbers are available, Washington had the second-most breweries nationally with 305 – behind California’s 518 – but ranked only 15th in total production, at 426,500 barrels. That’s a rough average of 1,400 barrels per brewery, compared to 4,900 for Oregon, 6,300 for Colorado and 7,300 for California.

And 79 percent of Washington brewers produce 1,000 or fewer barrels per year, compared to 73 percent nationally, according to Bart Watson, chief economist for the Brewers Association.

Of course, bigger isn’t necessarily better. “I love this list,” the Seattle Beer News’ Geoff Kaiser writes of the Brewers Association rankings. “It reinforces the notion that for the most part you have to come to the source to get our beer.”

A fuller Filling Station

The Filling Station on 5th is pumping itself up.

The Coeur d’Alene gastropub and growler fill operation is doubling its number of beer and cider taps from 25 to 50. The new handles debut Thursday night for a ‘70s-themed Fill the Funk party featuring special sours from Firestone Walker and Grand Teton.

Those additional taps are up front in the restaurant portion of the building at 5th and Sherman that the Filling Station shares with Collective Kitchen.  All the beers and the full food menu are served both there and in the smaller bar in the back, with the beers also available at the Studio 107 wine bar and art gallery next door.

The extra handles will allow for a wider variety of beers in the lineup, says Filling Station owner Keith Carpenter. (There also are four more taps for kombucha and one for root beer.)

“It will help us have more ambers and browns,” Carpenter says. ”You know me, I’m all about the big beers. Now we’ll have more lower-alcohol options.”

Six taps up front will pour a rotating selection of local beers, with Twelve String and Laughing Dog always available. There will be three cider taps and three or four lines specifically for sours.

Ten sours will pour for Thursday’s party from 8 to 11 p.m. Those include Firestone Walker’s 2016 and 2017 Bretta Weisse and 2016 Krieky Bones cherry-infused Flanders red, Agrestic wild red and Lil Opal saison; and Grand Teton’s barrel-aged Snarling Badger imperial Berliner Weisse and 2015 American Sour – regular, Amarillo dry-hopped and Chardonnay-barreled – and cherry Mahogany Kriek.

“These aren’t kettle sours, these are true (barrel-aged) American sours,” Carpenter says. “We plan to blow every keg that night.”

For $20, you get a souvenir tasting glass and five drink tickets good for four-ounce pours of the sours.

Non-sour offerings will include Firestone’s Pivo Pilsner, Easy Jack session IPA and Fortem unfiltered imperial IPA, and Grand Teton’s sessionable Ale 208, Teton Range IPA and Lost Continent imperial IPA.

A ‘70s costume contest (Carpenter has been working on his) will offer prizes of a Firestone Walker/Grand Teton sours six-pack plus gift baskets from each brewery.

It’s the latest in a series of special events that help keep the Filling Station hopping. Carpenter says he doubled last March’s sales total in the first half of this month.

“We have a really good following,” he says. “What’s really been driving business is the food and the beer together.”

When things slow down over the winter, only half of the beer and cider taps will pour at a time, he adds.

“I won’t keep a keg on more than a month,” Carpenter says. “We don’t want to pour bad beer.”

Your weekly roundup

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

• Laughing Dog finished seventh nationally in USA Today's online Best Beer Label voting for its Dogzilla Black IPA, which pictures a spike-collared behemoth menacing a skyline of beer bottle-topped buildings (plus a poetic description to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult's "Go Go Godzilla"). Meanwhile, the brewery's new Dogs of Helles and Bock at the Moon lagers are starting to roll out, while the taproom at the recently relocated brewery is on track to open April 1. 

• Moscow Brewing, which closed last summer, is preparing to reopen under new ownership though no specific date has been announced. 

• No-Li is in the running for a pair of business-related honors. It's one of two finalists in the food and beverage processor category for Seattle Business Magazine's Washington Manufacturing Awards, which will be announced April 26, and also one of four finalists in the large business category of Greater Spokane Incorporated's AGORA Awards, which will be handed out June 7. (It's also the first local brewery to jump on the Northwestern basketball crying kid meme.)  

• Bellwether today tapped a Plum Barleywine, the last in its garden beer series. 

• Daft Badger won the interstate brewery battle against Slate Creek, River City and Orlison on Saturday at Steady Flow Growler House. 

• The matchups are set for next week's Elite Eight round of The Lantern Tap House's Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket. It will be Black Raven's Scotch Ale against Grand Teton's Bitch Creek Brown in the Dark Region on Tuesday, Deschutes Fresh Squeezed vs. Fort George Vortex in the IPA Region on Wednesday, and Breakside Pilsner and Georgetown's Johnny Utah Pale in the Light/Pale region on Thursday; on Friday, Boneyard's Diablo Rojo will take on the winner of last Friday's Boundary Bay/Laurelwood showdown in the Amber/Red Region (which still hasn't been announced yet). Buy a pint (for $4) to cast your vote. 

Stubby chasers

About to enter its 12th year of operation, MickDuff’s is looking to sell itself short in 2017.

The Sandpoint brewery’s top priority for the coming year is to begin bottling its beers – in 11.2-ounce “stubbies” (think old-school Oly, or Full Sail’s Session line).

“We wanted a unique package, something that would stand out on the shelf,” says Mack Deibel, MickDuff’s marketing manager and assistant brewer.

You can get a look at the 1958-vintage bottling line and the rest of the brewery during an open house Saturday from 5 to 7, part of the 11th anniversary celebration at the Beer Hall.

There also will be country music by local favorite Devon Wade starting at 6:30, and food from the Edelwagen truck.

And some special beers will be pouring including the return of Shillelagh, the brewery’s original American-style IPA that was first released in 2009 (and has made brief appearances since). It’s brewed with organic malts and all Amarillo hops.

Amarillos are more popular these days and therefore harder to come by, not to mention more expensive. “We’re pretty lucky that we got our hands on some,” Deibel says.

Shillelagh is the second in a new series of rotating IPAs to be released every two or three months, following the recent Galaxy Juice.

Its original version also was the basis for what became the brewery’s imperial IPA, Noho. That will be one of the first two beers bottled, along with the blonde.

Plans call for those to be joined next year by two of the other three beers MickDuff’s distributes in North Idaho and Eastern Washington: Lake Paddler pale, Irish Redhead and Knot Tree porter.

The first bottles should reach the market by summer, Deibel says. ”We have everything we need to operate the bottling line,” he says. “It’s just a matter of getting the nuts and bolts tightened up and firing it up.”

And, of course, doing some test batches before going public. “We want to make sure we’re putting out a good product when we do fire it up,” Deibel adds.

MickDuff’s annual production topped 1,000 barrels for the first time last year, he says, a 30 percent increase over the previous year. And if the bottles catch on, he says, “I could see that number jumping dramatically.”

Erin go brew

Rounding up some of the St. Patrick’s Day parties and specials at area breweries Friday:

Badass Backyard's bash from 2 to 9 will include $3 green beers and a best green shirt contest (by popular acclamation) at 8.  

– The celebration at The Steel Barrel beginning at 4 features a black-and-tan blend made with house-brewed Pitch Black IPA from Young Buck and Galaxy Pale Ale from Little Spokane, along with Jameson whiskey specials and corned beef tostadas and tortas from the adjoining Zona Blanca.

Big Barn has a release party for its Lone Pine Pilsner with $3 pints from 5 to 9, plus Black and Tans, green beer, games and a food truck.

Perry Street marks the occasion with $4 pints of its newly released Irish Extra Stout and Reuben sliders.

– No-Li has tapped Irish whiskey-barrel aged Wrecking Ball and mint chocolate Rise & Grind stouts.  

Bellwether is serving $2 pints of its Confused Irishman Stout.

Slate Creek has $3 pints of Salmon Run Irish Red and Fly'n Kilt Scotch.

– Iron Goat is serving a sausage/potato Bangers & Mash dinner special starting at 4.

– New Boundary has brewed a single keg of Unicorn Pale for the occasion, with $2.50 pints.

V Twin is pouring $3 pints of green-tinted Wheat Glide and Sissy Shifter IPA.

– Get your first pint for $3 at Downdraft in Post Falls and $1 off each one after that, plus food from Las Brasas Mexican Grill; also get drink specials at nearby Up North Distillery as part of a joint pub crawl.  

– In Sandpoint, MickDuff's offers an Irish-themed menu in the main pub all day and live music by Dodgy Mountain Men at the Beer Hall at 8.

– Build your own stuffed baked potato at The Chewelah Valley Lions Club's Suds 'N Spuds from 5 to 8 at Quartzite Brewing.

– Look for traditional corned beef and cabbage at Pullman's Paradise Creek.

Ready to tipple off

UPDATE THURSDAY 3/16

River City is pouring $2 pints all night in celebration of the Zags' opening-round win.

 

With the Gonzaga Bulldogs poised to start another NCAA men’s basketball tournament run Thursday, several local breweries and craft beer establishments are offering specials for the occasion:

Big Barn is opening at 10:45 for the Zags’ 11 a.m. tipoff against South Dakota State, with $3 pints all day and pizza by the slice.

Perry Street also opens its doors at 10:45, with $4 pints until 4 p.m. and $2 off appetizers.

Post Falls Brewing opens up early for the tournament games both Thursday and Friday, with $3 pints of its Cheap Prick session ale.

Waddell's Neighborhood Pub & Grille has 32-ounce pours of selected beers for $4 during the Zags game.

Nectar Catering and Events downtown offers $1 off pints along with wine and food specials starting at 11.

Steady Flow Growler House is taking $1 off pints all day.

– The South Hill Growler Guys will have $2 off 64-ounce fills and $1 off 32-ounce fills (including crowlers) on all Gonzaga game days. 

– And in Coeur d’Alene, Victory Sports Hall will pour $1 beers after every tournament upset – which hopefully won’t be happening when the Zags game finishes.

Of hops and hoops

College basketball’s March Madness officially kicks off today with the first NCAA tournament play-in games.  But two local tap houses – Manito and The Lantern – already are in the second week of their liquid versions.

Manito’s second annual March IPA Madness again pits 16 Washington-brewed examples of the style against each other, with the winner receiving a permanent tap handle for the coming year.

This year’s format is a bit different, though. Last year, the Sweet (er, Hoppy) Sixteen was trimmed to an Elite Eight based on head-to-head matchups in Facebook and Twitter polls. Then the champion – which turned out to be No-Li’s Born & Raised – was chosen by customers through blind tastings of all eight at once.

This time, while social media voting was used to help establish the field, the competition consists of four blind taster flights each week for four weeks, with the weekly winners then facing off in a Final Four round.

And to keep everything on the level, after concerns arose last year, brewery and distributor employees are prohibited from participating this time (under threat of having their beers banned from Manito for a year).

Week One saw a near-upset of that round’s top seed – Georgetown’s beloved Bodhizafa, which won the ultra-competitive IPA category at last fall’s Great American Beer Festival – by this year’s new and improved version of River City’s Riverkeeper IPA.

Bodhi squeaked by with 42.3 percent of the vote, compared to Riverkeeper’s 38.5. Boundary Bay’s Cedar Dust and Twelve String’s Batch 201 finished well off the pace.

You won’t know which beers are in this week’s round until you’ve tasted and voted on them, which you can do through Sunday.

On the other hand, The Lantern’s Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket is a series of open, head-to-head popularity contests among 16 contenders in four stylistic regions: Dark, IPA, Light/Pale and Amber/Red.

You vote by buying pints of your favorites (at a special price of $4, or $3 during happy hour and $2.50 after 6 on Tuesdays). The competition continues Tuesday through Friday this week and next, with the Final Four showdowns among regional winners on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29.

Today’s pairing pits HUB’s 7 Grain Survival Stout against Grand Teton’s Bitch Creek Brown in the Dark Region. The winner will join last week’s regional winner – Black Raven’s Scotch Ale, which dispatched Pelican’s Tsunami Stout – in the Elite Eight.

Then on Wednesday, it’s Fort George’s Vortex versus Bale Breaker’s Topcutter in the IPA Region; on Thursday, Firestone Walker’s Pivo Pilsner taking on Georgetown’s Johnny Utah in the Light/Pale Region; and on Friday, Boundary Bay Amber against Laurelwood Free Range Red in the Amber/Red Region.

Last week’s other winners were Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA (over Double Mountain Hop Lava), Breakside Pilsner (over Iron Goat’s Garbage Pale) and Boneyard’s Diablo Rojo (over Beer Valley’s Owyhee Amber).

Your weekly planner

UPDATE FRIDAY 3/17

– River City's Randall for the weekend is Girlfriend Golden through jalapeno, lime and cilantro.

 

UPDATE THURSDAY 3/16

Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards presents a tasting of imported beers tonight from 6 to 8; cost for a flight is $10.

 

UPDATES WEDNESDAY 3/15

– Perry Street is pouring a roasty, chocolaty Irish Extra Stout.

– Iron Goat has tapped a dark, unfiltered Dunkelweizen wheat beer.

– The Habanero Blonde returns today at Badass Backyard.

– Coeur d'Alene's Well Read Moose bookstore offers a Mad Bomber tasting in its cafe Friday from 5:30 to 7.

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

MONDAY

Twelve String is pouring a cask of Jam Session IPA conditioned on fruity Denali hops, as well as gin barrel-aged Jam Session and bourbon barrel-aged imperial tart porter.  

Iron Goat has tapped a classic English-style pale ale dubbed British Bulldog.  

TUESDAY

– An Orlison pint night from 5 to 8 benefits Peak 7 Adventures, a faith-based nonprofit that provides outdoor adventures for marginalized youths.

WEDNESDAY

– Grand Teton beers will be featured in a fundraiser for Panhandle Community Radio (KYRF-FM) from 5 to 8 at Idaho Pour Authority in Sandpoint, with live music, complimentary appetizers and raffles.  

THURSDAY

– A Pelican tasting from 4 to 7 at the Coeur d'Alene Growler Guys includes the Umbrella and Fuggles Yeah IPAs, Tsunami Stout on nitro and Mother of All Storms barleywine. 

– The fourth weekly installment of Bellwether's Purple Egyptian Barley Project from 5 to 9 features a braggot (honey beer) with yerba mate tea and a brown ale brewed with a roasted version of the locally grown and malted grain, along with sprouted sunflower bread from Culture Breads.

FRIDAY

– Pints Alehouse celebrates its fifth anniversary starting at 3 with cellar specialties including a 2014-16 vertical of Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout, The Bruery's 2015 Cuivre bourbon barrel-aged old ale and 2016 Rodenbach Alexander Flanders-style red, plus four IPAs to be announced.  

Pilgrim's presents a free St. Patrick's Day beer tasting at 3:30 featuring Murphy's Irish Stout (and Magners Irish Cider), plus a trio of Scottish-inspired offerings: Selkirk Abbey's Grace, McCall Brewing's smoked Wobbily Man and Founders Dirty Bastard.

– The St. Paddy's party at The Steel Barrel beginning at 4 features drink specials including Black and Tans made with house-brewed Galaxy Pale Ale from Little Spokane and Pitch Black IPA from Young Buck.

– Big Barn has a release party from 5 to 9 for its St. Patty's Pilsner, with $3 pints.

– Bottles in Millwood hosts a Ballast Point tasting starting at 5. 

– Build your own stuffed baked potato at The Chewelah Valley Lions Club's Suds 'N Spuds from 5 to 8 at Quartzite Brewing.

SATURDAY

– The fifth anniversary celebration continues at Pints Alehouse beginning at 3 with more cellar specialties including Firestone Walker's 2014 Sucuba barleywine and 2016 Parabola imperial stout, Uinta's 2014 The Labyrinth barrel-aged quadruple black, Crux's 2016 Tough Love imperial stout and Vliegende Paard Brouwers' 2016 cognac barrel Prearis Grand Cru, plus four IPAs to be announced.

– The 11th anniversary party at MickDuff's Beer Hall in Sandpoint from 5 to 10 features the return of Shillelagh organic IPA, brewery tours and live music by Devon Wade.

– Spokane's River City and Orlison face off against Coeur d'Alene's Daft Badger and Slate Creek in a Brewery Battle of the States from 5 to 8 at Steady Flow Growler House; a blind tasting will feature two beers from each brewery (vote for your favorite), along with raffles for swag.

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

On Tap meets Good Brews

On Tap is about to invade the airwaves.

We sat down this week with Adam Boyd, host of the weekly Good Brews on KYRS-FM (Thin Air Radio) – on the occasion of his 100th show, no less – to talk about all things local craft beer past, present and future.

It airs Sunday at 5 p.m. on KYRS (88.1/92.3 on your FM dial). Or if you miss it then, you can catch up with all of Adam’s shows (which are well worth checking out) on iTunes

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.  

A Perry good year

Perry Street Brewing is only three years old, but it’s celebrating a golden anniversary of sorts this weekend.

The headline for 2016 was winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival – only the third time an Inland Northwest brewery has done so in the renowned competition’s 30-year history.

And as part of the anniversary celebration Friday and Saturday, it’s again raffling a Golden Growler, good for a free fill and a pint each week for the coming year.

In its second year of entries, Perry Street captured GABF gold for its Session IPL (India pale lager), a former seasonal that since has been added to the year-round lineup. Previous local winners were No-Li in 2012 and the now-defunct Coeur d’Alene Brewing back in 1988.

While he received positive feedback from judges the previous year, owner/brewer Ben Lukes says, “You never expect to go down there and win. The competition is so tough. That’s the level we aspire to compete at, tasting these amazing beers that are all around us and seeing how we stack up against them.”

Lukes also won the inaugural IPA Showdown at last spring’s Spokane Craft Beer Week with his regular India pale ale, which he says also got good notes at GABF this year. “It’s right where we want it to be,” he says.

Perry Street is the first Spokane brewery to experiment with lupulin powder, a concentrated form of the oils and resins in hops. That’s a fixture in the Citra Dust Double IPA, the taproom’s top seller despite (or maybe because of) its hefty 9 percent alcohol by volume.

“We have 50-year-old women in here drinking three of these big beers, and they only weigh 100 pounds,” Lukes chuckles.

He last week launched the first in a yearlong series of hazy, juicy New England-style IPAs, and also plans weekly firkins of infused, cask-conditioned beers.

But beer innovations and awards aside, he says, the major achievement of year three was adding an in-house food menu featuring small plates, sandwiches and salads – including fresh produce from the South Perry farmers market, in season – under the guidance of chef Alisha Van Guilder.

“What she’s been able to accomplish out of an 8-by-11 kitchen is pretty outrageous,” Lukes says. “We wanted to get awesome craft food into our brewery, and people have really responded.”

Read full post ›

Your weekly planner

UPDATES WEDNESDAY 3/8

Enoteca in Post Falls will pour the 2013-2016 vintages of Deschutes' The Abyss barrel-aged imperial stout on Friday starting at 5; get a 4-ounce flight for $14 (individual tasters $3.50-$4.50 depending on year, half-pints $6-$7.50).

Huckleberry's has a drop-in Wander tasting on Saturday from 2 to 4 p,m., with a five-taster flight for $5.

– Daft Badger has released its take on a hazy New England-style IPA, called Unclear Objective.

– Clementine, a Belgian-yeast version of the regular Clem's Gold, is beer of the week at Orlison with $3 pints.

UPDATES TUESDAY 3/7

– Rocket Market hosts a tasting of 10 new beers in stock Friday at 7; cost is $25 for samples and snacks.

– The Lantern Tap House has its Month of Madness Craft Beer Bracket on Tuesdays through Fridays for the rest of March, with two beers facing off each day ($4 pints).  

– Coeur d'Alene's Crafted Tap House welcomes Michigan's Founders Brewing for a launch event Thursday at 6 featuring the Rubaeus raspberry ale, All Day IPA, Dirty Bastard Scotch, Porter and Oatmeal Stout. 

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

MONDAY

– River City Brewing, Numerica Credit Union and the Spokane Riverkeeper kick off this year's Riverwalk. Stop at five of the 10 participating downtown-area restaurants through March for a pint of this year's Riverkeeper IPA and/or a meal and receive a souvenir pint glass (with Numerica making a $5 donation to the Riverkeeper program for each one); hit all of them to be entered in a drawing for a Spokane River rafting trip.

– Manito Tap House launches this year's March IPA Madness. Each week for four weeks, customers can vote on blind flights of four Washington IPAs; the weekly winners will face off in a Final Four at the end. 

WEDNESDAY

Pilgrim's presents a free Crooked Fence tasting starting at 3:30 including Cranberry Sour, Aviator Raspberry Blonde, Trainwreck Red, Hop Notion IPA and Sins of Our Fathers imperial stout.

– Iron Goat is the featured brewery for this month's Fried Chicken & Local Beer Dinner at The Wandering Table in Kendall Yards starting at 6; get the family-style meal and three pints for $35 (includes tax and tip).

– The limited-release Powder Run imperial IPA returns at Badass Backyard. 

THURSDAY

– The North Spokane Growler Guys hosts a Backwoods Brewing tasting from 5 to 7 featuring Roughin' it Rye IPA, Double Cutt imperial IPA and Winchester Brown. 

Pints for Puppies from 6 to 9 at Steady Flow Growler House benefits Rescue4All, which will receive $1 from each pint and growler fill sold.

FRIDAY

– Perry Street celebrates its third anniversary starting at 4 with special firkins of IPA aged on tangelos and tart saison on Meyer lemons and coriander, plus 20-ounce pours for the price of a pint. 

– Slate Creek's fourth anniversary party starting at 5 features $3 pints including Imperial Red and Dead Fall Barley Wine, food by Las Brasas Mexican Grill and live music by Dario Re at 6.

Barrels & Brews, from 5 to 8 at the Spokane Convention Center as part of the Home & Garden Show, features beers from Orlison, River City, Waddell's and Northern Ales along with local wines; admission is $30.

– The Spokane Symphony's Beethoven & Brews begins with $3 drafts at a No-Li beer garden and food from Shameless Sausages at 6 followed by the performance at 7:30 (including comedy bits by the Blue Door Theatre); tickets are $18 to $43 for adults, $13.50 to $25 for ages 12 and under (VIP package $125).

SATURDAY

– Coeur d'Alene's post-parade Pint o' Gold St. Patrick's Pub Crawl starting at 4:30 will feature beers by Daft Badger, Mad Bomber, Orlison, Post Falls Brewing, Selkirk Abbey, Slate Creek and Twelve String, plus One Tree Hard Cider, in the Resort Plaza Shops along with stops at several downtown bars and restaurants; get a souvenir pint glass and six drink tickets for $15.  

– The anniversary celebration continues at Perry Street with 20-ounce pours for $4, music by the Nic Vigil Trio at 4 and DJ Tony Brown at 7, and raffles for a stand up paddle board (to benefit Grant Elementary School) and a Golden Growler good for a free fill and a pint each week for the coming year. 

And as always, keep coming back for more info about everything happening throughout the week.

Your weekly roundup

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

• River City has taken home another award from the United States Beer Tasting Championship. An orange-anise version of the winter seasonal Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout won the spice beer category in the Northwest/Pacific region of the competition’s winter 2017 judging.

River City also topped the region’s fruit beers in summer 2016 with a raspberry/oak Marmot, as well as the bock category with its Congratulator. The brewery previously won three regional awards in summer 2015 – for Congratulator, River City Red (amber) and Inconceivable Imperial Pilsner (highly hopped lager) – and one in winter 2015 for Deep Thaw Winter Warmer (strong/old ale).

This year's judging included 480 beers from 133 breweries nationwide. Field trials are conducted in six regions each summer and winter, with category winners advancing to the national championship. The only Northwest beer to win a national medal this time was Pike’s XXXXX Stout.

• Tickets are on sale for this year’s Micros For Mamas, April 22 at Western Aviation at the Felts Field airport. The event, presented by Longhorn BBQ and Waddell’s Brewpub, features local beer and cider, food from area restaurants, live music and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $45 ($400 for table seating for eight people); proceeds benefit Spokane YoungLives, which provides support for teen mothers.

The Steel Barrel is hosting pFriem Family Brewers for a five-course beer dinner March 29 featuring the Hood River brewery’s Citrus Zest IPA, RyePA, Oatmeal Stout, Flanders Red and Belgian Strong Dark paired with food by Zona Blanca chef Chad White. Tickets are $80; seating is limited to 60 people.

• Finally, the latest from the ever-changing brewery hours front:

– Post Falls Brewing has expanded its hours to daily from noon to 10 p.m.

– The Steel Barrel has added Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (same hours as Wednesday through Sunday).

– Bennidito’s Brewpub now is closing on Sundays (open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and until 10 on Friday-Saturday).