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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). 

Glory haze

The “haze craze” is starting to reach Spokane.

Hazy, juicy New England-style IPAs – with their smooth mouthfeel, fruity flavors and low bitterness – are the hottest craft beer trend across the country. Such Northwest breweries as Great Notion in Portland and Reuben’s Brews in Seattle have been winning acclaim for their interpretations.

Now three local versions – from Iron Goat, Orlison and Perry Street – have gone on tap in the past week. Daft Badger in Coeur d’Alene is planning another.

And Whistle Punk, which has been distributing its rendition on a limited basis for several months, will make that the permanent IPA offering at its upcoming taproom in downtown Spokane.

All the major components of brewing play a part in creating the style. Special yeast strains stay suspended in the beer and produce fruity notes. Large amounts of late-addition hops contribute to both the aroma and the appearance, with their residue. Oats and wheat in the grain bill lend both smoothness and proteins that can add to the haze. And higher levels of chloride in the water soften the beer’s body.     

Perry Street in January announced it was planning a yearlong series of New England-style IPAs, experimenting with all of those ingredients.

“Each one will be different,” says owner/brewer Ben Lukes. “What’s fun about this is that we’re learning with our customers as we go along.”

Lukes sampled as many authentic versions of the style as he could find from friends in the beer-trading scene to prepare for the project.

His first offering (6.7 percent alcohol by volume, 60 International Bitterness Units) was hopped with Citra thoughout the boil, and massively dry-hopped –four pounds per barrel – with Denali, a newer, intensely fruity variety, and powdered Mosaic.

A bright but opaque golden, it’s soft and aromatic with juicy pineapple and peach flavors and a crisp, lightly bitter finish. “If this is any indicator, I’m excited about where we’re going,” Lukes says.

His second release will feature Galaxy hops, an Australian variety known for its passion fruit character, and huskless, malted oats called Golden Naked. The beers will continue to get hazier as he harvests and reuses the yeast from each batch, Lukes says.

“I’m having a good time playing around with it,” he says. “It will be fun to take a whole year and work with one style, and see what we can achieve.”

Read full post ›

Your weekly planner

UPDATE FRIDAY 3/3

– No-Li taps a cask of Red, White & No-Li pale with lemon zest and blackberries for Firkin First Friday.

 

UPDATES THURSDAY 3/2

– Daft Badger has released a big-batch version of its previous small-batch Blood Orange IPA.

– Bennidito's Brewpub is pouring a piney Ponderosa IPA hopped with Chinook, Simcoe and Summit.

– Manito Tap House is finalizing the lineup for its March IPA Madness competition beginning Monday; go here to vote for your favorite among the remaining nominees.

 

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2/28

– Perry Street today releases the first in a planned yearlong series of hazy, juicy New England-style IPAs (also pouring at Manito Tap House).

 

UPDATES TUESDAY 2/28

– Orlison today releases a small-batch "Any" NE IPA, its version of the hazy New England style.

– Bellwether has a new Baltic porter dubbed Fernweh.

– Chewelah's Quartzite will pour samples of its Angel Peak Amber, Goddard's Peak IPA and Iron Mountain Stout in a tasting Friday starting at 2 p.m. in the Boomtown Bar at 49 Degrees North.  

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

MONDAY

Iron Goat is pouring a hazy New England-style Back East IPA (7.8 percent alcohol by volume, 71 International Bitterness Units).

– No-Li this week rolls out the latest addition to its canned lineup, an amber.

Pints Alehouse has increased its taps from 18 to 25, and will regularly pour at least three local beers plus a craft lager – for starters, Twelve String's barrel-aged barleywine, Young Buck's Pitch Black CDA, River City's rare TW Frankensour and Waddell's Spo-Lite.

TUESDAY

– Manito Tap House's "Spokane Rocks" party from 6 to 8 – celebrating its recognition as Washington's best beer bar – will feature a firkin of Perry Street's GABF gold-winning Session IPL over kumquats and dry-hopped with Citra, along with special kegs from Iron Goat and No-Li.

WEDNESDAY

– Twelve String releases this year's Spring Reverb Xtra Pale, this time a single-hop Amarillo.

– The Last Sweep barrel-aged imperial stout returns to Badass Backyard on nitro starting at 2.

– Pilgrim's presents a free Alaskan tasting starting at 3:30 including White Ale; the Husky, Smack of Grapefruit and double Hopothermia IPAs, and Smoked Porter.

THURSDAY

– Bellwether at 5 p.m. releases the second in its weekly small-batch Purple Egyptian Barley Project series, brewed with locally grown and malted grain: a hoppy pale, accompanied by bread using the barley from Culture Breads. 

Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards welcomes Selkirk Abbey as its March brewery of the month, with Huckleberry Chapel wit, St. Augustine rye saison, Infidel IPA, Guilt imperial coffee porter, Atonement IPA and the Cuvee de la Nuit Profonde barrel-aged blend on tap; get a flight of all six for $10 from 6 to 8.

– The new Palouse chapter of Girls Pint Out has its initial gathering from 6 to 7:30 at Hunga Dunga Brewing in Moscow (registration requested).

FRIDAY

– River City officially launches this year's Riverkeeper IPA at Numerica Credit Union in downtown Spokane from 5:30 to 8, with live music and food.

– Downdraft's "March Madness" First Friday party from 7 to 10 will include a small-batch orange juice-infused, Cascade-hopped The Acquittal lager, plus live music by Sam Leyde, food from Las Brasas Mexican Grill, games and prize drawings for those dressed in college basketball T-shirts.

SATURDAY

– Five barrel-aged beers from Twelve String – bourbon barrel Volume 3 imperial India red, Volume 5 tart porter and Belgian dark strong, plus rum barrel imperial coconut porter and tequila barrel lemon-lime Belgian golden strong – along with Crescendo IPA will be featured in a tap takeover from 4 to 6 at Steady Flow Growler House, along with a raffle at the end for a pair of used bourbon barrels.

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

Walk on the river side

It’s March, and that means it’s time to walk – Riverwalk, that is.

River City Brewing on Friday releases this year’s version of its Riverkeeper IPA, which benefits the Spokane Riverkeeper water protection program.  A launch party from 5:30 to 8 at Numerica Credit Union’s downtown branch, 502 W. Riverside, will include live music and food from Caruso’s.

And starting Monday, 10 downtown-area restaurants near the river are participating in the second annual Riverwalk promotion, which runs through the end of the month.

Riverwalk forms will be available at each stop. Visit five or more and order a Riverkeeper pint and/or a meal to receive a commemorative pint glass (Numerica will donate $5 to the Riverkeeper program for each glass given away); go to all 10, and you’re entered in a drawing for a half-day Spokane River rafting trip with ROW Adventure Center.

Participating restaurants include The Blackbird, Borracho Tacos & Tequileria, Central Food, David’s Pizza, Fast Eddies Bar and Grill, Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards, Ripples Riverside Grill, Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops, Steelhead Bar & Grille and Veraci Pizza.

The Riverkeeper IPA recipe has changed each year since it was first released in 2014. This year’s version (6.5 percent alcohol by volume, 70 International Bitterness Units) includes eight hop varieties: Bravo, Centennial, Chinook and Columbus in the kettle, and Cascade, Citra, Simcoe and Mandarina Bavaria – a newer hybrid known for its fruity, tangerine/citrus character – for dry-hopping.  

“The focus this year is to make the brew more aromatic and drinkable,” says River City brewer Todd Grove. That involved more late-addition hops (double the amount of dry-hopping this year), plus a lower mash temperature for a leaner, crisper malt body.    

The beer is available year-round, with a portion of sales donated to Spokane Riverkeeper.

Two special events also are scheduled during Riverwalk. On March 18, a River Cleanup Day to collect litter along the riverbank begins at 1:30 at Glover Field in Peaceful Valley; gloves, bags and garbage pickers will be provided (meet afterward at River City).

And on March 25, for Riverwalk Pub Crawl Day, representatives from the Riverkeeper program will visit participating restaurants to talk about their work.

Manito named state’s top beer bar

(UPDATED with comments from celebration party Tuesday night)

Manito Tap House has been chosen as Washington’s best beer bar in an online poll by the national craft brewers’ organization.

Craftbeer.com, the consumer website of the Denver-based Brewers Association, today released the results of its fifth annual Great American Beer Bars voting.

"This is like a GABF (Great American Beer Festival) gold medal for us as a beer bar," owner Patrick McPherson told the crowd at a "Spokane Rocks" party to celebrate the news. It featured a special firkin of Perry Street Brewing's Session IPL, which won GABF gold in Denver last fall.

"It's a big deal for us," he added. "We're super stoked."

Craftbeer.com readers were asked to nominate their favorite craft beer bar and fill out a short survey about it. More than 7,000 votes were cast in this year’s competition; only one vote was allowed per IP address, to make the results more meaningful.

Manito, which opened in 2011, was recognized for its 50 taps and 70 bottled offerings, Cicerone-certified staff and its environmental standing as a four-star Certified Green Restaurant.

“It certainly makes all the hard work by our team worth it,” McPherson said. “We look forward getting even better in the years to come.”

Tacoma’s Parkway Tavern was last year’s Washington winner. Awards in the three previous competitions were by broad geographic regions (five nationwide), not individual states.

Other Northwest winners this year included Idaho’s PreFunk Beer Bar in Boise, Montana’s The Dram Shop in Missoula and Oregon’s The Bier Stein in Eugene.

Straight lotta cold beer

Several Spokane breweries put their best beers forward for Blake Shelton before his appearance at the Spokane Arena last night.

When the country star played here in 2014, he liked No-Li’s offerings so much that he had a supply shipped to his next tour stop in Tacoma, then bought another $200 worth to take to his dates in British Columbia.

This time, No-Li delivered a custom case of “Blake Shelton – Doing It to Country Music” golden ale bombers to the Arena backstage before the show, along with a large steel key to the brewery. And Iron Goat, River City, Perry Street and Badass Backyard chipped in with bottles and growlers of their own.

No word whether the “Straight Outta Cold Beer” singer and his crew consumed the entire stash before leaving town.

House parties

Breweries across the state again are hosting a slew of special activities for the seventh annual Washington Beer Open House on Saturday.

Here’s what participating Spokane-area brewers have planned for the event organized by the Washington Beer Commission (all run from noon to 5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated):

Badass Backyard: Tours from noon to 4 of the half-barrel, home-based brewery in Millwood (3115 N. Butler Road), which remains in operation though the taproom recently moved to 1415 N. Argonne Road; park in the gravel driveway on the south side of the house.

Black Label: Brewery tours by request.

English Setter: Tours throughout the afternoon.

Iron Goat: Brewery tours plus a special Restaurant Week food menu with beer pairings; possible release of this year’s spring seasonal Irish Kate imperial red. 

Perry Street: Guided brewery tour at 3 p.m.; happy hour pricing from 2 to 4.

River City: Pouring a tropical fruit-infused Afternoon IPA plus the seasonal Mad Latvian Baltic Porter and Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout.

Steam Plant: Brewery tours on the hour from 3 to 6 p.m.; vertical tasting of the past five years of Stack Frost Winter Ale (five 5-ounce samples for $12).

Top Frog (Newport): Tours of the recently expanded brewery, plus the release of an imperial stout aged in Jack Daniels whiskey barrels.

Twelve String: Brewery tours and the release of two barrel-aged beers: a kitchen-sink “WTF” blend and an unmarked mystery barrel.

Young Buck: Brewery tours available for small groups, with samples of sour beers that are barrel-aging.

Your weekly planner

UPDATES FRIDAY 2/24

– Daft Badger is pouring a big-batch version of last year's small-batch Irish Red (6.3 percent alcohol by volume, 27 International Bitterness Units). 

– The Wicked Wahini pina colada-flavored cream ale is back on tap at Hopped Up.

– River City's Randall for the weekend is the Red through Portland Roasting espresso beans.

– Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards hosts a Gonzaga basketball "Drive for Perfection Bulldog Watch Party" on Saturday starting at 7, with 30 percent off beer, wine and appetizers.

– Four-Eyed Guys is releasing a Cataract Coffee Kolsch at LeftBank Wine Bar this weekend.

 

UPDATES WEDNESDAY 2/22

– The big Exterminator Scotch Ale (10 percent alcohol by volume, 21 International Bitterness Units) is back on tap as a limited release at Badass Backyard.

– Perry Street has tapped a firkin of Session IPL aged with Murcott tangerines and hopped with Citra.

 

UPDATES TUESDAY 2/21

– Bellwether releases a Dew of the Sea collaboration with One Tree – a blend of rosemary porter and cider – on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., and also has tapped a lager version of its regular Whiter Shade of Pale ale.

– This week's Wednesday small-batch release at Daft Badger is a crisp, fruity IPA hopped with Eldorado and Citra. 

– The #SpoBU beer Twitter meetup group has its monthly gathering Wednesday from 4 to 6 at Lost Boys' Garage. 

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

MONDAY

– No-Li rolls out a special Beethoven Golden Ale bottling this week in advance of the Spokane Symphony’s March 10 “Beethoven & Brews” concert, which will feature a No-Li beer garden. Look for the 22-ounce bottles at Rosauers, Yoke’s, Winco and Total Wine stores.

WEDNESDAY

Pilgrim’s welcomes Firestone Walker for a free tasting starting at 3:30 including the Union Jack and Luponic Distortion #5 IPAs, Bravo barrel-aged imperial brown, Sour Opal gueuze and Krieky Bones cherry sour.

THURSDAY

– Fremont’s Dark Heron IPA – brewed in conjunction with Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon – will be featured in a pint night from 5 to 7 at Bennidito’s Pizza on the South Hill, with a raffle for Comicon tickets.

Bellwether launches the first in a seven-week series of special beers brewed with Purple Egyptian barley locally malted by Palouse Pint, accompanied by breads using the grain from Culture Breads.  

FRIDAY

– The Coeur d’Alene Growler Guys is tapping three versions of Epic Brewing’s acclaimed Big Bad Baptist barrel-aged imperial coffee/cocoa stout: a 2015 vintage of the regular beer plus the cinnamon-spiked Big Bad Baptista and special reserve Double Barrel. 

– An Ordnance tasting at Bottles beginning at 5 will include Blooops Blueberry Wheat, RX Pale, EOD IPA, Of Chimpanzees coffee porter and Blackfisk imperial stout.

SATURDAY

– The seventh annual Washington Beer Open House features tours and specials at participating breweries statewide, including Badass Backyard, Black Label, English Setter, Perry Street, River City, Steam Plant, Twelve String and Young Buck; look for full details here later in the week.

– Nine bars and breweries are participating in the Sandpoint Winter Carnival’s Weird & Wonderful Beerfest & Bar Crawl from 2 to 6 p.m.; pick up a souvenir tasting glass and six drink tokens for $20 (extra tokens $2 each) at the 219 Lounge, MickDuff’s Beer Hall and Trinity at City Beach.  

– Nu Home Brew will give a beginner's brewing demonstration from 2 to 4 at the South Hill Library.

– The Inland Northwest chapter of Girls Pint Out meets at Enoteca for beer cocktails from 5 to 8.

– A Big Barn pint night at Lost Boys’ Garage from 6 to 9 will feature Lost Boys Brew (Belgian strong golden), Mead Honey Lager, Dunn Day IPA, Good Earth Nut Brown and Black Dog Imperial Stout on nitro.

SUNDAY

– Twelve String is having a joint release party with Barili Cellars from noon to 5 for the winery's Liquorosso Port and a Drop D Stout aged in the used wine barrels (accompanied by homemade stout brownies). Along with side-by-side tastings, the wine will be available to go in bottles and the beer in 32-ounce grunts.  

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

Purple grain

Ancient Egyptians would bake bread and soak it in water as their first step in brewing beer.

Now a modern Spokane brewer and baker are making beer and bread using a type of barley that originated in the headwaters of the Nile River thousands of years ago.

Bellwether this week launches its Purple Egyptian Barley Project. Over the next seven Thursdays, through April 6, it will release a variety of beers using the grain grown in this region by Palouse Heritage and malted by Palouse Pint in the Spokane Valley.

The beers will be accompanied by breads baked with the barley from Spokane’s Culture Breads. Customers who sample at least six of the offerings will receive a souvenir pint glass and be eligible to vote for their favorite; a full batch of the winner will be brewed for Spokane Craft Beer Week in May.

“We’re pretty excited to see the results,” says Bellwether brewer Thomas Croskrey, who’s known for his creative, historically themed endeavors (like the recent Gruitfest) . “Hopefully we’ll get a full crowd every Thursday.”

Croskrey says the malt made from Purple Egyptian barley, a hull-less grain with a purple/black bran layer, reminds him of Grape-Nuts. “I could pour milk on it and eat it for cereal,” he says.

While it doesn’t actually turn the beer purple, he adds, it imparts a more reddish color compared to typical barley base malts.

Purple Egyptian from Palouse Heritage previously was malted by Skagit Valley Malting in Burlington, Wash. and used in the initial version of Pike Brewing’s Locale Skagit Valley Alba pale ale.

Thursday marks the first time that the locally malted grain will be featured in a public release. Croskrey’s initial beer is an Egyptian-inspired recipe with dates, honey, black pepper and chamomile.

“From the reading I’ve done, they used a lot of dates in their beer, and some honey,” he says. “They didn’t use black pepper, but they had grains of paradise, which is similar.”

Other beers scheduled for release in the series, though the order hasn’t yet been determined, include:

– A hoppy pale that Croskrey says isn’t quite an IPA but gets lots of flavor and aroma from late-addition hops.

– A darker offering conditioned with cocoa nibs, roasted dandelion root and coffee.

– A strong braggot (honey beer) brewed with yerba mate tea from South America.

– A gruit (with herbs instead of hops) using lavender, basil, strawberry leaf and yarrow. “It’s one of my favorite gruits that I’ve made,” Croskrey says.

– An all-Purple Egyptian beer including a small amount of malt smoked by Palouse Heritage’s Don Scheuerman in his smokehouse, with pine resin added for extra character.

– Another using unmalted barley roasted by Palouse Pint’s Joel Williamson along with the base Purple Egyptian malt and some of his regular Crystal/Biscuit 40.   

“I wanted to get a real variety out there and see just how versatile this malt is,” Croskrey says of the lineup.

All are five-gallon batches that will start pouring as soon as Bellwether opens at 3 p.m., so they could go fast. In addition to the slices served with the beers, the Culture Breads creations will be sold as full loaves to go.

Culture Breads’ Shaun Thompson Duffy bakes his breads in a wood-fired oven using traditional, locally grown grains. “He approaches baking in the same way that I approach brewing, with a deep respect for the historical way of doing things,” Croskrey says.       

Your weekly roundup

Catching up with more news from the past week in local craft beer (and beyond):

• The new Palouse chapter of Girls Pint Out, a national organization for women interested in craft beer, has its first event March 2 with a guided tasting at Moscow’s Hunga Dunga Brewing. (The Inland Northwest chapter next meets Feb. 25 for beer cocktails at Enoteca in Post Falls.)

Iron Goat is participating in this year’s Inlander Restaurant Week, which runs from next Thursday through March 4. For $19, the three-course menu includes your choice of Brussels sprouts, beet salad or pate for an appetizer; beef cheeks, bratwurst or a farro risotto for the entrée; and crème brulee, a beer float or a cinnamon sugar/crème anglaise/stout caramel pretzel for dessert.

• Laughing Dog’s Dogzilla black IPA is one of 20 finalists in a national Best Beer Label contest sponsored by USA Today. Voting continues through March 13, with the winner announced on St.Patrick’s Day.      

• Ellensburg’s Iron Horse is accepting applications for an Eastern Washington/North Idaho market manager position.

• Early registration ends Monday for the second annual Pacific Northwest Homebrewers Conference, March 17-18 in Vancouver, Wash. The schedule includes educational seminars, tastings of both amateur and professional beers and a keynote address by Chuckanut's Will Kemper. Cost is $199 (increases to $229 on Tuesday).

• Finally, Wal-Mart is being sued for misrepresenting its in-house imitation craft beers, which are credited to a fictitious Trouble Brewing but actually are produced for the retail chain by New York macrobrewer Genesee. 

Your weekly planner

 

UPDATE FRIDAY 2/17

Post Falls Brewing is donating $1 from every pint sold between 4 and 8 p.m. to the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, with Girl Scout cookies available for beer pairings.

 

UPDATES THURSDAY 2/16

– The North Spokane Growler Guys hosts a Boundary Bay tasting Friday from 5 to 7. 

– A fruity new Road Rash IPA at V Twin (6.5 percent alcohol by volume, 85 International Bitterness Units) is hopped with Summit, Sorachi Ace, Warrior and Jarrylo. 

– Hopped Up has tapped a mellow Grapefruit IPA (5.2, 45). 

– Bellwether today releases the latest beer in its small-batch garden series, a sour spontaneously fermented with rosemary and sage inside a pumpkin.   

 

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2/15

Orangelicious returns at Orlison on Friday, this time in 22-ounce bottles and six-pack cans as well as draft.

 

UPDATES TUESDAY 2/14

– River City on Friday is tapping a special keg of Midnight Marmot imperial stout conditioned with orange and star anise to celebrate the beer's win in the Northwest round of the U.S. Beer Tasting Championships

– New Boundary is pouring a limited-release Big Beautiful Love Porter (6.5 percent alcohol by volume, 25 International Bitterness Units), brewed with chocolate and cherries and aged on red wine oak staves.

– Last summer's Passion Fruit Gose has made a temporary return at Twelve String.

– A hoppy pale ale brewed with SImcoe, Cascade and Mount Hood is this week's small-batch offering at Daft Badger. 

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

TUESDAY

– Newly licensed Four-Eyed Guys has release events for its Hoptometry IPA from 11 a,m. to 3 p.m. at the Valley Hop Jack's, and for a special Valentine's Day Love at First Sight chocolate/rose water kolsch from 4 to 6 at LeftBank Wine Bar (also look for the latter at Steady Flow Growler House, and a straight, non-infused version at Black Label).

WEDNESDAY

Pilgrim's will have Wyoming's Snake River Brewing in the house for a free tasting starting at 3:30, including the Pale Ale, Pakito's Session IPA, Pako's IPA and Zonker Stout.

Badass releases a new small-batch Ridge Run Pilsner (4 percent alcohol by volume, 34 International Bitterness Units) and brings back the No Alibi Coconut Brown (5, 22). 

THURSDAY

– A Ballast Point tasting from 5 to 7 at Enoteca in Post Falls will include Mango Even Keel Session IPA, Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, California Amber Ale and Coconut Victory at Sea imperial porter with coffee and vanilla; trivia follows at 7.

– McClain's Pizzeria hosts an Elysian pint night from 6 to 8 featuring Saison Poivre, Men's Room Red, Space Dust IPA and Dragonstooth Stout, with raffle drawings on the half hour.

– The North Spokane Total Wine welcomes Michigan's Founders Brewing and Oregon's Ordnance Brewing for a "Drink Local" event from 6:30 to 8:30; cost is $10.   

FRIDAY

– The Valley Total Wine hosts Michigan's Founders Brewing, southeastern Idaho's Grand Teton and Seattle's Fremont for a "Drink Local" event from 6:30 to 8:30; cost is $10.   

SATURDAY

Badass Backyard Brewing offers an hourlong yoga class with a certified instructor starting at 1 p.m.; tickets are $10 for the class and one pint, $14 for two pints.

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

Double vision

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 2/15: The Love at First Sight is no longer on tap at Steady Flow Growler House. 


Four-Eyed Guys officially landed on the Spokane beer scene today with a bifocal release.

The bright, citrusy Hoptometry IPA began pouring at Hop Jack’s in the Spokane Valley Mall. And a Valentine-themed Love at First Sight – infused with chocolate and rose water – went on tap at LeftBank Wine Bar and Steady Flow Growler House.

Hoptometry, refreshing and easy-drinking for its 6.3 percent alcohol by volume, gets a crisp, mildly bready character from white wheat and light Munich malts (both locally produced by Palouse Pint). A combination of Citra, Amarillo and Lemondrop hops provides fruity flavors and aromas, from lemon to orange to tropical, with just a slight bitterness.

Love at First Sight, over a smooth, clean kolsch (ale/lager hybrid) base, has a healthy, well-integrated dose of chocolate in the middle followed by a lightly floral finish. The straight, non-infused version also is on as a guest tap at Black Label Brewing downtown, a short stroll from LeftBank for comparison purposes.

Those won’t last long, though; both the infused and regular renditions went out in smaller sixth-barrel (5-gallon) kegs. There’s a standard half-barrel keg of the Hoptometry at Hop Jack’s, so it should be around for a while.

Brewing on a tiny one-barrel system, Four-Eyed Guys plans to supply accounts around town while working toward an eventual taproom of its own.

“We’re just trying to get our name out there,” says co-owner and brewer Alex Rausch. (As for the name, both he and business partner Brian Lollis wear glasses.)     

His most popular beer among friends so far has been a hoppy pilsner. Other mainstays include a coffee porter and Vienna lager. But Rausch’s real passion is for gose, the tart, salty wheat beer style that’s becoming more familiar as sours increase in popularity.

Experimenting with different salts, he’s mastered a summery watermelon version (which was on tap as a collaboration at Bellwether in October) and for Christmas did one with fir needles and cranberry. Rausch envisions having a half-dozen rotating goses in the lineup at the taproom when that time comes.

At this point, he’s in no real hurry. “So far, it’s all been loan-free, and we’d like to keep it that way,” Rausch says.

And with limited production capacity, he adds, “We don’t want to grow so fast we can’t keep up.  People will taste the difference in a rushed beer compared to one you take your time on.” 

Your weekly roundup

UPDATE SATURDAY 2/11: Big Barn won the people's choice "Best Cure For Cabin Fever" award with its Peone Wheat at today's Palouse Cabin Fever Brew Fest. Black Label placed second with Gingerbread Winter Warmer, while Rants & Raves took third for its Anonymous Double IPA.  

 

Catching up with more local craft beer news:

• Let’s start with updates on some of the brewery projects in progress around the area:

– Hayden’s Bombastic Brewing has its space prepared and its recipes ready, and now is waiting for brewing license and bottle label approval. (Until then, you can check out some one-minute beer reviews on their YouTube channel.)

TT’s Old Iron Brewery, which will share a brewhouse with Young Buck and Little Spokane at the downtown brewery incubator/Steel Barrel taproom, expects to receive its fermenter and brite tank in two weeks. It could open by late March or April if all goes well.

Millwood Brewing received its building permit last week and is preparing to renovate the former Cunningham Studio on Frederick west of Argonne with an eye toward a late summer opening.

– Work continues on Sun Mountain Brewing in Greenacres, though no target opening date has been set.

– Sandpoint's Utara Brewing still is lining up a location for its planned British-style ale and curry house.   

• North of Sandpoint, Laughing Dog anticipates an April Fool’s Day opening (for reals) for the taproom at the expanded production facility it moved into last summer. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the release of a new The Dogs of Helles golden lager next month.  

Daft Badger has added two more styles to its bottled lineup: Hoppypotamus Pale and the bourbon barrel-aged version of Josiah’s Revenge imperial stout. Look for the 22-ounce bombers in the taproom and at Pilgrim’s in Coeur d’Alene and Enoteca in Post Falls.  

• Bellwether has scheduled an Old World Winter Feast for Feb. 26 in conjunction with Christopher’s Catering. Such fare as goose leg and rabbit stew will be served with historically themed beers including a big (18 percent ABV) Abbey-style ale made with grape juice and aged on raisins. Tickets are $70 (includes tax and tip).

• And if you still haven’t made your Valentine’s Day dinner plans, Iron Goat is offering a heart-shaped pizza for two and a pair of pints – plus a tea light and fake rose – for $25 (no reservations necessary).

Your weekly planner

UPDATES SATURDAY 2/11

Twelve String is serving a cask-conditioned version of its High Note black IPA with extra Citra hops.

No-Li today taps a limited-release Raspberry Rise & Grind coffee milk stout.

 

UPDATES FRIDAY 2/10

– River City's Randall for the weekend is Girlfriend Golden through strawberries and mint.

Downdraft tonight taps a small-batch Grapefruit IPA.

Daft Badger is pouring a blueberry-infused Blue Velvet.

 

UPDATES WEDNESDAY 2/8

– The Lantern Tap House hosts a Dogfish Head tap takeover Thursday from 5 to 10, with seven offerings: the 60 and 90 Minute, oak-aged Burton Baton imperial and lemon/blood orange Flesh & Blood IPAs, plus the Festina Peche (Berliner Weisse), Indian Brown Ale and Beer For Breakfast coffee/maple/scrapple stout. Get four 4-ounce tasters plus a pint of your favorite for $8 and keep the glass.  

– A Dogfish Head tasting Friday from 5 to 7 at the North Spokane Growler Guys will include the 60, 90 and 120 Minute IPAs plus the Beer For Breakfast and World Wide stouts.  

 

A look at the upcoming week in local craft beer:

TUESDAY

River City hosts a benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest, which will receive $1 from every pint sold between 3 and 9 p.m.

– Puyallup River Brewing will be featured in a tap takeover at Geno's starting at 6, with giveaways and raffles.

WEDNESDAY

Pilgrim's presents a free tasting with Boise's Edge Brewing starting at 3:30 including Hop Kiss dry-hopped session ale, Obligatory Double IPA, barrel-aged Blackwater imperial stout and 7 BBL Project barleywine.

– No-Li is the featured brewery for this month's fried chicken beer dinner at Yards Bruncheon in Kendall Yards starting at 6, presented by The Wandering Table. Get the family-style meal plus pours of Red, White & No-Li pale, Slacker orange/vanilla ale and Crony brown for $35 (includes tax and tip); call (509) 443-4410 for reservations.

– An Iron Goat dinner starting at 6:30 at Clover will pair six of the brewery's beers – Blackberry Apricot Sour, Trashy Blonde, Mosaic IPA, Head Butt IPA, Cherry Chocolate Stout and Gruff Goats Tripel – with accompanying courses. Cost is $69; for reservations, call (509) 487-2937.

THURSDAY

MickDuff's is donating $2.50 from every pint of Idaho Arm Curl Lager sold between 6 and 9, and $1 from other beer sales, to the Idaho chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, along with live music and a short video.

SATURDAY

– Sorry, this year's Palouse Cabin Fever Brew Fest is sold out (though you can seek or sell already purchased tickets here).

SUNDAY

– Bellwether hosts a Share the Love art show from 6 to 9 to benefit Cup of Cool Water, a Christian nonprofit that works with homeless youth; admission is $15, which includes three tasters and a pint plus live music, appetizers and a raffle.

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

Global village

Sierra Nevada is taking its Beer Camp Across America concept across the ocean.

It debuted in 2014 as a mixed 12-pack of collaborations with brewers around the country. Last year’s encore featured six beers from groups of partner breweries nationwide, including Moxee-Moron Imperial Session IPA from a Northwest team led by Yakima’s Bale Breaker.

Now comes Beer Camp Across the World, which will again involve a dozen collaborative brews: six with other U.S. breweries (including Bend hop gods Boneyard), and six with brewers from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, England, New Zealand and Japan, featuring such well-known names as Ayinger, Duvel, Fuller’s and Mikkeller.

It’s a logical step for Sierra Nevada, which has released Oktoberfest collaborations with German breweries the past two autumns.

According to a sneak preview by All About Beer magazine, the new Beer Camp lineup will include:

• Ginger Lager with Surly (Minnesota).

• Thai-Style Iced Tea with Mikkeller (Denmark).

• Raspberry Sundae with The Bruery (California).

• Dry-Hopped Berliner Weisse with Saint Arnold (Texas).

• Dunkel Weisse with Ayinger (Germany).

• Hoppy Belgian-Style Golden Ale with Duvel (Belgium).

• Atlantic Vintage Ale with Fuller’s (England).

• White IPA with Kiuchi (Japan).

• East Meets West IPA with Tree House (Massachusetts).

• West Coast Double IPA with Boneyard (Oregon).

• A smoked Campout Porter with Garage Project (New Zealand).

• Dry-Hopped Barleywine with Avery (Colorado).

Look for this year’s variety pack in June, at a suggested retail of $25. As usual, a series of festivals showcasing the beers will take place across the U.S. this summer.