Catching up with more local craft beer news over this holiday weekend:
• With Monday marking the unofficial end of summer, breweries and beer bars have been busy announcing events for fall:
– "Hoptoberfest" is to craft beer as "Rocktoberfest" is to classic rock radio, and two area celebrations are coming up under that name: at Perry Street on Sept. 21-22, with German-style and other beer specials plus accompanying food (advance payment of $25 gets you a souvenir 34-ounce mug, your first fill and a Bavarian-style hat); and at MickDuff's Beer Hall in Sandpoint on Sept. 30, with four special releases – two fresh-hop ales (Amarillo and community-sourced), Mashing Pumpkin and a RoggenFest Rye Ale collaboration with Paragon – plus live music and games.
Post Falls Brewing's more traditionally titled Oktoberfest on Sept. 30 weighs in with a Dr. Roktober Festbier plus other beer and Summit Cider specials, food trucks and live music. And Daft Badger gets things rolling with its End of Summer Celebration on Sept. 16, featuring two special beers – an Oktoberfest lager and bourbon barrel-aged imperial cherry stout – along with music and German-style food.
– On the alehouse front, The Blackbird Invitational on Oct. 14 will feature sour, fresh-hop, barrel-aged and other specialty beers from breweries including Cascade, Deschutes, Firestone Walker, Fremont, Grand Teton, pFriem and Young Buck. Tickets are limited and on sale now; for $50, you get a souvenir Silipint silicone glass, 15 drink tokens (good for 2 to 4 ounces each) and appetizers.
And on Sept. 25, The Flying Goat hosts its first-ever sours event with nine offerings from Firestone Walker, Grand Teton and New Belgium.
– Looking ahead to December, in addition to No-Li's previously announced FrostFest small-batch festival Dec. 9 (which is moving this year to the Spokane Arena concourse), River City brings back its third annual International Marmot Beer Festival on Dec. 2, with several variations on the seasonal Midnight Marmot imperial stout.
• September's arrival also means fresh hop season is in full swing. Local offerings in the works so far include a Citra-hopped Funkadelicious from River City; a Centennial/Amarillo combo by Waddell's; an Amarillo from Perry Street, to be followed by a fresh-hop entry in its New England-style IPA series; and a Simcoe IPA from Twelve String, with a reddish Mosaic version also on the way.
• Bellwether's Scots Bere barley project wrapped up on Thursday, capping a five-week series of small-batch beers made with the locally grown and malted ancient grain. The winner in the crowd favorite voting was Bochet Braggot, with blueberries, juniper berries and burned, caramelized honey; a full batch of that will be brewed for release this winter.
In the meantime, Bellwether will pour what's left of those small-batch beers at the Inland Northwest Craft Beer Festival on Sept. 22-23. And on Nov. 11, it's planning a landrace grain event featuring beers brewed with Scots Bere, Purple Egyptian and other ancient varieties by Bellwether and six guest breweries, including a collaboration.
• The downtown brewery district is gaining a fruity new neighbor. One Tree's Cider House has its grand opening Friday at 111 S. Madison, across the street from The Steel Barrel and around the corner from Orlison's tasting room.
• Finally, on a farther-flung note, the No-Li crew is headed to Ireland for brewery tours and an appearance at the Irish Craft Beer Festival in Dublin next weekend. Spokane's largest brewery is one of 15 nationwide selected for the trip by the American Brewers Association.