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A Community Christmas

Christmas is coming early to Community Pint, thanks to Firestone Walker.

The California brewery is taking over 10 of the Spokane craft beer bar’s taps for a Christmas party Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., along with two selections each from Fremont and Georgetown.

The “green” beers in the Firestone lineup include:

– The STiVO Keller Pils collaboration with Russian River.

– DBA (Double Barrel Ale), a cask-fermented English-style pale.

– The flagship Union Jack IPA.

– The latest in the Luponic Distortion series of IPAs using experimental hops, the new No. 008.

– Mocha Merlin coffee oatmeal stout.

There also are five more exclusive “red” selections:

– The Sour Opal interpretation of a traditional Belgian gueuze.

– Krieky Bones sour cherry Flanders-style red.

– Velvet Merkin bourbon barrel-aged oatmeal stout.

– The barrel-aged Pacific Gravity Weizenbock strong wheat beer.

– This year’s XXI Anniversary Ale barrel-aged blend.

Along with full pours, three different four-ounce taster packages will be available: Rudolph (four green pours, two red) for $14, Dasher (six green, four red) for $24 and Blitzen (nine green, five red) for $30. That will continue through Sunday, as supplies last.

Also look for Georgetown’s Chardell chocolate coffee stout and Hansen Brothers imperial black IPA, plus Fremont’s Winter Ale and Lush IPA.  

Roll out the stout

With days growing cooler and darker, big stouts are sounding better and better. Three imperial versions are being featured in special events this week:

– Enoteca has a release party Thursday from 5 to 8 for Aggravated Murder, the latest offering from Bombastic, in both bottles and draft. Brewed with maple syrup and cold-pressed coffee, it weighs in at a hefty 13.5 percent alcohol by volume.

It follows the Hayden brewery’s vanilla/cinnamon Attempted Murder and regular Murder, which also adds cocoa nibs, Ancho chilies and cayenne to the mix.

The Blood Orange Dazzle wit also will pour for Thursday’s event, with food available from the Las Brasas Mexican Grill truck.

Community Pint introduces this year’s Breakfast Stout from Michigan’s Founders (8.3 percent ABV, 60 International Bitterness Units) on Thursday from 5 to 9.

The seasonal release is brewed with flaked oats, bitter and imported chocolate and two types of coffee. Community Pint is pouring it straight and through a rotating Randall filled with coconut from 5 to 6 p.m., barrel-aged Cravens coffee from 6  to 7 and bacon (hey, it’s breakfast) from 7 to 8.

Founders’ All Day IPA and nitro Rubaeus raspberry ale also will be on tap.

– Orlison’s winter seasonal Snowplough Imperial Chocolate Stout (8, 45), brewed with chocolate malt and fermented with Dominican cocoa nibs, makes an early debut Friday at 9 at The Viking.

Both regular and barrel-aged versions will be available along with the spinoff Holiday Party, a milk stout (7, 10) conditioned with fresh orange zest and cocoa nibs.  

Sense of Community

Community Pint has every intention of living up to its name.

The 24-tap craft beer bar, growler fill station and bottle shop opens Friday in the former Jones Radiator space at 120 E. Sprague.

“I just really want a social place,” says TJ Wallin, who owns the business with his wife Sarah. “There won’t be any TVs, and we won’t be handing out any Wi-Fi passwords. We want people to unplug and actually enjoy the beer, and enjoy the people they’re with.”

There's plenty to enjoy on the opening taplist, including the likes of this year's 3-Way IPA, Boneyard's Hop Venom, Laughing Dog's De Achste Hond peach sour, New Belgium's Transatlanique Kriek, Almanac's Saison Delores, Black Raven's Three Sundays Oaked Tripel and Stone's w00tstout.  

Wallin, a longtime homebrewer, decided it was time to move on from the auto machine shop he operates. After Jones went out of business in May 2016, he says, “I was trying to get it since the minute it closed.”

Lease offers by other people kept falling through, so Wallin bit the bullet and agreed to buy the building. “I had no idea if I could get financing,” he says, “but it just worked out.”

He’s been busy ever since renovating the sunken space, including time-consuming repairs to the mortar on the brick walls. It’s been brightened by the addition of a smaller new window on the west wall, where an air conditioner formerly sat, and the uncovering of three larger windows on the east wall that had been blocked by a cooler and an office.

The now wood-fronted, concrete-topped bar has been extended around to that wall, forming an L shape.  A communal 10-person, 4- by 9-foot table topped with rough-cut lumber sits in the corner, where Wallin envisions holding educational beer events. Smaller tables line the opposite wall, beer hall-style.

A neighbor who’s a metal artist fashioned large globe lights from old whiskey barrel hoop bands. The big red neon “BEER” sign that used to hang out front has been relocated to the back wall.

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Community redevelopment

The former Jones Radiator craft beer bar is getting ready to be reborn as Community Pint.

Local homebrewer TJ Wallin and his wife, Sarah, have bought the building at 120 E. Sprague and plan to reopen it this summer as a taphouse and bottle shop following extensive renovations. Jones Radiator closed last May.

Wallin, an active member of the Inland Brewers Unite (IBU) club, currently operates an automotive machine shop in Newman Lake.

He says in a press release that he’s “a strong believer that sharing beer with friends and strangers alike is a building block for strong communities.”

Wallin won’t serve any of his own beers at Community Pint, which will offer craft beer, cider and wine (no spirits, unlike Jones Radiator).

But you can get a taste of his handiwork at Black Label. The downtown brewery is pouring his Coffee Amber Stout, an IBU contest-winning recipe that Wallin helped brew on their system.