1909 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane, WA
This pizzeria in the revitalizing East Sprague district (sister to the South Hill Bennidito’s) features house beers by local brewing pioneer Mark Irvin, who launched the original Northern Lights. His deft, balanced approach is evident in the flagship IPA.
Opened: July 2015
The story: Chris Bennett, who’s long served quality craft beer at his original Bennidito’s Pizza on the South Hill, operates this sister brewpub featuring beers by Spokane brewing pioneer Mark Irvin, formerly of Northern Lights/No-Li.
The scene: The restaurant space (originally a grocery store, later a real estate office) has the proper brewpub feel with its high, open-beam ceilings, wood floor and large windows looking out onto Sprague. A smaller cinder block structure across a secluded courtyard houses the brewery operation. The décor is a combination of recycled materials from the site, other repurposed items – the tables were made from railroad pallets – and leftovers from the former North Side Bennidito’s. Old signs from the real estate operation and other neighborhood businesses adorn the walls along with historic brewery and other photos.
Food: Pizza whole and by the slice, hot and cold sandwiches featuring house-smoked meats, wings, salads and breads.
TVs: Four (two behind the bar, one each over the front entrance and kitchen area).
Live music: None
Specials: Sunday, $8 growler fills
Brewhouse size: 10 barrels
Beers: Regular selections include the flagship Checkerboard Pale (5.5 percent alcohol by volume, 45 International Bitterness Units), Bennidito's IPA (7, 85), Old Bill Stout (6.5, 55), Sonnenberg's Honey Wheat (5.2, 18), Sigrid’s Kolsch (5.2, 24), Ross Printing Amber (6, 37) and Beacon Brown (6.8, 15).
Other options: One cider and four wines on tap.
Don’t miss: You can't go wrong with the clean, pleasantly hoppy Checkerboard, named after the landmark neighborhood watering hole (where it’s also served).