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Fill ‘er up

After Keith Carpenter first visited the Growler Guys in North Spokane last fall, he knew he wanted to do something like that in Coeur d’Alene.

Now he has. The Filling Station on 5th has its grand opening starting today in the back of Scratch Bistro at 5th and Sherman, owned by Carpenter’s half-brother and business partner, Jason Rex.

Carpenter is the craft fan in the family. “I’ve had a T.W. Fisher’s tap handle in my truck (as a gear shift knob) since 1990,” he says, recalling Coeur d’Alene’s pioneering brewpub. “I’ve always liked the bigger beers.”

The initial lineup on his 20 taps features a mixture of the familiar (Firestone Walker Double Jack, Stone Arrogant Bastard) and the more exotic (Elysian Omen Belgian Raspberry Stout, Odell Barrel Thief Oak Aged Imperial IPA).

Spokane and North Idaho breweries are represented by No-Li’s limited-release Matthias imperial IPA, Loft Honey from North Idaho Mountain Brew in Wallace, Wallace Brewing’s English strong ale, River City’s Inconceivable Imperial Pilsner and Downdraft’s Exit 5 Brown, along with North Idaho Cider’s Lake City Hopped.

All the beers also are available in the bistro and the food menu is served in the Filling Station’s cozy space, with its five barstools and three tables.

Along with regular growler fills ($10 to $24, depending on the beer), you can get tasting flights ($9 for five 4-ounce pours) and pints ($4-$8) – including to-go pints, in 16-ounce containers that take a standard growler cap.

“They’ve been selling like crazy through the restaurant,” Carpenter says.

For the grand opening, through Saturday, when you buy a Filling Station growler and a fill, you get a free regular pint pour (and you can keep the logo glass).

Hours will be Sunday-Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m., and Friday-Saturday from noon to 10.