Mad Bomber Brewing
9265 N. Government Way, Hayden, ID
Founded by Army bomb squad veterans, this Hayden brewery honors that heritage from the décor (including a former Taliban metal detector and memorials to fallen comrades) to the beer names (Booby Trap Blonde, MK 84 Porter, Fatman IPA).
Opened: November 2013
The story: Tom Applegate, a former Army explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) specialist, launched the brewery in partnership with his wife and a pair of beer-loving bomb squad buddies.
The scene: The somewhat cheekily named Mad Bomber pays tribute to its dead-serious origins, with photos of bomb squad members in action (and some of their funerals), memorabilia including a former Taliban metal detector, tables fashioned from old ammo crates and a replica of the national EOD memorial bearing the names of those killed in action. The vibe in the roomy taproom is welcoming, with such homey touches as a couch, fireplace, bookshelves and board games. There’s a small outdoor seating area in front by the parking lot.
Food: In-house delivery menu by nearby Northwest Pizza Company; outside food allowed.
Live music: Occasional
Specials: Monday, $4 pints and poker; Tuesday, $10 growler fills; Wednesday, Community Night, 10 percent of sales donated to local charity.
Brewhouse size: 7 barrels
Beers: Rotating selections include the likes of Boobytrap Blonde (5.5 percent alcohol by volume, 21 International Bitterness Units), All-American Amber (5.5, 30), 1605 Rye (5.5, 55), St. Nicholas Pale (5.6, 41), an assortment of IPAs, Marksman India brown (7.1, 81), Lonely Walk brown (6.6, 36), Devil Bird Scotch-ish (6.5, 24), MK84 Porter (5.6, 31), Annihilation Imperial Porter (7, 60) and Nitro Stout (7.1, 58).
Other options: North Idaho Cider, single-serving wines (full bottles to come) and Project 7 root beer brewed by Applegate's 7-year-old son, Ethan.
Don’t miss: While any of the continually evolving IPAs are worth checking out, you can’t go wrong with the darker Marksman, its caramel sweetness balanced by piney Chinook and Simcoe hops.