Inland NW Ale Trail MapSpokane is a totally kick-ass place. It really is. We didn't need Outside Magazine or Forbes Magazine or even the Royal Baby to tell us that. And no, technically the Royal Baby hasn't weighed in on the question that way Outside Magazine and Forbes have, but it's just a matter of time. Anyway, the bigger point is that Spokane is a great place to visit, work, live and to drink beer.

Now I know that some other places have developed reputations for being great beer cities, but the Spokane region is fully deserving of stepping up to the plate and playing with the big kids on that point. If you need any proof, all you need to do is turn your attention to Here you will find a downloadable map with directions to and information about the TWO DOZEN breweries that are in our region. Each one has a great story, each one is making interesting and very tasty beer and each one is contributing to making this a great place to spend time, whether that is just a stolen afternoon of visits or a three-day weekend focused on earning your mini-growler prize. What? You don't know about the mini-growler? Well, let me tell you.

If you are one of those people in the world who is up for an adventure, not daunted by obstacles or challenges, then you too can make your way to any ten of the breweries, sample (appropriately and with due regard to your transportation) the fine ales and lagers available, collect a signature or stamp at each, and then at your tenth location turn in your completed map in exchange for a "grunt," which is a 32 oz. mini-growler. So yes, you can now finally call your mother and tell her there is a reward for all of that beer drinking. Ha! In your face, mom!

Anyway, before I veer off course again, let me just say that 1) there are two dozen breweries around our region making great beer - undoubtedly one for every palate; 2) there is now a handy place to get a map of the breweries so you can coordinate your visits (; 3) there is an actual reward (while supplies last) for visiting 10 or more breweries; 4) this is just another great thing about our region. It goes along with great cycling, great golfing, great shopping, great restaurants, great shows and tons and tons of great people.

And now, I have to go. I have to swing by my Mom's and apologize to her and then I'm heading out to hit the Ale Trail.


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