Just five years ago, the local beer scene consisted of a handful of breweries focusing on familiar ambers, pales and IPAs. Now there are more than 30 in Spokane and Kootenai counties alone, turning out everything from crisp sours to big barrel-aged stouts to forgotten Old World styles with honey and herbs.
One of the best opportunities to experience all they have to offer is Spokane Craft Beer Week. For the third annual celebration next Monday through Sunday (coinciding with American Craft Beer Week), area brewers will be putting their best beers forward with a slew of special releases and events.
On Tap Party at Perry
Spokane Craft Beer Week starts with a kickoff party hosted by Spokane7 and our On Tap blog on Monday from 5 to 8 pm at Perry Street Brewing. Along with Perry’s own stellar lineup, this year there will be guest beers from Daft Badger (blood orange IPA), River City Brewing (orange/coffee IPA), Waddell’s (barrel-aged imperial stout) and Young Buck (blended barrel-aged sour), plus brewery tours and raffles; a dollar from every pint sold will benefit the Spokane Humane Society.
Collaboration Festival at No-Li Brewhouse
As always, the week’s centerpiece is a Collaboration Festival on Thursday from 4 to 7pm on the scenic riverfront patio at No-Li Brewhouse.This one features 16 beers jointly brewed by pairs of area breweries. The lineup includes the likes of a passion fruit/guava sour from Black Label and Iron Goat; a Mexican-style “chicha” corn beer from Little Spokane and New Boundary; a Belgian rye pale ale from Orlison Brewing Co. and River City; a honey wheat with lemon and lemongrass from Big Barn Brewing and Top Frog; and a hoppy Cascadian dark ale from the area’s smallest brewery, Badass Backyard, and the largest, No-Li.
Admission is $10, which includes your first five four-ounce tasters (extra drink tickets available for purchase). Proceeds go toward a security system for the Native American community’s Salish School of Spokane, which was vandalized last week.
Iron Goat Brewing Turns Five
Things start wrapping up Saturday as Iron Goat celebrates its fifth anniversary (the second celebration in its expanded downtown location) beginning at 11am. This one features the debut of the brewery’s first canned beer, a new Brick and Steel IPA, along with special beer releases throughout the day, a taco bar and live music on the patio. A portion of proceeds benefits the Second Harvest food bank. Look for more special releases each day during the week, leading up to the big bash.
- Whistle Punk celebrates the grand opening of its downtown taproom starting Tuesday, capped by the release of a barrel-aged stout Friday.
- A River City pint night at Manito Tap House on Tuesday will include a hazy, fruity New England-style version of the brewery’s sessionable Afternoon IPA.
- Big Barn will be featured in a beer and food pairing Wednesday at the Onion Bar & Grill North, and a tasting Saturday at Huckleberry’s Natural Market.
- Bellwether starts serving the entries in its annual home brewer competition on Thursday, with the winner in customer voting announced Saturday.
- Perry Street takes on Seattle’s acclaimed Fremont Brewing in a Friday Firk-Off, with each pouring two experimental casks (plus another small-batch surprise from Fremont).
- In the Spokane Valley, Twelve String, Hopped Up and Badass Backyard will have special releases and events throughout the week, with IPA days at Twelve String on Wednesday and Hopped Up on Friday. Games and activities will accompany the beers at Badass including darts on Wednesday, cornhole on Thursday, giant Jenga on Friday and a group bike ride Saturday.
- Black Label will have $4 pint specials throughout the week with a cornhole tournament Wednesday, Merlyn’s Comics game night Thursday, a firkin Friday and live music Saturday.
More to Come
Along with his daily blog, Rick Bonino’s On Tap column runs in The Spokesman-Review’s 7 entertainment section the second and fourth Fridays of each month.