Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What's Hoppin' this Week? 9/26

Hey and welcome to What's Hoppin' this week. I hope everyone that made it out to the beer festival at Avista stadium last weekend had a great time. Judging by the way I felt sunday, I probably had a little too much fun, but it was an awesome event as always and thanks to all the brewers who made it out there, and to WABL for keeping everything organized.

 We've got lots of great events this weekend, especially if you own a good pair of lederhosen. Oktoberfest celebrations have arrived. As always, hit me up with any thoughts, omissions, praise, etc. either here or on FB, Twitter and Instagram. Prost, folks!

Thursday, September 27th


- Iron Goat Brewing has been celebrating Oktoberfest all week and the festivities run all the way through Sunday. They've released two Oktoberfest beers, a märzen and a bock, and are doing a special menu featuring German-inspired fare. I stopped by last night and I can confirm it was delicious. Facebook.

- Perry Street Brewing is celebrating both Oktoberfest and fresh hop season this weekend with their annual Hoptoberfest celebration. The event kicks off at 2 pm, runs through Friday night, and will feature special release beers, German food and other fun. Facebook.

- Bellwether has two different, pilsen-inspired lagers as part of their "Sainted" release this week honoring St. Wenceslas and St. Matthew. Facebook.

- Big Barn Brewing in Mead is holding a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Spokane County from 4 to 8 pm out in their, uh, big barn. The all-ages event will feature food from Big Gun BBQ as well as music, games and raffle prizes. Facebook

- The Pacific Northwest chapter of the American Water Works Association, a non-profit organization that works to improve water quality and supply in the Northwest and all over the world, is hosting their 4th annual "No Water No Beer" event at Overbluff Cellars in downtown Spokane from 6 to 9 pm. Several local breweries will be pouring and there will be food from the always great Santé restaurant group. The event also features a silent auction and other opportunities to help this organization. Tickets are $45. Facebook.

Friday, September 28th


- Bellwether is turning 3 years old this weekend and is celebrating with even more special beer releases. Starting at 3, they will be pouring 5 different variation of the same base beer with each one containing different ingredients from their own backyard gardens. Congrats on three years! Facebook.

- If you're still looking for Oktoberfest celebrations in the area, Spokane Centerplace Event Center in the Spokane Valley is holding a weekend-long celebration featuring beer, food, two stages of music, even wiener dog races. The event kicks off at 4 and runs through Sunday. Facebook.

- Boise's Payette Brewing is having at tap takeover at the Newport Growler Guys starting at 6 pm. Instagram.

- Riverfront Park is hosting the final Friday Night Flight event of season and it features cider this time, from One Tree Cider House. Facebook.

Saturday, September 29th


- Bellwether is having their official 3 year anniversary party with a special release of their flagship Braggot, Seawolf, that has been aged in Gin Barrels from Dry Fly. There will be march giveaways throughout the day and other fun activities. 1 to 10 pm. Facebook

- MickDuff's Brewing in Sandpoint is hosting their own Hoptoberfest starting at 11 am and it will feature flights of both fresh hop and Oktoberfest beers, live music and food trucks. 21+ after 7 pm. Facebook.

Sunday, September 30th


- The 3rd annual "Boobs n' Beer 5k Fun Run" sponsored by 7B Women and MickDuff's Brewing is taking place starting at 11 am in Sandpoint. This event will raise money for cancer charities in the area. The run will take place along the Sand Creek Trail and will finish with a family friendly Oktoberfest at MickDuff's Brewing that will includes food trucks and games for kids. Early registration is $40 for adults (includes the run and a beer) and $10 for kids 12 and under. Facebook

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What's Hoppin' this Week? 9/19

Welcome to What's Hoppin' this Week. I hope you've had a chance to go fresh hop hunting this past week. There have been a lot of very good ones already released and more are on the way. If you need something to read, The Seattle Times put out an amazing multi-media story about the fresh hop process. It's well worth your time. Anyway, let's get to it. Cheers!

Thursday, September 20th


- Mountain Lakes Brewing is celebrating the beginning of the WABL Inland NW Craft Beer Festival with $3 pints from 3 to 6 pm. Just a heads up that their the tap room will be closed on Friday and Saturday while the boys are out pouring at the festival.

Friday, September 21st


- As I mentioned above, this weekend is the Washington Beer Lovers Association's Inland NW Craft Beer Festival at Avista Stadium. This is one of the largest beer festivals in the area, with 42 breweries pouring over 180 beers. There will be a lot of heavy hitters from the West Side making their way over here for the event, so you'll get a chance to sample a lot of stuff that may only be around once a year. Check out the beer list, it's... large. Tickets are $20 in advance (more at the door) and include a commemorative sample glass and six, 5-oz tasters. The event runs on Friday from 4 to 9 pm. Please note that this event is 21 and over on Friday night. For more info and tickets check out Facebook.

Also, while you're there, I highly recommend signing up to join the Washington Beer Lovers Association. Paid members will get extra sample tokens and access to a members only beer. I'm a huge fan of their passport program which lets you check-in at craft breweries across the State and earn rewards for the more you visit. WABL reps will be on hand to answer questions.

- Downtown Coeur d'Alene is hosting an Oktoberfest from 4 to 9 pm. There will be 30+ beers and ciders on tap, live music, food and fun. Tickets are $25 and include a commemorative glass and eight, 4-oz tasters or two full beers. Keep in mind you can dress up in a lederhosen or dirndl and receive a free meal ticket. Facebook.

- Friday Night Flights in back from 5 to 8 pm in Riverfront Park and features beers from both Iron Goat and No-Li this week. Facebook.

Saturday, September 22


- The Inland NW Craft Beer Festival continues from noon to 6 pm. In addition to the beer, Saturday is an all-ages event and there will be a special kids area with games and attractions. Facebook.

- Oktoberfest in downtown CD'A is also back from noon to 9 pm. Facebook.

- Badass Backyard Brewing is hosting Sour Saturday, featuring 5 sour beers in their tap room from noon to 9 pm. Facebook

- Top Frog Brewing in Newport is holding an "End of Summer Bash" starting at 2 pm, featuring beer, and live music. They've got some artists scheduled to perform but are also encouraging any musicians who want to play to come on out. Facebook.

- Today is also the first day of the Green Bluff Harvest Festival which runs through October 28th. In addition to the festivities, there are several great places to check out and sample while you're in the area, including 238 Brewing, Big Barn Brewing and Hierophant Meadery. They may be hosting special events throughout the 5 weeks of the festival (I'll be keeping an eye on it) but even if they aren't, they are definitely worth the trip. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

What's Hoppin' this Week? 9/12

The hop harvest is in full swing and breweries all across the region a busily prepping their fresh hop beers. Several local spots, including 12 String, River City and Whistle Punk have already put out fresh hop IPAs this season and that number will only continue to rise. In light of this, I thought that a brief intro to fresh hops would be in order. For more info, talk to your friendly neighborhood brewer.

For those interested, this article provides a pretty good rundown of what the terms mean, but essentially because the Yakima Valley is the top producer of hops in the US, the Pacific and Inland Northwest breweries have the best access to right off the vine hop cones. These fresh hops can either be used "wet" - i.e. right off the vine, or kiln-dried. Either way, they expire very quickly and need to go from vine to brew within 24 hours. Fresh hops are less concentrated than traditional hop pellets, so more are needed in the brewing process and they generally have more grassy, floral notes and less bitterness than most traditional IPAs. Even if you aren't generally an IPA enthusiast, I suggest tracking down a fresh hop beer and giving it a shot because you really can taste the freshness and it's a wholly different experience than a traditional "hoppy" beer. These beers are only around while the harvest is going, so you'll see a lot of them between September and Mid-October.

I'll be re-posting any info I see from local breweries about their fresh-hop releases, so keep an eye on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also, all of our favorite local beer bars and bottle shops are working hard to bring in fresh hop beers from around the region, so be sure to visit them as well.

Anyway, enough beer-nerd stuff. Here's what's hoppin' this week.

Thursday, September 13th


- The Lantern Tap House in the Perry district is kicking off their annual Sour-Fest by featuring several specialty, bottled, sours. Starting at 4 pm. You can purchase a $10 package, good for every day of the festival that includes a custom tasting glass and your first beer. For more info, including a beer list, check out their Facebook.

- Perry District brewery and bakery, The Grain Shed, is having a release party for their first fresh hop beer, a version of their Baronesse Pilsner brewed with Willamette fresh hops. The brewers and the farmers who grew both the grains and the hops will be there to hangout and answer questions. Everything kicks off at 5 pm. Facebook.

- The Bellwether "Sainted" beer release is a "very" dry-hopped IPA to honor the patron saint of hop growers, St. Hildegard of Bingen. Get down to taste it from 3 to 9 pm. Facebook.

Friday, September 14th


- Sour Fest brings the party to The Lantern's outdoor beer garden and will be sampling 11 different sour beers from 4 to 10 and will also feature live music. Facebook.

- Post Falls Brewing is doing a tap takeover at the CD'A Growler Guys. The brewers will be on hand and the event page promises "shenanigans." Facebook

- This week's Friday Night Flights in Riverfront Park features beer from Iron Goat. There are only a few weeks left of this event for the year, so get out there if you haven't checked it out. Facebook.

Saturday, September 15th


- The final day of Sour Fest features 11 additional sours for you to sample and live music. Facebook.

- Post Falls Brewing is hosting their Oktoberfest celebration all day in their tap room. They'll be releasing four new beers, live music all day and a couple food trucks. Facebook

- Iron Goat is hosting their 8th annual SPO HOP event where they are asking people to bring in their homegrown brewing hops and people who want to pick them. All donators and pickers will receive 50% off their SPO HOP pints in the tap room. Facebook.

- The Monroe Street Business District is celebrating the grand reopening of the street with a car show and block party. Bellwether is getting in on the fun and releasing a new beer to celebrate the reopening and the beginning of Fall. Facebook.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Lester Cup Winner Announced

Congratulations to Mountain Lakes Brewing for winning the first annual Lester Cup brew off. They will be back next year to defend their title and I've heard that the hope is to have even more breweries participating next time, so the competition while only get more fierce (or as fierce as brewing competitions can get.) Don't forget to save your completed voting stubs to get access to the awards party (details TBD).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What's Hoppin' this Week? 9/5

Happy September everyone and welcome to What's Hoppin' this Week. Let's get right to it.

Thursday, September 6th


- Nectar in Kendall Yards is celebrating fresh hop season all month and are kicking it off with a special flight of IPAs. Flights are pouring from 6 to 8 pm and are $10 each or $5 for beer club members. Full details including a full beer list can be found on Facebook.

- Bellwether has been celebrating the opening of their stretch of Monroe by releasing a new beer Tuesday through Friday this week from 3 to 6 pm. All beers are available in limited quantities, so if you really want to try something, get down there on the day it's released. All the particulars can be found on their Facebook

Friday, September 7th


- River City is hosting another garage party for First Friday. The events kicks off at 4 pm and as usual, will feature beer specials, art and live music. Bardic Brewing will be there serving up pizza. Facebook.

- Post Falls Brewing is hosting another Pie + Pints night with beer and hand pies from Bean and Pie. 5 to 7 pm. Facebook.

- Local Spokane non-profit Beyond Pink is hosting a beer fest fundraiser from 4 to 10 pm on 3rd Ave. between Jefferson and Madison in downtown Spokane. The event will feature beers from several local breweries, as well as food, crafts and live music. All proceeds go right back into the local community. No cover charge and if you wear something pink, you get $1 off a pint. Facebook.

- The Lands Council, another local non-profit, is also hosting their annual Brewftop Party to raise money and awareness of their work in preserving natural habitats in the Inland NW. Food, beer and music will all be available. It all takes place from 5 to 9 pm in Kendall Yards. Facebook.

- This week's Friday Night Flights and Trivia event in Riverfront Park features beer from River City. 5 to 8 pm. Facebook.

Saturday, September 8th


- Steady Flow Growler House is holding the official grand opening party for their new Downtown Spokane location. The main party is from 4 to 8 and will feature a tap takeover from their building co-tenant River City. Raffles and other fun stuff will be happening throughout the day, and the first 100 people through the door starting at noon will receive a free branded glass growler. Congrats on getting open. Facebook.



What's Hoppin' this Week? 11/6

Happy November everyone! Lot's to get to this evening. My latest 509 Beer column is up on the Spokesman today. It's a bit of a grab ...