Raise a glass to summer’s end
With summer winding down, the calendar is filling up with outdoor beer events:
• Laughing Dog celebrates its eighth anniversary with its annual barbecue, Saturday from noon-7 p.m. at the brewery north of Sandpoint.
Along with $5-per-plate chow, there’ll be live music, games and prize drawings, including a free daily beer for one year. Dogs are welcome on leashes.
Brewer/owner Fred Colby will debut a special creation for the occasion: a crisp, tart Belgian-style sour dubbed De Achtste Hond (Flemish for “The Eighth Dog”), weighing in at 7.2 percent alcohol by volume and aged for a month in new oak barrels. If you can’t make the party, look for it later on tap around the area.
• Budge Brothers observed its second anniversary this spring in fairly low-key fashion. Now it’s back with a bigger bash: the first Budge Fest, Saturday from 2-9 p.m. in the parking lot outside the brewery, 2018 E. Riverside Ave.
Enjoy live music, taco-truck fare and beer specials, including the release of a new imperial India pale ale.
• Back in the Sandpoint area, Schweitzer Mountain Resort wraps up its summer season on Labor Day weekend with the annual Fall Fest, Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
More than 60 local and regional beers are on the menu, including a pair of my favorite IPAs this summer: Elysian’s fruity/piney Space Dust and Deschutes’ juicy Fresh Squeezed.
Wines, ciders and sodas also will be available, bands will play all three days, and arts and crafts vendors will offer their wares. For full details check the “things to do” section at www.schweitzer.com.
• Tickets are on sale online at www.brownpapertickets.com for the Inland NW Craft Beer Festival (formerly Spokane Oktoberfest), Sept. 27-28 in Riverfront Park.
Advance tickets are $15; admission at the gate is $20. Look for much more on this one in the next On Tap.
• Mad Bomber Brewing, headed by a former Army bomb squad technician, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to firm up funding for the planned Hayden nanobrewery.
The goal is $26,000 to cover the costs of a walk-in cooler and draft system. For more info, go to www.kickstarter.com and search for “Mad Bomber Brewing.”
• No-Li Brewhouse has started offering brewery tours, Fridays at 5 and 6 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 and 4 p.m. Each tour is limited to 12 people, so show up early to get your name on the list.
The brewery also has begun tapping small kegs of specialty beers each week for Firkin Friday. Last week’s initial offering was a dry-hopped Crystal Bitter, with a cask-conditioned Silent Treatment pale ale due today at 5 p.m.
And No-Li is featuring a guest beer each week, beginning Thursdays, from a local or Washington state brewery. This week’s selection is Twelve String’s Rhythmic RyePA.
• Those of you who’ve been waiting for the area’s first canned beers will have to wait a bit longer. Both Laughing Dog and Airway Heights’ Orlison Brewing are now aiming to have cans roll off the line around the middle of September.
Road less traveled
The kickoff party for the Inland Northwest Ale Trail has been rescheduled for next Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on the rooftop of the Saranac Public House, 21 W. Main Ave.
Thanks to the promotional map, area breweries already are receiving rare attention from the west side of the state. Check out what Kendall Jones had to say on his Washington Beer Blog: www.washingtonbeerblog. com/trail-blazing-on-inland- northwest-beer-scene/.
Send beer news, comments and questions to senior correspondent Rick Bonino at boninobeer@ comcast.net.