The name of North Idaho’s next brewery may sound a bit wacky, but its inspiration is deadly serious.
Mad Bomber Brewing is a project of Tom Applegate, a recently discharged Army explosive ordnance disposal technician, and two of his bomb squad buddies.
They’ve secured space on Government Way in Hayden for their 1.5-barrel nanobrewery and have filed for federal and state brewing permits, with plans to open this fall.
The beer names reflect their vocation: MK84 Porter, Lonely Walk Brown, Powder Keg India Brown. Decorations will include photos of EOD techs at work, and a bomb suit.
“We wanted to have an identity that we could relate to, and we thought people would be interested in coming to someplace that’s meaningful,” Applegate said.
Mad Bomber will support such causes as the Wounded Warrior Project, and Applegate added: “An emergency responder is never going to pay full price for a pint.”
One of the beers will be the Saint Nicholas Pale, named in honor of Staff Sergeant Nicholas Reid, an original Mad Bomber partner who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan last December.
• Following in the footsteps of its spring pale ale, No-Li’s Summer Wheat showcases the complex Mosaic hop, with qualities ranging from earthy to fruity.
A dose of honey malt helps make it flavorful for a lighter beer (4.2 percent alcohol by volume), yet still refreshing. Some also is aging in Dry Fly wheat whiskey barrels for future release.
• For its latest experiment with wood, Twelve String has brewed an imperial version of its Mango Mambo to age in tequila barrels. In the meantime, a rye India pale ale should be arriving any day now.
• The Valley’s new brewery, Hopped Up, is upping its hops ante with a pair of IPAs.
The initial Noah’s Ark Electric IPA (6.0 ABV, 62 International Bitterness Units) gets its reddish hue and slight sweetness from caramel malt, and floral, herbal hop notes from Centennial and Zythos. It’s being joined by a golden, Centennial-centered Heavy Hopper (7.1, 56), which has a more pronounced hop character while still finishing quite clean.
For fruit beer fans, a lemon cream ale is rotating with the original raspberry version. And for fans of fresh air, the outdoor beer garden should be ready for the weekend.
The Onion Bar & Grill is celebrating its 35th anniversary with a five-course dinner featuring No-Li beers, Tuesday at 6 p.m. at its north Spokane location, 7522 N. Division St.
The menu includes a bread salad accompanied by Crystal Bitter; pork belly with Silent Treatment Pale Ale; shrimp ravioli with Jet Star Imperial IPA; wagyu beef burger with Born & Raised IPA; and a chocolate cashew torte with Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout.
Cost is $35 per person. For reservations, call (509) 482-6100.
If you find yourself in Sandpoint – say, for a festival concert – there’s a new option for picking up some good beer to go.
Idaho Pour Authority, at 203 Cedar St. (next to Di Luna’s Cafe), offers more than 300 bottled beers along with a dozen rotating taps for growler fills and in-store pints. There’s also an assortment of cured meats, cheeses and chocolates.
Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with live music daily at 5 p.m. For more details, see www.idahopourauthority.com.