Grabbing a beer with the girls has a whole new dimension these days.
There’s now a North Idaho chapter of Girls’ Pint Out, a national organization that brings together women interested in craft beer. It started in Indianapolis three years ago and has spread to some 40 chapters across the country.
“A lot of the time, people just think craft beer is for guys,” said Jamie Lynn Morgan, a Coeur d’Alene marketing consultant who launched the local group. “But it’s a growing thing among women. More and more women are starting to do home brewing.”
Her initial event, last month at the Enoteca wine and beer bar in Post Falls, featured No-Li ales paired with cheeses. The second, next Friday at Nate’s New York Pizza in Post Falls, will explore “beer mixology” – making cocktails using craft beer.
“I just wanted to have a venue where women can get together and be a little bit safe, sit and talk about things without some guy saying, ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about,’ ” Morgan said.
Actually, social gatherings like these are open to both men and women. There also will be educational events about beer and the brewing process that will be ladies-only. “We’ll come in, learn about their brewery and learn about them,” Morgan said.
And she’s planning field trips to more distant breweries around the region. The first might be a visit to Sandpoint in November to check out Laughing Dog and MickDuff’s. Boise and Wallace are likely destinations later.
An Eastern Washington chapter of Girls’ Pint Out is under discussion. In the meantime, Washington women are welcome to join in the Idaho activities.
Morgan and her husband, Tom, who are into vintage bicycles as well as beer, also organize Lake City Flyers rides the third Sunday of each month that stop at beer-related locations.
The next one, on Oct. 20, will begin with beers at Capone’s in Coeur d’Alene starting at 1 p.m. For more information, see http://bicyclebites.com/ lake-city-flyers.
Cool, wet, windy weather put a bit of a damper on last month’s Inland NW Craft Beer Festival.
The fourth-year event (formerly Spokane Oktoberfest) drew about 2,100 people over its two-day run – down from some 2,650 last year, and well short of the 3,000 that the sponsoring Washington Beer Commission needed to break even financially.
Ticket presales were higher than ever, said Eric Radovich, the commission’s executive director. “There’s no doubt we would have done well over 3,000 if the weather had cooperated,” he said.
Radovich said the event would return next year, again on the final weekend of September – which was a week later than previous years. And a second festival east of the Cascades will likely be added in a year or two, he said, in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla or Yakima.
“We believe the popularity, despite the weather, that we had in Spokane shows that people are catching on to craft beer over there,” Radovich said.
Those who braved the elements sucked down 18,745 five-ounce samples from the 30 breweries involved. Spokane’s Iron Goat did the most business, followed by Seattle’s Fremont Brewing; Twelve String, Spokane Valley; Hopping Frog, the brand-new brewery in Newport; and Waitsburg’s Laht Neppur.
• Orlison’s Ünderground, a “stout lager” that made its debut at the festival, is starting to show up on area taps. At around 6 percent alcohol by volume and 50 International Bitterness Units, the black beer is rich and smooth with hints of licorice.
The all-lager Airway Heights brewery next week will begin canning its Clem’s Gold and Havanüther light pilsner. Look for those shortly at Rosauers and Yoke’s supermarkets.
• Three fresh-hop beers that Iron Goat brewed using this year’s harvest will be featured today beginning at 4 p.m. at the Lantern Tap House, 1004 S. Perry St. An all-Citra session ale (4.8 percent ABV) is crisp and fruity, while its stronger Centennial sister (7.2) is full-bodied with a floral spiciness and underlying citrus. The Spo-Hop (6.0), made with various homegrown hops contributed by customers, has more of an herbal, vegetal character.
• An all-Mosaic fresh hop red ale should be pouring at Twelve String by the time you read this, along with the first of the brewery’s cask-conditioned ales, a Citra dry-hopped Rhythmic Rye IPA. Also worth checking out is this year’s version of the malty, seasonal Roundabout Confusion (8.3, 49), which gets mint and evergreen notes from Northern Brewer hops.
• The second offering in No-Li’s new draft-only Expo Series is an exceptionally tasty all-Simcoe red ale (5.3, 60). Full of grapefruit and pine, it’s brighter and hoppier than its predecessor, which was made from the same basic recipe but used Amarillo hops.
• Hopping Frog’s beers will be featured in a tasting Saturday starting at 3 p.m. at the Noni wine bar in Priest River, Idaho. Bring your growler for fills of what grabs you.
• Idaho’s oldest microbrewery, Victor-based Grand Teton, has released an Ale 208 session beer (4.8, 16) made entirely from in-state grain, hops and water. Available only in Idaho, it’s beginning to arrive at Coeur d’Alene-area specialty stores and supermarkets.
The annual Pumpkin Festival at Spokane’s Post Street Ale House, 1 N. Post St., will feature 13 pumpkin beers, including local offerings from the Steam Plant, Iron Goat and Orlison. The fall fun starts Oct. 24 and runs through Halloween.