It’s getting so you can’t keep all the new No-Li Brewhouse beers straight without a scorecard.
The just-released, draft-only Expo ’74 Summer Wheat (4.4 percent alcohol by volume, 15 International Bitterness Units) honors the 40th anniversary of the Spokane World’s Fair. It’s crisp and clean with a slight sweetness from honey malt and a hint of orange from fruity Amarillo hops.
Next up is a new year-round addition to the lineup: Rise & Grind (6.1, 22), based on the recent limited-release Brewer’s Breakfast milk stout, made with oats and locally roasted Gemelli coffee. Look for it on draft next week and in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles later in the month.
Early July also will see the brewery’s first full-release Belgian-style beer, Aksel, a draft-only strong ale (7.9 percent ABV) that uses saison yeast from Belgium’s Dupont Brewery. In the meantime, you might still be able to catch some of No-Li’s first foray into the Belgian genre, a small-batch saison made by fermenting Empire No. 8 session IPA with the same yeast; that’s available at the pub only for a limited time.
• River City’s seasonal Clocktower imperial IPA (8.7, 109) is set to return for the summer starting next week. The rich, well-balanced beer gets its complex hop character from Apollo, Bravo, Cascade and Nugget.
• Selkirk Abbey has tapped its Belgian-style summer IPA, Afterlife (5.8, 77), bright and refreshing with citrus and melon notes.
• Big Barn Brewing on Green Bluff, operating out of a bigger, seven-barrel brewhouse in its second full season, has begun distributing beer to area accounts including The Swinging Doors, The Lantern Tap House, Bennidito’s Pizza, and Twigs and O’Doherty’s on the North Side.
• MickDuff’s in Sandpoint, which previously relocated its brewing operation to the former Pend d’Oreille Winery at Third Avenue and Cedar Street, just opened a tasting room there. The Beer Hall offers an alternative to MickDuff’s nearby restaurant/pub for those only interested in the beer (must be 21 or older).
• Capone’s Pub & Grill in Coeur d’Alene is launching a pair of house beers brewed for them by Orlison: Wiffa Pils and Double Play India pale lager. Pints are $3.50 during a launch party today from 5 to 8 p.m.
• Coeur d’Alene now has another major pub player: Crafted Tap House + Grill, in a former muffler shop at Fifth Street and Sherman Avenue, with 50 taps and a full menu starring gourmet hamburgers.
Save the date
• Orlison, the Steam Plant and Waddell’s will be joined by Alaskan, Backwoods (from southwestern Washington), Lagunitas and Ninkasi at the second annual Spokane on the Rocks, Saturday at the Spokane Convention Center and INB Performing Arts Center.
The event, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., also will feature craft spirits, cider and wine along with food, live music, a climbing wall and kids’ jumping castle. Admission is free, with charges for drinks and food; for details, see www.spokaneontherocks.com.
• Top Frog Brewery – formerly Hopping Frog – in Newport, Washington, will celebrate its first anniversary (and new identity, the result of a trademark issue) on July 5 from 2 to 8 p.m. The day will include live music, games, German sausages and eight to 10 beers on tap. For details and directions, see www.topfrogbrewery.com.
Several area breweries took home medals from the second annual Washington Beer Awards, handed out two weekends ago at the Washington Brewers Festival in Redmond.
Iron Goat grabbed the gold in the regular barrel-aged category with its gin barrel Head Butt IPA, and the silver among strong barrel-aged beers for whiskey barrel Goatnik Russian imperial stout. River City Red was tops among American ambers, while Waitsburg’s Laht Neppur led all specialty beers with its Spiced Peaches ‘N’ Cream Ale.
The other regional winners: Hopped Up, silver, Lemon Quality Cream Ale; Paradise Creek (Pullman), silver, Scottish Stovepipe, and bronze, Huckleberry Pucker; Republic Brewing, silver, Falligan’s Irish Red, and bronze, Big Mischief Porter; and Riverport Brewing (Clarkston), silver, Bedrock Bock.
By the book
Twin Falls beer blogger Steven Koonce will be in the area next month promoting his new book, “Idaho Beer: From Grain to Glass in the Gem State” (History Press, 144 pages, $19.99). It explores the state’s brewing scene from its sizable barley malt and hops production to the growth of current craft breweries, including brief sections on Selkirk Abbey and Laughing Dog (which combine for three of Koonce’s top 10 Idaho beers).
Koonce will make appearances July 11 at 7 p.m. at Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane; July 12 at 2 p.m. at Selkirk Abbey, during the brewery’s second anniversary celebration (more on that in the next On Tap); and July 12 at 6 p.m. at Hastings in Coeur d’Alene.