Monday marks the beginning of Craft Beer Week, and local brewers and beer purveyors are gearing up for the festivities. While some of the planning was still in progress at press time, here’s a taste of what to expect:
• On May 17, No-Li will feature beers from seven local breweries on its riverfront patio from noon to 4 p.m., along with food specials and live music.
Earlier in the week, California-based Nicole Erny, the first woman and youngest person to be certified as a Master Cicerone (i.e., extreme beer expert), will be on hand for a beer and food pairing session Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. ($12), and a beer off-flavors course Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. ($39).
And in a Homebrewer’s Night on Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m., No-Li brewers and leaders of a new local homebrew club will demonstrate small-batch brewing (reservations requested).
No-Li will tap special beers each day at 5 p.m., beginning Monday with a Wheat India Session Ale brewed for the occasion in collaboration with Iron Goat (there are two versions, one made at each brewery). For more details, see www.nolibrewhouse.com.
• Twelve String will pour special releases through the week, such as whiskey barrel Volume 1 Anniversary Ale and other barrel-aged beers, the Volume 2 strong Cascadian dark ale and the debut of this year’s seasonal Rhythmic Rye IPA. Growler fills on all regular beers will be $10.
• Also in Spokane Valley, Hopped Up will offer the likes of an orange-vanilla High Performance Porter and a dry-hopped version of the No-Name Brown.
• Waddell’s will have food specials and $2 pints of selected house-made Rube’s Brews.
• Manito Tap House will debut a double IPA from Perry Street Brewing on Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Ramblin’ Road’s new Belgian Quad on Thursday at 6 p.m., plus pull out some special kegs from the cellar during the week.
• Beers from Orlison, Trickster’s, Kootenai River, Payette and New Belgium will be featured in the fourth annual Spring Dinner on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Capone’s in Post Falls. Cost is $45; call (208) 457-8020 for reservations.
• Several events are in the works at Paragon Brewing in Coeur d’Alene, including $1 discounts on their first pint for people who ride their bikes to the pub (and soon-to-be brewery) on May 17; follow paragonbrewing.com/acbw for details.
• Look for daily specials all week at Laughing Dog in Sandpoint (check the brewery’s Facebook page for info).
• Saranac Public House will tap beers from 10 area breweries on Tuesday, with brewery representatives on hand from 6 to 8 p.m.
• Total Wine is offering tastings from area and other craft breweries throughout the week at its north Spokane and Spokane Valley stores; for more information, go to totalwine.com and click on “events.”
• River City is introducing a session-style Afternoon IPA (5.2 percent alcohol by volume, 60 International Bitterness Units), a slightly lighter yet flavorful replacement for its previous India pale ale that goes well with a warm day at the downtown brewery’s new sidewalk patio.
• Ramblin’ Road, which also just opened its outdoor seating, offers a dry, refreshing Belgian Golden Strong Ale (7.0, 20) with spicy notes from dry-hopping with Saaz.
• The latest specialty release from Iron Goat is a Flying Irish pale (6.0, 37), named after the local running club, which gets its floral character from Australian Sylva hops.
• The Steam Plant is pouring a Cascadian dark ale (6.8, 65) – also known as a black IPA – with roasty, smoky notes and citrusy, piney, herbal hoppiness from Cascade, Chinook and Columbus.
• Selkirk Abbey has begun bottling both its regular Chapel Belgian witbier and the seasonal huckleberry version, which just arrived at the taproom.
• Orlison will be canning its Pilsner 37, a hearty Northwest-style interpretation that benefits Team Gleason’s fight against ALS. Look for it starting the week of May 19.
• Big Barn Brewing, at Bodacious Berries, Fruits and Brews on Green Bluff, is opening its tasting room for the season Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., with its Honey Sage, Dunn-Day IPA, Strong Oat Stout, and light, summery Ladder, Bin and Bushel. The brewery is operating on an expanded seven-barrel system this year and plans to start distributing kegs to accounts around town.
• Post Falls’ former Cloudburst Brewing had its plans rained on when a Seattle-area brewer trademarked the name first. So the brewery has rebranded as Downdraft Brewing and is trying to raise $30,000 through Kickstarter in hopes of a July opening; for details, go to kickstarter.com and search for “downdraft.”
• It’s not a brewery, but the growing, Oregon-based Growler Guys chain is launching two Spokane locations, featuring more than 40 taps to fill containers with local and other craft beers. The first, at 9329 N. Newport Highway, is expected to open by July 1; a South Hill store near Trader Joe’s is shooting for Labor Day.
Fifty amateur area brewers will square off in the Battle of the Homebrews on May 17 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Greyhound Park and Event Center in Post Falls. Judging will be by popular vote; the top 10 finishers receive cash prizes, and the winner will have their recipe brewed by Waddell’s.
Admission is $20, which includes a sample card good for five 5-ounce tastes and one vote; extra cards are $5 each. Or $10 gets you in the door, with free water and soda. Everyone is eligible for prize drawings including a flat-screen TV, and wine and food will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the Spokane EastSide Reunion Association, a nonprofit that provides community and youth services.