The new year brings new owners to two local breweries, both younger couples who were longtime customers:
Downdraft Brewing in Post Falls, which had closed Nov. 18 after three years of operation, reopened Friday under new owners Ginger and Josh Cantamessa.
“We didn’t want to see it go,” said Ginger Cantamessa, who worked as a server in the taproom for a couple of months before the closure. “It’s a great location with good people.”
For now, Downdraft is serving several beers from the previous inventory plus a pair of guest taps, Selkirk Abbey’s Guilt imperial coffee porter and Northern Cross Stout.
Ginger Cantamessa started homebrewing about 10 years ago, though she hasn’t brewed for the past five or so. She plans to tweak some of the familiar recipes as well as adding a wide range of new ones.
“We want to have a good product, and good customer service,” she said. “Those are our goals for Downdraft.”
Taproom hours are Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 8 and Saturday from 2 to 8.
Reece and Jackie Carlson are the new owners at English Setter, taking over from the Spokane Valley brewery’s founders, Jeff and Anita Bendio.
“If I was 35 again, none of this would be happening,” said Jeff Bendio, who just turned 61. “But it’s a good time for us, and it’s a perfect time for Reece and Jackie. We’re handing them a working brewery that’s ready to take to the next level.”
Reece Carlson, who who’s been homebrewing the past couple of years, regularly brought his beers to Bendio for feedback.
“We’re really excited,” he said. “We both love beer, and we’ve both worked at restaurants and bars for a long time. It’s always been a dream of ours to do something like this.”
He plans to continue brewing customer favorites while introducing new beers. Look for a Scottish ale dubbed The Yard this week, and an imperial chocolate oatmeal stout, The Grim, toward the end of the month.
The Carlsons also are aiming for a livelier atmosphere, with more games for customers to play and more TVs.
“There’s a big corner of the market that we’re missing in terms of a younger crowd,” Reece Carlson said. “We want to make it a fun place to come and spend time together.”
Winter Fest time at The Lantern
The Lantern Tap House’s Winter Beer Fest returns for a fifth year this weekend.
Ten seasonal offerings from Oregon breweries will pour in the heated outdoor tent Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and 10 from Washington breweries on Saturday from 2 to 10. Seven more are on tap inside starting today.
A $20 presale package (for the first 100 customers) includes a 13-ounce tasting glass, five drink tokens and a commemorative pom beanie. Admission during the festival will be $15 for the glass and tokens.
Depending on the beer, you can get a 4-ounce taster for two or three tokens, and either 10 or 13 ounces for five tokens. Extra tokens are $1 each.
Perry Street’s latest Juicy IPA (7.7 percent alcohol by volume, 50 International Bitterness Units) is slightly hazy with peach and pineapple notes from Vic Secret hops plus cryo Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe. Also look for a rich, roasty Imperial Stout (11.5, 70) with vanilla bean and star anise tincture.
Iron Goat’s hazy, fruity F-Boyd IPA (7, 68) is hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic.
The Haze Craze IPA at Young Buck (6.4, 60) is brewed with Valencia orange and mango puree, hopped with Ekuanot and fermented with French saison yeast.
Hopped Up’s Gear Grabber IPA (6.3, 68) is brewed with Mosaic lupulin powder.
Little Spokane is pouring a big, balanced West End Pride IPA (8.4, 87) generously hopped with Amarillo.
Black Label’s Black Daze IPA (5.2, 71) is brewed with locally produced Palouse Pint malt plus debittered black barley.
Save the date
Community Pint hosts an Iron Goat launch party Thursday at 5 for Paul’s Pale Ale (formerly Garbage Pale), renamed in honor of late brewery co-founder Paul Edminster. Look for regular and two flavor-infused Randall versions; $1 from each pint sold benefits the American Cancer Society.
A doppelbock collaboration by Waddell’s and Tumwater’s Matchless Brewing will be released Saturday from 7 to 10 at The Viking.
An Abyss tasting at Steady Flow Growler House on Sunday from noon to 4 will feature four versions of the barrel-aged Deschutes imperial stout: 2016 and 2017 regular, plus the 2016 Scotch and brandy variants. Advance tickets are $15 plus fees through Eventbrite.
Fremont’s Barrels to Bottles event Jan. 18 at Community Pint will include the likes of Unicorn Tears imperial oatmeal stout with cherries, Rusty Nail imperial stout with licorice and cinnamon bark, Coconut B-Bomb winter ale and Brew 2000 barleywine.
Daft Badger celebrates its third anniversary Jan. 20 with live music, food specials and a bonfire.
For a full rundown of local beer events and news see www.spokane7.com/blog/ontap.