Dave Basaraba (left) and Tim Hilton are the men behind Mountain Lakes Brewing.
You’ll know when you’ve arrived at downtown Spokane’s newest brewery, Mountain Lakes.
A canoe paddle is the front door handle for the taproom at the southwest corner of Riverside and Browne (next to the Lion’s Lair), which opens Thursday.
Inside, the tap handles are paddle tops, with the blades used for taster trays. A canoe hangs from the pressed tin ceiling, and a photo triptych of – you guessed it – a mountain lake adorns the wall next to the bar.
Co-owner/brewers Dave Basaraba and Tim Hilton got the concept from a 1920s-era promotional postcard that reads, “50 mountain lakes welcome you to Spokane.” Now they hope to create a destination of their own for thirsty visitors.
“We want this to be an inviting place to hang out,” Hilton says. “We really like the idea of a spot where people can come after work and have a beer and take a growler home.”
Six house beers occupy the 14 taps for starters, tending to the sweeter and more accessible.
There’s an American-style Wheat Wheat, Don’t Tell Me (5.8 percent alcohol by volume, 24 International Bitterness Units) with a noticeable Citra/Cascade hop character. Woodwork Pale (6.3, 35) gets a sweet touch from honey malt and earthy, floral hop notes from Columbus and East Kent Goldings.
The well-balanced Big Red Wagon amber (6.4, 50), with spicy Goldings, Northern Brewer and Tettnang over caramel and toasty Kiln Amber malts, is joined by a bigger 2-Alarm Double Red (7.8, 70) featuring more of those malts and a citrusy, peppery hop bill of Ekuanot and Cascade.
Rounding things out are the Riverside Browne brown (6.2, 40), with chocolate malt notes accented by Chinook and Centennial hops, and a malt-forward, English-inspired Live at Leeds IPA (7.2, 70) with a subtle hop presence from a combination of Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Amarillo and Northern Brewer.
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