I consider myself much more of a beer enthusiast than an expert, so if I don’t know the answer, I bet that I can find someone who does. My main hope is to provide insight on the breweries, bars and – most importantly – people who make the Inland Northwest a world-class beer destination.
While much of Washington has a reputation for red wine grapes, the Ancient Lakes is best known for having a cooler climate and ideally suited for white varieties such as riesling, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
A decade ago, many Northwest rieslings would be on the sweet side. Thankfully, that is changing, blissfully so because more than any other wine, riesling can show astonishing range depending on where the grapes are grown and how dry the finished wine is left. As a bonus, one that surprises most, riesling can age remarkably – for those who have the patience to tuck them away.
Baby Bar, known for its gem of a jukebox, all-around scrappiness and hand-written rules, is comforting in its no-nonsense but friendly approach to service. During the past dozen years, this hip but unpretentious downtown dive has established itself as a haven for local artists, musicians and misfits right alongside the likes of regular 9-to-5-ers and the occasional rock star.
Yakima Valley today remains an important region with nearly 20,000 acres of wine grape vineyards and more than 60 wineries. While it nests in the expansive Columbia Valley AVA, there are three sub-appellations in Yakima Valley: Rattlesnake Hills, Snipes Mountain and Red Mountain.
Horse Heaven Hills spans more than 570,000 acres, all of which are in the vast Columbia Valley. This area north of the Columbia River and primarily south of Yakima Valley has been well known for agriculture, particularly wheat, carrots, potatoes and other row crops.
When New Boundary Brewing opened in May 2015, it was Cheney’s first since the city voted to go dry back in 1910, forcing the closure of Bavaria Brewery. While New Boundary called it quits at the end of 2017, now another newcomer is moving into the building at 505 1st St.