Local craft beer was a gift that kept on giving – and giving, and giving – in 2015.
The past year brought more new breweries, new homes for existing breweries, and new approaches to producing, packaging and distributing beer throughout the Inland Northwest. Among the highlights:
Also in the Valley, Arbor Crest Wine Cellars launched its in-house Square Wheel Brewing, and Whistle Punk began limited distribution out of its home operation in Newman Lake while looking for a taproom location. (On the flip side, Ramblin’ Road became the first local brewery closure since BiPlane in 2011.)
More are in the works for the new year, including Young Buck and Little Spokane as part of a downtown brewery cooperative, Sun Mountain in Greenacres, Post Falls Brewing and Bombastic in Hayden.
On a broader scale, Washington breweries passed the 300 mark in November, while there were 4,144 nationwide at the end of the month – topping the previous pre-Prohibition high of 4,131 in 1873.
And breweries continue to broaden their distribution areas to move that extra beer. Twelve String and Waddell’s recently started selling in North Idaho, while in Post Falls, Downdraft signed with a Spokane distributor and Selkirk Abbey began brewing lower-alcohol beers for planned distribution in Utah.
And several breweries started releasing regular weekly small-batch specialties – Daft Badger and Slate Creek on Wednesdays in Coeur d’Alene, No-Li for its new Brewsday Tuesdays – following the lead of Iron Goat, which has done one every Wednesday since January in honor of the Chinese Year of the Goat. (Fortunately for those busy brewers, it doesn’t come around again until 2027.)
Send beer news, comments and questions to senior correspondent Rick Bonino at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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