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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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New breweries ready to make their debuts

Spokane’s two newest breweries will make their public debuts April 1.

Young Buck and Little Spokane are among at least 12 breweries and cideries that will be featured during Craft Beer Day at the inaugural Chef’s Week PNW. There also will be a Q&A session with local brewers and a homebrew contest.

When it comes to restaurants, said organizer Aaron Crumbaugh, “There’s so much more that goes into it than just the food. There’s the wine, the spirits, the beer. This is a celebration of food and drink, the story of where it comes from and the people behind it all.”

After wineries are featured on opening day Wednesday and distilleries March 31, beer tasting will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 1 at the Washington Cracker Co. building downtown at 304 W. Pacific Ave. For $10, you get 10 sample tokens.

Along with Young Buck and Little Spokane, both of which will be opening soon at the downtown brewery incubator, participants include a recent arrival, Chewelah’s Quartzite Brewing. “It’s a good way for them to market their beer and their brand,” Crumbaugh said of the newcomers.

Others lined up so far are locals Iron Goat, Orlison, Steam Plant and Black Label, Western Washington’s Wander and Propolis, and California’s Lagunitas, as well as cider from Spokane’s Liberty and the Olympic Peninsula’s Finnriver.

While details still are being finalized, one of Young Buck’s offerings will be an unblended sour made with four wild yeasts including three strains of Brettanomyces, plus two strains of Lactobacillus bacteria and one of Pediococcus.

The homebrew competition will include seven IPAs and seven stouts. The winners in each category receive a $100 cash prize and will have their beers poured at the eight-course tasting dinner that closes the activities on April 2.

For more information on all the events, see the related story on this page or visit www.chefsweekpnw.com.

Brewery watch

Post Falls Brewing, going in north of the river at 112 N. Spokane St., has set an opening date of April 22.

Iron Goat closes its East Mallon taproom Wednesday with a celebration featuring the Couple of Chefs food truck, and the brewery plans to open its new location downtown at Second Avenue and Adams Street shortly afterward. A grand opening party is set for April 29-30.

No-Li has added an observation area at its pub looking into the brewing operation with a stand-up bar, while patio improvements including a water feature are underway. Also, look for new labels and packaging for the brewery’s bottled beers.

Laughing Dog has started serving food at its Sandpoint-area taproom, with flatbreads and soft pretzels from a wood-fired oven along with sandwiches, soups and salads. As a result, dogs are no longer allowed inside, though they’ll still be welcome on the patio.

Freshly tapped

No-Li’s new spring seasonal Komrade imperial IPA (8 percent alcohol by volume, 70 International Bitterness Units), hopped with Amarillo, Comet and El Dorado, is on tap now at the pub and will arrive in bottles next month. And a new year-round Big Juicy IPA (6.1, 55), featuring fruity Citra, El Dorado, Belma and Azacca, is set for release March 31 in six-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Lager specialist Orlison, which has been experimenting with small-batch ales, has a big-batch, Bloomsday-themed Shin Splints IPA arriving April 1. The brewery’s spring seasonal Toasted Dragon – an Asian-inspired lager with lime, Thai basil, Szechuan peppercorns and ginger – will start reaching stores in 22-ounce bottles around the same time.

Mad Bomber will hold a release party for its new India black ale on April 2, with pint specials.

Save the date

Manito Tap House launches the last round of its IPA March Madness on Saturday, with voting through April 1 on blind taster trays of the eight finalists: Bale Breaker Topcutter, Georgetown Bodhizafa, Fremont Interurban, No-Li Born & Raised, Schooner Exact Hopvine, Iron Goat Head Butt, 7 Seas Rude Parrot and River City Riverkeeper. The winner gets a permanent tap handle for the year.

Bellwether’s community pint night March 31 will benefit Cup of Cool Water, with $1 from each sale going to the nonprofit that provides services for homeless youth.

Send beer news, comments and questions to senior correspondent Rick Bonino at boninobeer@comcast.net.

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