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On Tap: Craft beer movement isn’t slowing down

By Greg Wildermuth For The Spokesman-Review

Step outside The Spokesman-Review downtown and start walking in any direction. Before too long, you will likely find a brewery. I’m confident saying this because there are nine breweries producing beer in and around the downtown core, with several more slated to open within the year.

As you expand your search outside downtown and into the greater Inland Northwest, you’ll find more than 50 independent craft breweries producing beers of virtually any style and for every taste.

All of this is a long way of saying that the craft beer movement is showing no signs of slowing down and why I am so excited to contribute to the On Tap column. I want to continue Rick Bonino’s tradition of providing readers with the best possible coverage of our region’s dynamic beer scene.

First a little bit about myself. I am a California transplant who has called Spokane home since graduating from Gonzaga in 2008. A little more than a year ago, I realized that I was spending a lot of time looking for craft beer events in the area and figured that I must not be the only one.

I decided to start the 509 Beer Blog as a way of keeping track of these events and documenting my beer-related adventures in the area. In my time doing the blog, I have met many wonderful people, including Rick, who was kind enough to recommend me as a curator for this column.

I use the term “curator” very specifically here. I want this column to reflect the interests of the readers. Is there a beer term you’ve always heard but never really understood? Did you come across a sign for a new brewery in your neighborhood and want more information about it?

Reach out and let me know. 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.

I also encourage you to visit www.509BeerBlog.com, where I post weekly events at breweries and beer bars. You can connect with me via email at 509beerblog@gmail.com or on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @509BeerBlog. And if you see me out and about, please stop by and say “hi.” Cheers!

Local winners at Washington Beer Awards

As previously reported by The Spokesman-Review and now updated with more details, the winners of the 2019 Washington Beer Awards were announced at the Washington State Brewer’s Festival in Seattle on June 15, and local breweries brought home medals from the other side of the mountain. Nearly 1,500 entries from 193 Washington breweries were judged in some 80 categories.

Spokane’s Iron Goat Brewing won gold in the Brown Porter category for its Bob’s Your Uncle Brown Porter and bronze in the Wood and Barrel Aged Beers category for the Gin Barrel Aged Buzzsaw McThunder IPA.

Perry Street Brewing in Spokane earned a silver and bronze in the Session Beers category for its Session IPL and Session IPmaybeA, respectively.

Mead’s Big Barn Brewing took home silver in the Other Strong Lagers category with its Dietz Bock.

And Paradise Creek Brewing in Pullman grabbed gold in the German-Style Schwarzbiers category with its After Dark schwarzbier. The complete list of results is at wabeerawards.com/ winners.

Upcoming events

Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards is kicking off its Summer Funk Fest on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Nectar will be putting together a $10 featured tasting flight of farmhouse ales and sour beers from around the world and will continue to rotate new featured beers throughout the month.

Sandpoint will be holding its sixth-annual Beerfest on the lawn of Trinity at City Beach on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. featuring 13 breweries and cideries, food, games and beer trivia. A $25 ticket includes six sample tokens and a commemorative glass.

Bellwether Brewing is hosting its third annual Braggotfest on July 20 from 1 to 10 p.m. at its north Monroe taproom, 2019 N. Monroe St. They will be pouring braggots, a mixture of ale and mead, brewed by themselves and other local breweries. Tickets are $15, with five samples and a commemorative glass included.

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