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A&E >  Beer/Drinks

On Tap: Arena moves beer festival to align with Craft Beer Week

The official cup for the 2017 Spokane Brewers Festival photographed on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Organizers have moved the festival up three months to coincide with Spokane Craft Beer Week. The event is set for May 18. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
The official cup for the 2017 Spokane Brewers Festival photographed on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Organizers have moved the festival up three months to coincide with Spokane Craft Beer Week. The event is set for May 18. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

The Spokane Brewers Festival returns earlier this year to help wrap up Spokane Craft Beer Week.

While the first three festivals took place in August, this year’s event happens inside the Spokane Arena (720 W. Mallon Ave.) on May 18, the next-to-last day of the weeklong celebration.

“We’re looking at this as enhancing everything about the week,” said Matt Gibson, the Arena’s general manager. “And getting out of the summertime when people are on vacation, especially in August, should be good for everyone.”

At least 33 regional breweries and cideries are scheduled to pour from noon to 7 p.m. Spokane-area brewers include Badass Backyard, Bellwether, Black Label, Bottle Bay, English Setter, Grain Shed, Hidden Mother, Humble Abode, Little Spokane, Millwood, Mountain Lakes, No-Li, River City, TT’s Old Iron and V Twin.

From elsewhere in Eastern Washington come Bale Breaker (Yakima), Ice Harbor (Kennewick), Icicle (Leavenworth), Northern Ales (Kettle Falls), Ten Pin (Moses Lake), Wenatchee Valley, Whipsaw (Ellensburg) and Yakima Craft. Also look for Idaho’s Post Falls Brewing, Montana’s Lewis & Clark (Helena) and Oregon’s Ordnance (Boardman), along with gluten-free offerings from Seattle’s Ghostfish.

On the cider side, there’s Avid (Bend, Oregon), Bardic (Spokane Valley), One Tree (Spokane), Pear Up (Wenatchee) and Tieton (Yakima). Coeur d’Alene’s Summit Cider brings its Current Strong Seltzer and No-Li its Day Fade hard seltzer.

Food will be available from One Night Stand Barbecue, Tacos Tumbras and the Farmer’s Daughter. There will be live music throughout the day.

Tickets are $25 in advance (no fees) through or $30 at the door, which includes a souvenir pint glass and seven 4-ounce tastes (extras $2 each). Proceeds support the Wishing Star Foundation.

Designated driver admission with free water and soda is $5, and those under 21 are admitted free if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Parking in the Arena lot is $7.

Spokane Craft Beer Week

Among the other events announced at press time:

Bellwether (2019 N. Monroe St.) welcomes the Inland Northwest Beer Choir on Monday from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; releases a collaboration sour with brewery-in-progress For the Love of God (using rosemary, basil, raspberries, cranberries and vanilla) on Tuesday, a collaboration hazy IPA braggot (honey beer) with Humble Abode on May 15 and a hoppy wheat beer collaboration with Black Label and the Grain Shed on May 16; and hosts a homebrewers competition May 17-19 with flights of the five finalists.

Black Label (19 W. Main Ave.) releases a hazy India pale lager collaboration with Humble Abode on Tuesday, a maibock collaboration with Masters Brewhouse (Deer Park) on May 15 accompanied by a Mario Kart video game tournament and the hoppy wheat beer collaboration with Bellwether and the Grain Shed on May 16 with a Street Fighter video game tournament; donates $2 from every drink sale to the Isaac Foundation’s fight against autism on May 17; and releases a collaboration shandy with V Twin on May 19.

Millwood Brewing (9013 E. Frederick Ave.) releases a Silver Bow Black IPA collaboration with Mountain Lakes on Tuesday, and features guest beers from Pullman’s Paradise Creek, Republic Brewing and Newport’s Top Frog on May 15.

Mountain Lakes (201 W. Riverside Ave.) on May 17 releases a second collab with Millwood Brewing, Rain Bow cream ale.

Perry Street Brewing (1025 S. Perry St.) has its annual Night of the Living Pils pilsner celebration Tuesday ($2/12 ounces, $3/pint); charcuterie, cheese and beer pairings May 15; releases a juicy IPA collaboration with Yakima’s Bale Breaker on May 16; takes on Seattle’s Fremont for a Firk-Off on May 17 (two firkins from each brewery plus a surprise Fremont small batch); and leads a bike ride followed by beer and brats May 19 starting at 3 p.m.

Twelve String (11616 E. Montgomery Ave.) has a dark beer day and chicken wing potluck Monday, releases three new beers Tuesday, offers IPA specials May 16, releases another new beer and a special firkin May 17 and features sours May 18.

Whistle Punk (122 S. Monroe St.) serves flights of six beers brewed with local LINC Malt on Monday.

Big Barn (16004 N. Applewood Lane, Green Bluff) offers brewery tours and tank samples May 17 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Community Pint craft beer bar (120 E. Sprague Ave.) hosts the Inland Brewers Unite homebrew club for a brewing demonstration May 19 starting at noon, with an IBU/Iron Goat collaboration on tap.

Most of the above-mentioned collaborations and more are scheduled to pour at a CollabFest on May 16 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Steam Plant. For more on that and other events as they’re announced, keep an eye on

Freshly tapped

The latest releases at area breweries include:

A juicy, tropical Participation Medal IPA (7% alcohol by volume) at Perry Street.

The first in a New England-style series of Pushing Up Hazys IPAs (5.8) at Iron Goat (1302 W. Second Ave.).

A hoppy West Coast IPA dubbed the Enabler (6.3) at Post Falls Brewing (112 N. Spokane St., Post Falls).

The seasonal Miss Maggie’s Lavender IPA (6.1) at Big Barn.

A light, London-style Twilight Bark porter (4.7) at English Setter (15310 E. Marietta Ave.).

Bellwether on Thursday releases a Nightshade Braggot (9.4) brewed with heirloom tomatoes, jalapeños and avocado honey.

Save the date

Daft Badger (1710 N. Second St., Coeur d’Alene) welcomes Kootenai Humane Society for a Pints and Paws benefit May 18 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Nectar Wine and Beer in Kendall Yards (1331 W. Summit Parkway) celebrates its fourth anniversary May 18 with a special taplist.

The Coeur d’Alene Growler Guys (225 W. Appleway Ave.) hosts a North Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation fundraiser May 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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