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Bread, beer and community rise to the top at Perry District’s the Grain Shed

Culture breads are seen at the Grain Shed in the Perry District.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Culture breads are seen at the Grain Shed in the Perry District. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
By Sophia McFarland The Spokesman-Review

It’s rare to find a bakery that offers fresh bread, locally brewed beer and wood-fired pizza.

Grain Shed in the Perry District is anything but a typical bakery.

“Our bread is made from grains we grow and mill ourselves, and our bread is a sourdough,” the Grain Shed chef Toby Carroll said. “We bake them all in our wood-burning oven.”

Although Carroll said Turkey Red Wheat is the most popular bread, the Turkey Red With Seeds is difficult to beat.

This loaf doesn’t need lunch meat to catch your taste buds. Crafted with sprouted sunflower seeds, sesame and flax, Turkey Red With Seeds dances into the territory of healthy and delicious.

The Grain Shed uses traditional methods like the fermentation of dough and extruding pasta through brass dies to preserve its grains.

Each weekday except Tuesdays (when it’s closed), the Grain Shed displays specials. “On top of our regular inventory, we do one or two special breads each day,” Carroll said.

Monday is always pizza day, but Wednesday through Saturday may offer a baguette, Swedish rye or pain au lait.

Saturdays, however, provide a new experience for diners. Each week, the Grain Shed posts its menu on its Facebook page for Chef Whim Dinner Saturday Nights.

Now that restaurants are cleared for in-person dining, the Grain Shed has wasted no time kickstarting Saturday night dinners.

On a recent Saturday, guests were served kalua pork (or miso ginger tofu for vegetarians), pickled ginger vinaigrette island slaw and rice with chili aioli.

The Grain Shed not only takes pride in its bread, but also in its beers. The Grain Shed Co-op described the beer as “the only beer made with 100% locally grown and malted grains in the region.”

The Grain Shed sells at least one beer based on its grains, including Red Russian Wheat, Sonora Wheat and Purple Egyptian Barley.

The ALS IPA is especially uncommon, as it is brewed with the ALS hop blend, which supports research toward ALS.

While some beers are filled with flavors including dried apricot and Baronesse Barley, all of the Grain Shed’s beers are locally grown.

Saturday dinners aren’t the only tradition that’s returning to the Grain Shed. After a brief halt due to the uncharacteristic Spokane heat, the Grain Shed returned to the South Perry Farmers Market from 3-7 p.m. Thursdays. The stand sold loaves of homemade bread, pastries and beer.

There is a common theme in the Grain Shed’s kitchen: Everything is baked, brewed and cooked in-house. Carroll said all pastries are made by the Grain Shed’s bakers.

This includes the exquisite Polyculture Cookie. Best served warm, this oatmeal raisin cookie is dotted with chocolate chips and includes the delicious flavors of ginger and molasses.

The Grain Shed’s mission is to “bring neighbors together to break bread, drink beer and rebuild.” With bread like Turkey Red With Seeds, beer like the ALS IPA and in-person dining with dishes like kalua pork, there’s no doubt that the Grain Shed has fulfilled its ultimate goal.

The Grain Shed has successfully combined community with good food.

If you go: 1026 E. Newark Ave., (509) 241-3853, thegrainshed.coop

Sophia McFarland is a high school summer intern. She begins her junior year at Gonzaga Prep in the fall.

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