With over twenty breweries and counting, Spokane has quietly arrived as a city to be reckoned with in the world of American craft beer. The Northwest has long been known for its commitment to producing some of the best beer in the world. Beer culture is deeply ingrained in Washington, and Spokane’s growing craft beer scene showcases why American brewing is at the top of its game.
The granddaddy of Spokane’s growing craft beer scene, No-Li has been brewing exceptional beers since 1993. Located across the street from Gonzaga University, No-Li has an awesome outdoor patio that offers views of the Spokane River. Featuring beers like their flagship Born & Raised IPA, Spin Cycle Red, Cascade Fog, Big Juicy, and Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout, and for my money, the best bar food in town (that fried Halibut sandwich gives me all the feels) No-Li never disappoints.
Bellwether Brewing Co.
You know your brewery is a neighborhood pillar when your very own neighbors contribute herbs from their gardens so you can brew an old world Gruit. This is what sets Bellwether apart from other Spokane breweries. Located in North-central Spokane, Bellwether specializes in Old World Ales and Northwest Beers. This is where you go to find a beer list with names like Braggot, Oud Bruin, and Gruit. Sure they rock some exceptional IPAs and lagers, but if you’re looking to get out of your beer comfort zone, Bellwether will abide. One of the coolest features of Bellwether is that they raise their own honeybees on the roof of the brewery, and use the honey in various beers throughout the year. You can’t get more local than that.
Hidden Mother Brewery
If you like a beer brewed with the help of a chainsaw, then Hidden Mother is your jam. Born in owner and brewmaster Mike DeTar’s parent’s garage, Hidden Mother Brewery now occupies almost 4,000 square feet of space just two blocks from Spokane Arena. Hidden Mother offers some wild flavor profiles, such as a Molasses Porter and a Rye Stout. The brewery’s famed Pine Tree Saison took gold in the experimental category at the Washington Beer Awards in 2018. As for that chainsaw beer, the Pine Tree Saison is made by hollowing out a pine tree with a chainsaw, then during the boiling stages of the soon-to-be beer, Mike uses the tree as a chute using gravity to force the wort down the log into another hose connected to a pump that pushes it back into the upper tank. The process continues for 45 minutes, recycling the hot beer back and forth, bringing the natural pine flavor directly out of the wood and into the beer. You can’t get much more experimental than that, which is why Hidden Mother offers adventurous drinkers a welcome respite from the usual IPA scene.
Iron Goat Brewing Co.
Located smack dab in the middle of Spokane’s downtown, Iron Goat Brewing crafts some classic Northwest beers, full of local Yakima hops and Washington grain. Their 100 year old building features communal beer hall tables, ample outdoor seating, and a clean but rustic interior. Beyond their standard offerings of Goatmeal Stout, Bleating Red Ale, and Head Butt IPA, Iron Goat’s kitchen serves up some killer pizza (their fig and blue cheese is life changing), healthy salads, and a charcuterie board that makes your mouth water for more beer!
Whistle Punk Brewing
Opened in 2017, Whistle Punk offers drinkers a decidedly chill drinking vibe. Brick and stone walls are framed by unfinished wood, and the entire tap room radiates the warm glow of Edison bulbs. Whistle Punk is run by father-son team, Craig and Matt Hanson, who set out to brew exceptional yet accessible craft beer. Located in downtown Spokane’shistoric Railroad Alley (if you’re not paying attention you might walk right past it), their Raspberry Coffee Sour, Czech Pilsner, and Helles Lager are three of the best beers in Spokane.
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