Monday, July 25, 2016

Spokane Brewers Festival looking for folks willing to trade time for beer and gear

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 3:46 PM


One aspect of Spokane living that I was totally unaware of before moving to the Lilac City was the booming beer culture. 

Little did I suspect that so many breweries dotted our fair city and the surrounding areas, nor that there seems to be a beer festival of one sort or another virtually every weekend. If it's not a Fresh Hops festival, it's an all-cans festival. Clearly we can't get enough beer around here. 

Enter the brand-spanking-new Spokane Brewers Festival to the lineup. It will have its inaugural celebration of all things frosty and delicious Friday, Aug. 12 and Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Spokane Arena. Besides a bevy of beverages available for the cost of a $7 sampling mug and $1 per beer token, there will be live tunes from local bands tapped by The Inlander and the All-ages River City Root Beer Garden, and there's no admission charged just to check it out. 

Throwing such a to-do requires some serious manpower, and the organizers are looking for volunteers willing to trade some time working for a t-shirt, souvenir mug and 15 drink tokens. The basic requirements: 
• be at least 21 years old
• be able to stand or walk from 3-5 hours at a time
• be able to lift 25 pounds. 

Many volunteers will be pulling taps, so you could end up chatting with friends old and new for a couple hours, and at the end you have more drink tokens than you'll know what to do with — oh, who am I kidding, you'll be drinking lots of beer! Just do so responsibly, mmmkay?

The earlier you sign up, the better shift you'll get, so get to it right here
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Monday, July 18, 2016

Couple of Chefs ready new brunch spot for September opening in Spokane

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Couple of Chefs co-owners Allen Skelton and Joile Forral outside the future home of their new brick-and-mortar restaurant Bruncheonette, scheduled to open this fall.
  • Couple of Chefs co-owners Allen Skelton and Joile Forral outside the future home of their new brick-and-mortar restaurant Bruncheonette, scheduled to open this fall.

The ever-expanding culinary scene in Spokane will get a new entry this fall from an old favorite, as the folks behind Couple of Chefs Catering & Food Truck will open Bruncheonette, a "casual-dining gourmet brunch restaurant." 

Husband-and-wife team Allen Skelton and Joile Forral started Couple of Chefs in 2011, and their food truck was voted the best in the Inland Northwest by Inlander readers in 2016. Bruncheonette will expand upon the menu available in the truck to include a small selection of liquor, local craft beer, wine and cider, and will focus on made-from-scratch dishes, Forral says.

Their goal is to open the space at 1011 West Broadway in September. That's the former Knockaderry bar space, and Forral says the plan is to expand the prep area a bit so the restaurant can act as home base for the continuing catering and food truck aspects of the business. Otherwise, just a few cosmetic changes to the place should get Bruncheonette ready to launch. As of now, the plan is to be open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch. 

A brick-and-mortar restaurant was Step Three on the couple's business plan for Couple of Chefs, following the catering and food truck aspects, but after searching for a good space for months, "we had actually decided to stop looking," Forral says, since the summer is such a busy season. Naturally, that's when a prime spot opened they could use.

"[Breakfast] is the food that we really like to make," Forral says, hence the focus to expand on the to-go breakfast items — breakfast sandwiches and burritos — currently available in the truck. 

The move was made possible through a loan by Craft3, a regional nonprofit that provides loans to Washington and Oregon small businesses and nonprofit organizations. 
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Go behind the scenes of our Cheap Eats issue

Posted By on Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 4:27 PM


If you're not hungry now, you're going to be soon. That's because you're either going to read our fresh-off-the-press Cheap Eats issue, or due to the fact that all humans need food eventually.

This year's edition of our annual corralling of food from around the region that won't bust your budget or your gut is divided by the way you'll consume these goodies: with your hands, a fork, a spoon, a straw or with some sort of stick.

You can find all the stories right here, along with some valuable utensil history, which will give you ample small talk for your next dinner party. 

Here's a behind the scene's look at our photo shoot for the issue.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

No-Li, River City and Eastern WA brewers take home Washington Beer Awards

Posted By on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 11:57 AM


The annual Washington Beer Awards were given out Sunday, and while several Spokane brewers came home with medals, the big news was No-Li Brewhouse's recognition as the state's Large Brewery of the Year. 

No-Li and some other Spokane breweries did well in the individual categories as well. A total of 950 beers were entered in the competition, by 139 Washington breweries. All of the beers must have been both brewed and made commercially available in the state of Washington. And they were all judged in a blind taste test by panels of trained beer judges who awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. 

In addition to the big prize for large breweries, No-Li won a few medals, including a gold in American-Style Pale Ale category for Poser, a silver for its Spin Cycle Red in Bitters, a silver in English Ales for its Born and Raised IPA, a silver for its Crony in the American Brown & Black Ales category, and a bronze for its Oyster Stout collaboration with Taylor Shellfish in Specialty & Historical Beers.

Other Eastern Washington brewers made a mark at the festival, too: 
River City Brewing won a gold medal for its Huckleberry Ale in the American-Style Fruit Beer category, a silver in the Strong Lager category for its Congratulator Doppelbock, and a bronze for its Wine Barrel-Aged Huckleberry Ale in the Wood and Barrel Aged Beers category. 
Waddell's Brewing won a silver for its Scottish Ale in the Scottish Shilling Ales category, and a bronze for its Alligator Stout in the American-Style Stouts category. 
Big Barn Brewing in Mead won a bronze in Smoke Beers for its Mountain Smoke Porter. 
• Pullman's Paradise Creek Brewery won a bronze in Irish Stouts for its Invective Stout. 

Go here for a complete list of winners
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Local farmers market season has arrived — where to find those fresh goods

Posted By on Thu, May 12, 2016 at 4:30 PM

The 2016 market poster, by Sarah Edwards of Sarah Smiles Creations.
  • The 2016 market poster, by Sarah Edwards of Sarah Smiles Creations.
While some of us have yet to get our summer gardens started (me included), the fresh produce, flowers, vegetable starts and other locally grown/made/raised goods are already filling the vendor stalls of many regional farmers markets.

Several markets have already hosted their 2016 season kick-offs, and many others debut for the year in the coming weeks. We'll continue to update our online listings of farmers markets as more arrive; below is a round-up of those whose schedules we have so far. To find farmers market info in our online events calendar, head to this link.

Spokane area markets:

South Perry Thursday Market | Now open on Thursdays, from 3-7 pm, through October. Located at The Shop, 924 S. Perry. More info at and on Facebook: Thursday Market.

Spokane Farmers' Market | Open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 am-1 pm, starting May 14 and through October 29; Wednesday markets begin June 8. Located at 20 W. Fifth Ave. More info at and on Facebook: The Spokane Farmers' Market.

Kendall Yards Night Market | Open on Wednesdays from 4-7 pm, starting May 18 and through mid-October. Located on West Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards. More info at and on Facebook: Kendall Yards Night Market.

Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market | Open on Fridays from 3-7 pm, starting June 10 and through September 30. Located at the SCC IEL Adult Education Center (new this year), at 2310 N. Monroe. More info at and on Facebook: Emerson-Garfield Farmers' Market.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

[UPDATED] Jones Radiator is no more

Posted By on Tue, May 10, 2016 at 4:40 PM


It appears Jones Radiator as we know it is no more.

A farewell Facebook post arrived on Tuesday afternoon, with co-owners Lucas McIntyre and Jocelyn Macklem writing that since they don't own the building or the name, there might be another Jones Radiator at some point, but it "will be without our involvement."

Jones Radiator is best known for packed-out trivia nights, live music, its "open mic of open-ness" and (at least in my house) Whiskey Wednesdays. It closed abruptly on April 22, and according to another Facebook post, it was "due to circumstances beyond our control." The bar was scheduled to be one of the venues for the Inlander's Volume music festival in early June, but had to drop out.

On Wednesday via a Facebook chat interview, McIntyre explained that the shuttering of Jones Radiator came through a series of financial setbacks that ultimately led to the state revoking their business license. 

The couple took over Jones Radiator at the beginning of 2015 knowing it would be a challenge as their first business, and it was all that and then some. Beyond the day-to-day things like meeting payroll, stocking the bar and booking live music, both kept their day jobs (she managing a veterinary office, he doing billing for a local firm) while trying to make Jones work, they said. 

Continue reading »

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Goose Island Beer Co. migrates to Spokane next week

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 3:24 PM


Any excuse to bring tasty beers and food together — count me in. And next week, Spokane has the chance to join in a bunch of activities associated with Goose Island Beer Co.'s "Migration Week" that combine brews and grub. 

The festivities start on Tuesday night at the Washington Cracker Company building, where the Chefs + Art + Beer throwdown will have four chefs preparing one fat pig into some killer dishes. Two of the chefs are coming with Goose Island from Chicago, Matt Troost and Mitch Cavanah, and they'll be joined by locals Aaron Crumbaugh and Chad White, as well as artwork from Chicago's Mario Gonzalez, Jr. and Spokane's Jess Pierpont. 

The best part of the deal? It's only $10, and that gets you all the porky goodness and Goose Island beers (including Bourbon County Stout 2015, Bourbon County Stout Proprietors 2014, and Sofie infused with Anvil Coffee Beans) you can stomach. And all the proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The Chefs + Art + Beer event is Tuesday from 6 pm-10 pm, and you can buy tickets right here. 

The rest of the Migration Week festivities, which are free but require registration (so pay attention to those links), include: 

Continue reading »

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Happy Hour of the Week: Andy's Bar and Grill

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Andy's Bar and Grill has the requisite whiskeys and beer — but don't forget about the food
  • Andy's Bar and Grill has the requisite whiskeys and beer — but don't forget about the food
Sometimes, the happy hour is about happiness. Exuberance. Celebration 

Other times, it's conversational catharsis. It's about swinging by with coworkers as the exhaustion finally hits you after a whirlwind week at work. You slide into a chair on the patio, gaze up wearily into the sky, and mumble your frustrations into a whiskey glass. 

Andy's Bar and Grill, perched perfectly in between Browne's Addition and Downtown, works remarkably well for both roles of happy hour. 

Summer is the best Spokane gets — especially summer evenings. The afternoon slips into evening, and the sun get lower and the colors get more intense. On days like this, sitting on the patio isn't just an option at Andy's 

On Tuesdays at Andy's PBRs are a $1, coinciding nicely with those few hours in which the the Inlander's issue has been sent to print, but the work on the next week's issue hasn't quite begun. 

The usual drinks and cocktails, naturally, but the untold story of Andy's is the full-menu of food. The $12 burger that comes with all the typical burger fixings plus swiss plus cheddar plus ham plus bacon? And garlic parmesan fries on the side?

Yes, it was delicious. But, then again, I was expecting it to be delicious. 

I was a bit more nervous, on the other hand, about the Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites ($7 during Happy Hour.) After all, I've been betrayed by various cheese-filled foodstuffs in the "popper" genre before. 

Not this time. The bites have the perfect mix of breading and chicken and cheese. They come with honey mustard sauce and crumbled bacon bits and green onions. I'd promised I would share with my coworkers. That, in hindsight, was a mistake. 

Happy hour 
runs from 4-7 every day, and all days on Sundays. It features 
$1 off all draft beers, well-liquors and house wines, and $2 off appetizers. 

For information on more Happy Hours around town, download the Inlander's Drinkspotter app from your phone, or go right here
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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy Hour of the Week: Laid back livin' on the North Side at Lost Boys' Garage

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 1:01 PM

With $3 wells and $3-off wine for Ladies' Night, an Old Fashioned and the house red were a sure bargain. - CHEY SCOTT
  • Chey Scott
  • With $3 wells and $3-off wine for Ladies' Night, an Old Fashioned and the house red were a sure bargain.

Up in North Spokane, where strip malls and the blinking neon lights of chain restaurants are plentiful, finding a locally owned spot to enjoy happy hour can be tough. Of course, neighborhood hangouts are always a good bet, like the diner-turned-pub Lost Boys' Garage Bar & Grill, which debuted on the Northside last summer.

Located on North Wall, less than a block from the busy Francis arterial, the former auto shop and then a burger joint has been transformed into an auto-shop themed bar and grill, with burgers still offered, amongst many other tasty options — sandwiches, salads, wraps and more.

Though the recent spate of warm weather had restaurants and bars across town dusting off their patio furniture, by midway through happy hour (at least this time of the year) Lost Boys' spacious, fenced patio was already engulfed in the building's shadow. A cool breeze that would otherwise feel delightful if sitting in direct sun was a tad too chilly, so back inside the high-window dining room we went. On a warmer day, however, Lost Boys' patio is a must.

Inside, the family-friendly dining room was filled with parents and kids, adult couples and girlfriends grabbing a drink together after work. It's Wednesday, which means Ladies' Night specials that add a little extra incentive to make it to Lost Boys' before happy hour ends at 6 pm. During the week, happy hour runs from 3-6 pm, and again all day Sunday from 11:30 am-10 pm. 

For Ladies' Night, these extra food and drink specials entice us to turn a few drinks into drinks plus dinner, and my guest and I split the steak bites ($6.95) and a "twisted Caprese sandwich" — essentially a Caprese salad + grilled cheese ($8.95). With tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto and a balsamic glaze, it's the kind of savory indulgence that makes you feel a little bit healthier than wolfing down a bunch of melted cheese on buttery, toasted bread. Also, get the fries with your sandwich. With Lost Boys' in-house "special seasoning" dusted onto the thin-cut, perfectly crisped straws of potato, these are some of the best pub fries I've had anywhere in a long time. 

Also on special just for Ladies' Night food are the coconut prawns ($7.95). On top of regular happy hour specials — $3 wells, $1 off all beer and wine and $1 cheeseburger sliders — the Ladies' Night special offers $3 off glasses of wine. 

Next time you're up on the North Side of town, remember Lost Boys'.

For information on more Happy Hours in the region, use your phone and go to to download the Inlander's Drinkspotter app, or go right here
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Friday, April 8, 2016

The LA Times gives Spokane's food and drink some serious love

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 1:51 PM


Today's Los Angeles Times has as a travel piece about Spokane. And guess what? The guy loved his time here last fall.

The piece mostly highlights Spokane's continuing-to-blow-up food scene, making stops at restaurants like The Wandering Table in Kendall Yards and Chaps just south of the city. He also remarked on the region's wine, most notably Barrister Winery.

Give it a read and enjoy all the nice things a major news outlet has to say about our fair city. 
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