When Barry Black first attended a liqueur-making class put on by the Spokane Parks Department more than a dozen years ago, he didn't expect to develop a passion for brewing beer. In that class, Black learned how to make a few different types of brandy and Irish cream. But what became more important was Black finding out he could brew his own beer.
He became more interested in the idea of making beer, and began brewing with a kit his wife Kim bought him for Christmas.
"Pretty soon I was making my own recipes and eventually we had beer brewing in the house, garage and basement," says Black. "After enough test runs, pouring at weddings and other events and enough people saying to do it, we finally decided to take this chance."
The Blacks opened V Twin Brewing Company last month in Spokane Valley, and they've been overwhelmed with the business and number of repeat customers they've already seen. With a motorcycle theme inspired by the couple's love of riding their Harley, the walls of V Twin are orange and black and most of its beers are named after motorcycle terms.
Suicide Shifter IPA is V Twin's most popular brew, made with two pounds of honey. Black has been surprised that the SMaSH & Grab — a single malt, single hop of Maris Otter malt and Chinook hops — has been a close second in popularity. Some of V Twin's other brews include Brake Line Brown, Wind Whipped Wheat, Rye Open, I Pee Ale Amber Ale and KB Vanilla Porter, named after Black's wife, who encouraged him to make a porter.
Keeping the beer's ingredients local is important to the Blacks, who source malt and hops from Yakima and yeast from Oregon. Black is excited to finally have V Twin open, and wants to continue seeing success before making any expansions or future plans. "Last year, we didn't ride very much at all because we were here working to get everything ready to open," says Black. "Hopefully next year, everything will be all set and running well so we can get more than a couple rides in." n
V Twin Brewing Company • 2302 N. Argonne Rd., Spokane Valley • Open Sun, Mon & Wed, 1-8 pm; Thu, 1-9 pm; Fri & Sat, 1-10 pm • facebook.com/vtwinbrewingco • 868-0182