If you're reading this on a patio somewhere, basking in this early dose of sunshine with a cold pint in your hand? Congratulations! You're doing things right. April is looking to be a bountiful month for the region's beer industry, with an abundance of good news from our local craft beer makers. Here's just a sampling of what's going on.
Even when it was still called Golden Hills, Orlison Brewing Company set itself apart from the rest of the Inland Northwest by focusing exclusively on lagers. While the brewery has stepped away from that format in favor of experimental releases, Orlison's new Shin Splints IPA — the name celebrates the upcoming Bloomsday race — marks a change for the company. The first production IPA is already making its way around town after debuting last week. Of course, you can always find it at Orlison's tasting room downtown on First Avenue, where they serve up $3 pints on Thursdays.
At last week's Chef's Week PNW, Spokane finally got a taste of two long-awaited breweries — Little Spokane Brewing and Young Buck Brewing — both of which poured their beers to the public for the first time. Soon, beer fans can taste those breweries with ease at Steel Barrel Tap Room, a full bar at 154 S. Madison St. in downtown Spokane that will serve as home base for both operations. "Beer is not all any of us drink," Little Spokane Brewing's Joe Potter says of the choice to make the Steel Barrel more than just a brewery taproom. "We're all interested in cocktails. Bourbon is big, whiskey, Scotch. We like to taste those, so a lot of our cocktails will probably end up bourbon-centric. But we'll have a lot of the old standbys as well."
If you head to the shadows of the grain silos in east Spokane, you'll no longer find Iron Goat Brewing. The award-winning brewery celebrated their last day on that location as they count down the days to the opening of their spacious brewery and pub at 1302 W. Second Ave. on the west side of downtown Spokane. The owners have told us that they hope to open at some point this week; keep an eye on their Facebook page for a definitive date.
All of this Spokane beer news shouldn't overshadow Idaho, which is about to get another brewery when Post Falls Brewing Company opens its doors in the coming weeks. The brewery, located at 112 N. Spokane St. in Post Falls, hosts a grand opening party on Friday, April 22, beginning at 2 pm. The 21-and-over festivities continue into Saturday and Sunday with live music.♦