Best Of

Best Local Brewery

No-Li Brewhouse

click to enlarge Best Local Brewery
Derek Harrison photo
Let's just say it: John Bryant is a local legend, for good reason.

When you think about a craft brewery, chances are you think about more than the beer it produces. Some people consider the atmosphere of the taproom. Others, the brewery's involvement in the community.

No-Li Brewhouse might be the perfect representation of all of the above, and then some.

Its beer brings home awards from all around the world. In the last year, No-Li received 42 medals from competitions in England, Germany, Japan and beyond. The Cascade Fog Hazy IPA alone secured five of those accolades from five different countries. Along with award-winning beer, No-Li also produce hard seltzer (Day Fade) and canned craft cocktails (Riverside Drinkworks).

The team behind the brewery and pub also takes pride in their focus on supporting the region through charitable contributions.

"We served over 75 charities last year," says No-Li owner John Bryant. "We donated and raised about $550,000."

To close out the year, the brewery launched No-Li's 25 Days of Christmas campaign, donating $1,000 dollars each day to 25 different nonprofits in Washington and Idaho serving people who are "underserved, under-recognized and marginalized in our community." Beneficiaries included the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, Odyssey Youth Movement and Crosswalk teen shelter, among others.

Bryant co-founded No-Li in 2012 — a re-branding of the nearly 20-year-old Northern Lights Brewing — and Inlander readers have voted it as the best brewery every year since.

"Over the last decade it's been more than making beer," Bryant says. "It's been about a movement and a cause."

Sitting down to talk about No-Li's most recent Best Of win, Bryant expressed he's fortunate to have that 10-year pin. One of the highlights over that timespan, he says, is seeing Spokane "becoming a really great beer city."

"People are traveling from all around the Northwest to experience it," Bryant adds. "Not just No-Li, but other breweries, too. I'm proud that we're helping to foster a larger brewing community."

In great No-Li fashion, the brewery is working on opening something massive in the coming month — a 4,200-square-foot "Bier Hall" adjacent to its existing pub in the Riverwalk building.

The space previously occupied by Dry Fly Distilling will become what Bryant calls an "authentic, but relevant, European beer hall." Its brand new bar will feature 20 taps, four of which will pour guest beers from other local breweries. Astroturf-style covering will occupy the back area of the space equipped with indoor games. In the front a garage door opens to the parking lot and a small seating area.

"It's really born out of the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany," Bryant explains. "We were able to go there during Oktoberfest and when I left I knew I wanted a contemporized version of this in Spokane."

2nd PLACE: Brick West Brewing Co.
3rd PLACE (tie): Whistle Punk Brewing, Iron Goat Brewing
NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Post Falls Brewing Company

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