With a vision of servant-leadership and collaborative outreach, John Bryant at No-Li is working to redefine what it means to be "the best."
Even in the 100-degree weather, the brewery's award-winning patio is stunning. Situated along the Spokane River, it's the kind of shaded, relaxed atmosphere where you could easily lose track of time and spend an hour or two sipping cold drinks and watching the slow pull of the water past the city.
Bryant designed it that way. After surveying breweries across the country, he built a space by bringing together his favorite aspects of the places he loves.
A strong connection to place is in No-Li's lifeblood. In the dining room, a large replica of the downtown pavilion hangs from the ceiling like a chandelier. "We don't accept that something that can be made in another city, state, or country is better than what can be made here," he says. "This company's always going to be here for the community."
While COVID-19 plunged the hospitality industry into uncertainty, No-Li found clarity in their mission: producing world-class beer and using the wealth created through that as a vehicle for providing social support.
This vision impacts everything from hiring practices to extending full benefits and high wages to all staff members to responding in real time to community needs. Bryant is humbled to be in a position to help, whether it's in preparing school lunches for Logan Elementary during the shutdown or donating 900 cases of water to cooling stations and homeless shelters in response to the recent record heat wave.
"I consider No-Li a community brand. It's bigger than any one person, including me. We hope that now it can really prosper," he says. "We are one of only 33 craft breweries in America that grew during the pandemic. Something special is happening here."
Keenly aware that all ships rise with the tide, Bryant is working together with other businesses, breweries and restaurants to make Spokane into the best, most vibrant place it can be.
2nd PLACE: Brick West Brewing Co.; 3rd PLACE: Iron Goat Brewing; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Post Falls Brewing Company
2nd PLACE: Brick West Brewing Co.; 3rd PLACE: Maryhill Winery; NORTH IDAHO'S BEST: Post Falls Brewing Company