Something good is brewing in the Northwest in an ever-increasing variety of craft breweries and cideries. Shop the shelves of your favorite local market or go out to eat and you’ll notice Northwest lagers, stouts, IPAs, porters and more.

The choices seem endless, but the Coeur d’Alene Brew Fest lets you try the ones that interest you most! This is how it works: Pay to enter ($25; children and designated drivers get in free) and receive a cup and six tickets, which you can “spend” to get six 5-ounce pours of your choice. Try cider from North Idaho Cider and beer from Spokane’s Waddell’s Brewery, or any of around 30 beers and ciders. Additional pour tickets are available for $2 each.

Festivals are about more than just sampling beer, however. There’s the atmosphere, which in this case is at the laid back, yet scenic McEuen Park, as well as the food and music.

“Craft beer is a total experience,” says Darrell Dlouhy, of Coeur d’Alene’s Daft Badger Brewery. For the drinkers, says Dlouhy, “it involves happy people enjoying the nuances of beer styles coupled often with great food and always with conversations with friends and family.” Although they aren’t participating as a vendor, Dlouhy says he still wanted to be involved, so his brewery sponsored the music at the upcoming Brew Fest.

“Music done well creates a convivial vibe that both enhances and enables the connections that craft beer creates,” says Dlouhy, who chose DJ Joel Gorman to get the party started and local band Dimestore Prophets to keep it going.

Upcoming Events

The Righteous Brothers

American musical duo the Righteous Brothers take stage at Coeur d’Alene Casino on Thursday. The original “blue-eyed soul” duo gained fame in the early ’60s for their emotive vocal style and catchy tunes, including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” and “Unchained Melody.” Tickets start at $25; 7-9 pm at the Coeur d’Alene Casino.

Bands on Boats

Rock the boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene during the Bands on Boats Summer Concert Series put on by the Coeur d’Alene Resort. The series starts this weekend, with some country tunes from the Kelly Hughes Band. $25; 21+ only; cruise departs at 7 pm; visit

From the Ashes

Calling all barbecue lovers! From the Ashes, An American Smoked and Fired Foods Adventure, will welcome nationally recognized pitmasters from all over the country to Coeur d’Alene. In addition to sampling amazing brisket, ribs, sausage, trout and more, guests can also visit the “application station” to learn how to smoke and fire foods better at home. $15-$83; 11 am-8 pm; Settlers Creek, 5803 W. Riverview Dr., Coeur d’Alene.

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