The pace has slowed down somewhat for new North Idaho breweries — the region only added a handful over the past few years — yet the development of new flavors and collaborations has not. Unlike Spokane, which tends to have conveniently clustered breweries and pubs within walking distance, exploring North Idaho takes a willingness to be adventurous.
Selkirk Abbey, 6180 E. Seltice Way, Post Falls, selkirkabbey.com
Look to the night sky for the Northern Cross star formation, or to history, regarding the annual pilgrimage on the British Isles, or set your GPS to Post Falls for Selkirk Abbey's first non-Belgian-style release since opening in 2012. Owner Jeff Whitman says he gave his brewers plenty of latitude to come up with an Amber, IPA, Pale Ale and Stout. Find out more about beermaking in general on Aug. 31 at a brewery tour and presentation in collaboration with the Inland Northwest Food Network (tickets $10-$15; inwfoodnetwork.org/event/drink-this-beer).
Cruz Control Session IPA
Fat Lenny New England IPA
Post Falls Brewing, 112 N. Spokane St., Post Falls, postfallsbrewing.com
Brewery owner Dan Stokes describes Cruz Control as light and hoppy. "Fat Lenny is a Vermont-style or New England-style IPA which is a hazy, juicy IPA, heavy on finishing hops and dry hops," he says, yet without any bitterness.
Sweet Lou's, sweetlousidaho.com
His mom won't let the 14-year-old after whom Lou's Brew — a collaboration with Laughing Dog Brewing — is named drink this beer, but you can. The India Pale Ale is only available at Sweet Lou's locations in Coeur d'Alene (601 E. Front Ave.) and Ponderay (4777272 Hwy. 95).
Any Series, Evans
Brothers Coffee Porter
MickDuff's Brewing Company, 312 N. First Ave., Sandpoint, mickduffs.com
MickDuff's isn't just any brewer — it's actually a brewery that serves yummy pub food, and a beer hall for hanging out with your mates — but you'll be able to get Any beer there very soon. This new series is a play on words for New England-style ("NE" or "Any") IPA, and will be followed by Any Other, Any More and Any Time. Also look for a return of their Evans Brothers Coffee Porter.
Blood Orange IPA, Double D Pilsner, Kari's Irish Red Ale
Daft Badger Brewing, 1710 N. Second St., Coeur d'Alene, daftbadgerbrewing.com
With a big, citrusy nose and hoppy finish, Daft Badger's new Blood Orange IPA blends bitter and sweet for a bracing summer sip. An even lighter sip, the Double D Pilsner, honors owner Darrell Dlouhy's brother, Duane, while Kari's Irish Red offers hints of toffee in a refreshing amber ale.
On the radar: Octoberfest beers, Westwood Brewing opening
Forget about the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: Keep your eyes peeled for news of fall-release beers, specifically Oktoberfest offerings like OktobRYEfest, which MickDuff's is brewing in collaboration with Coeur d'Alene's Paragon Brewing (paragonbrewing.com). And stay tuned for news of Westwood Brewing (8162 W. Main St., Rathdrum), which is opening in phases, beginning with the bar, then adding food later this summer and opening the brewery sometime next year (facebook.com/WestwoodBrewing). ♦