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Walk This Way 

A walking tour of downtown Spokane breweries

click to enlarge Eight breweries, in six stops, in under three-quarters of a mile in downtown Spokane.
  • Eight breweries, in six stops, in under three-quarters of a mile in downtown Spokane.

The best way to bar-hop is by foot, of course, and the west end of downtown Spokane provides fertile ground with — count 'em! — eight breweries located within three-quarters of a mile. (Technically, while the Steel Barrel Taproom is just one stop on our map, it's home to three separate breweries.) If that short stroll isn't sufficient for the thirstiest among us, a mile-long jaunt across town is all that's required to check out downtown's only other brewery, Black Label, inside the Saranac Commons.

1. River City Brewing

121 S. Cedar, Sun-Wed, 3-9 pm; Thu-Sat, 3-10 pm

Kids and outside food — Rocket Bakery is next door, and Andy's Bar and Grill is across the street — are welcomed at this inviting taproom. There's also a patio out front. Tasting pours are $2, pints $5-$6 and bags of chips $1.50. Don't miss: dirt-cheap keg deals ($49 for a sixth barrel).

2. Iron Goat Brewing

1302 W. Second, Daily, 11 am-11 pm

The beautifully renovated industrial building, with exposed brick and heavy wood-and-steel tables, houses a full kitchen, with small plates, sandwiches and pizza. (They're in the process of updating their menu with more vegetarian and dessert options.) Kids are welcome and Thursdays are busy with trivia. Tasters are $1.63-$2.18, pints $5.50-$6. Don't miss: the alleyway patio.

3. The Steel Barrel Taproom

154 S. Madison, Daily, 11 am-11 pm; closed Mon

The hip brewery incubator space is shared by Little Spokane, Young Buck and, most recently, TT's Old Iron Brewery, with 26 beers, two ciders and two wines on tap and a full liquor bar. (It's 21+.) Tasters are $2-$3.50, pints $5-$7. There's also Zona Blanca, a ceviche counter run by Chad White, a former Top Chef contestant, as well as a cool, shade-filled patio out back. Don't miss: the shuffleboard and darts.

4. Orlison Brewing Taproom

1007 W. First, Daily, 2-9 pm; closed Sun-Mon

The taproom welcomes dogs and outside food and has board games at the ready, should you want to while away an afternoon. (It's 21+.) Tasters are $1.50, pints $5.50-$6, and the rotating beer selection often features new and small-batch releases. Don't miss: $3 pints on Thursdays.

5. Whistle Punk Brewing

122 S. Monroe, Tue-Thu, 4-9 pm; Fri-Sat, 3-11 pm; closed Sun-Mon

A new arrival on the tour that's quickly generating buzz, the small brewery is housed in what used to be Brooklyn Nights, with stylish exposed-rock walls and a copper bar. Outside food and dogs are allowed, but it's 21+. Tasters are $2, pints $5. (One imperial pint is $6.) Don't miss: the free pretzels and spicy, housemade Chex mix.

6. Steam Plant Brewing (Temporarily closed)

159 S. Lincoln, Expected to reopen this fall

The Steam Plant is undergoing a $1.5 million renovation, with planned updates to the Stacks restaurant and the brewpub, and the addition of a rooftop event center. We loved the tucked-away bar in the bowels of the historic building — it was a great hideout on Sundays, with all-day happy hour — and look forward to toasting its new incarnation. Don't miss: its reopening.

Black Label Brewing Company (Off the map)

19 W. Main (a mile walk from Whistle Punk),

Mon-Thu, 1-8 pm; Fri-Sat, 1-10 pm; Sun, 1-6 pm

Located in the back of the airy Saranac Commons — on the trendy strip of Main Avenue — the taproom features large, communal-style tables as well as smaller high tops and an outdoor patio. Kids are allowed, and so is outside food; conveniently, the Commons space is also home to Common Crumb bakery and the brand-new Biscuit Wizard. Tasters are $2, pints $5. Don't miss: the brewery's new foosball table. ♦


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