Idaho Breweries Continue to Grow in Popularity (Future Road Trip?!)

March 23rd, 2010 · No Comments · Beer Travels

Fred and Jerry from Idaho's Laughing Dog Brewing celebrate at the Yakima Fresh Hop Ale Festival in 2008.

I’ve done my share of travelling for beer in the Northwest, but one place that I haven’t yet visited is Idaho. With so many options in Washington and Oregon, I have quite a bit to still get through close to home. But, this article in the Boise Weekly discusses the growing popularity of Idaho’s breweries, and I like what I hear.

While both Oregon and Washington have enjoyed national recognition for their brewing craft, breweries in Idaho haven’t yet garnered the same national attention. But that’s changing, not only as more breweries start up, but as existing breweries are growing and earning some respect for their products.

The city of Boise would be the main attraction, which looks to be about a nine hour drive from Seattle. It is not a short trip by any means, but it is very do-able in a long weekend. I’ve heard that Boise is a great city to live in, as well as to visit, and there are plenty of beery places you could include in a trip. There are four brewpubs located in Boise: TableRock BrewPub, Sockeye Brewery, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse, and a RAM Brewery. Plus, there look to be several bars worth visiting on RateBeer’s list of places, including the Bitter Creek Ale House and The Front Door.

One Idaho brewery that we are very familiar with in Washington is Laughing Dog Brewing. They are located in the northern tip of Idaho, much closer to Spokane, Washington, than to Boise. We see their beer here regularly in Seattle in both bottles and on tap, including their Alpha Dog Imperial IPA, DogZilla Black IPA, and their Cold Nose Winter Ale. Their Harvest Ale is also a repeat winner at the Yakima Fresh Hop Beer Festival. With all of the talk about Black IPAs/Cascadian Dark Ales these days, I remember sampling their DogZilla on tap at the Washington Brewers Fest a few years back and being pretty blown away, and it is still one of my favorites of that style.

Grand Teton Brewing Company, located in Eastern Idaho near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is another well-known brewery whose beers we see in bottles here in Seattle. But, unless you are visiting Jackson Hole or Yellowstone, it looks to be pretty out of the way.

RateBeer lists a total of twenty-one active breweries in the state of Idaho, so with a little more planning you can surely add several stops to your trip.

Make sure to check out the whole story in the Boise Weekly.

If any readers have favorites from Idaho not mentioned here, I’ve love to hear about them (comment or email).

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