The folks in Idaho’s historic mining town of Wallace will use any excuse for a celebration. For instance, this is the place they had a funeral for a stop light, a parade for a tombstone, and a national press conference for a man-hole cover.
So in 2016 when the State of Idaho decreed each April to be Craft Beer Month, Wallace ran with the idea. The town now has a Craft Beer Pub Crawl featuring dozens of unique brews from all over the Northwest in its dozen-plus National Register of Historic Places watering holes.
This year the festival happens to fall on Saturday, April 20, from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (For those who partake in other substances, that date is “4/20”.) Enjoy the historic buildings of Wallace as you taste and take a free trolley ride through town. Of the numerous craft brewers in attendance, microbreweries from the Silver Valley will be included, such as Radio Brewing Company, Wallace Brewing, and North Idaho Mountain Brew.
There are a couple of things that make this festival unique. Unlike other brewfests where revelers are in a gated area, festival goers, known as Wallace Crawlers, are encouraged to wander through the picturesque downtown, where each of the dozen plus venues is within walking distance of each other.
That wandering is made even easier courtesy of the Sierra Silver Mine Tour. The tour’s fleet of trolleys makes circular trips through the town for the whole five hour length of the festival. Some of the bars also offer designated drivers.
Wallace also has a “Red Solo Cup Rule.” Here’s the Wallace rule: you won’t get busted for an “open container” in town as long as your beverage of choice is lounging in a Red Solo Cup. It’s a special understanding city fathers have for the town’s multiple festivals and history of being a hard working and hard living mining town. As Dolores Arnold, a late beloved local madam explained of the Wallace perspective on life, living, and the pursuit of happiness: “You’d don’t have to follow all the laws, but you do have to follow the rules.”
The Craft Beer Crawl journey begins at the Horseshoe Bar, where you can pick up your souvenir 16-oz. Wallace Crawl glass, wristband, and “venues & menus” map plus discounts on featured beers. You’ll get three free 4-oz. pours at the Horseshoe check-in location! Visit the Wallace Craft Beer Pub Crawl Facebook Page for more info. Tickets are $15 at the door, which opens at 1:00 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased by calling the Wallace Chamber of Commerce at 208.753.7151 or online.
The festival is bookended by two other local events. That morning is the 19th Annual Leadman Triathlon in Kellogg, and Wallace Fight Night USA Boxing Sanctioned matches are being held that evening upstairs in the Wallace Elks Lodge. Several of the venues are also planning live music, games, and polls for the most popular craft beers into the night. Look for details, including a PayPal button to purchase tickets, a complete brews list, and more on the Wallace Chamber website.