Located on the corner of Riverside and Browne downtown Spokane, Mountain Lakes Brewery has an uncanny sense of humor. Beer names regularly include puns or subliminal meanings, but the Trip-A IPA might be one of the best beer names in the region.

Based on the odometer button of a car, the Trip-A signals the main journey, and the record for a significant road trip. It’s also a reference to Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye that was developed in Scotland and pioneered on the Palouse at WSU. The Trip-A also hints at a short trip to the DryFly Distillery and the influence of their Triticale Whiskey.

The Trip-A IPA is also a Red IPA. Normally, red ales, unlike amber ales, use specialty roasted malts that create a complexity within the finished beer, giving it a sweeter, caramel flavor. The Trip-A IPA features a measurement of 6.5% ABV and 48 IBU. It’s robust flavor capitalizes on the wheat and rye characteristics, as sweet and malty as it is hoppy and crisp, along with a smooth rye finish. In a nutshell, this brew tastes equally great with the first sip as the last.

Mountain Lakes Brewing Company has earned numerous awards, including the Best of The Inlander in 2019. The Trip-A IPA represents a sliver of their tap handles. Whereas other breweries aim for super sweet or super strong ABV, the brewers at Mountain Lakes continually commit to ales and IPA’s with a strong body and consistent finish that rise to the occasion. Best of all, the brewery is committed to promoting the mountain lakes, rivers, and streams that improve our quality of life. This is a brewery with a Northwest heartbeat that celebrates the mountain lakes and waters that are our region’s life source. (Jon Jonckers)