The Inland Northwest provides the perfect conditions for a brewery road trip: over two dozen breweries nestled among some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Now that the summer crowds are fading and winter’s chill is in the air, the timing is ideal for a beer trek.
Lost Falls Brewery, Colville
Located in a small business park in Colville, Lost Falls Brewery sports a busy taproom. Brewer Chip Trudell brews on an eight barrel system and pours pints from a few taps in the back corner. Locals jostle each other for a foamy glass of the Pale or the Rye or maybe Chip’s famous hearty Russian Imperial Stout. You might also find a food cart set up outside the rolled up door, grilling up some scrumptious brats and hot dogs, a perfect accompaniment to Chip’s easy-drinking brews. Hours are Wed. (4-6p.m.), Thurs. (4-6p.m.) and Fri. (4-8p.m.).
Find them at: 347 W 2nd Ave #D, Colville, WA, or (509) 684-0638
Northern Ales Brewing, Kettle Falls
If a hot dog isn’t for you, just nine minutes north in Kettle Falls, Northern Ales Brewing is serving up a full menu of pub food with a twist – along with their robust beer selection. Established in 2007, Northern Ales is a spacious two-level pub, complete with a live music stage, pool tables and an impressive bar. For a special music treat, stop in on November 22, and check out their house band, Northern Aliens.
Steve Hendrick, Head Brewer and self-proclaimed Ale Draper (bar tender), Janitor, Chicken and Hop Farmer, and Dad, can often be found behind the bar serving up beer and nachos. Their beers range from hoppy citrus (Bite Ya Back Pale and Plume Creek IPA) to malty (Black Canyon Dark Ale and Okanagan Highlander Scotch Ale) to quite unique (Honey-Basil Ale). They even offer a nicely hopped gluten-free Pale Ale made with rice malts. Hours: Wed.-Sat. (12-10 pm). Find them at: www.northernales.com or call (509)738-7382.
By this time, you might be thinking you want to hole up for the night; however, the Northern Ales staff recommend the 45 minute drive over scenic Sherman Pass to Republic as your best bet for a good night’s sleep after one last beer at Republic Brewing Company. Remember to designate a driver and travel safe!
Republic Brewing Company, Republic
Republic Brewing is family owned and operated by Billy and Emily Burt, and their combined tastes and passions are evident in the intimate atmosphere, friendly service, and quality beer, regional wine and local hard cider and mead. Their taps offer a range of tastes: from Kolsch to Pale to their award-winning Big Mischief Porter.
Although Republic Brewing only offers free peanuts to munch on, many locals order up a cheesy pizza from Republic Pizza Co., located just behind the alley. And to accompany your food and drink, this little brewery keeps Republic rocking all year with live bands and even bagpipes, if you’re lucky! Hours: Wed. (2-9p.m.), Thurs. (2-9p.m.), Fri. (12-10p.m.) and Sat. (12-10p.m.).
Find them at: www.republicbrew.com or call (509) 775-2700.
For a comfortable night’s stay in quaint downtown Republic, the Northern Inn is only a block and a half from the brewery. After a restful stay in Republic, it’s time to head back south towards Spokane. Approximately 17 miles from Republic, the Sherman Pass Overlook offers a chance to stretch your legs and enjoy the wondrous views around Sherman Pass.
No-Li Brewhouse, Spokane
Returning to Spokane, it can be hard to choose from the 10 plus breweries that open their doors daily to beer drinkers everywhere. A good place to start is No-Li Brewhouse.
Established originally as Northern Lights Brewing Company in 1993, Brewmaster and Owner Mark Irvin joined forces with craft brewery veteran John Bryant in 2012 to reinvent the company, launching No-Li Brewhouse, a gathering place for good eats and drinks. Steeped in the history and spirit of Spokane, their brews range from balanced (Amber and Crème Ale) to bold (Born and Raised IPA and Whiskey Barrel Aged Summer Wheat). Their menu is a perfect compliment to their 10 diverse taps – try a side of chive salt fries with cider vinegar and carrot ketchup for a particular treat. Open daily (hours vary). Find them at: www.nolibrewhouse.com or (509) 242-2739.
River City Brewing, Spokane
No-Li also sports one guest tap, which sometimes includes a beer from new(ish) kid on the block River City Brewing. Former Coeur d’Alene Brewing owners Gage Stromberg and Emily Schwartz opened River City in Spokane in early 2013 with a classic duo of beers: River City Red and Girlfriend Golden Ale, and have since added River City IPA and Riverkeeper Red, a hoppier version of the original Red that benefits local non-profit Spokane Riverkeeper (www.cforjuestice.org/river/)
River City Brewing plans to release their Midnight Marmot Imperial Stout and open a taproom around Thanksgiving. Until then, they’re open on Fridays for tours and tastings. Find them at: rivercityred.blogspot.com
Last Stop: Iron Goat Brewing, Spokane
Located in a small brick building amidst industrial buildings and old houses, Iron Goat Brewing’s cozy taproom and friendly locals are the best way to finish off this roadtrip. Iron Goat’s original four beers cover the spectrum: Garbage Pale Ale, Head Butt IPA, Goatmeal Stout and Bleating Red. However, they also branch out with brews like Gruff Goats Belgian Tripel and Proto, a twist on their IPA that includes locally-grown peppers – tastes like Chile Relleno! Hours: Tues.-Fri. (4-9p.m.) and Sat. (2-9p.m.). Find them at: www.irongoatbrewing.com or (509) 474-0722.
If you are serious about exploring the wealth of breweries the Inland Northwest has to offer, download the Inland NW Ale Trail map (inlandnwaletrail.com) for an even more extensive list, and let the adventure begin!