Last week I wrote about the closing of two of my local breweries and the importance of drinking local as well as trying our best to give our money to small breweries and businesses as opposed to the big beer conglomerates like Bud, Coors, and Miller.
In the spirit of carrying on this support for drinking local, I am sharing my favorite local breweries in North Idaho.
Our furthest north brewery, Kootenai River Brewing, sits overlooking the Kootenay River offering up classic west coast beers and a tasty menu filled with traditional pub fare as well as a few location specialties such as wild caught grilled salmon, salmon cakes, and salmon sandwiches to round out their list.
Beer styles run wide with their wheat beer being gussied up with local Huckleberries to a flavorful rye pale ale. Their Grizzly IPA also tops the list of must-have while you’re admiring the river view from inside the pub or enjoying a sunny day on their back patio that is dog-friendly. 6424 Riverside St, Bonners Ferry, ID
Heading south on Idaho Highway 95 make a pit stop in Ponderay Idaho at Laughing Dog Brewery. This brewery is one of the largest in the area and offers up a cozy taproom and a small menu of snacks. Your dog can keep you company while you are hanging out in the taproom as you try out one of their many IPA options. I like the Rocket Dog Rye IPA and the Alpha Dog Imperial IPA.
For non-IPA lovers, Laughing Dog has the Huckleberry Cream Ale that gives you flavors of the northwest in a light and refreshing package. Also, give the 219 pilsner a try. You can then head downtown to the 219 bar where the beer was named after. 805 Schweitzer Plaza Dr, Ponderay, ID
Once you get into Sandpoint you have the choice of hitting up MickDuffs pub or their beer hall. It really depends on what you are looking for as to which place you go to. If you want some beer and a meal, head to the pub. If you are looking for live music and yard games head over to the beer hall. There is no food offering at the beer hall but bringing your own food is welcomed. You can grab some great pub style food a few doors down at Eichardt’s.
The beer styles are plentiful here with an always rotating tap of new beers to try. Traditional lineup beers such as the NOHO IPA is a standout among the pack. Be sure to order yourself up a flight to taste them all! 312 N First Ave, Sandpoint, ID Pub / 220 Cedar St, Sandpoint, ID Beer Hall
Continue heading south down Idaho Highway 95 and pull off the highway in Hayden Idaho for Mad Bomber Brewing. These ex-bomb squad brewers are kicking out some flavorful bold beers with names paying homage to their military past. I’m a big fan of the St Nicholas Pale Ale and all of their IPAs. 9265 N Government Way, Hayden, ID
Travel further into the heart of Coeur d Alene and you will find Daft Badger Brewing. This brewery has pub style food and a dog-friendly outside patio. Beers arc from lights to heavies with a good selection of all styles. Give the Hoppypotamus Pale Ale a try. It is filled with simcoe and centennial hops which make for a tasty combo. 1710 N 2nd Street, Coeur d’ Alene
Head over to Post Falls and hit up Post Falls Brewing. Like a lot of breweries, this place started with a home brewers passion turning into a profession. Which I believe makes for a great brewery! Stoney MacGiver IPA is worth getting your paws on a glass or a few.
There is indoor pub seating and outdoor dog-friendly seating. Catch them on the right night and take in some live music while enjoying your beer. Before leaving the town of Post Falls be sure to check out the town’s namesake and learn the history behind the falls. 112 N Spokane St, Post Falls, ID
Following Interstate 90 to Kellogg Idaho, you will want to check out Radio Brewing. Their taproom is cozy and decorated with antique radios playing up their name. You’ll love their beer but let’s talk about their food menu. The chicken and waffles croquettes are definitely something you need to sink your teeth into. These are so good that while I was ordering the chef gave me a nod of approval from the kitchen window.
The brown ale and IPA are both dynamite but you’ll for sure want to try out their Huckleberry Blonde. It is packed with the native berry flavor and is my personal favorite out of all the local Huckleberry beers. 313 Main St, Kellogg, ID
Continue on to Wallace Brewing in Wallace Idaho along I90 and find yourself a seat at the bar and take in some beers that pay tribute to the city’s mining and scandalous red light history. I’m a fan of the Vindicator IPA and their handsomely crafted winter ale. The red light Irish red is also a malty flavorite. 610 Bank St, Wallace, ID
Hidden up the road out of the town of Wallace is North Idaho Mountain Brewing located inside The City Limits Pub. Their IPAs are at the top of your to-do list and grab yourself some grub from the pub. There is inside seating with a sports-like atmosphere or you can take a dog-friendly seat outside next to the creek for a more private setting. 108 Nine Mile Rd, Wallace, ID
Before leaving town be sure to tour the Oasis Bordello that was shut down in the 80’s. That’s 1980, not 1880!
As we come near the end of our North Idaho Beer tour make sure Hunga Dunga in Moscow Idaho is on your list. I wrote up my brewery review a few weeks ago so you can read the full report by following the link. But we will keep it short and sweet here. Get the Black Rye IPA if you are a fan of dark beers, IPAs or rye beer. You won’t be disappointed. Food offering here is streamlined but upscale with a beautiful presentation. The brewery is located in a Quonset hut giving it a unique look inside and out. 333 N Jackson St, Moscow, ID
Footsteps away is the Rants and Raves Brewery. The names of the beers are amusing such as #duckface blonde and my favorite frosty ass IPA.
In addition to their beer selection, they have a pub style menu. There are some “must have” soft pretzels and brace yourself for it – cream cheese dip – that could quite possibly bring world peace! 308 N Jackson St, Moscow, ID
And thus completes our tour around the North Idaho breweries. Which one is on your list to visit?