Brewing beer dates back 6000 years where it is believed that the brewing profession was heavily dominated by women. The oldest documented recipe for beer dates back 3900 years with a reference to Ninkasi, the goddess of alcohol, who is sometimes referred to as the goddess of brewing.
Present day shows us that the brewing industry has shifted to a more male profession but the ladies are not about to let the boys take all the fun. Women brewmasters are gaining in numbers with one of those women being Penny Pink, the brewmaster of Portneuf Valley Brewing in Pocatello Idaho.
I made a stop in Pocatello on my way from Northern Idaho to Utah. As it was lunch time logically I located a brewery with a pub. Portneuf Valley Brewing is located in an industrial part of town that looked to be going through some transition. It reminded me of my visit to Milwaukee last year, a city also in the midst of transitioning industrial buildings, re-purposing them for business while maintaining the history behind the buildings.
As I walked up to Portneuf Valley Brewing I noticed that there was no outdoor seating so I left Boomer in the car. I took a seat at the bar and ordered my first beer, the Twisted Slick Amber. This beer has a 21 International Bittering Unit (IBU) and a 3.9 Alcohol By Volume (ABV). I was not a fan of this beer, most likely because the IBU was too low and it had a floral hop flavor, which I personally never enjoy.
I ordered lunch along with my beer, a chicken provolone sandwich. I stepped out of the norm and only ordered a 1/2 order and I was glad that I did. The plate of food arrived and I was shocked by the massive amount of food a 1/2 order was. The sandwich had great flavor with a nice spicy kick.
As I was ready for my next beer I asked for the Grog IPA. This gained an eyebrow raise from the bartender who said “you don’t see many women drink IPAs” I smiled and kept my eye rolling to myself. She did redeem herself later when I told her I was from Northern Idaho and she said Southern Idaho girls must be a bunch of sissies who can’t handle IPAs! The Grog was delightful with a nice citrus hop flavor, something I am always a fan of. It has a 60 IBU and a 5.2 ABV.
I did find their beer selection interesting as the majority of the beers are around a 3.9 ABV and all had low IBUs, with most of them in the mid to low 20’s. Which is not a bad thing, just an observation. A lot of brewers are catering to the “hop heads” and perhaps there needs to be some balance in the world for the people who do not enjoy an overly hoppy beer.
Portneuf Valley Brewing is located at 615 S First Ave Pocatello Idaho.