I heard Madonna on the radio today and I became inspired. Now you’re probably thinking WTH does Madonna have to do with a beer post? Well, she does and but she also doesn’t.
You see I’ve been looking over my blog for the past few months and although I enjoy writing about beer, beer posts are not my top performing posts. So I decided to reinvent my beer posts. And now you have your Madonna reference. As she is the Queen of Reinvention.
Instead of writing about each brewery I visit I will be writing a round-up post of three breweries I would like to feature for that month. For the month of November, it will be Rants & Raves Brewery from Moscow Idaho, English Setter Brewery in Spokane Valley Washington and Santiam Brewing in Salem Oregon. I would like to still feature the beers I liked but trim out the entire flight. Sure, we all have our favorite styles and you may not like what I like but sometimes I find it hard to creatively describe a beer that I found just mediocre.
So please bear with me as I transition to the new beer format. And who knows, I may chuck the beer posts all together and just focus on our travel posts. Don’t worry though, I won’t be giving up the drinking of beer!
Our first brewery for November will be Rants & Raves in Moscow Idaho. This town has a fun youthful vibe thanks to being home to the Univerity of Idaho. Before draping yourself in Vandal gear, the University’s mascot, take a stop at Rants & Raves Brewery and grab yourself a pint.
The inside of the brewery is visibly open to the taproom, giving it an extra beery feel. On the day of my visit, a late Sunday afternoon, I had the place pretty much to myself.
Having the place to myself made ordering a snack to go along with my beer quick and easy. I highly recommend the soft pretzels and cream cheese dip. It. Is. Amazing!
A top beer pick from Rants & Raves Brewery was the Frosty Ass IPA, a 6.5% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and an 87 International Bittering Unit (IBU). Grapefruit, citrus, and pine notes run around in this beer giving you well-rounded flavors that leave you with a fresh and clean taste. I also enjoyed the Forkin Hay IPA with a 6.5% ABV and a 70 IBU. Forkin Hay again showcases the grapefruit notes but throws in a little fun with some pineapple. Most of the beer names will give you a chuckle regardless of which one you select.
Rants & Raves Brewery is located at 308 N Jackson Street in Moscow Idaho.
Batting up second for the month of November is English Setter Brewery in Spokane Valley Washington. You can probably imagine my draw to this brewery as I love beer and I love dogs. The brewery pays homage to the owner’s dogs Faith and Sadie.
Something to be aware of during your visit to English Setter Brewing. The tasting flight is HUGE! There are 9 total beers on their flight. It gives you a nice selection of beers but you will probably want to order some food while you are there to help offset your beer consumption.
A top beer pick from English Setter Brewing was the Wild Flush IPA with a 5.5% ABV and a 114 IBU. This beer is an interesting combination as it has a mid-range ABV but a pretty high IBU. Although the contrast does not disconnect the beer and leaves you with a well balanced hoppy beer.
I also enjoyed the Break Off The Line Stout with a 7.6% ABV and 21 IBU. This beer comes rolling in with vanilla and coffee flavors and is listed as their version of a Vanilla Bourbon Stout. It does its job of luring you in, but keep your eye on this beer as it may carry you away as it goes down easily.
English Setter Brewing is located at 15310 E Marietta Ave #4 in Spokane Valley Washington.
Our last brewery for the month of November is Santiam Brewing in Salem Oregon. This brewery is tucked away in an industrial area, but don’t let that deter you or allow your GPS to lead you astray. I’m not speaking from experience with the GPS… OK, I am. PS I’m pretty sure your GPS will work fine getting you to the brewery. My GPS just thinks she’s funny and loves taking the longest route possible to get me anywhere.
A flight of beer here comes in an impressive rainbow of colors, but all total equates to about two beers. So it looks like a lot, but for a beer drinker, it’s manageable.
And before we move on to the beer I would also like to highlight the S of their logo. Anyone who grew up in the late 80’s and early 90’s has probably drawn 1000 of these S’s.
I did find something amusing while trying to find you a picture of what the original S looked like to compare Santiam’s S too. I had always thought the original S was paying tribute to our favorite surfer brand, Stussy. But upon further review, no one really knows where the S came from.
Regardless of its origin, don’t lie, you totally drew these S’s everywhere.
Alright, now on to the beer. The array of beers are wide here, ranging from Belgian styles to English to American. When you run the gamut of styles you’re bound to please most of your patrons. A top beer pick from Santiam Brewing is the Cherry Hefeweizen with a 5.2 ABV and a 12 IBU. This beer is the perfect marriage between wheat and cherry, giving you a fun spin on the classic style.
I was also a fan of the Bloody Hell IIPA with an 8.5% ABV and an 83 IBU. This is classified as an imperial and is brewed with blood orange and grapefruit which pair together well and mix well with the hop forward beer. I loved this beer so much that my tasting notes said: “if legal, marry”. And I wasn’t referring to any men sitting next to me, but the glass of beer in front of me.
My last beer recommendation is the 1859 Maibock. Now I know you are probably used to me going on and on about IPA and IIPAs and then I come in here talking about a traditional German-style beer. I will be completely honest with you, I usually avoid most German-style beers. I just can’t get my taste buds to accept them. But the Maibock is an exception for some reason. This beer has a 6.1% ABV and a 28 IBU. It is maltier than bitter, which can sometimes be a good thing. This beer has the Sazz hop and the German Tettnanger, both of which add some spiciness to this beer.
Santiam Brewery is located at 2544 19th Street SE in Salem Oregon.
And thus concludes our November beer wrap up. Cheers until next month!