Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Road trip to Couer d' Alene.

DryFly Distilling and No-Li Brewing
From January through April my daughter is involved in competitive gymnastics and that involves trips to competitions every two weeks or so. Most competitions are right along the I-5 corridor with stops in Seattle, Tacoma, Eugene,etc and I always make the time to stop in at a brewery. But one meet involves going to Couer d' Alene, Idaho which is about six hours away from where we live. After a long drive and still about 45 minutes from Couer d' Alene we decided to make a lunch stop. Knowing full well that a brewery or two was located in Spokane I said why not hit No-Li brewing for lunch. By that time no one wanted to put up a fight so we popped No-Li's info into the navigation and actually it was a very easy brewery to find. Another bonus is that DryFly distilling happens to be right next door....Sweet! I'm a huge fan of their products, so on top of hitting a new brewery for the first time I was able to check out DryFly and get some product.
No-Li Brewhouse Taster
The NoLi brewhouse is actually inside of an old strip mall. You actually have to walk in and then go down this hall past other stores to find it in the back. It has two areas, one being the pub, and across the hall there's an open area for overflow which is where we sat. We all ordered lunch and  everyone was really happy with the food, plus the service was fast. I also (of course) ordered up a taster tray and I must say I was really surprised....the beer was excellent. This was a great taster tray with nice, big tasters.  On the tray, Creme Ale, Born Raised IPA, Silent Treatment Pale, Crystal Bitter, Jet Star Imperial IPA,Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout, Stellar Stout, Winter Warmer and Amber.  A couple missing seasonals were the Blueberry Creme and Chocolate Dunkel. I must say that there wasn't one miss on the tray - they were all really good. I especially liked the Creme Ale and could see myself drinking a ton of it especially on a nice warm spring or summer day. The Crystal Bitter and the Silent Treatment were also fantastic.  So if you're on your way to Idaho or going to Spokane you have to hit NoLi brewhouse. From the outside (and even the inside) you might be disappointed by the appearance but the beer is excellent and the food was really good as well....and bonus with DryFly next door, so if they are open go in and check it out. They have really good spirits and it's just cool to see a distillery. There are also a couple of other breweries in Spokane that I hope to hit on the next trip, Twelve String Brewing, Budge Brother Brewing, Steam Plant,

Crappy picture of taps at Capones Pub & Grill
If you need a beer stop in Couer d' Alene...not much luck....but one great beer stop that we always hit is Capones Pub & Grill.  Their claim to fame is they have more taps than tables (41 revolving) and Guy Fieri did a segment on them in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.....and I can say he is right - the beer, wings, pizza, and sandwiches are "off the hook". It's loud, crowded, dark, has TVs rocking sports.....totally not my thing but I like it when we are there. We had our usual order of wings and a pepperoni pizza that was unbelievable. And picking from 40 some taps is always hard but I picked the cask Boundary Bay IPA. So if you're in Couer d' Alene I would say hit this spot for your beer needs and try out the wings,crazy good.

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