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.

Oregon Gardens Brewfest 2013

Spring is finally here....well maybe not with the pouring rain and high winds....but if I peak out my window I can see a glimpse of blue skies, so it's trying. With spring comes the start of Brewfest season. One that is coming up is the 9th Annual Oregon Brewfest held at the Oregon Gardens in Silverton April 26 through 28.  I haven't been to this event before but plan to make it this year. This looks like a really cool beer fest with a brewers Tasting dinner,  Live Music, Food....and 62 breweries showing off 125 beer, cider, and mead products.

The Oregon Garden Brewfest has released the lineup for its 9th annual event, taking place April 26 through 28 at The Oregon Garden’s Grand Hall. A record 62 breweries will be presenting their products, for a total of 125 beers, ciders and mead. Event hours are Noon to 11 pm Friday & Saturday, and Noon to 6 pm Sunday. Located in the historic town of Silverton, just an hour’s drive from the Portland metropolitan area, the Oregon Garden Brewfest also features live music from 22 area bands, food, tasting lessons by Women Enjoying Beer and a homebrew competition presented by Capitol Brewers.

Advance admission includes a one-day pass for $15 that features a tasting glass, seven tasting tickets, and express entry; a three-day pass for $30 that includes a tasting glass, 15 tasting tickets, and express entry; and a VIP pass for $50 that includes a tasting glass, 45 tasting tickets, a T shirt and a food voucher. Advance sales are available at Tickets at the door are $15 for one-day entry and increase to $20 after 5pm, and include five tasting tickets. Three-day entry at the door is $30 and includes 10 tasting tickets and no express entry, and VIP entry is $50 and includes 35 tickets and no express entry. Designated drivers pay a cover charge of $5 and receive a bottled water. Once inside, a full glass of beer costs four tickets, and a taster costs one ticket. Additional tasting tickets may be purchased for $1 apiece. The event is cash only, with an ATM on-site. Parking at The Oregon Garden is $5 per car; free shuttles will be available to various locations in town. The Oregon Garden Brewfest is for ages 21 and over on Friday and Saturday; minors are welcome all hours on Sunday.

And without further ado, the tap list!

10 Barrel Brewing Co | Apocalypse IPA & Wheat IPA
2 Towns Ciderhouse | The Incider & The Bad Apple
21st Amendment | Bitter American & Hell or High WaterMelon Wheat
Alameda Brewing Co | Black Bear XX Stout & Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA
Base Camp Brewing Co | Ripstop Rye Pils & In-Tents India Pale Lager
Batch 19 | Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager
Blue Dog Mead | Green Collar Mead & Yellow Collar Mead
Blue Moon Brewing Co | Belgian Style White Ale & Valencia Grove Amber Ale
Brew Werks Brewing | Neurotic Blonde & Rabble Rouser Red
BridgePort Brewing Co | Smooth Ryed & Hop Czar
Calapooia Brewing Co | Chili Beer & Big Aft Pale Ale
Cascade Brewing | Razberry Wheat & Oblique Coffee Black & White Stout
Cascade Lakes Brewing | Blonde Bombshell & Cyclops IPA
Crispin & Fox Barrel Cidery | Original Apple Cider & Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear Cider
Crux Fermentation Project | On the Fence Pale & Outcast IPA
Double Mountain Brewery | Vaporizer Dry Hopped Pale & India Red Ale
Eel River Brewing Co | Acai Berry Wheat & California Blonde
Elysian Brewing | Super Fuzz Blood Orange Pale, LOSER Pale Ale & Savant IPA
Falling Sky Brewing | Dark Heart & Retrograde NW Red
Firestone Walker | Solace Wheat & Union Jack IPA
Fish Brewing Co | Spire Mountain Dark & Dry Cider & Reel Ales Swordfish Black IPA
Flat Tail Brewing | Tailgater Kölsch & Black Hand Maple Nut Porter
Fort George Brewery and Public House | Divinity Fruit Beer & Tender Loving Empire NW Pale Ale
Full Sail Brewing Co | Lager Series LTD 5 & Pub Series ESB
Gigantic Brewing | Dark Meddle Vienna Lager & Gigantic IPA
Gilgamesh Brewing | Ridgeway IPA & Hopscotch Strong Ale
Golden Valley Brewery | Red Thistle Ale & Bald Peak IPA
GoodLife Brewing Co | Sweet As Pacific Ale & Descender IPA
Goose Island Beer Co | Honker's Ale & India Pale Ale
Hop Valley Brewery | Alphadelic IPA & Double 'D' Blonde
Hopworks Urban Brewery | Organic HUB Lager & Organic Hopworks IPA
Kona Brewing Co | Big Wave Golden & Koko Brown
Lagunitas Brewing Co | a little Sumpin' Sumpin' & Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale
Laurelwood Brewing Co | Organic Free Range Red & Workhorse IPA
Leinenkugal's Brewing Co | Summer Shandy & Big Eddy Imperial IPA
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales | Seizoen & Seizoen Bretta
Lompoc Brewing | Kick Axe Pale Ale & C-Note Imperial Pale Ale
McMenamins Thompson Brewery & Public House | TBD
Nectar Creek Honeywine | Wildflower Session Mead & Ginger Session Mead
New Belgium Brewing | Dig Pale Ale, Rampant IPA, The Lost Abbey & Peach Porch Lounger
Ninkasi Brewing Co | Total Domination IPA & Believer Double Red
Oakshire Brewing | Line Dry Rye & Watershed IPA
Old Town Brewing Co | OTB Pilsner & Boysenberry Black Ale
Pale Horse Brewing | Hillbilly Blonde & Hopyard Dog
Pelican Pub & Brewery | Winema Wit & Silverspot IPA
Ram Restaurant & Brewery | Oregon Blonde Ale & Big Red IPA
Rat Hole Brewing | Fencepost Porter & Rotation Red
Redhook Brewery | Audible Pale Ale & Wise Cracker Wit
Rusty Truck Brewing Co | Moonlight Ride Blackberry Ale & Stupiphany Imperial Red Ale
Santiam Brewing | Spitfire ESB & Pirate Stout
Sasquatch Brewery | Oregon Session Ale & Woodboy IPA
Seven Brides Brewing | Paige's Purple Haze Blueberry Wheat & Abiqua Black IPA
Shock Top Brewing Co | Belgian White & Raspberry Wheat
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co | Pale Ale & Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale
Standing Stone Brewing Co | Noble Stout & I ♥ Oregon Ale
Stella Artois Brewery | Stella Artois
Stone Brewing Co | Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale & 2012 Double Bastard Ale
Tieton Ciderworks | Apricot Cider & Dry Hopped Cider
Vermont Hard Cider | Woodchuck Amber & Woodchuck Granny Smith
Vertigo Brewing | Razz Wheat & Friar Mikes IPA
Wandering Aengus Ciderworks | Anthem Cherry & Anthem Hops
Widmer Brothers Brewing | Alchemy Pale Ale & Hopside Down IPL

Play it smart and play it safe: The Oregon Garden Resort is offering two room packages | the Brewer's Dinner Package for $219 is available on April 25 and includes accommodations, two tickets to the Brewer’s Dinner, breakfast for two the next morning, and two one-day tickets to the Brewfest on April 26. The Brewfest Package for $189 is available April 25 through April 28 and includes accommodations, breakfast for two, two one-day tickets to the Brewfest and two food booth vouchers. Reservations are available at or call 503-874-2500.

Sponsors of the event include Venti’s Café & Basement Bar, Pepsi, Wave Broadband, The Ulven Companies, Lucky Eagle Casino and Raen Brew. For more information about the event, visit