Bittercreek Alehouse / Red Feather Lounge

Bittercreek Alehouse / Red Feather LoungeBittercreek Alehouse / Red Feather Lounge
Bittercreek Alehouse / Red Feather LoungeBittercreek Alehouse / Red Feather Lounge
Bar, Eatery

246 N 8th St
Boise, Idaho, 83702-5816
United States

(208) 345-1813 | map
View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.59 by IDABEERGUY from Idaho

Jul 03, 2017
Photo of chinchill
Reviewed by chinchill from South Carolina

3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4
Based on 3 visits, not counting one where i couldn't get a seat for dinner, in June 2017.
Extensive, varied, and well documented (menu) list of beers on tap. Focus is on 'local' (WY, Idaho, Oregon) beers. Some rarities on tap each visit. Very good food with excellent presentation.
Jun 29, 2017
Photo of Meerhund
Reviewed by Meerhund from Idaho

4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75
Enthusiastic and friendly staff. Cozy location on 8th street with heavy foot traffic. Often very busy but service never fails to be quick and attentive. Taps rotate consistently and there is always a wide variety of choices for every taste. Many locations to sit, though can get a tad cramped at peak hours.

Food is outstanding - I usually go with the street tacos or poutine. After 10pm, they offer a great happy hour menu on food and beverages. As stated, taps rotate consistently, with not only Idaho offerings, but choices from surrounding states. Staff is very knowledgeable on the brews available.

Overall one of my favorite places to drink and chill out.
Jul 02, 2015
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.73/5  rDev +11%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
Nice place in downtown with rotating taps and extensive bottle list. Good food too. Need to come back several times to fully explore the beer selection.
Jun 09, 2015
Photo of DoctorZombies
Reviewed by DoctorZombies from Florida

4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
Busy lunch crowd but service was good. Our burgers were good too. Lots of local Boise and Idaho beers on tap and super fresh - my IPA was kegged the day before and the brewery was 7 blocks away (nice gimmick, the beer menu notes how far away the beer was brewed, including the foreign offerings). I will be back.
Jun 09, 2015
Photo of Ron22
Reviewed by Ron22 from Nevada

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5
I was in Boise for the weekend and there were so many breweries to choose from! Glad I stumbled upon this place, great food and amazing beer. The best was the Belgian Pale Ale with Hibiscus.
May 15, 2015
Photo of VashonGuy
Reviewed by VashonGuy from Washington

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25
We were driving through Boise, and stopped at Bittercreek for dinner and beers. The beer selection here is excellent, and the food we had was also quite good. We're certain to make this place a routine stop on our trips through Boise.

The atmosphere is typical brewpub ... lots of tables, pretty crowded, noisy, good sports TVs. The service was a little stretched by the Saturday evening crowd, but that would be true almost anywhere on a Saturday night.

The food is original and quite well prepared. I had duck tacos, and my wife had a smoked trout salad ... both excellent.

There were 34 beers on tap, with a wide range of geography (local Idaho, other states, Belgian, German) and styles. We went with tasters, which are usually $1 for four ouncers, higher for some (I had a Gulden Draak). I wanted to taste Idaho beers, but unfortunately the three I picked were just so-so. The Gulden Draak and Fort George North VII made up for those.

The real star of the beer list is their cellar of aged bottled beers. The list is long, full of barrel aged rarities, more than 30 different beers from Belgium (lots of geuzes), and on and on. Prices on the bottles seemed pretty reasonable, at least for those where I have an idea of the retail price. Next time I stop I plan to skip the local Idaho breweries, and drink from the cellar list.

Great place.

UPDATE: I edited this review on 4/19/17, based on a more recent visit. My earlier rating (4.4) was from a time when you only gave a single number, and when I had been to a lot fewer places. Now, with all five factors to score, and more experience, I updated the ratings, and the score dropped a bit.
Oct 15, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by JoelClark from Idaho

Aug 03, 2014
Rated: 4 by dunix from Vermont

Jul 22, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Juno_Malone from Idaho

Apr 10, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by RonJeezy from Virginia

Mar 31, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by Recless7 from Idaho

Dec 08, 2013
Photo of SudsTerkel
Reviewed by SudsTerkel from Colorado

4.83/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
I hit the BA/RFL on a snowy Saturday afternoon in January while in B-town on biz and sat at the bar to witness firsthand their formidable row of taps. I was impressed with the range of their offerings; both West Coast [Stone, Sierra, etc] and East Coast [Dogfish] were well represented as were some hard-to find brewers from in between. I stuck to the Idaho offerings as I subscribe to the "support your local brewer" rule and wasn't disappointed. I had beers from Table Rock, Highland Hollow and Payette all of which were outstanding. My selection process was ably assisted by Sean, who was extremely knowledgeable about his offerings. I also ordered a Cobb Salad off the menu, which was generous in ingredients and well presented. Although it looks like a high-end downtown establishment, the scene is very laid back; I met several of the locals who like all beer people, are rewarding to talk to.
Feb 06, 2013
Photo of KetchumSuds
Reviewed by KetchumSuds from Idaho

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
One of my favorite places to drink in Boise. The beer selection is constantly rotating and they often have some great events (Sour Fest, Tap Takeovers, etc). The bottle selection is great too, but hard to not find something wonderful on tap so I rarely go that route.

Food, service and price are all spot on. The inside atmosphere is good, although it can be very busy and loud. It is a great place in the winter when it is cold and dark outside. During the summer, their patio is too small and I would rather drink somewhere else with bigger beer gardens.
Feb 04, 2013
Photo of Phocion
Reviewed by Phocion from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
Stopped in here around 10 PM on a Wednesday night. The place was surprisingly busy, but we were quickly seated and served.

There was a very impressive bar and numerous TVs displaying all sorts of sporting events and news channels. Interesting and diverse collection of artwork and a view into the kitchen. Considering the number of people inside the dining room, the layout seemed spacious enough to not make it unbearable.

The real special thing about this place is the selection. There were about three dozen taps and a menu that was updated just that day was given to us along with our food menu. About four different breweries from the Boise-area itself had offerings on tap, not to mention some incredible stuff from throughout the West-coast (Stone Smoked Porter, Black Butte XXIII, etc.) My first pint was a cask-conditioned IPA from Hale's Ales in Seattle, where my boss used to work. There was also what looked like a large bottled selection, but I didn't even really check it out with all of the offerings on tap.

Service was great. Prompt, helpful, informative, but not annoyingly pushy.

Food, however, was not as impressive. My girlfriend tried the trout and I decided, given the prices, to opt for the $8 black bean burger since at $8 it was the cheapest burger on the menu...and although not a vegetarian, I love black bean burgers. The food was just... bland. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't exactly good either. Typical pub food at a slightly higher price.

All in all, this place was a great bar, but a very mediocre restaurant. Beer is priced reasonably, food is definitely overpriced for what you get.
Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Scotchboy
Reviewed by Scotchboy from Idaho

4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
The best ale house in boise, of this I am sure.

Atmosphere is above average, the place is usually packed and I wish it was a little bigger but no real complaints. Nestled in beautiful downtown Boise.

Quality is good. Everything is well maintained and clean.

Service is always pretty good for a place that busy. Servers are knowledgeable and friendly as well. Thats a +

Selection is the reason this place is so great. Dozens of great microbrews on tap, from the West Coast to Goose Island. Selection is awesome. There are options to try a couple ounces of each beer for like a buck too. Love it.

Food is above average. Typical pub food but with fresh, local ingredients. Always tastes good.

Pretty good value I'd say for what you're getting. Two thumbs way up.
Dec 13, 2010
Photo of salvo
Reviewed by salvo from Indiana

4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4
My review may be a bit high, but that's what happens when the situation conspires to make a beer bar the absolutely perfect place to be.

Perhaps it was the excellent company, or the fact that I was watching Boise State trounce another opponent, or that all the new wet and fresh hopped beers were in season, for whatever reason, I was perfectly happy sitting in the Bittercreek sampling some of the most amazing beers. I ate a locally produced lamb burger with fresh Idaho potato fries: both excellent.

The beers were wildly creative and exciting, and I enjoyed sampling eight for a dollar or two each in generous 4oz sample glasses, clearly and accurately labelled in chalk on their great three-per wooden taster racks. Perhaps it was that the gem of the evening, a pale green fresh-hopped beer, came complete with two fresh Emmet's hop flowers for garnish floating on the top. The beer and wine menus also showed milage from the alehouse to where they had been produced. Excellent bit of locavore info, and I tried to order within 5 miles of the location. I felt like I was being treated like an honored guest and had a great time.
Oct 10, 2010
Photo of Offa
Reviewed by Offa from California

4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4
This is a good pub in the heart of downtown Boise.

It is a pretty nice place, especially the outdoor seating. The inside is more bar-like, darker and gets really packed even in the middle of the day but is pretty good. The street seating is really nice, with hops growing on an arbor at the entrance from the sidewalk and it is one one of the most lively and pleasant blocks downtown.

The beer choice is pretty good, with a nice range of local Boise/Idaho beers as well as more craft beers from Oregon, Washington, a few from California, and others from elsewhere and several imports, but the latter tend to be pretty standard. they do apparently rotate their beers a lot, though, and they have a lot on tap at any given time.

Food is good, a notch above usual pub/brewpub fare and rather varied.

Service seemed friendly and efficient.
Aug 05, 2010
Photo of Redrover
Reviewed by Redrover from Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Bitter Creek is blessed with a great location on bustling 8th street. It has a nice classic bar interior.

The bar is to your left as you enter. It has a cool bar back and the 36 tap handles are proudly displayed. The bar seats about 24 and there are also plenty of tables. These include some group tables, which are fun to share.

There is a neat patio in front that has nice western exposure. I think it seats about 30 to 40.

The beer section is very good. They have a concentration of PNW micros and even offer selections from the local brewpubs. 36 + taps and maybe 80 bottles evenly divided between imports and domestics. Added bonus, fresh cask beer!

Note they have some unexpected gems such as GI Matilda on tap and GI BCS (2 vintages) in bottles, 3 bottle selections from Jolly Pumpkin and one bottle choice from Tarpon Springs in FL. I like that they offer some aged beers such as 08 barley wines from Rouge and North Coast an 06 old ale from Fullers and JW Lees dating back to 99!

Check their website to gauge the quality of their offerings.

They have happy hour specials and sell growlers to go.

They have a better than pub grub menu that uses lots of local ingredients.

One thing I liked is that they are striving to become carbon neutral and even show how many miles the wine & beer travels to reach the pub.

Speaking of wine, they have a very solid list and also have much better than average offerings of Bourbons, single malts micro distilled spirits.

Service is friendly and professional. They will give samples, which I appreciate.

I was in Boise for three days and visited three times. Given the quality of Boise's other beer spots that says a lot!
Apr 09, 2010
Photo of isualum12
Reviewed by isualum12 from Idaho

2.48/5  rDev -41.8%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
This place is just ok. I would go plenty of places that are with in a one block walk of it before I would head there though...

They have good seating in a good size place for the crowd they get. Only once have I thought "crowded" while there. That is a plus in my mind.

I have had good food here with some great beers or even whiskey's before but the common theme is horriable service. Lunch bad service...Dinner bad service....Drinks later at night...even worse.

I have tried to like this place but I just can't. All well Boise has others..
Dec 17, 2009
Photo of Athabaska
Reviewed by Athabaska from Nevada

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Was visiting some family in Boise and knowing how much I love good beer, my sister-in-law took us here for lunch. We rolled in at about noon-ish and was able to grab an excellent shady spot on the patio. We had little ones with us, and that wasn't a problem, got highchairs, and all that good stuff.

The waitress was friendly, returned often to be certain we were doing well, and very knowledgeable. I was generally impressed with her.

The selection was fantastic. They had a huge offering of great northwest beers, such as Rogue, Deschutes, and Widmer, as well as plenty of Belgium, and California brews.

Food was great, I had the fish and chips which were quite tasty, although I kind of wished the portions were a little bigger, but for the price, it was reasonable. My compatriots had burgers and sandwiches, all of which looked great.

Prices were pretty standard, not much more to say about that.

As a side, this is one of very few bars where I've gotten appropriate glassware for the beer I ordered. Always a plus.
Jul 22, 2009
Photo of jdense
Reviewed by jdense from Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
There is hope for Boise after all.

After swearing off the corporate quasi-craft brews at R*m, and getting royally lost due to Mapquest dyslexia, finding it nary impossible to find on-street parking, the quest was worth the venture. 40+ beers on tap, with an number of Northwest favorites (Mac and Jack's, Hales, Rogue), an amazing bottled list with a plethora of Belgians, etc. along with the usual Left Coast culprits (Lagunitas, Stone) topped off by a few of Idaho's better brews (Sockeye). The food was quality pub grub in BIG portions, the staff friendly and knowledgeable. Definitely worth a visit when in Boise.
Dec 19, 2008
Photo of AylwinForbes
Reviewed by AylwinForbes from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Dulcie and Aylwin's big beer adventure day 11: the return leg day 1. Perhaps it's because we are sort of snobs from the big city like Chicago that we come into places like Boise with low expectations. Thanks to BA (for listing Bittercreek in the first place) and Bittercreek Alehouse, our preconceptions were happily shattered.

Having just spent a few days in Beervana we were shocked and amazed to find that Boise has a place that rivals anything we found there (apart from original brewing). The Alehouse is no hole-in-the-wall dive for boozers, but rather a stylish place right in the center of town on a trendy street of restaurants. The clientèle are well-to-do and well dressed for the most part. It was apparent that at least half were drinking wine, so this is not a beer-only hang-out.

At our pleasant patio table the beer list dated 8-08 stated that the beers were rotated "aggressively." This was found to be the case when the server appeared, because things had changed. Not to worry: she produced the list for 8-11 (okay why wasn't it on the table to begin with?), which was if anything superior. For example, Lagunitas Kronik Censored on the cask and Rogue Double Dead Guy on tap (which we couldn't even get at the Rogue in Portland! - proving there is a God). In total about 20 or so on tap/nitro/cask mostly from the west or local and very good choices too, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the selections.

Food was quality and the service good. If you go to Boise you have to go here.
Aug 14, 2008
Photo of woodychandler
Reviewed by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
First thing on the 4th of July 2007 and I was starting in. My CouchSurfing host had some things to do at work and so he dropped me off with a plan to meet later for fireworks, if I were still horizontal. I was concerned about the foreshortening of the day, so my schedule included both copious amounts of H2O and eating.

Entering, I had to bypass the canopied, fenced-in patio area; pass the maitre d' station immediately to the left; and then I was able to plunk myself down at the polished dark wood bar with its swiveling stools. I sat almost directly in front of the bank of twenty-eight (28) tap handles and one cask pump that lined the back bar. The back bar was one of the most elegant that I had ever seen - constructed of dark wood, extremely clean mirrors, and a Turkish onyx (I asked) geode-like design that was illuminated from behind. I was drinking IPA (Dagger Falls and XSIPA - both now reviewed) and lunch was salmon.

That salmon was the most gorgeous, tastiest piece that I had ever seen or tasted. The color was a rich, dark pink and its natural oiliness went beautifully with the citrus tang of the IPAs. It was at that moment that I had an epiphany (that will be explained later in Flagstaff, AZ) as well as making a resolution that I would eat salmon and drink IPAs as much as possible for the remainder of the summer.

Tearing myself away from my repast, I returned my attention to my surroundings. Aft of the bar and running most of the length of the back wall was the kitchen. In the center of the space were an admixture of standard tables and chairs as well as high tables and chairs, plus two high "islands". Along the right wall were high-backed booths with high tables and chairs in front of them. For me, it was an atmospherically correct environment with soft, dim lighting; exposed I-beams and rafters; rotating ceiling fans; and exposed ducting and piping. The right wall had vintage advertising, vintage saloon posters, and even a Leroy Neiman print (!).

The waitstaff was friendly and attentive while remaining unobtrusive.

A goodly number of cocktails was also available, including a Sazerac Cocktail, made with Sazerac Rye. I did not partake, but I would have liked to.

A great first stop to celebrate our country's independance.
Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Hollenbeck2
Reviewed by Hollenbeck2 from Oregon

3.79/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4
This was more of a bar and seafood place than a true beer place, but they did have a ton of micro beers on tap, although they were not a brewery per say.

The menu was mostly seafood which went over like a lead balloon with the people I was with so we did not stay past a couple drinks, good people watching spot though right on the main drag downtown boise.

I had a couple pints of terminal gravity ipa one of my favorites from the portland brewers fest.

They had a full selection of beers, hard drinks and wine so something for everyone.
Jan 05, 2008
Photo of kaia
Reviewed by kaia from Maine

4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5
The Bittercreek Alehouse is excellant!

Many, Many beers a Mainer can not find. Stone Oaked Arrogant on tap. I had had a few beers that night so I didn't hit it. I had a tiny sample and it was really smooth. I had a pint of Hop Trip from Dechutes and it was fantastic.
The open bar and lounge concept was great. A few low tables and high tops throughout and open kitchen in back. A lot of cool beer art and an incredible back bar. The taps were encased in a rare stone which had a nice golden backlight to it.

The bartender was the bar manager and former GM. He was extremely friendly, knowledgeable and very proud of the selection there. All the wine was pumped with nitrogen for the Bittercreek and adjacent Red Feather wine bar which was connected.

You could sit for hours and taste a huge array of beers!

It is located downtown and should not be overlooked when in the great city of Boise!
Nov 25, 2006
Photo of johnbonham1980
Reviewed by johnbonham1980 from Idaho

3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
I love the Bittercreek. Boise is a bit thin on quality beer bars, but this place always seems to have something new and interesting.

Bittercreek averages around 20-30 beers on tap, specializing in west coast breweries as you'd expect. One very cool thing about this establishment is that they always have something on cask (recently, Lagunitas Maximus and North Coast Brewing's IPA) and they also keep up on the Rogue John's Locker Stock series, which isn't bottled and is generally pretty hard to find.

The menu is pretty varied, with salads and sandwiches dominating. Small plates are available, of which I've tried the Thai chicken lettuce wraps (darn good) and calamari (darn overpriced). I love the line of hamburgers they have, with quite a few interesting options. Huntsman cheese, applewood smoked bacon, Tillamook cheddar, etc. The brisket sandwich is pretty darn good, and they have the best Cobb salad I've ever tried.

Food prices are a bit high, beer prices are average for the area. The selection changes about every two weeks and I have yet to find them at a lacking for interesting choices in the beer category.

Good food, great beer selection, casual atmosphere. A winner.
Nov 15, 2006
Bittercreek Alehouse / Red Feather Lounge in Boise, ID
Place rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 27 ratings