Visiting the Northwest - breweries, shops, bars to recommend?

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by cparles, Jul 8, 2013.

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  1. cparles

    cparles Initiate (53) Dec 3, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    My friend, who is also into beer, is going to be taking a roadtrip through the Northwest in a week or so. He's not a BAer, so I'm posting this for him. He's particularly interested in getting advice on:

    a) breweries that aren't "obvious" (i.e. ones that he might not think to stop at, but which have great beer)
    b) good beer shops to check out while he's in the area, and
    c) nice places (bars, restaurants, pubs) to have a drink at night that have interesting selections and/or good local stuff you can't get elsewhere.

    Basically, he wants to get the experiences you can't get here on the East Coast. For example, small, local, and eccentric stores, mildly off the radar but with a good selection and/or staff, would be of more interest than large beer warehouses (though knowing about those can't hurt, either!).

    He's going to be hitting up these cities

    Portland, OR
    Boise, ID
    Twin Falls, ID
    Cody, WY
    Rapid City, SD
    Dickinson, ND
    Billings, MT
    Butte, MT
    Helena, MT
    Kalispell, MT
    Spokane, WA
    Seattle, WA

    Of course, there's Cascade and Hair of the Dog in Portland, but what else should he be sure not to miss?

    Thanks for any advice you can give!



    P.S. I'm not 100% sure this is the right forum for this - please tell me if it's not (or bump me to the right one).
  2. NWer

    NWer Crusader (708) Mar 10, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    In Washington for starters, pick up the Washington Beer Commission ap for either iphone or android:
    My choice fo a nice little side trip would be to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island or Bremerton then venture to Sound, Valholl, Silver City.
    Use this site to help stake out destinations:
    In Seattle, Fremont Brewing and Brouwers are a must. Add just about any place along the Wallingford/Fremont/Ballard corridor and you are guaranteed a good beer time.
    Go North to Mount Vernon and check out North Sound, Skagit then to Bellingham to Boundary Bay, Chuckanut, Kulshan. re:
    beertunes likes this.
  3. distantmantra

    distantmantra Savant (994) May 23, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Go to Big Time in Seattle's University District for a bottle of this year's Old Sol wheat wine.
  4. SeaAle

    SeaAle Disciple (397) Jun 24, 2012 Oregon
    Beer Trader

    Dickinson, ND? why? :astonished:
  5. leedorham

    leedorham Crusader (701) Apr 27, 2006 Washington

    My non-warehouse picks in each category for Spokane:


    Iron Goat Brewing - It's off the beaten path (kinda in the ghetto) but they have a nice patio and tasting room. Usually a food cart there on the busy nights. Music on the weekends. Awesome staff and ownership.

    No-Li Brewing - (I know I'll probably get shit for this) - Not the beer geek's favorite, but the setting is really nice. I like some of their beers. They have outdoor seating right on the river. It's also just a short drive from Iron Goat.

    Good Beer Shops That aren't called Total Wine (we have a Total Wine and it has a lot of beer but, you know, it's not small and eccentric or anything):

    Bottles - Nice little bottle shop in the valley. Friendly staff, good selection, reasonable prices, 10% discounts on 6 or more.

    Huckleberry's Natural Market - It's a locally owned hippie grocery store with a really good beer selection.

    Bars (so many good ones now):

    Waddell's - For local taps, this place can't be beat. They usually have at least 3 or 4 local breweries represented, sometimes more. The food is also artery-clogging delicious.

    Manito Tap House - Fifty Taps, locals & northwest favorites along with a few foreign offerings. Good Food.

    Jone's Radiator - Make fun of hipsters while drinking delicious craft beer from about 18 taps I think. Order food that they ran out of then order something else you didn't want. Watch the bartender roll her eyes. Wave at hookers as you drive home.

    Pints Alehouse - This is undisputed champion beer geek bar. The owners are beer geeks, there will be beer geeks in there drinking beer geeky beer geek beer. My only complaint is that there is not an overwhelming number of taps. About a dozen I think, but never a stinker among them for sure.

    The Lantern - Recently expanded seating and tap handles made this bar go from quirky & tiny to a legitimate craft beer hangout.

    Maybe this should be the "Visiting Spokane" post :wink:
    checktherhyme and beertunes like this.
  6. John_M

    John_M Moderator (5,590) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Beer Trader

    My guess is that it's a logistical decision. I just recently made the drive out from WV, trying to make as good use of my time as possible while driving druing the day. I stayed the night in the twin cities (which is a great craft beer city, IMHO), but after that your options are pretty limited while heading West on the interstate. Fargo has a fairly decent selection of places to visit, but it was too close to Minn/St. Paul for me to stop there for the night. Same with Bismark (and it's not as if Bismark is exactly teeming with great places either). So if you don't stop in Dickinson, the next half way decent city along the way is Billings, and that's A HAUL! So I ended up in Dickinson as well.

    Some of the restaurants and stores around town have craft beer, but the selection is pretty misreable. Fortunately, I'd stocked up during my stop at 3 Floyds, so I just drank zombie dust while watching TV in my room. That made my stay in Dickinson quite tolerable.
  7. cparles

    cparles Initiate (53) Dec 3, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Yes, it should! Thanks for all the info! I'm sure my friend will be very appreciative.
  8. cparles

    cparles Initiate (53) Dec 3, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    thanks for the info!
  9. suncrust

    suncrust Initiate (161) Apr 17, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Tell your buddy to stop @ Kettlehouse in Missoula, and have him bring a growler of Old Bongwater Porter for me in Seattle.
    woemad and beertunes like this.
  10. NWer

    NWer Crusader (708) Mar 10, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    And while he's at it, he must stop at Worden's Market & Deli. Beer guy (sorry I don't remember his name - Matt I think) very knowledgeable & helpful.
    Also, a new off-the-radar place in Post Falls Idaho is Selkirk Abbey. Getting a lot of attention among BA's anxious to check them out myself next time in the area.

    One more thing: when you get home tell everyone what a wonderful time you had - - - in Portland :slight_smile:
    distantmantra and beertunes like this.
  11. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    In my experience it's generally safe to assume that, for whatever reason, most beer guys are named Matt.
    NWer likes this.
  12. NWer

    NWer Crusader (708) Mar 10, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Or Josh. Larry, not so much.
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