PNW Brewery # 3 – Woodland Empire Ale Craft

We close this month in Idaho, in Boise and Woodland Empire Ale Craft.

Let’s pick out some of their ale craft…

Boule Sourdough Wild Ale – they take bakery sourdough starter and combine it with a wheaty ale.

Ada County Stout – big, boozy barrel-aged 14% stout.

Old Boise Lager – crisp and clear modern lager.

Edge of Rainbows IPA – tropical aroma and flavor.


Twenty acres of Idaho farmland will become the first hop pelletizing facility in the state later this fall when they open their combined pelletizing facility with cold storage plus a pilot brewery and tasting room with the name Mill 95.

This is similar to what Bale Breaker does in Washington State and it sounds like a great and aromatic place to visit and I expect it will be jam packed in picking season.

Now we need to get an artisanal maltster and yeast wrangler to create a one-stop shop.

Off to Idaho?

If someone told me that a California brewery was building a second out-of-state brewery, I would say, “Where in North Carolina?”

But the state in question is Idaho and it is San Diego based Mother Earth Brew Co. that is planning a brewery and tasting room in Nampa, ID, outside of Boise, for later in 2016.

The new brewery will allow Mother Earth to drastically increase the amount of barrels produced per year plus it will give them closer access to both the Pacific NW and the Midwest.

Idaho Brewery # 3 – Portneuf Valley Brewing


Our final Spud State stop is at Portneuf Valley Brewing in Pocatello has been brewing since 1996 and moved production to it’s current facility in 2002.

These are the beers that I would have on my initial taster tray:
Ligertown Lager – “The classic all malt, all American pilsner. Balanced flavor and light body.”

Krystal Weizen – “Cousin to the hefeweizen, we’ve cleared it up for a smooth and light wheat beer. Light and crisp with low hop character.”

Grog – “Our Premium India Pale Ale is high in malt flavor and aggressive hop bitterness and aroma. This current batch is dry-hopped.”

Portneuf Cocoa Porter – “Silky dark malt flavor that’s slightly toasty with a bittersweet chocolate finish and medium hop bitterness. Made with real cocoa!”

Idaho Brewery # 2 – Sawtooth Brewing

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Usually when I highlight a brewery, it is a place that I have not been too. Sometimes I haven’t even had a beer from the place. But things happened weirdly when I added Sawtooth Brewery to my list to talk about.

One of my wife’s friends who knows of my beer blogging brought me a beer from this brewery from Ketchum, Idaho. So now instead of just a sample taster tray to talk about, there will also be a review!

I would start with…
•Sunnyside Session Wheat
•Idahome Session IPA
•Flow Trail Pale Ale
•Freeheeler Rye IPA
•Last Chair Stout

And here is the review of…
•Snowyside Blonde

The beer pours a wonderful clear yellow/orange and has a fruity pear like nose to it.  The beer also has some spice and tea notes as well.  Quite a flurry of flavors for a blonde ale.  I have had pear juice infused beers with less pear flavor to them.  It is quite enjoyable and if a blonde which is normally the least exciting of the brewery line-up can be this varied then I fully expect the rest of the beers to be that way too.

Thanks to Adam Venker for the bottle!

Idaho Brewery # 1 – Payette Brewing

To Boise via Boeing (the airplanes) and Schooner Exact the brewery in Washington State, comes Payette Brewing who I think has one of the best branded beers around in design and name. Western and rugged come to mind. Now on to what I would put into my initial taster tray….
Mutton Buster Brown Ale – “Mutton Buster is a full-flavored, brown ale that’s relatively tame, but fun to ride. Out of the chute, there’s a rich, roasted, nutty sweetness of cocoa and malt on the nose with a mild kick of earthy, hop bitterness that won’t bust your chops. Mutton Buster is dark in color, heavy on the malt flavors, but sessionable for any time of year.”
North Fork Lager – “This American Lager has a laid-back personality and pairs well with just about all edibles. Hops bring a mix of woody, green, floral and fruit notes with subtle herb and spice character. North Fork is a sessionable beer with lower alcohol content for a quick, smooth run. Pack plenty for your post river run refreshment.”
Rodeo Rye Pale Ale – “Unlike a real rodeo, the aroma of passion fruit, peaches and mangos fills the air with this spring seasonal. Rodeo is a single-hop rye, pale-style beer. Citra hops give it a tropical fruit nose and flavor with a spicy, rye kick. This is a sessionable beer, which means this might be your first, but it most definitely won’t be your last Rodeo.”
Slaughterhouse India Red Ale – “Named after Boise’s Slaughterhouse Gulch and its historical meat packing businesses, this brew is as bold and rugged as the miners and packers that traveled its path when it was known as “The Oregon Trail”. This fall seasonal is an India Red Ale featuring Amarillo hops, known for their dark, fruity characteristics. While higher in alcohol by volume, a roasted malt base offsets the hops and balances the heat of the alcohol for a subtle, rich finish.”

In the Tap Lines for August 2015

header_attractionsWe got a bit of rain here in L.A.  Enough to tamp down one fire but boy we could use a respite from the humidity and heat so that the wider spectrum of beer can be enjoyed instead of just lawnmower beers.  But enough gloomy weather talk, a new brewery opened in San Fernando at the tail end of July and it will be reviewed this month along with….

~ e-visits to three breweries in Idaho.  No potato beers here. Just Payette, Sawtooth and Portneuf beer.
~ special reviews of beers from just outside L.A. from places like Santa Barbara, Claremont and Temecula
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ Beer-centric podcast review, Strange Brews from WBEZ in Chicago, (also home to This American Life)
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world
~ … and Session # 102 will converge bloggers onto a single topic, this month it is the future landscape of beer

Here are two events to get your August started in the Los Angeles craft beer world:
1) August 7th – Brew at the Zoo
2) August 19th – Phantom Carriage One Night Stand at Beer Belly

Acres of Hops

The IPA binge and growth in breweries is rippling through the ingredient sector.  Water is a major concern here in California and hops have gone through some peaks and valleys in recent times as well.  Maybe the slow and steady growth of hop acreage will ameliorate that problem.

You can read the full piece HERE but my take-aways are….

1. ” Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year ”

2. “the average U.S. price for hops rose from $3.18 a pound in 2012 to $3.59 in 2013. ”

Bear this in mind when you order up an IPA that you think is too expensive.  It may just be a passing of costs down the chain.

Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:
Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:
Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:
Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:

Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:
Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:
Hop acreage in Idaho increased by 39 percent last year – See more at:

Sockeye Brewing

How about we head to the brewing mecca known as Idaho. I know that it is not well-known now. But it just might be in a few years. It has all the ingredients, literally.

In the meantime, lets take a quick peek at Sockeye Brewing in Boise.

They have an impressive selection of American IPA’s with great names including Widowmaker, Hopnoxious, Dagger Falls. But they have a beer list of over 20 beers from their regular line-up (Galena Golden Ale) to seasonals (Socktoberfest).

The brewers are Josh King & Lance Chavez. They craft each brew on site in small batches.