There's No Season Like Idaho's Craft Beer Season
Evidence of the West’s booming craft beer industry isn’t only found in the states of California, Colorado or Oregon, but Idaho too. To celebrate the Gem State’s affinity for fermented grains, hops and clear mountain river waters, the Idaho Brewers United and Idaho Tourism have come together to establish the state’s first ever Idaho Craft Beer Month this coming April.
For the whole month of April, craft beer fans can find several special events and promotions all across the state’s best breweries and craft beer houses. The official kick off starts with the All-Idaho Tap Takeover at Bittercreek Alehouse in Boise on April 2nd and 3rd. Hosted by Idaho Brewers United and Bittercreek, the alehouse will tap 36 of Idaho’s best beers. The full list can be found on their facebook page.
- April 1 – Idaho Craft Beer Month Kickoff! Sat 11 AM · Sockeye Brewing Boise, ID
- April 1 – Pints Up Idaho! Sat 12 PM · by Idaho Brewers United
- April 1 – 2 Year Anniversary Party! Sat 12 PM · County Line Brewing Garden City, ID
- April 1 – Grand Re-opening of the TAP ROOM Sat 2 PM PDT · Laughing Dog Brewing Ponderay, ID
- April 1 – Beer Pong Tournament Sat 4 PM · Powderhaus Brewing Company Garden City, ID
- April 2 – All-Idaho Tap Takeover at Bittercreek! Apr 2 – Apr 3 · by Idaho Brewers United Bittercreek Alehouse Boise, ID
- April 3 – Mad Mutt-Love Monday Mon 4 PM · Mad Swede Brewing Boise, ID
- April 8 – Exclusive Sockeye Brewer’s Dinner at The Cole Pub Sat 6 PM · 3019 N Cole Rd, Boise, ID
- April 10 – Mad Mutt-Love Monday Mon 4 PM · Mad Swede Brewing Boise, ID
- April 12 – Wallace Brewing Beer Pairing Dinner Wed 6 PM PDT · The Fainting Goat A Wine Bar Wallace, ID
- April 17 – Mad Mutt-Love Monday Mon 4 PM Mad Swede Brewing Boise, ID
- April 20 – ALL IDAHO Pint Night Thu 5:30 PM · Homestead Bar and Grill Meridian, ID
- April 24 – Mad Mutt-Love Monday Mon 4 PM · Mad Swede Brewing Boise, ID
- April 24 – Pints for Pets Mon 5 PM · Broken Horn Brewing Company McCall, ID
Idaho has lots to offer craft beer enthusiasts
Idaho has been the 3rd largest hop producer in the nation since the 1980s. Idaho is 1st in the nation in barley production. According to the Brewers Association, Idaho produced 43,073 barrels of craft beer in 2013 and has contributed to an economic impact of over $172 million. The craft beer industry in Idaho has grown from 34 in 2013 to 56 operating breweries in 2016 and has 8 more planning for debut in 2017.
Many of Idaho’s craft breweries go beyond just brewing beer in Idaho and include many local ingredients in their brews, such as locally grown grains and fresh hops. Some of the seasonal beers use specialty ingredients sourced within the state including huckleberries, other berries, a variety of fruits, and more! Along with great ingredients grown by Idaho farmers, Idaho’s crystal clear, clean water makes for great tasting beer.
Idaho ranks third in the U.S. in hop production, producing just under 10% of the U.S. hop harvest. The total acreage of hops continues to increase each year. In 2014, harvested acres of hops in Idaho grew by over 11%. Hops are grown in two distinct Idaho regions-the majority in the warm, arid southwest and some in the northern Panhandle. Growing conditions and production methods vary in the two growing regions, leading to a large number of hop varieties. Some of the hops grown in Idaho include Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, El Dorado, Galena, and CTZ. Some hop farmers are also experimenting with new hop varieties and one farm has started growing organic hops.
Idaho is the largest barley producing state, growing both malting and feed varieties. The majority of the barley grown in Idaho is malting barley that is used to make superior brews. Idaho has a great reputation for high quality barley making it attractive for brewing companies.
Spent Grain is a by-product of the brewing process which consists of leftover ingredients used in brewing the beer. After the brewing process, there are still some nutrients left in the grain. To keep this product out of the landfill, some craft breweries offer their spent grains to area farmers to use for compost or animal feed. To complete this sustainable cycle, meat from these farms may end up on local pub menus. For more information visit www.idahopreferred.com.