A Tribute to the Booming Industry of Idaho Brewing
by Chelsea Chambers, photos by Mark Dyrud
We, in the City of Trees, are forever blessed with beautiful natural resources, diverse terrains, and the glory of being part of a state that is one of the top three in the country for hop production. So quite naturally, we are home to one of the most expansive craft brewing industries in the nation. With over 50 breweries in Idaho and more on the way, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the beers pouring from the tap. While I could write an entire book series on the grandeur and magic behind our beloved local breweries, I’ve compiled a (very) short list for your beer enthusiasm.
At just barely a year old, Barbarian Brewing founders, BreAnne Hovley and James Long, have a lot to celebrate. Barbarian has been wildly popular at their Chinden Road location since they opened, especially with the added expansions to the taproom. The duo has utilized their creativity and experience to develop some seriously delicious brews like the Jutunheim, a tart ale made with juniper, elderberries, Spanish cedar, and yeast harvested from Norwegian apples. Barbarian tries to source locally as often as possible and frequently collaborates with local farms for their fruit and hops. Their barrel-aging program allows them the freedom to create incredibly flavorful beers that tantalize any palate. While the process can take up to two years to complete, is well worth the wait when the finished product is tapped and ready for sale!
The namesake of the company comes full circle, and it all starts with their husky, Conan, which is Gaelic for ‘little wolf.’ This spurred the idea behind the wolf logo, and of course, the popular Conan the Barbarian lore was enticing to the brand—but didn’t spark the initial concept. Ancient European barbarians were some of the first originators of the beer craft and the oak barreling style—a concept that Barbarian Brewing utilizes frequently. To complete the origin circle, the Latin scientific name for one of the hop varieties that they use is humulus lupulus, which translates again back to ‘little wolf.’
Join Barbarian Brewing for their one-year celebration bash on October 15, where you can try all of their tasty beers, plus new fall releases, and food catered by local food trucks like Wetos Locos Tacos! I personally can’t wait to try the Harvest Ale, made from locally sourced butternut squash and the Beta Wolf 3.0, a sour IPA collaborated with Gooding Farms. Ring in the season with Barbarian Brewing!
Edge was founded by a community of homebrewers and beer enthusiasts, which has granted them the ability to craft a vast array of mouth-watering beers right here in the Treasure Valley. The name originates from the concept of pushing the envelope beyond the edge of possibility; the limitless potential of craft beer allows Edge to create inspirational brews for any season. While it is no easy task to stay competitive in such a booming industry, the brewery has no problem maintaining their edge in the market. They are solely focused on creating an environment of people who enjoy beer, and that is apparent from the moment you step in the door. The atmosphere is that of those who dedicate their lives to making incredible flavor profiles like I7PA, a nitro double IPA sitting at a tall 9.7%.
They consistently have at least 17 of their personal brews on tap at all times, and every day of the week features a new special or event that should put Edge Brewing on your to-do list no matter what day it is. Every Wednesday they hold live music performances from 6:30-8:30, and Saturday boasts delicious beer pairings with their gourmet nightly food specials.
Join Edge at their brewery/restaurant on Steelhead Way for an Oktoberfest Celebration starting mid-September for a variety of German food, live music, and of course, amazing Edge beer! Visit their website at www.EdgeBrew.com for more details.
Woodland Empire Alecraft
The beauty of Woodland Empire comes not only from the founders, Rob and Keely Landerman and their endless dedication to the craft,but from the passion that lives in even just the name. Woodland Empire is a tribute to the grandiose wonder and allure that is the City of Trees. It is a metaphor for an empire of community, which has inspired their local collaborations with businesses and farmers in the valley. Rob is from Rigby, Idaho and when the two were choosing the location for their business, it was no question that Boise would be the perfect home to create their delicious Woodland Empire.
The concept behind Alecraft is rooted deeply in the culture of creation, making a product that is both inspirational and innovative. Alecraft is people putting their minds, skills, and passions together to develop a product for not only themselves but also the community with which they share it. In order to stay competitive in the growing industry, Woodland is constantly trying to push and challenge themselves to do things that have never been done. Recent endeavors include foraging for flavors in the local landscape, like berries and rosehips, in order to create intricate profiles of taste for all palates. Collaborations with businesses and farms has helped Woodland build their Empire of beer crafters and enthusiasts in a short timeframe. Since January of this year, every month has been their best month since they opened. Let’s help continue that trend as they provide the Treasure Valley with new hops for their IPAs, more sours, and a seemingly endless variety of beer, inspired by music and the love of alecraft.
Started by Boise native Mike Francis in 2010, Payette has grown to become Idaho’s largest brewery, but as Marketing and Art Director, Paige Coyle, says, “We thrive off our neighbor breweries and love to see everyone’s success! Overall in the U.S., there are over two breweries opening a day. That’s a lot to add to this growing industry. But that doesn’t always mean intense competition. Everyone has their own goals. Their niche. It only improves this crazy craft beer world we live and makes our jobs more interesting every day!”
Payette and their many delicious craft beers stem from collaboration, brainstorming, and the creativity of their brewers. It takes a team to run a growing company and they are always thriving off the encouragement and imagination of one another. Every employee at Payette gets the opportunity to share their ideas, which allows them to experiment with incredible flavors and be continually inspired by one another; a dedicated group of beer nerds makes for some amazing products.
As the company continues to grow, expansion became a necessity, leading to the recent opening of a second facility in downtown Boise on Pioneer Street. The new 60-barrel brewery makes room for a lot of new beers and we look forward to trying every single one!
The idea for Boise Brewing started when Collin Rudeen joined a community garden. He received a monthly box of vegetables and wondered, ‘Why isn’t there a fresh pint to go with this?’ Transforming that thought into a reality, Rudeen began the planning process that created the now known and loved Boise Brewing. He went a step beyond just starting another brewery; he wanted to involve as many people as possible in the endeavor, to create a real community-supported brewery. Much like the way a co-op works, owners can buy “stock” in the company and receive dividends paid out in fresh, mouth-watering beer. Boise Brewing collaborates with several other breweries in the area and local businesses, which has helped grow the company exponentially in such a short time, and for this, they are forever grateful. Boise has proven to be the perfect hub for a community-supported brewery.
Alongside head brewer, Lance Chavez, the team is constantly developing new ideas and brews to share with the public. Their intention is to create a non-intimidating atmosphere in which all of their beers can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of how much knowledge they have about the industry. And in the very near future, beer lovers rejoice, you will soon be able to enjoy Boise Brewing in a can!
Each year, Boise Brewing, located on Broad Street, hosts the Hoptober Freshtival, which boasts over 2,000 attendants each year, making it the largest fresh hop beer festival in Idaho. The festival includes over 60 fresh hop and seasonal beers from more than 30 local and regional craft breweries. Join the party on October 1st for a will-not-disappoint day of beer, music, and food!
Highlands Hollow Brewing
Highlands Hollow, found on Harrison Hollow Lane, is the oldest brewpub in Boise, established in 1992. The building itself is a breath of Idaho history, as the rafters were a part of the old Boise State Stadium. Inaugurated well before the boom in brewing, the Hollow is glad to see the industry becoming what it is. Manager, Megan Jones, and granddaughter of one of the original founders, Rod Davidson, had this to say about the growth in the craft beer market, “There is a lot of talent here in Boise and the brewing community is very supportive of one another; we are just excited to be a part of it all.”
Highlands Hollow attributes much of their success to the dedicated team of people working in both the brewery and the kitchen. Each individual makes up an integral piece of the company and it wouldn’t be the same without them. Their ideas and contributions help the Hollow into what it has become—a pinnacle of Boise history and an inspiration for businesses everywhere: if you dedicate enough time, love, and energy into something, it can truly last a lifetime and beyond.
Join them for Oktoberfest on October 8 to try some of their new seasonal beers, like the Oktoberfest Ale, and enjoy live music from Edelweiss Polka Band, a local favorite!
10 Barrel Brewing
10 Barrel has been a competitive part of the northwest industry since their inception in Bend, Oregon back in 2006. The brewery has the advantage of having a large collaboration of brewers and team members that span far into the Portland region. With three locations, in Bend, Portland, and Boise (on Bannock), the 10 Barrel crew is impressive. Despite their size and well-deserved growth, 10 Barrel knows that it takes each and every one of the dedicated employees to create any of their mouthwatering beers.
10 Barrel is devoted to collaboration and all of the inspiration for new beers comes from the full reign of freedom that the brewers have to create whatever enticing flavors come to mind. Brewing is a science in and of itself, and being a part of the industry for over a decade, the 10 Barrel team has a wealth of experience that allows them the ability to continually generate products that are guaranteed to please any flavor palate. From their award-winning Crush Cucumber Sour to their timeless Sinister Black Ale, 10 Barrel has no shortage of craft beers for enthusiasts of all kinds.
And with the fall season brings an entire new selection of 10 Barrel delights, including their Rye Barrel Aged Barley wine, a huckleberry version of the Rose Bois, and the Paxton Project, a port barrel aged Belgian style quad. 10 Barrel is also teaming up with Teton Gravity Research (TGR) to spread the winter cheer with the release of their Pray for Snow winter ale in perfect conjunction with TGR’s fall tour, premiering their new ski and snowboard film release Tight Loose. Rail jam competitions will be held throughout the Rockies and West Coast. Visit www.10barrel.com for more information on event dates and venues!