With Treefort Music Fest taking over Downtown this weekend, it makes perfect sense for Boise's burgeoning craft-beer culture to play along.
That means Alefort - a massive beer tent (60 by 40 feet, with a 20-by-40-foot outside patio area) will be set up near the 13th and Grove streets intersection from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with all kinds of unique beer treats inside.
You don't have to go to Treefort to attend Alefort. All you need is $1 for a tasting cup and $2 for each beer token, good for a 5-ounce pour from one of dozens of killer brews.
Eleven Idaho breweries will pour beers: Payette, Sockeye, Crooked Fence, TableRock, Slanted Rock, The Ram, 10 Barrel, Salmon River, Selkirk Abbey, Sawtooth and Highlands Hollow. Fort Collins-based New Belgium, which is a Treefort sponsor, will be there, too.
There are a ton of cool and unique brews that will be available at different times throughout the weekend. Since so many of the specialty beers went so quickly last year, organizers thought a schedule would help Treefort and Boise beer types map out their days better, to help navigate the dozens of bands to hear and beers to try. Go to Treefortmusicfest.com for the entire schedule.
Local brewers are really taking advantage of the showcase. Sockeye will serve Belgian and whiskey barrel-aged versions of its flagship Dagger Falls IPA at 11 a.m. Saturday. Salmon River and TableRock will have kind of a wit (wheat beer) battle a few hours later, with basil, peach and orange blossom versions.
Payette, Salmon River and The Ram will have a friendly oak-aged-beer throwdown later in the afternoon. (Ready to try the Payette Bandito IPA with agave nectar, tequila and oak?) Just what does Crooked Fence potato porter taste like? Get to Alefort at 4 p.m. Saturday to find out. TableRock has three versions of their chocolate porter, including one with chili peppers, beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. You get the point.
All 12 participating breweries also will have staple brews available, so you can stop by the tent at any time for your regular favorites. There will also be a "Hot Beer Spot" table inside where local beer-centric businesses Bier:Thirty, Boise Co-op, Bittercreek Alehouse, Bar Gernika and The Front Door will present some out-of-state brews. For example, how does a bourbon and cinnamon-infused Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA sound? Get in line to try that at 11 a.m. Saturday with the Bier:Thirty folks. The Front Door will pair food with four different 10 Barrel Brewing beers Sunday afternoon.
Here are the basic rules: Only adults are allowed inside the tent. That means 21 and over. Food trucks will be set up outside Alefort. You can take grub inside the tent, but you can't take beers out. If you plan on coming and going, keep your tasting glass. If you forget it or lose it, it'll cost $1 for a replacement. There will be live music (12 bands total) in the tent, but organizers say it won't be so loud that you can't talk about beer.
Treefort is offering an Alefort package, where $30 gets you a tasting glass, 15 tokens and a ticket for the Treefort main stage on Friday night.
Patrick Orr: 377-6219, Twitter: @IDS_Orr