Best brewery

June 14, 2013 

0724 local beercans

Payette Brewing's Mutton Buster Brown Ale, canned at their Garden City brewery.

JOE JASZEWSKI — jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

PAYETTE BREWING CO.

111 W. 33rd St., Garden City, 344-0011

payettebrewing.com

It's been a whirlwind, Payette Brewing Co. founder Mike Francis says. Payette's rise to prominence as a premier producer of hoppy libations in the Treasure Valley came after bursting onto the suds scene in May 2011.

"It's been the fastest and slowest two years of my life," Francis says at the brewery's tasting room and production center tucked off Chinden Boulevard in Garden City.

On any given night, you're bound to meet a new drinking buddy or two at Payette and engage in some friendly conversation with the folks behind the bar, who fill glasses and growlers with flagship brews like Outlaw IPA and Payette Pale Ale.

Francis is the leader of a tight crew of fewer than a dozen full-time employees, and now they're gearing up for the next phase of the evolution of the brewery. The addition of new fermentation tanks will help raise yearly production from 7,000 barrels up to 9,000, and a fancy new canning line behind the tasting room is set to start operation in August.

Already distributing statewide, Payette also is looking (slightly) beyond the Idaho border and tapping into the Ontario market in June.

But don't worry. Payette is all about the Gem State.

"Our main focus has been, and always will be, Idaho," Francis says.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

• TableRock Brewpub and Grill, 705 Fulton St., Boise, 342-0944, tablerockbrewpub.com

• Crooked Fence Brewing, 5242 Chinden Blvd., Garden City, 890-4120, crookedfencebrewing.com

• Sockeye Grill & Brewery, 3019 N. Cole Road, Boise, 658-1533, sockeyebrew.com

• Ram Restaurant & Brewery, 709 E. Park Blvd., Boise, 345-2929; 3272 E. Pine Ave., Meridian, 888-0314, theram.com

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