Cheap beer for Treasure Valley beer snobs

mdeeds@idahostatesman.comJuly 19, 2013 

We all have 'em - those Coors Light-guzzling buddies who sip an inexpensive can of mass-produced swill and sigh contentedly.

Outwardly, we mock these taste-impaired simpletons. Dude, that ain't BEER. Get yourself a freaking double-chocolate habanero stout or something.

But somewhere deep inside, craft-beer lovers also feel a pain - perhaps a dull throbbing on the buttock where our near-empty wallets rest. The penny pincher in us HATES the fact that Natty Lite Bro can hoist a 30-pack of brewskies onto his shoulder for $16 at Wally World and be totally happy. That just suuuucks.

Fear not. Treasure Valley brewers understand your torment. Creating delicious craft beer is not an inexpensive endeavor for them, but they do enjoy offering a bargain. Here are some of the coolest:

FISHING FOR DEALS AT SOCKEYE

It's a great time to rock the patio at Sockeye Grill & Brewery, 3019 N. Cole Road, Boise.

Grab $3 pints all day Mondays, $2.50 pints all day Tuesdays and $3 pints from 4 to 6 p.m. during happy hour Wednesdays through Fridays. Plus, pitchers are $10 on Sundays. Sockeye also has a tempting Brew Club; for $50 annually, you get 24-ounce mugs at whatever price pints are being sold for that time of day.

But the REAL DEAL is at Costco: Sockeye's Dagger Falls IPA costs $24.99 for a 24-can case at Idaho stores - about $1 a brew! Take that, Natty Lite Bro.

$2 PINTS? YEAH, BABY

Two bucks doesn't buy much at a bar anymore (unless you're feeding quarters into the machine in the men's room). Will $2 even buy a PBR pour now that mustachioed hipsters have driven up the price?

Who knows? Who cares? Because from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, $2 buys you a pint of the tasty local craft stuff - anything available on draught at Slanted Rock Brewing Co., 2374 E. Cinema Drive in Meridian.

Stomach growling? They've rounded up food, too: New food truck The Shack serves for Slanted Rock's tap room on Tuesdays.

THE $6 GROWLER FILL

This is the honest to gawd-I-love-beer truth: From noon to 2 p.m. Saturdays, Crooked Fence Brewing Co., 5242 W. Chinden Blvd., Garden City, fills 64-ounce growlers for SIX BUCKS.

The $6 concept was launched to stir up interest during an otherwise not-so-slamming time of day at the tasting room. Now there's usually a line of thirsty people toting empty growlers on Saturdays.

Crooked Fence probably never should have started this screaming deal. A riot will ensue if it ever ends.

"We kind of locked ourselves in on that," co-owner Andy Leathers admits. "I keep threatening, 'Can we go to $8?' That's still pretty good."

No. Way. Dude.

Want to save some more cabbage? Go to www.crookedfencebrewing.com and sign up for the free Crooked Club. As a member, you'll be entitled to 50 cents off pints and $1 off growler fills at both the tasting room and the new Crooked Fence Barrelhouse, 5181 Glenwood St.

WHAAAT? THE $5.99 GROWLER FILL

Oh. No. You. Didn't.

The Ram Restaurant & Brewery, 709 E. Park Blvd., Boise, offers its own crazy-cheap deal. Growler fills and pitchers of its standard six beers (not seasonals) are $5.99 all day Sundays - 11 a.m. to midnight.

Ram general manager Kevin Martinez says Sunday is a great day for running a promotion like this. There's patio weather during summer and sports on TV in the other seasons.

"Yes, it is a good deal," he says, "and folks sure do take advantage of it, and have for a long time."

So here's the plan: After you (and your friends) vanquish your Saturday growler from Crooked Fence, head straight to The Ram on Sunday for more beer!

Let's not talk about a productive Monday. Not right now.

10 BARREL'S HYDRO FLASK SCORE

Walk into a brewery holding a Hydro Flask, and envious men stare at you like you've got a trophy wife on your arm. (Or if you're a woman, like you're really, really cool.) You want a Hydro Flask. You NEED a Hydro Flask.

A 64-ounce Hydro Flask retails for $49.99. But if you buy one at 10 Barrel Brewing Co., 830 W. Bannock St., Boise, it's only $45. The kicker? It comes FILLED with your choice of 10 Barrel beer. That, friends, is a sweet deal.

"It's a cool product," explains 10 Barrel business partner Garrett Wales. "We want people to have it."

Here's the sales pitch from the Bend, Ore., manufacturer of this amazing vessel: "The Hydro Flask double-wall, vacuum-insulated, stainless-steel water bottle keeps beverages icy cold for at least 24 hours and piping hot for up to 12, and they are backed by an unconditional lifetime warranty."

"Water bottle"? Riiiight.

ENJOY A HOPPY MEAL

Highlands Hollow Brewhouse was making beer back when half these other local breweries were still sucking on a baby bottle filled with O'Doul's.

The pub at 2455 Harrison Hollow Lane serves up good grub for lunch, and best of all, if you order any food item priced at $5.95 or more, your first pint is just $1.50. It's called the "Highlands Hoppy Meal" and runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Highlands runs a daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. with pints of its nine beers priced at $2.75.

Back in May, it also started offering a Highlands Hollow 64-ounce stainless steel growler for $35 - filled: "They've done really well," says master brewer Chris Compton. "In fact, I've got to do a brand-new order tomorrow."

Just need a regular ol' empty glass growler? They're a thrifty $4.75 here. Better buy two.

HAVE ONE MORE AT 'KEGS4KAUSE'

Payette Brewing Co. doesn't focus on specials because their regular prices are a "darn good deal," says marketing director Sheila Francis: $4 for a 20-ounce pour, $2 for a 10-ouncer.

But Payette, located at 111 W. 33rd St., Garden City, does run a cool charity event called "Kegs4Kause."

From 3 to 10 p.m. Mondays, 50 percent of the proceeds from beer sales are donated to the nonprofit of the evening.

"There is no obligation from the nonprofit or those supporting it except to enjoy a responsible night out at Payette Brewing," Francis says.

The next beneficiary is the Amy Dunn Foundation on July 22.

BLOW OUT THE CANDLES AT BREWFORIA

Last but not least - no, Brewforia is not a brewery. But it stocks more than 800 brands of beers and ciders at the Eagle location, 78 E. Eagle River St., and Meridian location, 3030 E. Overland Road.

Beers out of the coolers start at $1.29. But the mandatory time to be there is on your birthday. Brewforia's special "birthday discount" is based on your age.

"No limitations," owner Rick Boyd says. "If you're 101, then you get 101 percent off everything you have here or take home."

Free beer! Another reason to strive to live to be 100. (Remember, alcohol in moderation is good for your health.)

Two everyday deals worth noting at Brewforia: American Homebrewers Association members get 15 percent off. Restaurant and hospitality industry workers get 20 percent off.

Michael Deeds, 377-6407, @IDS_Deeds

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