Maybe it’s summer hops overload. Maybe it’s psychological. Whatever the case, when leaves start falling, IPAs often taste less appealing. Porters and stouts suddenly seem phenomenal.
Just in time for autumn and beyond, check out these local brews newly released in cans and bottles.
▪ No need to be jealous of kids and their Hershey’s bars this Halloween. You’ve got your own treat.
Boise Brewing just unveiled a new 22-ounce bottled seasonal, Dark Daisy Milk Chocolate Stout. Bottles are $5 at the brewery, 521 W. Broad St. You’ll also find them popping up at local grocery stores.
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At 6 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), Dark Daisy is smooth, sweet and decadent enough to satisfy. It’s one of the first beers I tried on draft at Boise Brewing, and it’s still one of my top choices there.
Dark Daisy bottles will hang around until late December or early January. Those will be replaced on shelves with Boise Brewing’s winter seasonal, Black Cliffs American Stout, which won silver in 2015 and 2016 at the Great American Beer Festival.
▪ Thanks to the wicked skull on the label, Pistolero Porter will make you look cool while you sip it on the front step and pass out Halloween candy. Available year-round from Payette Brewing Co. in Boise, it hit stores in cans last month for the first time. Pistolero is a fairly straightforward take on the dark style. It’s 6 percent ABV, and you’ll find the expected mildness and light mouthfeel. The convenience of being able to snag a Pistolero six-pack ($8.99) makes it a solid impulse-buy candidate.
▪ County Line Brewing will host a bottle release event Saturday, Oct. 29. Starting at noon, the Garden City brewery at 9115 W. Chinden Blvd. will sell 22-ounce bottles of R.I.P. imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels from Idaho Whiskey.
I haven’t tasted County Line’s barrel-aged R.I.P. Co-owner Laura Kiehl says it’s “the best beer we’ve ever made” and predicts all 300 bottles will sell that day. Each bottle is $15, and sales are limited to four per person. At 6 p.m. that night, the brewery will host its second annual Growler in the Night Halloween Party with live music (The Oliphants) and a food truck (The Rusty Dog).
Best beer or not, barrel-aged R.I.P. is County Line’s biggest beer at 14.3 percent ABV.
On a similar whiskey-laced note, I recently savored a few ounces of Payette Brewing’s delectable 2013 barrel-aged Twelve Gauge — immediately after sampling Goose Island’s legendary Bourbon County Brand Stout, Firestone Walker’s formidable Parabola and North Coast Brewing’s barrel-aged Old Rasputin. (Bottle-share parties are awesome, right?) The Twelve Gauge truly held its own against its more famous foes. I preferred the Twelve Gauge to that same year’s Old Raspy. (Sorry, nothing was matching the 2014 Bourbon County that night.)
Bottom line: Sometimes “drink local” also pays off in the taste department.
Boise brewery opening delayed
There hasn’t been much forward movement to report regarding Works Progress Administration, the Boise brewery planned by restaurateur Dave Krick.
Announced in late 2015, WPA was supposed to appear around the holiday season this year, possibly at a site in or near Downtown.
Those plans now are on hold.
“WPA probably slips into 2018 at this point,” Krick says. “Still happening, just not on the schedule we had hoped.”
Krick’s Downtown restaurants, which include Bittercreek Alehouse, Red Feather Lounge and Pollo Rey, have taken precedent over his longtime dream of opening a brewery, he says.
First on the agenda is a remodel of the private event space and beer-and-wine cellar under Bittercreek and Red Feather. It’s three months behind, he says, and a “complicated structural project.”
Another time-consuming surprise that emerged is Pollo Rey, a Mexican rotisserie at 222 N. 8th St. next door to Bittercreek. Krick and his business partner became the primary owners of Pollo Rey late last year. They plan to remodel that restaurant after the cellar project is completed, he says.