It’s official. In late April, Payette Brewing Co. (www.payettebrewing.com) opened its new $4.5 million headquarters just off River Street near the Boise Greenbelt, and the taproom opened earlier this month.
The 32,000-square-foot space will allow the brewery, the largest one in Idaho, to potentially put out 40,000 barrels of handcrafted brew a year. That’s a lot of Rustler IPA and North Fork Lager.
The new facility, which is now home to the brewery’s canning line as well, boasts an attractive 200-seat taproom where you will find a lineup of 20 draught brews on any given day.
Hang out on the patio and quaff some ale while watching bikes whiz by on the Greenbelt. You also can pick up some canned Payette beers to go (six-packs and 12-packs), kept in a reach-in cooler in the tasting room area.
The brewery will rely on a steady flow of food trucks to feed customers. Payette Brewing founder Mike Francis says he has no intention of jumping into the restaurant game.
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Payette Brewing’s original taproom in Garden City will remain open, at least for now. The new place, at 733 S. Pioneer St., is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Slanted Rock canned brews
Boise’s canned craft beer scene is flourishing. It’s hard not to miss all those shiny cans of local brews prominently placed in stores across the Valley.
Everyone thinks of Payette Brewing, Sockeye Brewing and Crooked Fence Brewing when it comes to canned beers around these parts. But don’t forget to try some of Slanted Rock Brewing’s canned brews next time you load up the cooler for a summer adventure.
The Meridian brewery, which opened three and a half years ago at 2374 E. Cinema Drive, has been canning beers for about a year and a half. At first, they brought in a mobile canning operation to take care of business, but since then the brewery has added its own canning line on site.
“We are continuing to grow as a brewery, and canning is a big part of that process,” says Megan Frickey, marketing communications specialist at Slanted Rock Brewing.
Slanted Rock cans three of its flagship brews, which can be purchased at the brewery and at Albertsons, WinCo and Fred Meyer.
Initial Point India Pale Ale is a super-hoppy brew with an attractive golden hue and a pronounced floral essence. Iron Butt Red Ale pays homage to big American motorcycles (makes sense considering the brewery is next to High Desert Harley-Davidson). This smooth, medium-bodied ale is a great summer sipper. Silhouette Dark Ale is perfect for when the sun goes down thanks to its malty and caramel-like notes. As the name suggests, the ale is dark yet it’s not chewy like porter and stout.
In addition to six-packs, the brewery also sells variety 12-packs that include four of each of the beers.
Crooked Fence open daily
Crooked Fence Brewing Co. (www.crookedfencebrewing.com), at 3705 Idaho 16 in Eagle, is now open seven days a week.
The new hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Stop by the brewpub for a burger and a beer. Burn some calories afterward with a game of bocce ball, or just hang out on the spacious patio and drink another pint of handcrafted brew.
Flagship beers include Rusty Nail Pale Ale, Trainwreck Red Ale and Hop Notion IPA, to name a few. And keep your eye out for the seasonal beers that make tap appearances throughout the summer.
Crooked Fence recently started serving its summer menu. Expect to find appetizers such as duck finger steaks, jalapeno beer queso dip and pesto chicken flatbread. Or go for a Firebird Burger (lit up with fried jalapenos, pepper jack and chipotle mayonnaise) that gives a shout-out to the nearby racetrack.
Road trip brewery: Portneuf Valley Brewing
Next time you’re in Pocatello, head to Portneuf Valley Brewing (www.portneufvalleybrewing.com) in the historic Old Town district for a blistered pizza and a pint or two of handcrafted brew.
Owner and brewmaster Penny Pink opened the brewpub in 1999, and the place has been a hit ever since.
The brewery always keeps 10 taps pouring—eight flagship brews, one rotating seasonal and a brewer’s special — and offers a full-service restaurant.
Don’t be surprised to find Ligertown Lager (malty American pilsner), Twisted Stick Amber Ale, Krystal Weizen and a hop-forward Grog IPA, to name a few.
Besides hand-stretched pizzas, the brewpub puts out lots of beer-friendly appetizers such as an antipasto platter, nachos, hot wings and creamy spinach and artichoke dip. You also can score sandwiches, wraps and entrées.
Portneuf Valley Brewing, at 615 S. 1st Ave., is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
James Patrick Kelly, the Idaho Statesman’s restaurant critic, is the author of the travel guidebook “Moon Idaho.” The latest edition hit the shelves in March. Kelly also teaches journalism at Boise State University.