Because Black Friday shopping is so physically exhausting, it is crucial for health reasons to pause periodically and drink beer.
Fortunately, Payette Brewing Co. will host its annual Black Friday brew festival from 1 to 10 p.m. Nov. 25 at its large new facility at 733 S. Pioneer St. in Boise.
If you’re a fan of porters and stouts, you’re probably already familiar with this dark-beer party. Just remember: The alcohol by volume (ABV) numbers will be as high as everyone’s spirits. Sip and savor, don’t guzzle and gulp, or you could be looking at blackout Friday.
Approximately 40 beers will be on tap. Some of the highlights will include Payette’s Twelve Gauge Imperial Stout (10 percent ABV and aged in bourbon barrels for a year), Sierra Nevada’s Narwhal Imperial Stout (10.2 ABV), Deschutes’ The Abyss (12.2 ABV) and Stone’s Russian Imperial Stout (10.8 ABV).
This is a big party.
“Last year we bought 1,008 glasses, and they sold out toward the end of the event,” marketing director Paige Coyle says. “And then we know that there were people that weren’t drinking. I think last year there were around 2,000 people throughout the day. We’re hoping it will grow about 20 percent this year.”
Unlike 2015, Black Friday will take place indoors — in Payette’s taproom, as well as in the brewhouse. There will be live music and food-truck grub. City Peanut will release its Twelve Gauge Peanut Brittle. The football game between Boise State and Air Force will be projected on a large wall in the brewery.
Admission is free. Drink tokens cost $4 and include a commemorative glass. Pours are about 5 ounces.
This Black Friday festival also serves as the release party for 22-ounce bottles of Payette’s 2016 Twelve Gauge ($12). For the first time, a variant of Twelve Gauge also will be available in bottles: Mexican Chocolate Twelve Gauge ($12).
Although kids normally are welcome at Payette, Black Friday is for ages 21 and older only. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, buy one of the advance token packages at payetteblackfriday.com.
Black Friday means Bourbon County (and more)
While everyone stampedes Walmart the morning after Thanksgiving, beer geeks will invade grocery stores and bottle shops.
No Black Friday release creates more buzz than Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Stout — and not just because this year’s stellar version comes in at a dizzying ABV level, as always: 13.8 percent. The first barrel-aged stout arguably remains the world’s best. It’s unashamedly boozy, warming, caramely and crazy complex. “One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer,” Goose Island boasts on its website.
I cannot disagree. This beer is unreal. And anything but subtle. Don’t love barrel flavor? This might not be your brew. (Note: Like fine bourbon, it’s a beer best appreciated at about room temperature.)
Here are a few spots you’ll find Bourbon County Brand Stout on Nov. 25:
▪ Brewer’s Haven, 1795 S. Vista Ave., will host Boise’s official Bourbon County release party.
Starting at 9 a.m., the 2016 release will be sold for $13.99. It comes in a 16.9-ounce bottle. There is no bottle limit, but once it’s gone, it’s gone.
The first 24 people in line also will be allowed to purchase one 12-ounce bottle of 2014 Bourbon County for $9.99. Plus, a drawing will be held for 12 people to be able to purchase a 16.9-ounce bottle of 2015 Bourbon County Rare for $75.
Brewer’s Haven will have 2015 and 2016 Bourbon County on tap, too. A pint will cost $7.
▪ Bourbon County will be at Whole Foods, 401 S. Broadway Ave., but it won’t be on the shelf. Go to the cheese counter and utter the code word “husky.” (I am not making this up!) Limit two bottles per customer.
Whole Foods will fill its shelves with other cool beers (also limited to two bottles per buyer): 22-ounce bottles of 2015 Firestone Walker Parabola ($14.99), 2015 Deschutes Super Jubel ($15.99), 2015 Deschutes The Abyss ($15.99) and 2013 Double Mountain Devil’s Kriek ($8.99), to name a few.
Bourbon County will be on tap up in Whole Foods’ River Room, along with other special brews, adds beer specialist Cynthia Nicole.
“We’ll just have some really cool offerings that are kind of like big, barrel-aged guys,” she says. “What’s nuts is we have a happy hour now from 4 to 6 every day. Everything on tap is $2.50 during happy hour.”
(I’ll take a pour of Bourbon County, please. What? The keg’s already dry?)
▪ The Boise Co-op at 888 W. Fort St. will sell bottles of Bourbon County on Black Friday, along with other barrel-aged goodies such as Fremont’s Kentucky Dark Star. There will be a two-bottle limit on Bourbon County.
Outdoor beer parties THIS weekend
Don’t want to wait for Black Friday to sip some brews?
Choose from two outdoor beer gatherings this weekend — a Beer & Wine Expo in the North End and a Pray for Snow Winter Ale Festival in Old Boise.
▪ Local vendors will pour samples from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Beer & Wine Expo, a new event under a heated tent in the parking lot behind 13th Street Pub & Grill, 1520 N. 13th St.
The idea, organizer Nate Clark says, is to introduce people to potential beers and wines they might like to purchase for the holiday season.
“It’s very grassroots,” Clark says, “but it’s generating some steam, and I think it’s going to go well.”
The expo costs $10 at the gate, which can be credited toward $25 or more in purchases. The beer and wine will be sold at cheaper prices than you’ll normally find elsewhere in town, Clark adds. Participating breweries include Powderhaus, Payette, Sockeye, Woodland Empire, Crooked Fence, Boise, Grand Teton, Edge, Wallace, Sawtooth and Mother Earth. Wineries include Mouvance, Cinder, Split Rail/Strange Folk, Sawtooth, St. Chapelle and Indian Creek.
You must be 21 or older to attend.
▪ The fourth annual Pray for Snow Winter Ale Festival will run from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot at 5th and Grove streets. This Pray for Snow festival is different from the almost identically named one hosted by 10 Barrel Brewing every year.
More than 40 breweries — local and national — are expected to participate. Other highlights, according to the event’s Facebook page, include three live DJs, a snowboard/ski rail jam, a cigar tent, whiskey sampling, food trucks, ski/snowboard vendors and three Idaho ski resorts.
Idaho Statesman cocktail columnist Kevin Hopper, who attended last year, said it was a great event.
“There were plenty of beer samples to be had,” Hopper said. “My experience was purchase and light up a cigar from the tobacco shop booth, and walk around sampling beer and popping into booths selling local clothing, sunglasses, etcetera.”
Tickets are $25 at brownpapertickets.com or $30 at the gate. Non-drinkers pay $5. Kids 12 and under get in free.
Boise Co-op, Laughing Dog collaborate
If you like special beers — and who doesn’t? — drop by a Boise Co-op and snag the new collaboration between the Co-op and Laughing Dog Brewing of Ponderay.
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Co-op opening at The Village at Meridian, Laughing Dog created It Takes a Village Imperial IPA.
On a personal preference level, I’m normally not a huge fan of imperial IPAs. But this big boy is tasty. It’s drier than I’d expected, with citrus elements, and the whopping 10 percent ABV is well-hidden and smooth. Best of all, it just landed, so it’s fresh beer. Grab a sixer for $9.99 or — as always at both Co-op locations — feel free to buy an individual can. This one is $1.69.