Need to dull the pain of Black Friday crowds?
Shop fast. Then head to the new Payette Brewing Co. and embrace your dark side.
Payette’s Boise facility, which is under construction at 733 S. Pioneer St., will host the brewery’s fourth annual Black Friday festival. It’s a celebration of high-octane, pitch-black imperial stouts and porters. The tasting bash will run from noon to 8 p.m. Nov. 27 under a heated tent outside the building.
This isn’t a brew fest where you pay one fee then try to guzzle everything in sight. It’s free to get in. Then you pay $4 per 5-ounce pour.
Payette founder Mike Francis started Payette’s Black Friday event at the original Garden City brewery by collecting kegs of stouts and porters during the year. But it’s grown more popular — it was held at the Linen Building in 2014 — so Payette moved it to the unfinished new brewery headquarters, which will open in 2016.
Why does Black Friday keep getting bigger? Because there are big, bad-boy brews. Tasty options from regional breweries will include Deschutes Brewery’s 2013 The Abyss Imperial Stout and Black Butte XXVI Imperial Porter, Stone Brewing Co.’s 2014 Imperial Russian Stout, Sierra Nevada’s 2014 Narwhal Imperial Stout and Odell Brewing Co.’s Russian Pirate Imperial Stout.
There also will be heavy hitters from local breweries, including the release of Payette’s bourbon-barrel-aged Twelve Gauge Imperial Stout (10 percent alcohol by volume). Twelve Gauge will be on tap, plus sold in 22-ounce bottles. (For $12. Yo, Santa: Stocking stuffer.)
A handful of tempting Twelve Gauge variations also will be poured, creating fun opportunities for food pairing.
“Last year, we did a Mexican chocolate Twelve Gauge, which was paired with a Mexican chocolate brownie by Big City Coffee & Cafe,” Payette’s graphic designer, Paige Coyle, recalls fondly.
I’m drooling. City Peanut Shop, which will be at Black Friday, also offered a peanut brittle using the wort from Twelve Gauge.
“All of it was a huge hit,” Coyle says.
Archie’s Place will have its food truck on site to help soak up beer in your belly. And Big City will focus on gift-giving ideas and Joe Cans coffee. Big City will bring two decorated Christmas trees to auction off. Proceeds will go to nonprofit Joe Cans, which raises awareness and provides financial support for breast cancer detection services.
If you want to save a little cash on the beer tasting, advance token-and-Twelve-Gauge package deals are online at payetteblackfriday.com.
But, remember, the idea here is to savor the beers — and the moment. No, $4 for a 5-ounce pour isn’t a traditional Black Friday shopping bargain. But it will encourage responsible imbibing and thoughtful beer choosing. Consider sharing sips with fellow drinkers. That high ABV will kill your buddy’s cooties, right?
Five ounces, by the way, is “really all you need,” Coyle adds.
“You just hope people understand these are really special beers. They are pricey beers for us. They’re high-alcohol and 5 ounces, and you can try as many as you want.”
Art and goses
Not everyone loves the refreshing, salt-tinged beer style known as a gose (GOH-zuh). This palate shortcoming leaves more for the rest of us.
It’s one of the reasons that Cherry Blossom Gose, from Boise’s PostModern Brewers, is still flowing from taps. The third release in a collaboration series with Boise Art Museum, this beer was inspired by “Folding Paper,” an origami exhibit at BAM through Jan. 17, 2016.
Cherry Blossom was still available this week at The Front Door, 105 S. 6th St. And it’s on tap at Grind Modern Burger, 700 W. Fulton St., the home of PostModern. Description: “PostModern Brewers’ twist was to merge German history with Japanese additions by adding salt-cured cherry blossoms that were pickled in an Ume plum vinegar. The finished beer has bright citrus notes highlighted with an earthy sourdough quality and subtle fruitiness.”
A portion of keg sales benefits the Boise Art Museum Education Department.
Two exceptional Stone Brewing Co. beers worth seeking out:
▪ Coffee Milk Stout: It’s smooth, just rich enough, a little sweet (milk sugar) and only 5 percent ABV. I love that it isn’t another high-ABV coffee stout. I also love that it comes in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles.
▪ Xocoveza: Here’s what I wrote a year ago about this stout: “Chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and a hint of chile pepper are among the blissful flavors blended in this angelic creation. Let it warm up a bit and savor every complex mouthful.”
Xocoveza (8.1 percent ABV) was supposed be a limited-edition release. But Stone brought it back this holiday season — and in 12-ounce bottles.
Want to find specific Stone beers? There’s a cool beer tracker on the brewery’s website.
A sought-after beer every Black Friday is Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.
Want to try it? Attend the Bourbon County 2015 release party at 11 a.m. Nov. 27 at Pre Funk, 1000 W. Front St., Boise. There’s no cost to attend. On tap: Bourbon County 2014 and 2015, and more.