Payette Brewing Co. is gearing up for its expansion into new, much larger digs.
“We are shooting for April or May,” Payette founder Mike Francis says about an opening date.
Some of the bright tanks and other brewing equipment are already in place, but the 32,000-square-foot building — the former Bronco Elite Athletics spot near the Boise River between Pioneer Pathway and the U.S. post office on South 13th Street — is still undergoing renovation.
The $4.5 million expansion will allow the brewery, which Francis opened in 2010, to potentially produce more than 100,000 barrels of beer per year using a 60-barrel system. It currently uses a 15-barrel operation in Garden City, a system that puts out around 10,000 barrels annually.
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As you can see, that’s considerably more brew. The new location will have the brewery’s main canning line, allowing the canned beer program to flourish in neighboring states.
“We launched into the Seattle market a few weeks ago. That’s going to be big for us,” Francis says.
Francis is not ready to let the cat out of the bag in terms of what the taproom will look like.
“We’ll keep it Payette style. The design will be a little different, for sure,” he says.
“The new taproom is going to be about three times the size of our current taproom.”
In addition to lots of draft Payette brews, the taproom also will have a row of reach-in coolers out front packed with the brewery’s canned beers.
Expect to also find a spacious patio area where folks can chillax while quaffing handcrafted brews.
As for food, Francis has no intention of jumping into the restaurant business.
“We’ll have food trucks for that,” he says.
Payette Brewing’s taproom in Garden City will remain open, at least for now.
Boise Brewing launches bottling program
Boise Brewing, a community-supported microbrewery that opened in 2014 in Boise’s Central Addition district, recently started bottling five of its brews in 22-ounce bottles.
The brewery is currently bottling Down Down Extra Pale Ale, Broad Street Blonde Ale, Hip Check IPA, Snowboarder Porter and Black Cliffs American Stout.
Pick up one or two at Albertsons grocery stores or stop by the brewery, 521 W. Broad St.
Say goodbye to Haff, hello to Bella
Haff Brewing, which opened in 2014 next to Cobby’s sandwich shop on Chinden Boulevard in Garden City, has been sold to Tom and Patricia Dey, who moved here from Colorado two years ago.
The Deys have rebranded the brewery and are calling it Bella Brewing. Head brewer Rahn Thomas will continue to use some of Haff Brewing’s recipes, which means Watermelon Wheat and Sargent Haff IPA won’t be going away anytime soon. The small brewery has aspirations to start canning and bottling its brews at a later date.
Bella Brewing’s taproom is open 4 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 2 to 9 p.m. Friday; noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Dave Krick plans WPA brewery
Many folks around these parts consider Bittercreek Alehouse owner Dave Krick to be an ultimate beer geek. So it only makes sense that he would eventually start making beer, considering his vast knowledge on the sudsy topic.
Krick and his partner, Jami Adams, who also own Red Feather Lounge, are looking around town for a large space to open a brewery that draws inspiration from Franklin Roosevelt’s administration. Works Progress Administration is the name they came up with for the brewery, which should be open by the year’s end, if all goes well.
Krick has often stated his intentions of jumping into the craft-brew game. He even earned a brewing science diploma and master brewer certification from Doemens Akadamie, a prestigious beer-making academy in Munich, Germany.
He hasn’t yet nailed out the selection of flagship WPA beers, but expect to see traditional brews crafted with a modern twist — using time-honored production techniques.
Two pubs debut in West Valley
▪ Eagle Triple Tap opened late last year in a strip mall at 1580 E. State St., near Downtown Eagle.
The small taproom, which plans to start serving a small menu of pub grub in the coming months, is a great place to taste local brews. The 40-tap system focuses on pouring Boise-area craft beers and other microbrews from around the region.
Eagle Triple Tap is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
▪ Homestead Bar and Grill, at the corner of Linder Road and Chinden Boulevard in Meridian, is another new place that offers a large selection of handcrafted brews.
Besides cocktails, Homestead offers 40 rotating taps of craft brews — 30 of which come from the Treasure Valley.
Also expect to find a large pub menu with lots of beer-friendly appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, baby back ribs and pasta dishes.
Homestead Bar and Grill is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday; 9 a.m. to midnight Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.
James Patrick Kelly, the Idaho Statesman’s restaurant critic, is the author of the travel guidebook “Moon Idaho.” The latest edition hits the shelves in late March. Kelly also teaches journalism at Boise State University.