Life in the Beer and Now

As we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of the longest “spring” in human history, I would like to take a moment to focus on the little glimpses of light in the winter-like darkness that has become our perpetual reality. Not everything is terrible. For instance, most of the snow in Stevens County is melted. Unless, of course, you travel above 2000 feet elevation, or just outside of town, then there is still snow. But we do have some bare ground showing, and for that, in early April, I am grateful. We have also had at least 35 minutes of sunlight in the last seven days. If that isn’t enough to make you put your flip flops on and tell Mother Nature to take her prozac, then maybe this is: We at least have good beer in the tri-county area.

 Maybe we’re not Bend, Oregon, or Portland, or Seattle, but for an out-of-the-way place with the population density slightly higher than the Australian outback, we’re doing ok.

 From Quartzite in Chewelah to Republic Brewing in (obviously) Republic, and the Colville Pour House smack dab in the middle with its many, many delightful and rotating taps, it’s love at first flight on a visit to any of our local breweries.

 If you haven’t ventured out of hibernation yet, it’s time, y’all. Northern Ales in Kettle Falls is rocking the latest from their adventurous Funk Tank series, the Rose Hip Sour. It’s fermented with locally picked Rose Hips, offers up some wake-up tartness and a whole lot of springtime in a glass.     

 Fired Up Brewing in both Chewelah and Colville boasts a solid lineup of regulars, plus a few rotating guest taps and seasonals, like my own personal favorite, the Whiskey Barrel Brown. Also, FYI, Fired up started serving breakfast and makes a MEAN Breakfast Blonde Mary… like a bloody mary, but with their delicious Bear Creek Blonde.

 Quartzite also has a delightful Brown, the Browns Lake Brown, and in case you haven’t heard they made a Milk Shake IPA that is, well… just try it. Like nothing you’d expect. Republic Brewing launched the Forest "Grew It" made with ponderosa pine needles, coffee, chicory and dandelion root, which plays out like an end-of-winter magic spell, and their Wildfire Smoked Amber sits for 90 days in Dry Fly Whiskey barrels.

 I’m looking forward to more taste trials as our local brewers delve into more beer making endeavors and join the growing ranks of solid beer providers in the tri county area. For now, they provide a bright spot in the bleak and never-ending winter-spring of 2019.