Boise’s Top 10 Breweries
Not long ago it seemed like the only way you could enjoy a quality craft beer in the Treasure Valley was by making your way through Old Chicago's "World Beer Tour" or waiting for a brewfest to roll through town. But now? Craft beer is KING and the number of local breweries has exploded in the Treasure Valley!
It's hard to pick our favorite, so we narrowed it down to 10! Click the name of the brewery to learn more and see what's on tap.
The word Payette goes hand in hand with Idaho’s love of year-round outdoor adventures and Payette Brewing Company’s brews live up to the name. They love camping, hiking, kayaking and cycling so much, that on Tuesdays from 3-10 you get a half price beer just for riding a bike to the tasting room off of Chinden.
Their claim to fame? They’re the first ever Idaho brewer to can beer. Their Payette Pale Ale and Mutton Buster are now staples in local grocery stores.
The brewery believes in “Payette Forward” and gives back to the community through their Kegs4Kause Monday nights. Each Monday, the brewery donates 50% of their tasting room beer sales between 3-10 PM to a local non-profit cause. Look for them to undergo a $4.5 million expansion opening in the old Bronco Elite Athletics building on Pioneer Street early next year.
We had our first can of Sockeye beer after the Les Bois 10K trail run and it was love at first sip. In fact, don’t be surprised if you do a local road race and end up enjoying a Sockeye beer as your recovery drink. Valuing anything that encourages healthy lifestyles in the Treasure Valley, they provide beer for Final Kick Events, Zeitgeist Half Marathon and Blue Circle Sports after parties.
Sockeye’s Big Six beers embrace Idaho with names like Dagger Falls IPA, Galena Gold Hell-Diver Pale Ale, Angels Perch Amber, Powerhouse Porter and Woolybugger Wheat. You can get them in cans or either of the two Sockeye Grill & Breweries.
Sockeye just racked up some serious heavy medal, bringing home six medals from the 21st Annual Mountain Brewer’s Beer Fest proving that Idaho knows a thing or two about craft beer!
It’s hard to tell what the minds behind Crooked Fence are more proud of their beer or the hand drawn art that wraps their bottle. This brewery promises to always be “perfectly unusual” with their only goal being to make good beer and have fun doing it.
That may mean some good natured ribbing of local politicians. Crooked Fence released their “Little Bitch Otter” not long after Governor Butch Otter appealed a District Judge’s decision to overturn Idaho’s same-sex marriage ban. The label featured an otter dressed suspiciously like the governor and read “unfortunately brewed in Idaho.” The brewery donated 10% of the sales of the India Brown Ale toward equality causes like Add the Words Idaho. The brewery has also created Idaho centric beers like the Pedal Pusher Ale (an ode to bikes on the Greenbelt and a brew that benefited the Boise Bicycle Project) and Potato Porter.
They have three locations including the Brewery Tasting Room, Barrelhouse and Crooked Flats where something unusual is always going on. Whether it’s wake skating and boarding on land, the Brew O’lympics or a belly flop contest you know that Crooked Fence plays as hard as they work!
Located at the base of Bogus Basin Road, Highlands Hollow has been a North-End favorite since 1968 when it opened under the name “The Brass Lamp.” On any given day you’ll find extreme athletes, hikers, skiers, mountain bikers and beer enthusiasts alike at “The Hollow.”
The building itself is a Boise treasure. It’s exposed wooden rafters were originally part of the old Boise State University Stadium and they’re now covered in a huge collection of coasters from seven western states. Go for the atmosphere and you’ll come back for the beer. Highlands Hollow always has four of their own brews on tap: light ale Spoon Tongue, English-style pale Fiegwild, flashback in a glass Hippie Shake and bitter Thunder Monkey. They also 11 other of their own brews throughout the year.
It's hard to find these brews anywhere other than the brew house so our advice? Grab a growler and take some home with you! Our favorite? Seasonal Berry Good Wheat!
Want a really unique Boise brew? Grab a pint at Boise’s first nanobrewery and Idaho’s only certified organic brewery on State Street. Cloud 9 is different from other breweries where you’d be used to having the exact same line-up from month to month. They only produce four barrels per hand crafted batch so the beers on-tap change as soon as the last drop from the previous batch us gone. That makes room for some seriously creative Idaho inspired seasonal brews like Lemon Ginger Wheat, Honey Basil Ale, Northwest Red IPA, Bourbon Oak Stock Ale, Chocolat Bar Porter and Huckleberry Stout.
When we say Boise loves its craft beer, we mean they love their craft beer so much that they actually take ownership in it! Boise Brewing is community supported beer. For $100 we, you can become a share holder in the brewery for a year. In exchange you get twelve community supported beer growler fills. Each month the brewers come up with something totally unique, that their members have never tried before.
When some of last year’s brews included Ode to the PIMP Imperial Pale Ale, Soul-less Ginger Saison, Red Velvet Cream Ale and Mr. Freshy’s Fresh Hop Pale Ale how could you say no to investing in awesome beers like that? You can become a member at the brewery on Broad Street or enjoy their brews on tap at several Treasure Valley restaurants.
Edge Brewing Company is what happens when you take several diverse friends with a passion for craft beer and combine their individual superpowers to make some of the most unique beers in the Treasure Valley. Just hearing the name Summer Cream Ale makes our mouths water and how can you not be curious about what makes their Hopanero IPA spicy? In addition to having 20 unique beers on tap, Edge pours hard Apple and Pear Ciders. In addition to having their own brewpub, you can routinely find Edge taking over taps at local Albertson's grocery stores.
We're not sure what the coolest part of this little brewery that's hidden off of Chinden is. Their little robot logo? Wicked sense of Meme humor on their Facebook page? Or the fact that someone in the Treasure Valley makes their own Watermelon Wheat beer! It's one of Haff's three unique, core beers. The other two include the McCallywood (funny, we call McCall that too when we head up for 4th of July) Porter and Sergeant Haff IPA. Look for the beer on tap around town too. Haff's made it's way onto the board at Parilla, Jim's Alibi, Old Chicago, Gone Rouge and more!
We may be a little biased on this one because The RAM is one of our station's neighbors, but it's good to have friends in such high places! Located just off the Boise Greenbelt, The RAM patio is the perfect place to sit an enjoy a cold one from Big Horn's line-up of beers. While they don't have wickedly creative brew names like some other breweries in the Treasure Valley their Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen, Big Red IPA, 71 Pale Ale and Buttface Amber all hit the spot after a bike ride or run. Look for their Barefoot Wit Belgian ale, Clearwater Kolsh, Ram “ING” Speed Imperial IPA and Honey Citra IPA on tap in the summer months.
You thought Boise had a strong hold on the craft beer market? Nearby Meridian has it's own brewery too! Opening in 2012, Slanted Rock was the first brewery in Meridian. You can always find their core four: Afternoon Delight, Silhouette Dark Ale, Iron Butt Red Ale and Initial Point IPA on tap but it's their seasonals that really steal the show. You'll be refreshed by the orange and coriander of the Worth the Squeeze Belgian WIT in the summer, feel like you've been transported to Germany with their Oktoberfest in the fall and enjoy that warm fuzzy feeling with the hints of Madagascar vanilla in their Pantyhose Imperial Baltic Vanilla Porter on a cold winter night.