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Idaho is Known for More than Potatoes… Beer and Wine, for Instance

Idaho may be known for its potatoes, but the Gem State’s semi-arid climate, diverse soil types and long-growing season create an ideal environment for a variety of crops contributing to burgeoning craft beer, wine, cider, mead and distilled spirits scenes that are drawing rave reviews.

Beer:
Home to over 70 breweries, Idaho has one of the fastest-growing craft-beer industries in the U.S. and ranks 11th for breweries per capita. It helps that the key ingredients for beer are conveniently grown right here in the Gem State — Idaho tops the nation in barley production and is second in hops. In April each year, Idaho celebrates Idaho Craft Beer Month, honoring the art of brewing and the brewmasters who propel the craft forward.

  • Pints Up – Fan-favorite Pints Up returns April 8th at more than twenty locations around the State. Head to your local watering hole, purchase an Idaho beer and you get to keep the commemorative glass! This year’s glass features the Goddess of Hops and Barley on a 16oz Willie Becher glass courtesy of Clearwater Gear. Every beer supports your local brewery and every glass supports Idaho Brewers United, Idaho’s craft brewers guild.
    • April 8, 2021: 2:00-9:00pm
    • Participating Locations: Boise Brewing, Bombastic Brewing, County Line Brewing, Crooked Fence Brewing, EDGE Brewing Co, Jim Dandy Brewing, Koto Brewing Co, Lost Grove Brewing, Mad Swede Brewing Company, Moscow Brewing Company, Mother Earth Brew Co, North Idaho Mountain Brew, Payette Brewing, Portneuf Valley Brewing, Post Falls Brewing Company, Salmon River Brewery, Sawtooth Brewery, Star Route Brewery, The Village at North Fork, TNT Taproom, Wallace Brewing Company, Wolftrack Brewing

Ready to embark on your epic craft beer quest? Or looking to learn more about Idaho’s incredible beer industry? Download the Idaho Brewer’s Trail Map to get the scoop on Idaho suds.

Wine:
With three American Viticultural Areas (AVA), over 1,300 acres of vineyards and more than 50 wineries and tasting rooms, it’s no surprise Idaho wines are receiving more recognition and accolades regularly in competition. Southwestern Idaho, home to the Snake River Valley AVA and Eagle Foothills AVA, has the most wineries and tasting rooms — both provide a fun, convenient daytrip for Boise visitors. The Lewis-Clark Valley AVA, which lies along the northern Idaho/eastern Washington border, has a long history of winemaking (grapes were first introduced to the region in 1872) and the area has been wooing wine lovers with a variety of flavorful wines ever since the AVA was established in 2016.

  • One of the best things about the wineries in Garden City is that they are so to get to by bike! Hop on and take a short ride along Chinden Boulevard to get to a number of close wineries including Par Terre Winery, The Gulch Wine Room, and Split Rail Winery.
  • If you’re looking for a grand wine tasting experience, then Koenig Vineyards is your best bet. On its estate grounds in Caldwell, you will find a tower, a large chess set, and magnificent views of the vineyards and mountains. Once you settle on a favorite wine from your tasting, take it up to the tower to enjoy the amazing views.

Cider & Mead:
For fans of cider and mead, Idaho’s offering is steadily growing, benefiting from proximity to the Northwest’s finest apples and the Gem State’s bounty of local honey. Did you know that apples are Idaho’s leading fruit crop?

  • Offering both indoor and outdoor seating, Good Apple Taphouse offers a quiet, laid-back atmosphere where you can enjoy a good cider. They also offer craft beer and wine.

Spirits:
With seven distilleries, including the country’s first restaurant distillery, Idaho does more than just dabble in distillation. The Gem State counts vodka, bourbon, brandy, rum, gin, whiskey, and moonshine among its production. Distilled Resources, Inc. in Rigby is the largest distillery west of the Mississippi. Built from a re-engineered ethanol plant, the eastern Idaho company brands 25 different labels. Their specialty? Idaho-grown potato vodka and organic spirits.

  • Up North Distillery prides themselves on their “farm to flask” spirits made in small batches. They are a true craft distillery, using locally sourced honey, grains, and fruits to create unique craft spirits and flavors that tantalize your taste buds and delight the soul.
  • Seven Devils Straight Bourbon Whiskey from Koenig Distillery is the first whiskey made in Idaho that utilizes spring-fed water from the Seven Devils mountain range.

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