The state of Idaho is home to a thriving craft beer scene, with a variety of breweries producing unique and flavorful beers. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring the best breweries in Idaho is a must-do activity. From classic breweries like Grand Teton Brewing to hidden gems in smaller towns, there is something for every beer lover.
Idaho is the biggest barley producer and the third biggest hops grower in the US, making it an ideal location for brewing beer. Most of the breweries are concentrated in the capital city, Boise, but there are also many options in smaller towns throughout the state. With so many breweries to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to visit. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best breweries in Idaho to help you plan your next beer adventure.
History of Breweries in Idaho
Idaho has a rich history of brewing beer, dating back to the early 1860s. During the gold rush, many people came to Idaho to find gold and started brewing beer to quench their thirst. The first brewery in Idaho was established in Lewiston in 1862 by Henry Weinhard. Weinhard went on to establish several other breweries in the Pacific Northwest.
In the late 1800s, the brewing industry in Idaho was booming, with breweries in every major city. However, the Prohibition era in the 1920s put an end to the brewing industry in Idaho, as it did in the rest of the United States.
It wasn’t until the 1980s that the brewing industry started to make a comeback in Idaho. In 1984, the first microbrewery in Idaho, the Kitzmiller Brewery, opened in Boise. Since then, the number of breweries in Idaho has grown steadily, with over 70 breweries operating in the state today.
Idaho’s brewing industry is known for its focus on using local ingredients, such as hops grown in the state’s Snake River Valley. Many of the breweries in Idaho also incorporate unique flavors and ingredients into their beers, such as huckleberries, sagebrush, and potatoes.
Top Breweries in Idaho
Idaho is home to numerous breweries, each with its unique taste and style. Here are five of the top breweries in the state:
Boise Brewing is a popular brewery located in downtown Boise. They offer a wide variety of beers, including their flagship beer, the Boise Blonde. They also have seasonal beers, such as the Snowboarder Porter and the Black Cliffs American Stout. Boise Brewing is committed to sustainability and uses only locally sourced ingredients.
Address: 521 W Broad St, Boise, ID 83702, USA
Payette Brewing Company
Payette Brewing Company is another popular brewery located in Boise. They offer a variety of beers, including their flagship beer, the Payette Pale Ale. They also have seasonal beers, such as the Oktoberfest Lager and the Wet ‘n Wild Idaho Ale. Payette Brewing Company is committed to environmental sustainability and uses solar power to produce its beer.
Address: 733 S Pioneer St, Boise, ID 83702, USA
Grand Teton Brewing Company
The Grand Teton Brewing Company is located in Victor, Idaho, and offers a wide range of beers, including their flagship beer, the Sweetgrass American Pale Ale. They also have seasonal beers, such as the Bitch Creek ESB and the Double Vision Doppelbock. The Grand Teton Brewing Company is committed to sustainability and uses only locally sourced ingredients.
Address: 430 Old Jackson Hwy, Victor, ID 83455, USA
Sockeye Brewing is located in Boise and offers a variety of beers, including its flagship beer, the Dagger Falls IPA. They also have seasonal beers, such as the Woolybugger Wheat and the Powerhouse Porter. Sockeye Brewing is committed to sustainability and uses only locally sourced ingredients.
Address: 12542 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83713, USA
Bear Island Brewing Company
Bear Island Brewing Company is located in Boise and offers a variety of beers, including its flagship beer, the Huckleberry Wheat. They also have seasonal beers, such as the Oktoberfest Lager and the Winter Ale. Bear Island Brewing Company is committed to sustainability and uses only locally sourced ingredients.
Overall, Idaho is home to numerous breweries that offer a variety of beers. Whether you are looking for a pale ale, a porter, or a wheat beer, you are sure to find something that suits your taste buds in Idaho.
Address: 1620 N Liberty St, Boise, ID 83704, USA
Unique Brewery Experiences in Idaho
Idaho is home to some of the best breweries in the United States. Not only do these breweries produce high-quality beer, but they also offer unique experiences for visitors. Here are some of the top brewery experiences in Idaho:
Many of Idaho’s breweries offer tours of their facilities, giving visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process. For example, Grand Teton Brewing in Victor offers tours that include a tasting of their award-winning beers. Matchwood Brewing Company in Sandpoint also offers tours, as well as a chance to chat with the brewmaster.
Beer Tasting Events
Idaho’s breweries also host a variety of beer-tasting events throughout the year. For example, Lost Grove Brewing in Boise hosts a weekly “Flight Night” where visitors can sample a flight of their latest brews. Highland’s Hollow in Boise also hosts regular tasting events, as well as live music and other entertainment.
For those who want to learn more about the brewing process, several breweries in Idaho offer brewing classes. Milner’s Gate in Idaho Falls offers a “Brewing 101” class that teaches participants how to brew their own beer. Grand Teton Brewing also offers a brewing class, as well as a “Beer and Cheese Pairing” class for those who want to learn how to pair beer with food.
Whether you’re a beer enthusiast or just looking for a unique experience, Idaho’s breweries offer something for everyone. From brewery tours to beer-tasting events to brewing classes, there are plenty of ways to explore Idaho’s thriving craft beer scene.
Craft Beers of Idaho
Idaho is home to some of the best IPA craft beers in the US. The state’s breweries offer a wide range of IPAs, from classic northwest IPAs to hazy IPAs. Sockeye Brewing’s Dagger Falls IPA is a must-try for hop-loving craft brew enthusiasts. This award-winning flagship IPA boasts all of the big, bold flavors you would expect from a classic northwest IPA. Abundant citrus and pine hop aromas combined with a sturdy malt backbone make Dagger Falls a favorite among beer lovers.
Idaho’s craft breweries also produce some of the most delicious stouts in the country. Payette Brewing Company’s North Fork Lager is a popular choice among stout lovers. This beer has a rich, malty flavor with hints of chocolate and coffee. It’s a smooth and creamy beer that pairs well with hearty meals.
Lagers may not be as popular as IPAs and stouts, but Idaho’s craft breweries have some of the best lagers you’ll ever taste. Grand Teton Brewing Company’s Sweetgrass APA is a refreshing and crisp beer that’s perfect for a hot summer day. This beer has a bright and citrusy flavor with a hint of pine. It’s a well-balanced beer that’s easy to drink.
Idaho’s craft breweries also produce some of the best ales in the country. Crooked Fence Brewing’s Evil Harvest Pumpkin Ale is a seasonal favorite among beer enthusiasts. This beer has a rich and spicy flavor with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. It’s a perfect beer to enjoy during the fall season.
Overall, Idaho’s craft breweries offer a wide range of delicious craft beers that are worth trying. Whether you’re a fan of IPAs, stouts, lagers, or ales, you’re sure to find a beer that suits your taste buds.