Name: No-Li Brewhouse
Location: Spokane, WA
Type: Production brewery and brewpub
Available in DC Market: Yes
What you need to know: When founder and brewer Mark Irvin opened Northern Lights in Spokane, WA back in 1993, there were almost no breweries in the Inland Northwest, despite so much of the domestic hop production coming from the region. Since then, the region has grown, and the brewery has grown along with it. When craft beer vet John Bryant (Odell, Deschutes, Oskar Blues) joined Irvin as co-owner a few years ago, they rebranded as No-Li, revamped their offerings, and began growing big time.
Beer #1: Born and Raised IPA (India pale ale / 7% ABV)
In Their Own Words: “This big, bold copper-colored ale showcases Munich & Crystal malts to create a big supportive body on which we layer our favorite Washington hops. Chinook & Cascade provide citrus and piney flavors, while Northern Brewer adds a hint of mint. Dry-hopping with Cascade and Columbus increases the beer's hoppy aromas. Malt, hops and yeast-derived fruitiness combine to create our most complex offering.”
Food Pairing: Smoked brisket on yucca chip (Tender smoked brisket served on fried yucca chips with pickled green tomatoes.)
Our Thoughts: Think of an archetypal West Coast IPA and you’ll be pretty close to B&R. Sticky head? Check. Huge pine and citrus nose? Check. Surprising drinkability for its ABV? Check. No-Li is very generous with the hops here (hitting 80+ IBUs), but there’s enough body to see you through. The dankness will keep the brisket from hanging around too long.
Beer #2: Spin Cycle Red Ale (ESB / 5.75% ABV)
In Their Own Words: Formerly known as Crystal Bitter ESB, Spin Cycle Red is a celebration of the classic English-style ESB. The perfect balance of malt and hops create an enjoyable and quaffable red ale. Spin Cycle's specialty malts combine to provide an aroma of lightly toasted bread and caramel, while additions of American Noble hops add an herbal flavor for balance.
Food Pairing: Duck sausage (Grilled duck sausage served with crimson cherry chutney.)
Our Thoughts: We freely admit that ESB isn’t the sexiest style – likely part of the reason that No-Li changed the name – but don’t let that dissuade you. Spin Cycle is a great American interpretation of the style, as evidenced by its 2012 GABF gold. That rich English maltiness will do wonders for the gamey duck. Stop in early and get a taste before hop fatigue sets in.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.