Best Boise Breweries, Brewpubs, and Taprooms
One of the great things about craft breweries in Boise is how much outdoor space is available - something truly invaluable during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's probably obvious by now, but nothing is better to us than drinking the perfect beer while hanging out outside with friends. So keep up the good work, Boise, your outdoor patios are a delight.
826 W Bannock St, Boise, ID 83702
An idyllic brewpub in Downtown Boise, 10 Barrel puts patrons up close and personal with the 10bbl brewing system. The food menu consists of an array of salads, starters and sandwiches. In the mood for pizza? You're in luck as their pies are customizable and made fresh daily.
Now the beer. We love the clean aesthetic of 10 Barrel's beer cans. For instance, can it get any more simple than their Pub Beer? We're not sure.
Also regarding their beer, 10 Barrel has a craft beer variety pack entitled, The Battle of the Beers. Consider taking one home with you next time you visit.
Barbarian Brewing (Downtown Tap Room)
1022 W Main Street, Boise, Idaho 83702
Barbarian Brewing ups the ante all-around, just check out their emboldened beers. The average alcohol content of the beers below comes out to 12.1% ABV, with Dutch Apple Streusel weighing in at 8.5% and The Reserve Morrgian boasting of a hearty, you-better-know-what-you're-doing 15% ABV.
- Dutch Apple Streusel (English Barleywine)
- Fenrir (Triple IPA)
- Elixir of the Gods (Sour Quadruple)
- Thor's Might (Americna Barleywine)
- The Reserve Morrgian (Imperial Stout)
Barbarian Brewing lives up to its name, clearly. It's a place for people who truly appreciate sipping a great beer.
1620 N Liberty St, Boise, ID 83704
Bear Island, Boise's "biggest little brewery" sits on the Western edge of the city. Open every day but Sunday, Bear Island Brewing is a Veteran-owned brewery that whose Kitchen serves up Rockin' Q BBQ. That's something to know if you're looking for a Boise brewery with food (or an outdoor patio).
No joke, Bear Island brews Idaho® Potato Ale, an IPA that has real Russet Potatoes. Their core beer menu is small, but diversified. Customers can also order guest ciders & wines.
521 W Broad St, Boise, ID 83702
Boise Brewing has extended common stock to folks who want to invest in the business. We'd do it, but one of the requirements is to be an Idaho resident. It would be pretty cool to be a part of though.
Anyway, their beer menu is filled with core beers, seasonal offerings, and serial beers (Bomber & Evolution series beers). With the exception the Bomber Series, the alcohol content of their beer is kept in relative check, hovering between 4-7%. For example, the Snowboarder Porter is an even-keeled 5% ABV. The Porter is medium-bodied beer that sits on the palate well-roasted and in the glass well-laced.
Boise Brewing hopes to complete their first decade in operation in 2022. And, with the additional money raised from the Community Support, they should be able to open up a kitchen. Downtown Boise never had it so good.
2800 W Idaho St, Boise, ID 83702
Food trucks, live music, and trivia are just a few of the things that help make Clairvoyant a special place to hang out. Like Bear Island, they offer Meriwether Ciders, Cinder Wines and other guest beverages in their taproom. For $8, you can get yourself a crowler to go. For $16, you can score a growler.
Residents of West Downtown and Garden City should be familiar with Clairvoyant. One interesting thing that they do is eschew the creative beer naming that is commonplace among brewers, opting for the individual beer style to serve as its name. So, choose your category: light, medium, hoppy or dark, then choose your beer.
1750 W State St, Boise, ID 83702
Cloud 9 proudly pours pints for the denizens of Boise's North End. Open for lunch and dinner, the nanopub always has 6 core beers and 6 rotating beers on tap. Well, always meaning when they don't sell out. Over the course of any given year, Cloud 9 will brew 50+ styles of beer. We highly recommend the Salted Caramel Stout, an Imperial Stout that is brewed with Mild Golding and Saaz hops, loaded with seven varieties of grain, and keeps it respectable with a 6.2% ABV rating.
420 N. Orchard St. Boise, ID 83706
One part brewery, one part homebrew shop, one part beer store, three parts awesome. Drink their beer and leave with someone else's after you leave Comedy or Trivia night. Or, take a homebrewing class. Just don't forget to buy home brew books to help you learn on your own time.
525 Steelhead Way Boise, ID 83704
Peanut Butter Hot Wings, Edge Fries, Smoked Brisket Poutine and a Salmon BLT. 4 reasons why you should visit Edge Brewing beyond the beer. Now, here are some Edge Beers to check out:
- Hipster Dufus
- Chimera (11.5% Triple IPA)
Edge also brews a Black is Beautiful, with 100% of the proceeds going to a local Boise non-profit.
If you want to change the scenery but not the menu, visit the Edge Pub at 205 N 10th Street.
2455 N Highlands Holw, Boise, ID 83702
We can't enough of places with indoor fireplaces, can you? Established in 1992, Highlands Hollow Brewhouse is the oldest microbrewery in the city. They pour beer from 9 rotating taps, partner with local fendors for the ingredients that build their food menu, and shine on Wednesdays, where you can listen to live tunes between 6-9pm and fill your growler for less than a Hamilton ($10).
The Highlands Hollow branded stainless steel growler is sleek and we want one.
026 S La Pointe St, Boise, ID 83706
The Lost Grove Local Brewery & Taproom's coolest beer is the Teddy Bear Picnic, a golden session ale. Even if you disagree, it's still the funniest beer name.
Lost Grove's Taproom is a 70 seat tasting room that is dog friendly. There's an outdoor patio, food trucks for food, and even Thursday night trivia. Lost Grove's mission is to improve sustainability and charitable, community involvement. Their Powerful Pints program works with local organizations and foundations to raise awareness, while also donating proceeds from the sale of their craft beer.
They also offer private event space for up to 30(ish) people. If you're looking for a team building event for work folks, look no further than Lost Grove Brewing. Just lighten up on the drinking games, lest someone get a pink slip the next day.
2772 S Cole Rd #140, Boise, ID 83709
With a tasting room on Cole Road, and a newly opened Beer Hall on W. Bannock St, Mad Swede Brewing doubles their ability to serve you Helms of Awe, Sunstones, and Himinglaevas. Caber Toss This, Ye Wee Lad is a strong name for a Scotch Ale. They even installed an Air Purification System to improve air quality during the pandemic, so props to them.
Mad Swede Brewing hosts comedy nights, live music, trivia, and more. They also make it easy for local food trucks to get on their rotating roster of food providers. If you can't make it to the downtown Beer Hall, try the tasting room Southwest of the city.
733 S Pioneer St, Boise, ID 83702
Payette Brewing has their act together, sporting a huge indoor taproom, an outdoor beer garden with food trucks, string lights, and a working fireplace, and high quality, delicious beer. We'll just let this video of theirs tell the story better than we could. Also, we'd like to join the League of Outlaws. Please?
709 E Park Boulevard, Boise, ID 83712
The Ram Restaurant & Brewery is a regional chain consisting of 12-13 brewpubs across Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. They serve a variety of everything, building both a robust food menu, as well as an in-depth, solid craft brew menu.
They're known as much for their great sandwiches and sides as they are beers, beers such as the Cinco Patas!, a Mexican-style lager with a dash of lime. Other great brews include the Clearwater Kolsch, Jake's Amigos, and the IPA 4 ALS where they donate $1 per pint sold to ALS research.
If you can, grab a spot on the outdoor patio and take a moment to read through the entirely full menu. The Ram is kid friendly, so parents take note.
Oh, one more thing, The Ram dusts off the 18oz pint glasses for NFL Football games. Enjoy the extra 2oz!
12542 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID 83713
25+ years of crafting quality beers, Sockeye Brewing intrigues us most with their Deadwood Golden Stout, a stout that is part of their Catch & Release series that is brewed with Crystal and Magnum hops, as well as Pilsner, Carapils, Victory, Flaked Oats, and Smoked Malts. A full service restaurant with a hearty menu, Sockeye Brewing is more than an after work spot for a cold draft beer. And, with a new location opening in the Spring of 2022, you can rest assured that the #FishStories will continue.
705 W Fulton St, Boise, ID 83702
This Fulton Street brewery encourages you to, "Fetch the Good Life". We see what you did there, and we're for it. We're also for the Cornhole league. Well done, White Dog.
The food from Smoke & Thyme looks astounding, complementing the delicious beer and taproom ambiance well. The draft lineup features a rotating Nitro beer, and then one of every color and flavor in the beer rainbow. They even have a New England IPA on tap.
Some White Dog history, the brewing company started in Bozeman, Montana. They then acquired the former home of TableRock Brewpub and Grill in Boise. They've since sold off the Bozeman location to focus solely on growing White Dog Brewing's presence in the City of Trees.
Also, with their focus on dogs and the stories they have to tell, it's too bad White Dog doesn't brew a version of Puppers Beer in the USA.
1114 W Front St, Boise, ID 83702
The Woodland Empire Brewery's pinball machines are the easiest way to owe a good buddy a beer. The Downtown Boise taproom is open every day until 10pm, save Sundays when they close at 8. Their delicious beer takes on a life of it's own, not only in flavor but in their associated artwork. Mixtape Series IPAs and a Sourdough Wild Ale play nicely against the Bohemian Pilsner and Old Boise Lager. Woodland Empire opened in 2014, and in their 7+ years, have acquired some NABA Awards for their stouts, sours, and barleywines.
Garden City, Meridian, and Nampa Breweries just outside of Boise, ID
2C Family Brewing
1215 1st St S, Nampa, ID 83651
Set in a historic building (Dewey Scales) in Nampa, 2C Family Brewing hits on a little bit of everything. This includes a relaxed, kid-friendly atmosphere, craft brews that run the gamut (Belgian Ales > German Lagers > Whiskey Barrel-Aged), and board games for you to wager pints on. Tasting flights available.
5270 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714
We've already discussed the mighty craft beer that Barbarian Brewing brews. What we haven't spoken about is their excellent Brewery membership. Like any good mug club, your brewery membership entitles you to a silly amount of perks, including 10-20% discounts, invitations to private members only events and hosted dinners, and, an astounding amount of bottles of their excellent beer.
But perhaps the most important point to share about Barbarian Brewing is that all of the employees have Wu-Tang names, according to their bios. So yeah, you pretty much have to visit the Garden City brewery for that alone. Now if only they had some Wu-Tang beer names ...
If they brew Ol' Dirty Barbarian in the future, you heard it here first. Unless they already have ...
County Line Brewing
9115 W Chinden Blvd #107, Garden City, ID 83714
We dig the County Line membership, as it discounts beers under 8% ABV, fills growlers for $8, and hooks you up with a 15% off bottles and cans to go. Plus, your pints get served in some sweet CLB Beer Can glassware.
If you like Brown Ales like we do, a 22oz bomber of Barnwood Brown is an amazingly reasonable $5. The Cerveza Limon, Slow Draw Oatmeal Stout, and Ruth's Lager are all excellent choices. Trucker hats and bags of gourmet Maple Bacon nuts round out the non-beer options.
Oh, we forgot, the price of a keg is $185. Call us up if you need help loading it in the trunk.
1521 Front St, Nampa, ID 83651
Patrons refer to Crescent Brewery as the, "Cheers of Nampa". That sells it a bit short (somehow), as Crescent Brewery serves as a homebrew supply shop and a local water supplier. No joke. Apparently they remain on an old artesian well. In a bit of shrewd marketing, Crescent Management encourages patrons to bring in their water bottles for a fill up. Now that's how you get people in the door.
As to the history, Crescent Brewery is the second incarnation of itself. According to the brewery, the Stutz Lager is, "is a pre-prohibition lager that was preserved and handed down by the family of the original brewery."
One thing that caught our eye amongst the sea of Cherry Chocolate Porters, Caramel Ryes, and Hefeweizens was the Strawberry Blonde. That takes us back many, many days to when Pete's Wicked Ale ruled the land. Good on you, Crescent. Good on you.
Crooked Fence Brewing
5220 N Sawyer Ave, Garden City, ID 83714
A local brewery in Garden City, Crooked Fence Small is open Wednesday through Saturday, where it offers small plates during the weekdays before the weekend food trucks arrive.
They offer two types of membership, one being a Mug Club and the other being a general membership to the brewery, the Crooked Club. We love this approach, as it gives taproom patrons and craft beer can retrievers a chance to equally benefit. That's not to say the Crooked Club doesn't benefit taproom consumers, it does, it offers $1 off pours in pint and tulip glasses.
If you're going to be spending all day drinking at Crooked Fence, you may want to stick to the GC Lite, a beer brewed in tribute to Garden City. With a 3.7% ABV, it's not going to crush you the way a Good Monkey will at 2x the alcohol content. Plus, you're going to like it a lot more than the cheap light beers you usually drink at Bronco Stadium tailgates.
Loose Screw Beer Company
1511 W McMillan Rd Suite 100, Meridian, ID 83646
If you've seen the brewery's logo, you know that Loose Screw Beer Co. nailed it. The brandmark sits at the center of Nutty Professor and Rick the Auto Mechanic, as if the brewing recipes are ingenious, while the execution is pure hustle.
Anyway, an-inclusive spot, kid welcome and dog friendly, Loose Screw fits Treasure Valley like a glove. With a focus on pale ales that could be seasonal, Loose Screw balances serving their own brew to customers alongside guest taps (Mother Earth Brewing, Jeremiah Johnson Brewing, etc.) and hard ciders.
Loose Screw is open daily, so bring your friends in for arcade games, skeeball and more. But beware, time may slip away and they close at 9pm and 10pm on the weekends.
Mother Earth Brew Company
1428 Madison Ave, Nampa, ID 83687
Mother Earth Brew Company's Nampa location is capable of producing ~100,000 barrels of beer annually. No wonder they feature 20 beers on tap that range through light to dark & malty.
One of the more interesting things about the brewery, beside the fact that they have a location in Vista, CA, is how well kept their blog is. Mother Earth Brew Co. is fairly active, writing one to two times per month to give their customers and loyal fans insight into the brewing process, explanations on why they retire certain beers, and announcing new products and locations like their future taproom in Downtown Boise.
As to the beer, they have a core, year-round lineup, a limited lineup, their 4Seasons, and Project X. If you're into Nitro Beers, try the Nitro Cali Creamin'.
Powderhaus Brewing Company
9719 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714
A Garden City haunt, Powderhaus Brewing is the perfect end to a day spent kayaking down the Boise River. Plus, the tasting room, sorry, Taphaus, checks all the boxes, it's relaxed, it has a foosball table, and ... yeah, that's all it really needs to be.
The beer goes as follows, Haus Brews, Regulars, Familiar Faces, Seasonal, and Off-Piste. Inside that lineup are some interesting choices, choices such as having a Scotch Ale as a Haus Brew. You don't see that nearly as often in craft breweries, as the trend is to have a Flagship IPA these days.
Then there's the Gherkin Gose, a pickle beer. We've had the Best Maid Pickle Beer before, so we'd very much like to try the Gherkin Gose to compare. And lastly, a Belgian-Style Quad that is brewed with cherries, a beer that reminds us alot of Ommegang's Three Philosophers.
111 W 33rd St, Garden City, ID 83714
Forget the beer, check out the S'mores and Caramel Apple slush, 32oz of blissful frozen treat.
But ok, ok, the beer. Mixed Stout six packs, a Hazy IPA series of beers, and brew collaborations with brewers such as Melvin Brewing and the Crux Fermentation Project make Western Collective Beer feel like a true collective.
As for Western Proper, the Collective's downtown taproom @ 610 W Idaho Street, it has a 4-way Air Hockey table and some Hoop Shoot machines to satisfy your inner-child. A daily BOGO from 3-6pm qualifies it as one of the finer happy hours in the Boise area. And, they serve gourmet food inside as well as out on the outdoor patio.