Welcome to American Craft Beer Week, when local artisan brews are on parade. This year’s festivities kicked off May 14 and run through Sunday, May 20, and include one-off beers, collaboration ales by some of the biggest names in Boise’s brew scene, and deals on everything from samples to growlers at Boise’s bars and pubs.
This year, Boise will also offer a Craft Beer Week passport challenge. Participants purchase one craft beer at each of the five breweries participating—Crooked Fence, Highland Hollow, Payette, The Ram and Sockeye—where they will receive a stamp. Then, challengers can visit one of the four locations listed below the brewery on the passport, purchase a pint of that brewery's beer and collect another stamp. Those who collect 10 stamps by May 20 get a free American Craft Beer Week T-shirt.
If you're a little less hardcore, but still want to participate in Craft Beer Week, here's a rundown of what else is going on in town:
-Brewforia will throw the weight of its taps behind one Idaho brewery each day during Craft Beer Week, starting with Sockeye on May 14 and continuing with Laughing Dog, Payette, Salmon River and Grand Teton. On Saturday, May 19, Brewforia will also host Pigapalooza from noon to 9 p.m., when visitors can pair barbecue with their favorite local beer. There will also be a homebrew competition, with beers featuring traditional barbecue flavors like molasses and brown sugar.
-Bittercreek Ale House will serve 28 Idaho beers on its mainline taps for Craft Beer Week, including a double chocolate porter from Nampa's Crescent Brewing and a rye IPA from Salmon River. As part of the local theme, Bittercreek’s menus have been reprinted, highlighting dishes and ingredients in red that come from Idaho sources.
-Bier:Thirty will feature growlers of local beers, one-offs and specialty brews, including Tropical Bunghole IPA from Payette, and Precocious Pale Ale and Double Dry Hop—a riff off the Dagger Falls IPA—both from Sockeye. Bier:Thirty will also host the Ram-Sockeye collaboration Weizenbock beer.
-Old Chicago will offer some beers from local breweries, including Payette’s Eight Penny Amber Ale. It will also serve larger-name craft beers like New Belgium Shift, Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat and Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA.
In addition to participating in the passport challenge, local breweries are also involved in a number of other Craft Beer Week events.
-Crooked Fence will feature specialty beers on its Garden City taps Wednesday, May 16, through Saturday, May 19, including Sins of Our Fathers Imperial Stout, Trainwreck Red, Derby Oatmeal IPA and Dark Unicorn Black Ale. Also on Saturday, May 19, Crooked Fence will host a Craft Beer Week Finale from noon to 10 p.m., featuring Calle 75 Street Tacos and a free concert by The Ringtones from 7-9 p.m.
-Highlands Hollow is offering rotating daily specials for Craft Beer Week, including Bratwurst and a Full Moon Stout for $8 on Thursday, May 17, and a Brewers Dinner on Saturday, May 19, for $11.95.
-Payette Brewing is involved in a number of other Craft Beer Week events, including a pizza and beer night at Sun Ray Cafe Tuesday, May 15, a sold-out brewer's dinner at The Front Door on Thursday, May 17, and a blind IPA tasting at the Boise Co-Op Wine Shop on Friday, May 18.
-Tablerock Brewpub will showcase an array of aged specialty brews on its taps all week, including a port barrel-aged Winter Cheer on Wednesday, May 16, and the Hopocalypse pitched with Belgian strong ale yeast on Friday, May 19.