Bar Hopper: Drinking on Cloud Nine 

Where is it? The corner of a strip mall isn't where you'd expect a top-notch brewpub to set up shop, but that's exactly what Cloud 9 Brewery did when it opened in 2014. Nestled on the edge of Boise's North End, the brewery expanded its domain this summer, adding an extra dining area and renovating the kitchen. Picture your basic, laid-back brewpub but with better lighting and fewer people (one of the perks of not being on Eighth Street is that you can actually get a table).

Does size matter? Not at Cloud 9. Classified as a nanobrewery, Cloud 9 concentrates on high-quality beer. The brewery operates a four-barrel brewing system that produces just 300-350 barrels of beer annually (1,424 barrels brewed to date). That means seasonal beers are only on tap for a few weeks—an added incentive to become a regular.

What should you drink? There's ginger ale and root beer, but let's be honest: You're not going for the soft drinks. There are 12 beers on tap: six regulars and six rotating handles, many of which read like ice cream flavors—salted caramel stout, honey basil, peaches and herb. Since it's winter, I stuck with the darker beers (there are two stouts and a porter on tap at the moment) but there's at least one option, if not two or three, for each palate.

What's the happiest hour? Monday through Friday from 4-6 p.m.: Beer, wine and appetizers are $1 off.

Where to find it: 1750 W. State St., Boise

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