Your guide to the best in spirits, wines and brews here in the Inland Northwest
By Jillian Chandler
The Inland Northwest boasts a flourishing and diverse craft beverage scene that has been making waves in the world of libations and offers an abundance of locally produced wines, spirits and beers.
Wine enthusiasts will find themselves enchanted by the region's wineries, which have rapidly gained recognition for their distinctive terroir. The dry climate, fertile soil, and meticulous craftsmanship have given rise to a wide array of varietals, including robust reds and crisp whites, with some wineries even experimenting with unique grape varieties.
For those with a penchant for spirits, the Inland Northwest's distilleries have stepped into the limelight, producing top-shelf whiskey, vodka, gin, and more. Many of these distilleries take pride in their farm-to-flask approach, using locally sourced grains and botanicals to craft award-winning spirits.
Beer aficionados won't be disappointed either, as the region is home to an ever-expanding roster of craft breweries. These microbreweries range from traditional to avant-garde, offering a rich tapestry of ales, lagers and stouts that cater to every palate. Whether it's a glass of wine, a cocktail or a pint of beer, the Inland Northwest's wineries, distilleries and breweries have something to satisfy every discerning drinker. It’s time to explore some of these wonderful, locally owned winemakers, distillers and brewers. Up North Distillery opened its doors to the Post Falls community in 2015. Here owners Randy and Hilary Mann focus on producing high-quality, small-batch craft spirits using locally sourced ingredients. From their Honey Spirits and Apple Brandy to Big Kid Cider and North Idaho Single Malt Whiskey, Up North has been acknowledged and honored with dozens of accolades over the years. Stop by to enjoy a cocktail, flight of spirits, and buy a bottle to share with friends and family. They even offer tours where you can learn more about the distillation process.
Over in Hayden, step into The Bee's Knees Whiskey Bar, which is also owned by the Manns. This craft cocktail bar features an extensive collection of whiskey, craft cocktails, beer and wine, and prides itself on exclusively using fresh ingredients and scratch-made syrups, creating a unique one-of-a-kind craft cocktail experience for each guest they serve. In addition to spirits from Up North Distillery in Post Falls, you will find more than 300 bottles adorning their shelves, some of which are rare and highly collectible. Enjoy a flight of whiskey to find your new favorite.
Family owned and fully independent, No-Li was born in Spokane, where it continues to build a craft brewing epicenter. Specializing in making great beer in the artisan, hands-on tradition, they also produce a variety of hard seltzers and canned cocktails for their customers' enjoyment. The Bryant family is committed to where they're from and what they do and want to share it with the world. Visit their brew pub along the Spokane River, and pair your fresh beer or hard seltzer with their scratch-made gastropub fare. Then there's the Bier Hall for those 18 and older to enjoy pints and eats.
As Washington state’s first distillery, Dry Fly Distilling has made a name for itself for its award-winning spirits and canned craft cocktails. With great attention to every detail, from the raw ingredients to the cuts made along the way in the distillation process, to the barrel aging, "Everything is done with painstaking care to ensure the highest quality,” shares co-owner Terry Nichols. While its staples of whiskeys, gins and vodkas have been at the forefront, the distillery’s canned cocktail line has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Be sure to visit them at their expansive location on West Riverside Avenue in Spokane, which includes their restaurant, 11am to 9pm Monday through Saturday and 11am to 7pm Sunday.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars has established itself as a destination winery year-round for both locals and visitors to the Inland Northwest. Established in 1982 by Mike and Ellena Conway, Latah Creek Wine Cellars, Washington state’s 35th winery (there are now more than 1,000 across the state), has been pouring excellence into each glass with their affordable, award-winning wines. Joined by their daughter Natalie Barnes, they are continuing that mission four decades later. Sip wines while visiting with friends and neighbors in the stunning tasting room and gift shop, Ellena’s vision—the perfect gathering place to relax and taste; a space where people can mingle and make friends among fellow wine tasters, while feeling at home. Nearly 20 wines are available for tasting by the glass or bottle, or enjoy a wine flight featuring six tastes of your choice. They invite you to visit them anytime between 9am and 5pm daily.
A small, creative winery focusing on the fine art of wine since 2002, Coeur d'Alene Cellars produces 3,000 cases each year of ultra-premium wines made with finesse, nuance, balance and character. Live music, Wine Club events, winemaking and tasting experiences define their existence, so join Kimber Gates, owner, and the Coeur d'Alene Cellars family, to get your hands on their "liquid art" before it sells out. Wines can be tasted individually or in flights, and pair them with one of their cheese boards or charcuterie plates. All wines are available by the glass or bottle to enjoy at the winery, or by the bottle or case to take home. They invite you to sip with them noon to 5pm Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 7pm Friday and Saturday. For groups of six or more, they ask that you call to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.
Over in Sandpoint, Idaho, is where you will find Matchwood Brewing. Known as “Sandpoint's neighborhood brewery,” Matchwood aims to foster positive community change through the power of dialogue and laughter—one delicious handcrafted beer at a time. Not only can you enjoy craft beer but Matchwood’s great food, events and live music! Pair your brew with something off their Eatery menu, like the Korean BBQ Pork Tacos, Cajun Salmon Sandwich, Horacha Crispy Chicken Salad, and much more! Stop in 11:30am to 9pm Monday through Thursday, 11:30am to 9pm Friday and Saturday, and 11:30am to 10pm Sunday.
A roughly two-hour drive away in Yakima, Washington, is where you will find The Distillarium, where customers will be treated to craft spirits prepared and served right here in the great Pacific Northwest. Not only do they source the finest raw materials and the most exquisite oak casks, they were founded on the principles of patience. When creating their batches of barrel-aged spirits, they look "not to what is, but the premium quality and perfected craft of what once was." From Whizkey, Whiskey, Brandy and Bourbon to Moonshine and Vodka, owners Ken and Isabel Miller, and master distiller Austin Hallford, have spent years developing "painstaking" barrel processes utilizing multiple barrel profiles to perfect their aged spirits and treat their 700-barrel facility with the same thought and care given to a 50-barrel rackhouse. Their tasting room is open 4 to 9pm Tuesday through Thursday, and noon to 10pm Friday and Saturday.
Let's raise a glass to all of the incredible tasting experiences to be had right here in the Inland Northwest. CONTACT INFO FOR EACH
The Bee's Knees Whiskey Bar
324 W. Lancaster Rd., Ste. E
BeesKneesWhiskeyBar.com Coeur d’Alene Cellars 3890 N. Schreiber Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID
2305 Industry Lane
Dry Fly Distilling
1021 W. Riverside Ave.
Latah Creek Wine Cellars
13030 E. Indiana Ave.
LatahCreek.com Matchwood Brewing
513 Oak St. Sandpoint, ID 208.718.2739
1003 E. Trent Ave. #170
Spokane, WA 99202
No-Li Bier Hall
1003 E. Trent Ave. #200
Spokane, WA 99202
Up North Distillery
846. N. Boulder Ct.
Post Falls, ID