Thursday, May 22, 2014

New Belgian I: Ramblin' Road in Spokane

     Ryan and Danielle Guthrie opened the taproom door to their Ramblin' Road brewery last January, in one sweet location.  A block north of the well-established No-Li brewery, beside the Spokane River and the Centennial Trail, across the street from the building where the Gonzaga Bulldogs play basketball and prepare to  go deep in the NCAAs every March.
The Guthries are Spokane natives who spent about a decade over on the wet side, in Seattle, where homebrewing experiences enticed them to take the road less traveled.  Their passion is the beers of Belgium; although the hoppy IPAs and Pales run up more sales numbers.

   Here's the tap list on a Friday afternoon in May: nine of RR's own and three guest taps from other local brewers.  The Grisette, first one listed, is a favorite in Belgian mining districts, as contrasted with the usual farmhouse or monastery themes.

Brewing is done on a ten-barrel system
visible through the pub wall on the right.  Four different food trucks come, each on a scheduled day during business hours, Wed thru Sat afternoons. RR has no current plans to try wild yeast open fermenters, but they are aging some sours in red wine barrels out back.
This and No-Li were my 9th and 10th stops on the Inland Empire Ale Trail, which I finally completed over an eight month stretch.  This earned me a half-growler (grunt? barker? growlerette? We have no consensus on what to call a 32-oz beer jar) with the imprint of the trail.
   The beer?  Tastes great.  I tried taster flights of the Saison, the Golden Strong, the Saison d'Rye, and the Dubbel. The Golden Strong Ale, cloudy, great mouthfeel, hints of raisins.  The Saison d'Rye, clear, chocolaty, rich aftertaste. My two faves.
(Visited May 9. 2014)

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