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If you’re tired of the same old, same old when it comes to brews, wines, and spirits, Idaho is your sanctuary. These days, the Gem State’s beer and spirit companies are experimenting with crazy combinations to give your taste buds a flavor burst. Whether you’re looking to curb that Huckleberry craving or sample a sweet and savory brew, the following Idaho beers, wines, and spirits have got you covered.

1. Blood Orange Rustler IPA  from Payette Brewing Company

Blood Orange Rustler IPA from Payette Brewing Company. Photo Credit: Payette Brewing Company
Blood Orange Rustler IPA from Payette Brewing Company. Photo Credit: Payette Brewing Company

A tropically-infused, juicy, floral blood orange beer with mild, bitter hoppy notes. It’s a spin on the classic Rustler, or rather, a twist. This beer will have you questioning your loyalty to your favorite brew – as it should, any beer crafted with Honey Malt and Chinook hops has a shot at being your new found favorite.

2. Chicken Dinner Red from Huston Vineyards

Chicken Dinner from Huston Vineyards.
Chicken Dinner from Huston Vineyards. Photo Credit: Huston Vineyards

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, the Chicken Dinner Red boasts blackberry aromas and hints of clove and black currant.  With a kiss of sweetness, yet brilliant acidity, Chicken Dinner stands out from the crowd. Huston Vineyards make this wine on, you guessed it, Chicken Dinner Road. There’s also a Chicken Dinner White if red just isn’t your thing.

3. Ale 208 from Grand Teton Brewing Company

Ale 208 from Grand Teton Brewing Company
Ale 208 from Grand Teton Brewing Company. Photo Credit: Grand Teton Brewing Company

Idaho’s session ale, the Ale 208 is a crisp brew with a one-two punch of citrusy, hoppy character notes – made with 100% Idaho grown grain, hops, and spring water. In short, this brew is 100% Idaho through and through. A must-try for all you real Idahoans out there.

4. Idaho Whiskey from Idaho Whiskey

Idaho Whiskey from Idaho Whiskey or Idaho Moonshine. Photo Credit: Idaho Whiskey
Idaho Whiskey from Idaho Whiskey. Photo Credit: Idaho Whiskey

Hands down, this will be some of the finest Craft Bourbon Whiskey you ever try. The masterful taste can be attributed to the natural local ingredients that make up this full-bodied whiskey: mountain spring water, hand-picked corn, wheat, rye, and malted barley. What’s even more impressive is that no barrels are bottled until each one is carefully sampled by 4-5 judges. A rigorous labor of love that produces some of the west’s finest bourbon.

 

5. Electric Warrior from Woodland Empire Ale Craft

Electric Warrior from Woodland Empire Ale Craft
Electric Warrior from Woodland Empire Ale Craft. Photo Credit: Woodland Empire Ale Craft

Come to the dark side and try one of the smoothest, silkiest stouts you’ll ever find in the Northwest. The Electric Warrior is a take on the classic English style with layers of sweet caramel, roast, black-tea-like spice, and chocolate. This oatmeal stout is heaven in a cup.

6. Sunnyslope Nectarine Vodka from 44º North Vodka

Sunnyslope Nectarine Vodka from 44º North Vodka
Sunnyslope Nectarine Vodka from 44º North Vodka. Photo Credit: 44º North Vodka

Never have Idahoans been so proud to be known as potato farmers, because from our bountiful harvest each year comes some of the U.S’ top-shelf, naturally gluten free vodka. Sunnyslope Nectarine is named after the Sunnyslope region of Idaho – a destination known for its legendary fruit orchards. Give it a try in the signature cocktail: Sunnyslope Seabreeze.

7. Huckleberry Cream Ale from Laughing Dog Brewing

Huckleberry Cream Ale from Laughing Dog Brewing
Huckleberry Cream Ale from Laughing Dog Brewing. Photo Credit: Laughing Dog Brewing

Real huckleberries. Real beer. That’s right; fresh huckleberries are added to this Idaho classic during the last minutes of the boil eliciting a smooth, sweet berry flavor into a perfectly blended traditional Cream Ale recipe. A bucket list item for all beer connoisseurs.

8. Chateau Series Soft Huckleberry from Ste Chapelle

Chateau Series Soft Huckleberry from Ste Chapelle
Chateau Series Soft Huckleberry from Ste Chapelle. Photo Credit: Ste Chapelle

Idaho’s high elevations, rich volcanic soils, and dramatic temperature shifts provide one of the most unique growing regions in the lower 48 for vinifera grapes. The Chateau Series Soft Huckleberry is a classic Idaho wine with Riesling notes of peach and apricot and the crisp acidity of the Idaho huckleberry balances the residual sugar on the finish.

9. La Boheme & Le Commandante Idaho Made Wine in a Beer Can from Split Rail Winery

La Boheme & Le Commandante Idaho Made Wine in a Beer Can
La Boheme & Le Commandante Idaho Made Wine in a Beer Can. Photo Credit: Split Rail Winery

You may be wondering what Idaho wine in a can tastes like. One word: sublime. You’ve undoubtedly seen boxed wine, and some of you may have even seen wine in space bags. A can seems like the next logical step in the portable wine evolutionary chain.  The La Boheme and Le Commandante cans are lined with a thin coating to minimize aluminum off-flavors. Say goodbye to corked bottles and broken corks, and say hello to true Idaho wine.

10. Seven Devils Straight Bourbon Whisky from Koenig Winery and Distillery

Seven Devils Straight Bourbon Whisky from Koenig Winery and Distillery
Seven Devils Straight Bourbon Whisky from Koenig Winery and Distillery. Photo Credit: Koenig Winery and Distillery

This smooth bourbon whiskey is crafted using spring-fed water from high atop the Seven Devils mountain range. Known for being the first whiskey made in Idaho, this local favorite is aged in an underground cellar for a minimum of two to five years in charred oak barrels. Surely a whiskey you would find in Frank Sinatra’s liquor cabinet.

Looking to visit an Idaho brewery? You’ll find them here. To view the full list of Idaho wineries click here.


Published on October 27, 2016