I’m bummed for local beer nuts who weren’t able to get to the Bittercreek Alehouse
or Bier:Thirty this past weekend for the Stone Brewing Total Tap Takeover. It was just an epic good time for Boise’s craft beer lovers.
The beers were varied and innovative, the vibes were all good, and the atmosphere electric at both places. Stone CEO and co-founder Greg Koch stood up on the bar at both places and praised Boise imbibers for their good taste and urged them to continue to proselytize for others to drop the fizzy yellow beers made by major brewers for artisanal craft beers.
I have to give some major props to the staff at both Bittercreek and Bier:Thirty for handling the chaos so well. The punch card system worked well, and the bartenders and wait staff were amazingly patient and efficient, especially considering how the crowd got more and more buzzed as the night went on.
Friday night, with 33 different Stone beers on tap at Bittercreek, was slightly rowdier than the Saturday night session at Bier:Thirty, which had 20 Stone handles flowing.
That was not surprising. Bittercreek is a bigger room and has the Downtown crowd, whereas Bier:Thirty is more of a destination place for beer nuts with the laid back Bown Crossing crowd mixed in. One difference was that Bier:Thirty moved some of the taps outside on the patio. That reduced crowding at the bar area, but made the small patio pretty jam packed all night long.
My personal favorites over the weekend were the Fields&Sheppard/Troegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout, the double dry hopped (Motueka and Nelsons from New Zealand) Sublimely Self Righteous Ale, the 2006 Old Guardian Barleywine aged in bourbon barrels, and the enjoy by 9/21/12 IPA.
Koch even busted out a megaphone to address the packed crowd at Bittercreek, then did a stage dive into the crowd. I was glad about that, since I used the term “Stoneapalooza” in Scene to describe the event. That was a very Lollapaloozaesque move.
About 80 people showed up for the book signing/get-to-meet-Greg Koch event at the Boise Co-op Saturday afternoon as well.
Boise will have more fun beer events and tap takeovers in the future (like when Sierra Nevada will invade Bown Crossing at the end of the month) but the Stone event felt pretty special. It felt like another step Boise’s evolution into a craft beer destination.