Boise is in the midst of its second gold rush. This time, it’s liquid gold.
Boise’s craft beer scene is booming. Craft beer connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike continue to be delighted by the diversity and depth of Boise’s beer options.
Perhaps what makes drinking beer in Boise so unique is the accessibility. Idaho is the second-largest producer of hops and the top barley grower in the United States. Located in the Southwest corner of the state, Boise’s breweries are just a few miles from the farms producing some of the highest quality ingredients a brewer can get their hands on.
That proximity combined with Boise’s collaborative community has created a hyper-local, high-quality craft beer economy. Not only that, many of Boise’s breweries are located within walking and biking distance from one another, paving the way for an effortless brewery hopping adventure.
521 W Broad St, Boise, ID
Good for: community-supported drinking, laid-back taproom, award-winning stouts
Boise Brewing is Idaho’s only community-owned brewery. More than 200 Boise locals have invested in the brewery each year since 2014 to keep it open and available to new opportunities, like expanding its taproom and offerings. Boise Brewing has five year-round brews and a slew of seasonals, IPA experientials, and they’ve even ventured into craft cider. Every year in October, Boise Brewing hosts Hoptober Freshtival, a beer fest that brings 70 fresh hop and seasonal fall beers from more than 35 local to regional craft breweries to downtown Boise.
733 S Pioneer St, Boise, ID
Good for: adventurists, food truck lovers, cornhole competitors
For more than a decade, Payette has been making beer worth celebrating in Boise. Located near the Greenbelt with a huge outdoor gathering space, this brewery is a hotspot on a nice day. Perfect for groups of friends who want to gather and play cornhole or enjoy a tasty snack from Queens, the full time food trailer with a rotating menu on site. Payette hosts a variety of events as well, including trivia, paint nights, concerts and small maker markets. Gluten-free? No problem. Recently, Payette also ventured into the ready-to-drink cocktail space as well.
Brewery & taproom: 114 E 32nd St., Garden City, ID
Downtown taproom: 1022 W. Main St., Boise, ID
Good for: creative concoctions, big flavors, meeting new people
Much like the frontiers of the West, Barbarian has forged its own path in the Boise beer scene. Visit Barbarian’s downtown taproom or Garden City brewery and you’ll be greeted by a massive tap list with 20+ beers. Known for crazy combinations, seasonal creations and community collaborations, Barbarian has something for every palette. Classic beer lovers will respect its high-quality IPAs and barrel-aged brews, while the curious will be drawn to Barbarian’s surprising sours, dessert stouts and cocktail-inspired beers.
Brewery & restaurant: 525 Steelhead Way, Boise, ID
Edge Pub on 10th: 205 N. 10th St., Boise, ID
Good for: classic beers, amazing food menu
Edge has both a brewery and a restaurant that are equally amazing. The brewery has perfected the classics but isn’t afraid to try something new. Its year-round lineup touts eight traditional brews, while Edge’s ever-changing seasonal menu, B-Side Bomber beer series, cider selection, and “Off the Clock” canned vodka sodas give you a good reason to experiment. Edge brings pub fare to the next level with savory starters, huge burgers, classic wings, fresh salads with house-made dressing and a large selection of sandwiches. These amazing creations are available at Edge’s central Boise brewery and restaurant, and can also be enjoyed at Edge Pub on 10th in downtown Boise.
Hops & Bottles
1420 W Grove St, Boise, ID
Good for: trying something new, patio hangs, petting a dog
Hops & Bottles is first and foremost a beer bar, but in very close second it’s a dog bar. If you go, you’ll likely be greeted by one of the co-owners: Barley, an old and wise golden retriever, and his younger brother Louie, a rambunctious Bernese mountain dog. The downtown Boise taproom has a dozen local and regional beers on a tap and a full wall of coolers filled to the brim with more than 300 beers and cans from all over the world.
Woodland Empire Ale Craft
1114 W Front St, Boise, ID
Good for: old school arcade games, small-batch experimental beers, local coolness
Woodland Empire is a quirky, hyper-local brewery and taproom located in the heart of downtown Boise. Since opening in 2014, Woodland has worked closely with local growers, businesses and organizations to use Idaho products and create awareness for community happenings. They’ve created beers for local bands, nonprofits, events and more. Woodland’s taproom is part of the experience—it’s like someone set up a bar and a pinball arcade in a greenhouse and then invited a bunch of cool people to come hang out.
Cloud 9 Brewery
1750 W State St, Boise, ID
Good for: seasonal beers, neighborhood vibe, all-ages
Cloud 9 is the only nanopub in the state of Idaho, meaning it produces its beer in super small batches. This North End brewery only has four barrels and produces its beer in batches of 8 kegs. Cloud 9 has six year-round beers and six ever-changing seasonal beers, all of which use organic and locally-sourced ingredients. The food menu at Cloud 9 also uses all local and certified organic products.
2800 W Idaho St, Boise, ID
Good for: food trucks, trivia nights, dogs, neighborhood patio
Clairvoyant has everything you could hope for in a neighborhood brewery: a big patio, rotating food trucks, a large selection of local beer, wine, cider, and seltzer, and a dogs-always-welcome policy. The brewery and taproom are located on a quiet street just a few blocks from the Boise Greenbelt, Quinn’s Pond, Esther Simplot Park and Whitewater Park.
12542 W Fairview Ave, Boise, ID
Good for: fam-friendly dining, fishing-inspired beer, lots of options
Named after Idaho’s iconic fish, the Sockeye salmon, Sockeye Brewing is a local brewery through and through. Sockeye has been around for 25 years and counting, and has won more awards than any other brewery in the state. Its flagship location on Fairview Avenue is where the magic happens. All eight of its Idaho-inspired, year-round beers and rotating seasonal brews are created here. It’s also where you can sample Sockeye’s killer restaurant menu, which is chock full of pub classics, burgers, sandwiches, salads and huge entrees. It’s a great place to take the whole family.