Within the last decade, microbreweries, pubs and alehouses have popped up all over Boise.
Boise’s thriving beer scene is a tight-knit community. The local brewers here are unpretentious, down-to-earth and relentlessly passionate about their craft. They’re not afraid to experiment with new techniques to make the next best beer, and the local beer shops love to support and promote their work any way they can.
Boise has earned its spot as a top beer destination in the nation — and the press is starting to notice. CraftBeer.com dubbed the city as the love child of Portland and Bend, Oregon, while VinePair placed Boise in its top 10 beer destinations in the world.
Ready for a taste? We’ve got 10 places to get started.
- Payette Brewing
Feel free to bring the kids (and even the dog!) to this local hangout right along the Boise River. Payette Brewing was founded by a group of locals with a passion for the outdoors, beer and adventure… and it shows in the down-to-earth, social atmosphere of their tasting room. Take a short detour off the Greenbelt, and you’ll enjoy a wide selection of local craft beers, food trucks and some regulars playing cornhole on the front lawn.
Locals’ Tip: This place is known for their wide selection of IPAs. Our recommendation? Try the Blood Orange Rustler!
- Bittercreek Alehouse
Good beer, good food, good company — that’s why Bittercreek Alehouse should definitely make your brewery bucket list. The homey, warm atmosphere here pairs well with a wide selection of beers from all over the Northwest. Grab a plate of poutine (one of the few places you can get it in Boise), a juicy grass-fed burger and a beer of your choice. You’ll feel like a local.
- Western Collective
“Western isn’t a direction so much as a state of mind.” That’s the motto of Western Beer Collective — and they stay true to it from the way they craft their beer to the rustic decor of their tasting room. Here, you can taste bold, flavorful beers made with a sense of adventure, like the sweet Pollinator made from local wildflower honey or the citrusy Picabo Juice (named after local Olympic athlete Picabo Street).
- Meriwether Cider House
Meriwether Cider House
With the effervescence of a cold beer and the complexity of a great wine, cider has become a huge hit in Boise — thanks to this local staple. Every bottle and keg at Meriwether Cider is hand-brewed, hand-bottled and hand-labeled by the Leadbetter Family. In Meriwether’s Downtown Boise tasting room, you’ll find a rugged, lumberjack-esque atmosphere and an entire line-up of craft ciders, including plum, ginger, apple pie and more. If you’re more of a beer fan, try the hopped cider.
- Bella Brewing
In an unassuming brick building in the industrial hub of Garden City, sits a cozy tap room filled with unconventional beers. Here, the science and art of brewing are taken to the extreme. The walls are lined with chalkboards listing out some of the brewers’ unique experiments, from a blueberry white chocolate porter to a golden watermelon wheat beer.
- Hops & Bottles
Hops & Bottles
This dog-friendly joint has some of the widest selection of national and international beers in Boise. The owners have over 30 years of experience in beer selection and sourcing the market, and you can taste rare brews that you won’t find anywhere else. The tasting room itself has a chill, laid-back atmosphere — complete with board games and an outdoor patio.
- Boise Brewing
Sip local beers while you watch how they’re made. This Downtown Boise tasting room has an open, warehouse atmosphere filled with giant, stainless steel vessels where they brew their beers. During the day, you’ll often see their brewers on the job, climbing up ladders, dumping grain into kettles and high-fiving each other along the way. You’ll feel like you’re a part of the local community here.
Locals’ Tip: Stop by on Tuesday nights for $2.50 pints. In the summer, sit out on the patio and you might catch some live music.
- White Dog Brewing
White Dog Brewing
There’s a story behind every colorful vintage label on the beers at White Dog Brewing. From a Blood Orange Hefeweizen to an English IPA, each beer is inspired by “real animals:” friends, family…even the owners’ beloved pup. At White Dog’s Downtown Boise tasting room, you can pair your beer with food from local food truck Smoke and Thyme.
- Barbarian Brewing
While viewed as crude and uncivilized, the barbarians of Europe invented some of the best styles of beer we still enjoy today. That’s what inspired the brewers at Barbarian Brewing. Combining old world style with new world flavor, the brewers here age their beers in wine, whiskey and bourbon barrels and add natural flavors from fruits grown in the Pacific Northwest.
- Highlands Hollow
Established in 1991, Highlands Hollow is the oldest microbrewery in Boise. This cozy North End alehouse has a long-standing reputation for great food and great live music. They have an extensive collection of rotating beers on tap (mostly English-style beers), along with a menu full of classic comfort food all made in-house.
- Bonus Spot: Mother Earth
Take a drive to Nampa and check out Mother Earth. The beers you’ll taste here are grown from the hops growing just outside the door. All year round, you’ll enjoy a fresh line-up of brews inspired by the flavors of the season: spring blossoms, summer raspberries, winter spices and more. Inspired by ingredients found in nature, Mother Earth started in a garage in San Diego and has now expanded to a full-fledged production center in Nampa, and the beer tasting is well worth the trip from Boise.
Exploring Boise’s beer scene here is one of the best ways to experience the city like a local. Walk into any pub or brewhouse in Boise, and you’ll see skiers, entrepreneurs, cyclists, families and neighbors alike coming together to enjoy a pint.
Feeling at home while trying something new — that’s just one of the many reasons to visit Southwest Idaho.