Known as a haven for fishing, boating, and celebrity spotting, Coeur d’Alene (affectionately known as CDA to locals) is also a craft beer hotspot like no other. Nestled in North Idaho, Coeur d’Alene was actually the nickname (meaning hearts as sharp as awl tips) given by French-speaking traders to the indigenous Schitsu’umsh people who were reputedly very shrewd in their business ways.
Best Breweries In Coeur d’Alene, ID
Today, CDA is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with year-round activities set against some of the most beautiful scenery around. Along with tourism, Coeur d’Alene boasts a dynamic dining scene featuring a number of local breweries offering fine craft beers and delicious gastropub fare.
Planning a trip to CDA? Be sure to include one or more of these 7 best breweries in Coeur d’Alene on your travel itinerary.
One of Coeur d’Alene’s most popular destinations for hand-crafted drinks and scratch-made food is Bardenay Distillery, Idaho’s very first producer of fine spirits. There are three locations in the state and each one specializes in distilling a particular type of spirit.
In the case of the Bardenay Distillery in CDA, the name of the game is vodka and the cocktail menu features a number of vodka-forward drinks like the Bardenay Mule, a local (and staff) favorite. With ginger beer, lime juice, ginger-lime syrup, and Angostura bitters, this popular drink offers zesty flavors with just a hint of spice.
Black Lodge Brewing Company
With a theme inspired by the cult TV show Twin Peaks, Black Lodge Brewing Company is an eclectic family-operated brewery located in downtown Coeur d’Alene. This unassuming spot has been a hit with locals and tourists alike ever since its long-awaited opening in 2021.
While the décor and ambiance of Black Lodge Brewing Company may be full of tongue-in-cheek humor, this brewery’s approach to small-batch crafting of fine, local beer is anything but. The hazy IPA (ABV 5.5%) is hop-forward with refreshing notes of citrus and a well-balanced flavor and is a perfect pairing to go with the scratch-made Bavarian pretzel from the kitchen.
With a dual degree in Fermentation Science and Business Innovation Management from Oregon State University, Chalice Brewing’s founder Brian Engdahl clearly has the brain power to operate one of CDA’s newest and most innovative breweries. And as a key member of brewing teams at Widmer Brothers and Ancestry Brewing, he also brings a wealth of experience to his startup operation – and it shows.
While the rotating craft beer menu is still developing at Chalice Brewing, one of its signature offerings is the True Appaloosa Baltic Porter (ABV 6.5%, IBU 31), as dark of a Baltic porter as you will find anywhere thanks to the use of lager yeast and authentic brewing methods. The result is an immensely drinkable beer with a crisp, rich flavor that just seems to go down better amidst CDA’s beautiful scenery.
Daft Badger Brewing
Make no mistake, Daft Badger Brewing is a bona fide craft brewery through and through but its owners have gone out of their way to create the warm, inviting ambiance of a brewpub – and have they ever succeeded? With a wide selection of craft beers and mouth-watering pub fare from the kitchen, Daft Badger Brewing is a one-stop shop for fine food and drink.
One of the most popular selections from Daft Badger Brewing’s ever-evolving beer list (they do quite a few experimental brews year-round) is its Josiah’s Revenge (ABV 9.86%, IBU 31) imperial stout. This full-bodied beer offers up notes of chocolate and dried cherries with hints of prunes and figs to round things out. All in all, an extremely satisfying beer that just beckons for another round.
Paragon Brewing has designs on being more than one of Coeur d’Alene’s finest breweries, it strives to be a welcoming gathering place for locals and out-of-towners to share great times over masterfully crafted beers and scrumptious food. With weekly events like live music, trivia night, and even cornhole tournaments, Paragon Brewing is making a name for itself as a CDA destination.
But at the heart of everything it does is its brewery operation which has an annual output of 1,000 barrels of Idaho’s finest beers. If you’re planning a visit to Coeur d’Alene, be sure to stop by Paragon Brewing and try their Beauty Bay Blonde (ABV 5.5%, IBU 19), a refreshing can’t-miss golden ale named after a beloved spot on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Trails End Brewery
If there is any establishment in Coeur d’Alene, brewery or otherwise, that truly captures the spirit of the area, it is Trails End Brewery. As its website explains, Trails End Brewery is all about taking in the joy and splendor after hiking a trail and reaching the end. This attitude is on full display in the way Trails End crafts its beers, prepares its food, and most importantly, welcomes its guests.
Trails End Brewery takes great pride in sourcing local ingredients and its Fresh Hop IPA (ABV 6.4%) showcases Strata hops brought over from nearby Moxie, WA. This golden-colored IPA offers a medley of tropical fruit flavors including exotic mango, lychee, and passion fruit notes that provide a nice liveliness to this broadly appealing beer.
Tricksters Brewing Company
If a no-nonsense approach to craft beer is your thing, then look no further than Tricksters Brewing Company. While this is one of the few breweries in CDA that does not have a kitchen, their tap room is staffed by courteous and knowledgeable employees who are more than happy to walk you through their rotating and year-round selections.
Speaking of which, if you find yourself in Coeur d’Alene and are looking for a local spot with a quieter vibe for enjoying a fine craft beer, then head over to Tricksters Brewing Company and go for the J-Box IPA (ABV 6.7%), a hop-forward golden IPA brewed from Chinook, Mosaic, and Simcoe hops, with pronounced fruitiness, hints of pine, and just the right amount of bitterness.