by Mike Bookey
The big news this year out of No-Li Brewhouse was, of course, the fact that they'd revamped, re-branded and, essentially, re-birthed the brewery formerly known as Northern Lights. That's interesting, of course, but it doesn't mean a damn thing unless the beer is good.
And national and international competitions seem to agree with the tastebuds of the Inlander staff that the specialty crafted beers are quite good, indeed.
The Spokane brewery's Crystal Bitter just took home a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival earlier this month. The GABF has an award for just about every type of brew your hop-fuzzed mind can think of (134 categories in all), but this gold came in the highly contested extra-special bitter (ESB) category. That's no small potatoes.
The award comes on the heels of Crystal Bitter's gold and the silver for the Born & Raised IPA at the International Beer Competition in Japan last month. There's also been some national press about the brewery, proving that No-Li might just be the spark Spokane's much-awaited brewing boom needs to take off.