Highlands Hollow is one of the 4 “old school” brewpubs in Boise. The others being Sockeye, TableRock and The Ram. In the last few years, though, nearly a dozen more have popped up around town but “the Hollow” is of the old guard.
I’m not sure what the deal is with the Scottish theme that seems prevalent in the craft beerniverse. All the Kilt referenced beer names, many involving the “man-dress” being tilted, lifted or drafty, are all over the place. Just in Boise, we’ve got “Kilted Dragon” as well, with their exclusively Scottish naming convention for their beers. Just make sure you don’t confuse a “Scotch Ale” with a Scottish Ale”
Located at the bottom of the hill from Bogus Basin, it is a well frequented stop for tired and cold skiers coming down the mountain after a long day of chair lifts, moguls, yard sales and face plants.
I had not been in a long time so decided it was time for a visit. I tried a couple that I didn’t recognize, and the Brass Lamp Brown Ale that they brewed for the recent “Ale Fort” festival seemed big and robust, but at a modest 4.9% it was pretty easy going down. The Scotch (don’t call me Scottish) Ale had a lot of the “Scotch” character, earthy, peaty and smokey with a little extra malty sweetness.
Inside, exposed rough cut timbers are used liberally, and brick walls and beer paraphernalia are the theme. It has a pretty strong ski lodge feel with a chair circled gas fire pit and it was pretty casual and a bit noisy environment but comfortable.
It is at an end of town that I don’t get to very often, but it must be pretty popular with the Boise “North-Enders” judging by the number of SUV’s and Subarus parked out front. They have a niche I think and this recent infiltration of Micro and Nano brewpubs in the area shouldn’t give them much trouble.