There seems to be no end in sight for this ongoing “brewruption” in the Boise area that has been going on now for over 3 years. Next up and now open for business as of last week, is White Dog Brewing.
Boise locals will immediately recognize the location as the original spot for Table Rock Brewing, one of the Boise “Old Guard” so to speak. Table Rock went out back in 2014 and soon after, the space was taken over by Rick Boyd of Brewforia fame, and his vision of an up-scale burger joint “Grind Modern Burger”, with Post Modern Brewing doing the beer side of things on premise. That didn’t quite take off and ultimately went out in March of 2016. I never got to try the food there but I loved the experimental and “no holds barred” style that Marvin was slinging on the brewery side. I mean a Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout and a Peanut Butter Porter you just don’t find very often.
Now, about a year and a half later, beer is flowing once again at 705 W Fulton St. No kitchen this time, just food trucks…which is becoming more and more common with breweries and tap rooms in this day and age as evidently, a full restaurant and traditional food menu is just too much trouble, or too expensive. Which may be the same thing. I don’t mind this, I’m all about the beer. White Dog’s arrangement sort of hybridizes this model as menus are on the table and you place you place your order with the wait staff and it’s brought to you…just from the food truck out back.
I stopped by on a Sunday afternoon, after a 10 mile ride on the greenbelt to try what they had. Besides the Hopzilla double IPA which is a TableRock recipe, and so I skipped that, the line-up was solid. If anything I thought the Scotch was not very “peaty” and the English IPA was pretty dark and malty. But these are brewers interpretations/variations on the style and not incorrect per se’. The Blood Orange Hef was very good, just a touch of the orange and a mild Bavarian yeast. The Blonde was pretty sharp and crisp and a bit more interesting than most of its style.
The staff was great and their “newness” was more than made up for by being attentive and very willing to chat. I was a couple minutes in to a conversation with one of them before he introduced himself as Dan, one of the owners. Found out from him that this is in fact the same White Dog brewing from Bozeman, MT and that there will be some beers made just in Boise and others made just at their original site in Bozeman. I asked if that meant that if I wanted to try the entire White Dog lineup, I’d have to make the 7 hr drive each way. He broke the news to me as gently as he could. He also mentioned that everything on tap here, was made here, and vice versa for the Montana location. No trucking kegs 8 hours back and forth between sites.
It is a pretty big, open space and the tables and furnishings are a bit Spartan but it is early and there is still a little work to do. While there is evidence of some significant remodeling in the dining/drinking area, I was told that they are in fact using the original Table Rock brewing equipment. I wasn’t too excited to see electronic dart boards and video games there but I must confess, “Galaga” is one of my favorites from back in the day, and I can understand they are trying to keep it family friendly. They will be tweaking a few things and completing interior improvements this next week or two and are expecting some good crowds during “Art in the Park” coming up. A grand opening will be in a week or two.
Boise Beer Culture also has a little write up here about this newest Boise brewery.
I asked about their rather generic names they have for their beers and Dan explained to me that they have intentionally opted out of the “name game” so as to not have to deal with potential copyright issues and also just for ease of knowing what kind of beer you are ordering or buying at the store. So, everything here will be “Pale Ale” or “English IPA” or “Hefewiezen”. Makes sense I suppose, but I was kind of hoping for a dog themed taplist like maybe a “West Highland Wit” or “Samoyed Stout”. Oh well, maybe I’ll drop a note in the suggestion box.
Seems like things are off to a good start here and it may turn out to be a regular stop for this beer guy.