Woodland Empire tour and interview – pt 1

As most are aware by now, the craft brew scene in Boise if exploding, still.  And a couple breweries are opening in the next month or so.  Woodland Empire Ale Craft and Edge Brewing are the two about to open their doors this fall and I got a chance to visit Rob of WEAC the other day to chat about his new down town facility.

Plans for setting up shop back in March on Grove st  in the linen district downtown fell through and the site had to be moved a few blocks away to Front st. between 11th and 12th.  This pushed back their timeline a few months, but the building they landed on has some great local history. It was built in 1905 as a blacksmith’s shop where they would shoe horses for cavalry troops stabled next door, and also the original home to Yankee Machine Shop back in the ’30s.  So, horseshoes, to parts for B-17s and now artisan craft beer.  It’s nice to see evolution at work.

It will be a 15 Barrel system, Rob explaining that a lot of planning went into having room for growth as production needs are expected to increase over time.  Seating for 65 in the tasting room, with customer access to a viewing area where we can gaze in wide wonder at all the brewing equipment doing what it does.  Locally reclaimed lumber making up the 20′  bar, high end European flow-control faucets and special glassware, are just some of the details that will be making this place a cut above your standard watering hole.

A different kind of beer experience is what they are shooting for and more of a “coffee shop” atmosphere in the tasting room is the plan.  Lots of plants and original artwork on the walls including photos of the building from it’s past will be the decor.   A combination of being reverent to the old school continental beer culture, but also having a local twist to the historical styles and methods, are going to be employed…with a grand total of zero big screen TV’s.

With opening barely a month away, and most of the brewing equipment coming in a bout a week or so, all the remaining work is some electrical and plumbing.  Final inspection is November 18th and Rob feels like they are on track for that date.  It will be a great addition to the growing craft beer scene and in the next part, well talk more about the kinds of beers that these guys are planning to release, including some very interesting and esoteric brews, with a lot of focus on locally sourced ingredients.





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