Sunday, October 27 marks the celebration of National American Beer Day 2019! While Leavenworth may be a Bavarian-inspired town and you’ll never struggle to find a freshly-poured stein of German beer here, we are fortunate to call ourselves home to some truly incredible local American breweries. We love how this small town has embraced the Bavarian spirit of brewing while putting a satisfying Pacific Northwest twist on their expertly-crafted ales, lagers, stouts, and IPAs. The history of beer in America goes back a few hundred years before it became the cultural staple we know today. The Colonists longed for some hops to hit the spot and were homesick for their pubs back in England, so it wasn’t long before brewing took root on our soil. Unfortunately, none of the earliest breweries survived to present day. The honor of the oldest existing brewery in American history belongs to D.G. Yeungling & Son (a German-American family), based out of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1829, Yeungling still operates today. A few decades later Bavarian Brewery was opened in St. Louis and would eventually become Anheuser-Busch, the beer giant and #1 producer in America that we know today. How about all of that Bavarian inspiration?! No wonder Leavenworth is performing well in the beer world!
Blewett Brewing Company in Leavenworth, WA
A huge market for microbreweries and craft breweries has been growing in the U.S. Their categorization refers to the relatively-small number (when compared with macrobreweries) of barrels that can be produced within a year. This allows for them to experiment with more flavor profiles that feature local or seasonal ingredients, or introduce a beer for a short time for a holiday or event, which makes their brews more specialty than those mass-produced. These breweries are also required to sell a certain percentage of their beer onsite, so it’s no wonder that many of them double as brewpubs, restaurants, or ale houses. More than 7,000 breweries are operating across the U.S. today and we are so fortunate that two of them call Leavenworth home. If beer is your thing, you’ve got to check them out while you’re here! If beer isn’t your thing…still go for their delicious menu items, live music, or even some tasty ciders! We’ll tell ya more below.
Since we live here in Leavenworth, we have plenty of opportunities to enjoy all the local offerings. This makes it easy for us to make the best recommendations to our guests when they’re looking for the perfect spot in town. Let us know your interests and we are more than happy to point you the right way! Looking to stay in? Excellent idea! You can grab cans or growlers of beer to-go that you can bring back to the inn to sip by the fireplace or out on your porch swing watching the sunset. Another fun way to plan ahead: order one of our baskets for yourselves that includes some of the local favorite beers. That way, you don’t have to go anywhere! Spend the evening in and enjoy a movie, play some games, and treat yourself to local greats.
Each brewery is beloved for its own reasons, but both boast awesome similarities that definitely come with the local territory; cool & cozy Pacific Northwest-vibes, friendly staff, great beer, and tasty eats to write home about. They feature outdoor seating that makes for the perfect summer (or winter!) hang and even allow your pups to tag along - great news for those taking advantage of our Braver Hund Package! Check out more details of all of the good stuff, featured below:
Icicle Brewing Company/Munchen Haus Bavarian Grill & Beer Garden
The Brulotte family, Washington natives, fortunately saw the need and the opportunity for an outdoor gathering place for folks (and pets!) to enjoy in Leavenworth that specialized in local favorites and impeccable beer. Since the early 2000s, Munchen Haus has been growing into the Leavenworth staple that it has become. No trip to our town is complete without a bratwurst and a drink while sitting out on the patio or taking in the view on the upstairs deck (yes, the line is SO worth it!).
In 2011, the family opened Icicle Brewing Company on the other end of Front St. in Downtown Leavenworth and began their journey into the award-winning brew masters they’ve become. They built a stunning location that features indoor and outdoor seating and you can view one of their remarkable breweries in the back of their taproom and restaurant. This marks the original location that started making some of the most crave-worthy local brews that have won over 150 awards and are distributed throughout Washington and Northern Idaho – and are, of course, also on tap at Munchen Haus!
Icicle Brewing Co. has a small and satisfying munchies menu themselves including a pulled pork sandwich, a pita or veggie plate, and a warm Bavarian pretzel served with Beecher's cheese sauce, which you can enjoy while hanging in the Tasting Room or sitting out on the patio. The sizable patio is the perfect hang spot and fires keep the tables toasty in the winter. Both locations frequently have incredible Live Music, as well as monthly “Benevolent” nights which give back to the community that the Icicle family has become such an integral part of. Neither spot can be missed! This brewery is certainly Washington born & bred – the water they use in their brews comes from the Icicle Creek, less than a mile from town! The hops, barley, and yeast are all Washington grown. We here at Run of the River truly love Icicle Brewing Co. and we are so glad to celebrate them!
Blewett Brewing Company
Blewett Brewing joined the scene in 2016 as a nanobrewery, making tiny and delicious batches highlighting local ingredients...they do it well and have a great time doing so! The owners ultimately purchased the adjacent Idlewild Pizza to complete the brewpub experience and merge into the dining and drinking powerhouse it is today. Blewett was founded by brothers Kyle and Eric Peterson, while Idlewild was started by Grant Stoebner – all three of whom are of Leavenworth. The love and dedication cultivated by that local loyalty simply cannot be overstated and its impact on the quality served up here is huge! At Blewett, the specialty brews are fun, experimental, and so dang delicious. The hand-tossed artisan pizzas made by their restaurant are full of the best and freshest ingredients; the only problem: you will still be craving them once you head home (seriously).
You can tell that the folks at Blewett have a good time specializing in, what they simply call, “cold beer and hot pizza.” Even their beer names are great: Death by Donuts Dessert Beer, Tool Time Lager, and Lollygagger Amber Ale named in honor of the struggling Mariners, just to name a few! Blewett is located on Commercial Street in Downtown Leavenworth, and is home to a conjoined taproom/dining room (21+ only on the brew side), each with patio seating. Blewett also frequently features Benevolent nights to benefit the local community, has occasional game nights, and offers midweek discounts. Make sure to add this artisan pizza and beer experience to your Leavenworth to-do list, and grab a growler to bring back to the inn!
Stein Beer Hall & Bottle Shop
Another awesome local spot that's graced Leavenworth with its hoppy, savory, and Sasquatch-y presence since 2017 is Stein. Located on a beautiful corner in the center of Downtown, these folks are doing an incredible job of serving up beers and ciders from the Pacific Northwest region! We know we're celebrating National American Beer Day, but we can't leave out the large selection of German beers also offered by Stein. They have a wall of 55 rotating taps, they've added a row of outdoor patio seating, plenty of seating indoors, and frequently host incredible musicians to make a great place even better.
But wait, there's more! Stein serves up some seriously delicious food, like tomatillo chicken tacos, bacon wrapped figs, beef brisket, rosemary sea salt fries, and a truly drool-worthy crispy rotisserie chicken. Stein isn't a brewery itself, but it serves an amazing selection of beer and food, and also features a store up front where you can purchase drinks to-go, find lots of PNW merchandise, play a little Skee-Ball, and purchase Sasquatch souvenirs! Owners Carl and Gavin made the elusive Pacific Northwest icon the mascot of their fun, friendly, and flavorful place. Be sure to check it out on your next visit!
We are so proud to share other local Leavenworth businesses with our guests! There are so many places to enjoy in the area and we are happy to point you towards whatever tickles your fancy! Thanks for celebrating National American Beer Day with us! We can't wait to see you for your next trip to Run of the River.