The Best in My Back Yard

Field Report No. 20141219RC

Topic: Beer/Food/Botany

Conditions: Beauty in its Purest Forms

COMMENTS: A few years back I found myself at a conference in San Diego. Soon after landing, the boys and I obviously felt the need to blow off a plenary session in favor of a pilgrimage up to Stone Brewing Company in Escondido. Driving up to their headquarters, things seemed a bit on the commercial/industrial side—car dealerships, giant nondescript buildings, and so on. But as we entered the vast modern dining area inside, giant windows offered a first glimpse of their hidden back yard. We ate gourmet pub food. We sipped a superb 14-year-old barleywine, among other beers. We laughed and talked, overlooking a picturesque setting with ponds, trails, and gorgeous plant life. Better than a conference session.

Recently I had an experience that reminded me of that afternoon. A walk through the Nishinomiya Japanese Gardens in Manito Park followed by a visit to Manito Tap House was oddly reminiscent of the sensory beauty I experienced that afternoon in SoCal. MTH offers Spokane’s best craft beer selection on tap—including a few by Stone—and the locally sourced food doesn’t disappoint.

KEY FEATURES: The Manito neighborhood is home to historic houses, nationally celebrated parks, and sidewalks lined with century-old deciduous trees. MTH is just off 29th, an arterial which offers a ton of vital commerce without losing all of the neighborhood charm.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Tell your server about your favorite flavor profiles in a beer. With three certified cicerones on staff at the Tap House (including the owner), these folks take beer very seriously. But instead of being snobs about it, they wield this power for benevolent purposes: hooking you up with a beer that might become your new favorite.