This spring, my mom, her two sisters, and her dad all hopped on a plane together to spend two weeks traveling through Germany and the surrounding areas. As her father is originally from Germany, it was his dream come true to have all of his girls with him while touring his home country. They visited castles, recreated multiple scenes from The Sound of Music, and, of course, drank a lot of great beer. As a beer geek myself, I was thrilled to hear that my mom and my aunts took full advantage of the situation and imbibed in the local specialties. The story I enjoyed most of all was that of their trip to the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Along with its historical significance, the Hofbrauhaus is renowned for its terrific beer garden. Unbeknownst to me, the bierhaus has a policy of serving beer in containers no smaller than a liter after 5:00. Oh my. Undaunted, the intrepid quartet took the plunge, and, beers and pretzels in hand, had a lovely afternoon drinking beer and enjoying each others’ company in Munich.
Here in the states, the Hofbrauhaus in Las Vegas is probably about the closest you can get to the aforementioned experience. Nonetheless, it’s still nice to enjoy a brew or two out on a patio on a summer afternoon. Here in Spokane, one of the South Hill’s hidden treasures, the Hop Shop, is my favorite place to do so. Situated just up the hill from the beautiful Manito Park and a few blocks away from the lively bustle of Manito Tap House, the Hop Shop’s vibe is low-key and relaxing. The same two fellas are always manning the bar, comfy seating is plentiful, and the work of local artists is featured on each and every wall. As its name implies, beer is the focus: the bar offers a great selection of limited release bottled beers, as well as nearly a dozen rotating taps, several of which feature local breweries like Iron Goat, Budge Brothers, and Orlinson. For those who are not beer lovers, fear not: the Hop Shop also features a top-notch wine list including everything from Pinot Grigios to Malbecs and beyond. If you’re in need of some sustenance, local food carts are known to appear on a regular basis in the parking lot, and a cheese plate can be ordered from the bar. A little snack and a great beer- what more do you need?
While I do love (LOVE) having a whole food-and-drink pairing experience at a brewpub or sampling each and every offering at a new brewery’s tasting room, every once in a while, it’s nice to just take a breather and enjoy a pint of one of my favorite IPAs with good company. It may not be quite the same as a trip to a German bierhaus (I’ve never seen anyone sporting liederhosen at the Hop Shop), but the idea and feel is the same, so, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a step in the right direction.
The Hop Shop is open 4pm-11pm Tuesday-Thursday and 4pm-12am on Friday-Saturday.