It’s all because of the beer. The Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co., on the corner of Second and Lakeside in downtown CdA, draws its name and inspiration from the micro-brewed product that put the Lake City on the Northwest brewing map. Did I say Northwest? Make that the national brewing map. The ales of the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Company (all of which are brewed on-site here and at the brewery’s other plant in Spokane’s Steam Plant Grill) are award-winning and deservedly so. They are distinctive, clean-tasting and delicious — and they come in at least a dozen varieties.
Though the brewery dates back to the late 1980s (when it was called T.W. Fischer’s), the restaurant portion of the brewpub (as it is known today) opened under the Coeur d’Alene banner in 2002 after undergoing an update. Today, dark hardwood tables and trim, along with eye-catching wall candy consisting of fishing tackle, boating paraphernalia and an extensive beer stein collection give the place an atmosphere that falls neatly between rustic and sophisticated.
Why does this take me back? I remember going there once with some friends (though I can’t remember if they were still called T.W. Fischer’s at the time), it was one of my earlier exposures to the microbrewery scene. Incidentally, Coeur d’Alene is in northern Idaho, about thirty miles from Spokane, Washington. I have fond memories of the breweries in Spokane, particularly the Birkebeiner Brewery ($1 pints on Tuesday nights), but sadly nearly all of them are closed, according to Beer Me!