Laht Neppur Brewing, located in Waitsburg, Washington, about 21 miles northeast of Walla Walla, set up shop in 2005 and became best known outside of the region for their fruit beers, notably the Peach Hefeweizen and Strawberry Cream Ale. Within the last couple of years they also opened up the Laht Neppur Ale House in downtown Walla Walla, which my wife and I visited briefly on our trip to the town last month.
It was midafternoon, after wine tasting and before dinner, so we didn’t eat anything and I simply ordered the sampler tray for $10. This came with eight beers, though I believe they may normally have ten on most of the time.
I’ll get back to the beers in a bit. The Ale House itself is probably one of the most unassuming, unpretentious places in downtown Walla Walla (and for a wine town, Walla Walla itself is pretty unprentious). It’s a big space, grungy, with peanut shells all over the floor—Pete Dunlop, reviewing their actual brewery in Waitsburg, called the decor there “early grubby” and I suppose that applies here as well. It’s fairly spartan with minimal decorations, and I’d go so far as to call the decor and atmosphere sort of “industrial hipster”; fairly proto-hipster by Portland standards but that’s the impression I got. They have a stage for music as well, decorated with a couple of wine barrels and various Celtic knot-type paintwork.
The menu and beer list were on chalkboards above the bar, and the tap handles were on the plain side and looked scrounged together. The bar top had a cool inlaid Celtic knot-type of design.
Now, the beers. Generally speaking I thought the fruit beers were the best of the samples: Peach Hefeweizen, Spiced Peaches ‘n Cream Ale, and St. Dorothy’s Peach Cordial Ale, a big Belgian-y-styled beer around 9% or something that smelled like it might have a bit of a wild bug in it, and presenting lots of peach character. Be careful drinking this one, it’s big.
The other beers samples were the Nut Brown, Mike’s Golden, Kolsch, Oatmeal Porter, Scotch Ale, IPA, and Stout. They were average for me; there were some off-flavors that made me wonder if the lines needed cleaning or if the beers themselves had issues (I tasted earthy, malty-heavy, slightly spicy notes in several, the kind of flavors that remind me a bit of brewing with hot peppers). So it’s hard to say, without having a chance to try them again under different circumstances.
All in all, though, a nice downtown beer stop if you find yourself in the town and ready for a break from wine. Do note, however, that they are cash-only (there is an ATM on site).
Laht Neppur Ale House
53 South Spokane Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362