2015 BEER DISCOVERY TOUR: HIGHLANDS HOLLOW BREWHOUSE, BOISE IDAHO (JUNE 24, BREEWERY STOP #1)
The first day of our journey to the east coast in late June on the beer discovery tour (click here to read about the whole trip), we stopped in Boise ID for lunch at the Highlands Hollow Brewhouse. This old-school brewery is located on the north edge of town, just past downtown off of N. Harrison Blvd where it turns into Bogus Basin. While there are a number of breweries in the area that we could have gone for lunch, I wanted to revisit this great establishment as it had been over a year since I was last there and I was curious what their brewer had produced since then. The vibe is certainly on the ‘down to Earth’ and everyone is treated with attention and respect. This is a ‘family’ restaurant that serves beer, there is a small bar you can sit at, but for the most part, it’s a big room with lots of friendly people.
We arrived just at the start of the day-time lunch rush. Actually, it’s not much of a rush, but more of a trickle of visitors and locals. The building is nessled at the north end of town, you get to drive through some great neighborhoods to get there, with lots of large, beautiful houses and estates. The building itself has an outdoor patio near the front door, the brewing kettles are located just inside the main door to the right (you can peek through some windows to look at them), and the main restaurant/dining room is really cozy and home-like with a gigantic fire pit that gets used during the winter months. The food menu is pretty decent, the portions are good sized, but don’t expect ‘fine dining’, as it’s pretty standard fare.
They offered up 9 of their own beers that range from IPA’s, Pale Ales, and sweet fruit beers. We were able to grab a table and ordered some food which came out pretty quickly after the tasters. Below I go through the review of each beer we tried. Overall it was a good lunch, we were pretty full at the end. Ultimately we ordered a beer each after the tasters. The best ones for me were the Fiegwild and Brass Lamp Brown.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse
2455 Harrison Hollow Blvd.
Boise, ID 83702
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • Pale Ale • IBU: 26 • ABV: 4.6% • 16 SRM
This is listed as a Golden Ale, but it looks more amber and presents like a Pilsner. The nose starts a little sweet and malty, the solid white head drops quickly and there are slight grassy hop bitters on the front mouth. The body is a little bit chewy/chunky, and the flavor profile drops quickly on the back.
|Berry Good Wheat
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • Fruit Wheat • IBU: 23 • ABV: 4.6% • ?? SRM (Cloudy red hue)
This wheat beer has as sweet fruit nose with a hint of dry yeast. The front is a little bit dry with the berries providing some acidic bitters. The mouth-feel is solid, with a bit of dry yeast characteristic of unfiltered wheat beers, but driven by the presence of the raspberries. I liked this beer, it’s sort of an adult kool-aid that has too much sugar added.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • IPA • IBU: 64 • ABV: 7.5% • 18 SRM
Malts: Marris otter pale malt, crystal malt
Nice mid-orange/amber hued IPA with a solid head, some lacing on the rim, and fresh hop and citrus nose. The body is full with a lot of sweet malt grains and slight pine, grapefruit and citrus rind on the mid to back. Lingers as sweet.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • ESB • IBU: 67 • ABV: 6.9% • 16 SRM
Orange hue, slightly cloudy, flat head that left some nice bubbly lacing on the glass. The head did drop quickly and it seemed to have low carbonation. The nose is sweet, all grain, with a little bit of bitter and sharp hop-esters (oily) on the back. This one definitely holds it’s own as a sweeter ESB.
|Brass Lamp Brown
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • American Brown • IBU: 30 • ABV: 4.9% • 24 SRM
Off-white solid head, some spidery lacing on the rim. Nose is sweet and caramel with hints of toasted grains. The front mouth is all grain-build, solid sweet brown sugar and acidic notes from the burned bread qualities. The mid-back presents the sweet sugars as secondary. Nicely balanced and a full bodied to chewy mouth-feel.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • English Pale Ale • IBU: 35 • ABV: 4.9% • 18 SRM
Dark opaic orange/brown color, low carbonated head that dropped to just a film. The nose has a lot of breaddy/dry grains and the front mouth is dry, grassy, and biscuit all at the same time. Nice combination and balance between the malts and hops. There is a bit of dry lingering hop-resin on the back.
|Bonnie St. Nan (Nitro)
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • Cherry Smoked Porter • IBU: 19 • ABV: 5.4% • 40+ SRM
This nitro pour has a solid tan head, left spidery lacing on the rim, presents a lot of coffee on the nose. The front mouth has a little bit of smokey grains and slight sweet fruits lingering in the background. The rest of the mouth is overpowered by the smokey malts. The lingering profile is a bit of shoe-leather, gun metal, and acidic earth qualities.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • American IPA • IBU: 51 • ABV: 6.9% • 26 SRM
Dark orange hue, solid white head that dropped quickly leaving light lacing patterns on the rim. The nose is a little sweet and dry with hop flowers. The body is solid and balanced between the grain build and strong hop flavors that range from pine to grapefruit. The back holds both grains and slight spicy bitters.
Highlands Hollow Brewhouse • American Blonde Ale • IBU: 17 • ABV: 4.5% • 6 SRM
Super yellow hue, low white head that dropped quickly, little lacing. The yeast and bright citrus notes are on the nose. The front mouth is a bit thin, but it’s standard for lagers. The slight dry qualities of the hops linger on the tropical edge and the malts drop off on the mid.