There’s not a lot to say now about the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Company, now that its operations in northern Idaho are defunct. Their landlord kicked them out of the building they were operating out of and they have yet to find a new home. The company operated three different outposts in the region – The Alehouse south in Moscow and the Steam Plant Grill west in Spokane.
While this location didn’t have the elegance of the Spokane location, it was a whole hell of a lot nicer than the Moscow spot. It also managed to feel more homey and more welcoming than either. The food was decent, with a particularly nice version of fish and chips. The beer was average, with a bit of an advantage over the other two locations in that hey had more seasonals and they had them faster.
In all, it’s a loss for the small mountain city. It was definitely a decent place.
There are few settings as peaceful or tranquil as a gorgeous mountain lake at sunset. Coeur d’Alene is that mountain town on the lake, and although the brewing company doesn’t offer a view, it’s only a street away. There’s nothing fancy about this brewpub. It’s small, friendly and welcoming. Rows of people’s own mugs line every available vertical surface for members of a seemingly endless mug club. A small bar and a handful of tables are all the place has, or needs. I liked the coziness, but I thought more could be done with the location.
The menu is like the building, simple, classic and good. There are no “house” burgers, it is simply build your own. A small list of entrees and appetizers fills no more than two pages. I would think they could expand a bit on the menu like their satellite restaurant Steam Plant Grille does in Spokane, so I was a bit disappointed by my limited options. I ordered the fried fish with onion rings, and I have to say, they were the first or second best I’ve ever had. The beer batter is made with their Lakeside British Ale and the cod wrapped inside the fried goodness is fresh, moist and flavorful. The only other fried fish I’ve had that compares was at Northern Lights Brewing in Spokane. Delicious fried fish must be a Pacific Northwest thing.
There’s roughly eight house brews regularly on-tap with a seasonal or two thrown in for fun. When I was there a Maibock and “pale lager” were on the menu. Neither was overly impressive, but I do love their Lakeside British Ale. Deep and flavorful, the nuttiness just lingers in your mouth. The shot of Vanilla Bourbon Stout proved a bit too un-beer-like for my tastes. I later tried their pale and porter at Steam Plant in Spokane, and found both to be decent options. They have a great variety – something to please everyone.