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Best of Libations 2010

#SpoCOOL / Spokane /

The votes are in and it is pretty clear you wanted a Best of Spokane with a bit more zing and good taste than what we see in most print magazines and papers. With literally hundreds of you casting your votes, that is exactly what we got, and it truly came down to the wire in some categories.

Over the next week we will reveal the top 6 (unless the category had less options) in each category, starting today with the Best of Libations 2010.

Best Coffee Roaster

1. DOMA Coffee
2. Bumper Crop
3. Thomas Hammer
4. Roast House Coffee
5. 4 Seasons Coffee
6. Craven's Coffee 

There was no competition here: It was DOMA all the way, then there was the rest. More interesting was Roast House, a new kid on the block, jumping into #4 with a bullet. Odds are we'll be seeing more of them in the future.

Best Brewery

1. Laughing Dog
2. Northern Lights
3. Golden Hills Brewing Co.
4. Coeur d'Alene Brewing Company 

While not from Spokane (or Washington for that matter) Laughing Dog deservedly went home with this one, though Northern Lights was a close second. Golden Hills, a new brewery specializing in lagers, made a respectable debut in the third spot, narrowly beating out the more colorful, though not as consistent, Coeur d'Alene Brewing Company.

Best Winery

1. Barrister Winery
2. Robert Karl Cellars
3. Townshend Cellar
4. Arbor Crest
5. Latah Creek
6. Caterina Winery

As if there was any doubt, Spokane loves its Rough Justice, apparently also in wine-form. Both Robert Karl and Townshend came close, but in the end the law-minded winery inched its way to the top.

Best Bar

1. The Lantern Tavern
2. LeftBank Wine
3. The Hop Shop
4. The Elk/The Two Seven
5. Zola
6. The Viking

Despite what many elsewhere in the Northwest might think, Spokane likes bars with quality beer selection as much as they like their neighborhood haunts. The Lantern might not be big -- in fact it's tiny -- but it makes up for its cramped South Perry space by offering a selection (small as it also might be) of really great beer. 

Apparently the size of the place charmed enough Spokanites to put it ahead of The Hop Shop, which is both larger in size and in its beer selection. It's a good reminder of how good ambiance is important, and likely what put the Lantern ahead.

As for LeftBank, it is a favorite among the wine crowd who almost managed to push it up to number one.

Some might think there is little of interest outside of downtown nightlife wise, but as proven by the Lantern (South Perry), the Hop Shop (South Hill) and The Elk/The Two Seven (Browne's Addition/South Hill) there are many places out there to experience.

Tomorrow: Best of Markets and Cafes