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Best of Spokane 2011: Best Brewery & Winery

#SpoCOOL / Spokane /

Yesterday we established that Spokane likes its quality beer, and therefore the results of the "Best Brewery" category should come with few surprises as far as the winner goes...

1 - (1) Laughing Dog Brewing
2 · Budge Brothers
3 · 12 String Brewing Co
4 (2) Northern Lights Brewing Co
5 (3) Golden Hills Brewing Co
6 (4) Coeur d'Alene Brewing Co

... however, that's not to say there weren't any surprises at all there.

Laughing Dog, though, is without much doubt the best brewery in the area, though it might be a stretch to call it "local". Local-ish. Hey, we have no regrets including it! It's a great brewery, one that can stand shoulder to shoulder with many to most national ones.

The surprises came from two new entries -- Budge Brothers and 12 String Brewing Co -- which shoehorned themselves between Laughing Dog and last year's number two, Northern Lights.

I've yet to sample Budge Brothers' ales, but recently had a chance to check out 12 String, which is an instantly promising brewery.

They go hand in hand with the advent of great ale houses, these new breweries, showing that the region is taking the craft beer "revolution" (really, it has been more of an evolution) seriously.

As for wineries...

1 (2) Robert Karl Cellars
2 (1) Barrister Winery
3 - (3) Townshend Cellar
4 · Trezzi Farm
5 · Mountain Dome Winery
6 (4) Arbor Crest

They duked it out last year and it was close again, but this time Barrister's justice was not rough enough to take out Robert Karl. Townshend Cellar, meanwhile, sat put as the region's third best winery, followed by two bullets from Trezzi Farm and Mountain Dome.

Overall it seems people quite enjoy local wines. The category was, going by the average of weighted scores, the fourth highest ranked one. Not too shabby.

Tomorrow: Best Coffee Shop and Coffee Roaster.