Let's talk No-Li for a bit, because, really, not doing so would just be silly.
The name is different -- and after a bit of agonizing over this, we do feel "No-Li" rolls better off the tongue than "Northern Lights" -- but the beer is largely the same. That's not a bad thing; we'd kind of forgotten about the brewery, which... Hey, we all make mistakes. It's all good when a new name and brand can bring us back.
This pale, now called Silent Treatment, is quite decent. A bit hoppy, possibly, but the malts still shine through, making it a very refreshing ale.
Name changes aside, what makes No-Li exciting, to us, is the re-branding. The new labels are beautifully designed, and, equally important, show off beer information in a clean, concice way. These are the types of labels that pop from the shelves, and a testament to how simple designs can be so much more complex than what first meets the eye.
That might seem secondary, or even minor, to some, but it shouldn't be. Too often we see branding ranging from uninspired to vaguely grotesque (Wild Dawgs is luckily changing its logo soon, though no word if the "Dawgs" part is going anywhere) in this town. No-Li's re-branding is classy and original. That kind of care, in tandem with the good beer, will keep us going back to their products.
But we were talking about Silent Treatment, weren't we? Yes, it's a great ale for the summer. I've always been more of a Crystal Bitter kind of guy, personally, but I could see coming back to this one at a somewhat regular basis.
No-Li is looking at expanding its distribution. It will remain to be seen if they are the ones who will put Spokane on the map, but we'd be just OK with it, if that turns out to be the case.
Vote for No-Li Silent Treatment: It’s your civic duty!