Made in the Northwest: Iron Goat Brewing

Iron Goat Brewing in downtown Spokane.
Iron Goat Brewing in downtown Spokane.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Iron Goat Brewing planted its hooves in downtown Spokane in 2016, when it opened its taproom on the corner of W. 2nd Ave. and S. Adams St.

“It’s a beautiful building. We can’t take credit for that. We just basically brought it back,” said Greg Brandt, Iron Goat’s head brewer and owner. “It’s on the national and local historic registries.”

But Brandt and his late co-founder, Paul Edminster, started Iron Goat several years before, when they were unhappy with their jobs and wanted to try something different.

“So we went home to our wives and asked. And surprisingly, they said, ‘Yes. Let’s do it.’ And we started the brewery,” explained Brandt.

As you might have guessed already, the name Iron Goat Brewing came from Spokane’s famous garbage eating goat in Riverfront Park.

“We thought that’s really iconic for Spokane, so let’s name the brewery after it,” said Brandt.

And that led to several goat themed beer names, like Goatmeal Stout, Goatorade American Lager and Head Butt IPA.

“I don’t think we’ve exhausted all of the goat references, but we’re getting close,” laughed Brandt.

Brandt and his staff love to have fun, but they’re serious about making beer. Iron Goat invested in a Prospero Brewhouse machine, which Brandt said brews 17 barrels of beer at a time.

“It has basically improved our capacity to brew by double and it also saved us a whole bunch of time.”

Iron Goat has always had bottles available in stores, but it recently bought its own canning line. The first beer it put in cans was its Buzzsaw McThunder IPA.

“And now, we’re releasing Brewski’s Blonde and Goatmeal Stout in cans,” said Brandt.

The bigger facility has allowed Iron Goat to do what Brandt and Edminster always wanted to do, Belgian sour beers.

“That’s kind of Paul and I’s passion was we loved Belgian sour beers – Gueuze and Krieks and all kinds. Lambics and Flanders Reds and all that kind of thing.”

To feed that passion, Iron Goat installed a Koelschip on its roof, which allows local microflora to blow into the open tank. Then, after cooling, it’s pumped into barrels, or an oversized barrel called a Foeder, to age.

“Then it takes about 18 months and we get to see if it’s any good,” laughed Brandt. “And we’ve been hitting about 75%. That’s about what you would expect.”

Customers have come to expect a delicious menu as well, which includes several vegan options. Its chefs recently took home an award from a national cooking event.

“They took third place, which was really good,” said Brandt. “And there’s just really high quality food coming out.”

And with its taproom and increased distribution, Brandt says Iron Goat plans to keep slowly growing over time and continue having a good time doing it.

“It’s just fun. You’ve got to have fun.”