SPOKANE, Wash. - In the seven years since relaunching as No-Li Brewhouse, it's become one of the biggest craft breweries in Washington with 80 employees producing about 14,000 barrels of beer a year.
Owner John Bryant says No-Li stopped worrying about what the big boys in the beer industry are doing in Spokane.
"We have to be the best Spokane craft brewer we can be. And I think in that process, I think if the community embraces us as part of their brand, or part of what they're proud of, everything's going to work out."
No-Li's "Spokane style" beers, like the new Jet Juiced IPA, are found all over the Inland Northwest. And the brewhouse has won over 30 international medals in brewing.
"It's humbling, but it's, 'How much can we get?'" said Bryant. "And I think that's what pushes innovation, which will help us push forward."
In fact, its latest push isn't into new beers. It's into hard seltzers, which have been skyrocketing in sales.
"We knew if we were going to be a viable company for the future and be able to grow in Spokane, we had to at least experiment, try and make a really great product," said Bryant.
And No-Li believes it's done it with its Day Fade Rainier cherry and huckleberry hard seltzers. But Bryant says the recipes took months to perfect.
"To make a very clear seltzer that has a very nice, aromatic and nice flavor, 100 calories, less than two carbs, 5% alcohol, but really clean is really difficult to do."
And while beer is still the big draw, No-Li's patio has become a go to destination when it's warm out. You can even paddleboard right up to it.
"And then they dock up and they climb up the bank. And, you know, and they have a beverage," said Bryant. "And then they're sending it around the Northwest of this cool place in Spokane."
In the bigger picture, Bryant believes the patio can become a tourist draw, as part of Spokane's craft beer scene.
"And all of a sudden, this buzz starts happening and our local economy really goes. But as more important, the local culture of food and music and just hospitality and everything just goes, 'Bam!' And I think that's what that patio is about."
No-Li recently bought Orlison Brewing's facility in Airway Heights, giving it the ability and capacity to continue to grow here.
"And it would be great to be kind of Spokane's first regional craft brewery since prohibition," said Bryant.
And keep being the best Spokane craft brewer it can be, while continuing to fight off the big boys.
"I think we can win on quality, we can win on personal service, we can win on innovation and I think energy."
Energy is certainly one area where Bryant and No-Li are not lacking.
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