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An Ending and a Beginning for the Boise Beer Scene

Holy Oly Night ends at The Lift while Barbarian Brewing rises

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The new year brings sad news for an almost decade-old tradition: State Street haunt The Lift is no longer offering 50-cent cans of Olympia and $2 fish tacos on Tuesdays, a phenomenon known as Holy Oly Night. The long-running special won multiple Best of Boise Editors' Picks over the years--including "Best Use of Your Laundry Money" in 2009 and "Best Visit from a Big-Wig Beer Exec" in 2010--and it also won The Lift the title of top-selling Olympia account in the United States.

"After nine years, all good things come to an end and it was time to do something new and different," said Lift owner Jason Kovac.

Kovac said he discontinued the special a month ago because Holy Oly Night "wasn't as busy as it used to be." Asked whether there was customer backlash, Kovac said, "No one's been bothered; there hasn't been a response." The Lift plans to offer a new special, though Kovac is still wrapping his head around what it will be.

"I'm sure it will be something just as important and just as unique," said Kovac. "We'll probably launch something in the spring. Just like the rest of our specials we have going on at the Lift, it'll be awesome."

In local beer news, husband and wife duo James Long and Bre Hovley successfully raised $21,130 on Kickstarter to open "Idaho's first dedicated barrel house," Barbarian Brewing.

"As head brewer, James will create Belgian and European-style sour ales, imperial ales and a variety of other beers that will require two to 18 months of aging time in oak barrels or stainless steel vessels," the brewery wrote on its website. "We're hoping to have a small tasting room to serve our aged bottled beers, our mainstream beers on tap and local wines by the glass."

Funds will help purchase 50 oak barrels and a small, semi-automated bottling system. Barbarian plans to open sometime in 2015.