Sockeye Brewing has been busy lately. Not only has the Boise brewery increased production since opening its second brewing location and canning line on Fairview Avenue and Cloverdale Road—jumping from 2,300 barrels in 2012 to 5,177 barrels in 2013 to a projected 9,000 in 2014—but Sockeye is also preparing to open its second brewpub in mid-November.
"The second pub has taken second fiddle to the growth of the brewery," said Dawn Bolen, Sockeye marketing assistant. "We've been putting our investment back into it as we've gone."
Keeping with the bigger-is-better theme, the Sockeye Grill and Brewery on Fairview will have a 372-person capacity, which includes patio seating.
"It's a big restaurant; it's very much of a lodge feel," said Bolen. "We've got some really nice old photographs of some of the namesakes of our beers. It's got a fireplace and it's got a fountain."
As a treat for old-school Boiseans, Sockeye owner Fred Schuerman has refurbished the Trolley Bar, which caught fire on the Bench in 2006.
"We have a set of train tracks and some trucks that that trolley's going to sit on here in the spring," said Bolen. "So that will come back to life out here, which is really cool."
The Fairview brewpub's menu will be similar to the Cole Road location's menu—burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salmon dishes—but there will also be a few new offerings.
"We do have some special equipment here in this kitchen, so I think about 80 percent of it will come from the new menu that we also have at the Cole Road location and then they'll add a few additional items," said Bolen.
But Sockeye still isn't done growing.
"We are adding new tanks and another 13,000-square-foot building that will increase our fermentation space to about 18,000 barrels annually," said Bolen.
The brewery hopes to have that building finished by January 2015, and while plans are to expand distribution into Washington and Utah, it will focus on growth in Idaho.
"Our goal is really to keep the beer as close to the brewery as possible," said Bolen. "We want to make sure that it doesn't go too far from home and sit on any shelves. ... A couple other breweries in the state are putting out more barrels than we do, but we sell more in Idaho than any of them at this time. So our goal is to continue to do that ... especially in the Northern and Eastern markets, we're still growing there."
Speaking of Sockeye, the brewery recently took home a bronze medal for its Power House Porter, which was one of 61 entries in the Brown Porter category at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival. This was Sockeye's first time attending GABF, which took place Oct. 2-4 in Denver. Victor's Grand Teton Brewing Company took home silver in the English-Style Summer Ale category for its Ale 208.
According to its online menu, the spot's signature burgers—made with a blend of Niman Ranch beef and pork—hover in the $11-$12 range. Choices include the Calexico, with avocado crema, Mexican chorizo, tomato confit, serrano relish, onions, queso fresco and a fried egg; and the DMZ, with braised beef short ribs, Saigon sauce and spicy kimchi-style slaw. There's also the opulent Stockyard, which costs $18 and is made with a blend of ground, dry-aged meats brushed with bourbon barrel-aged Worcestershire, mushroom-garlic butter and chives.
Non-burger offerings include onion petals with buttermilk dill sauce, blistered edamame and shishito peppers, a house-pickled beet salad and ghost chili-dusted Phantom fries with creamy habanero dipping sauce. An array of craft cocktail options include the Fig Fashioned, comprised of Four Roses bourbon, muddled fig, brown sugar simple syrup, tangerine peel and orange bitters.
PostModern Brewers, the restaurant's adjacent craft brewery, will offer a variety of beers—everything from a nut brown ale that pays tribute to TableRock to a dry Irish stout and Berliner Weisse. The brewery is also concocting a hard root beer and a hard ginger ale, both 4 percent ABV, which harken back to the beverages' mildly alcoholic roots. A number of these brews also make an appearance on Grind's Beer Cocktails menu, which features drinks like the Brown Betty, made with PostModern's Nut Brown Ale and Hard Ginger Beer, Rebel Yell bourbon, Southern Comfort, maple syrup and cinnamon.
In other opening news, Kind Cuisine Cafe is now serving up vegan and vegetarian fare at 4628 W. State St. in the Collister Shopping Center. Recent specials have included gluten-free blue corn peach muffins and delicata squash stuffed with crimini mushroom and tempeh risotto. Kind Cuisine is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday; 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday; and closed on Mondays.
In closing news, the West End Food Park has shut down only a few months after opening at 2419 W. Fairview Ave. According to the former food truck park's Facebook page: "Despite everyone's best efforts the project was out of funds and couldn't sustain past the end of September. There just wasn't enough traffic to keep the park open, and food trucks weren't making a living wage on an average day at the park."
There's talk on Facebook of "one last event" where WEFP Kickstarter backers can use their unredeemed coupons, but nothing has been finalized.