by Chris Lozier | Photo © Chris Lozier
Known for harvest festivals, fresh-picked and u-pick fruits, herbs, veggies and more, Green Bluff is a verdant destination just north of Spokane. It’s a local hub of agritourism, a concentration of growers who welcome visitors to their farms. For those 21 and older, Green Bluff is also home to a seven-stop sip trip with a passport map you get stamped along the way to earn a collectible glass.
Two breweries, a cidery, a meadery and three wine tasting rooms comprise the Green Bluff Sips route. Each business offers bottle or growler sales if you are in a hurry, but if you are lucky enough to stay for a drink be sure to pace yourself, bring a designated driver and heed this warning: you are probably going to become a regular.
238 Brewing Co.
Mike and Lisa Beckman are so proud of their Green Bluff home they named 238 Brewing after the phone prefix. Their motto, “Real beer made here,” inspires six core beers plus seasonals, like the Station 47 Red Ale honoring their volunteer firefighters, and the 5K IPA, named for the annual Cherry Picker’s Trot.
“Our beers are centered around the growers association and the fruit and produce that is in season,” says Lisa. Ask for a strawberry Hefeweizen or an I-Peach-A depending on harvest, and soak in expansive views of Mt. Spokane and neighboring orchards. 238brewing.com
Big Barn Brewing Company
Craig, Jane and son Eli Deitz self-source as many ingredients as possible at Big Barn Brewing. Alongside partner Brad Paulson, they brew with on-site-grown berries, pumpkins, seven hop varieties and more.
Savor their 11 core beers and seasonals in the tap-barn or on the green with good company like Rusty, the rooster that showed up and never left, inspiring their Rusty Red Ale, and Nandi, the long-tailed mascot of their Black Dog Stout.
Come for food trucks, lawn games, fresh produce and live music, and meet new friends over delicious, uncommon pints. bigbarnbrewing.com
Grab a glass of mead, session mead or kombucha at Hierophant Meadery’s tasting room and apothecary, then head outside to greet the goats, ponies, puppies and more at the on-site animal sanctuary.
Owners Jeremy and Michelle Kyncl are certified herbalists in love with Green Bluff-grown fruits and herbs. Sourcing local honey, these expert mazers can even tell you what flowers the bees preferred just by smelling the mead.
Customer favorites include Lavender Citrus, Rose Cardamom Vanilla and Hopped meads. Rotating session meads (beer-strength honey brews) are made with neighbors’ seasonal fruit. hierophantmeadery.com
Twilight Cider Works
Spokane’s first cidery, Twilight Cider Works makes six hard ciders plus seasonals inside a repurposed apple warehouse. Using Green Bluff apples, including six cider-specific varieties that Will and Jackie Jordan grow themselves, their dry and off-dry ciders also feature cherries and peaches from their family farm across the road.
“The way cider used to be made is the way I do it today,” says Will, who crushes, ferments, ages and bottles his cider as seasonal temperatures allow. While some of the ciders are naturally sweet, all are complex, nuanced and surprising. twilightciderworks.com
Oenophiles unite at Beck’s Harvest House (greenblufffarms.com) and Walters’ Fruit Ranch (appleranch.com). Both offer diverse regional wines, fresh picked and u-pick orchards, produce, food and estate-grown fruit pies. Centers for family fun, they also make cider with their apples, some of which becomes hard cider at Walters’.
Nearby, Mrs. Kalin’s Barn (mrskalinsbarn.com) pours fruit wines including pear, peach and sparkling raspberry. All three offer by-the-glass wine sales, inside and outside seating, and country store gifts like art and pickled produce.
When you go: Each destination is just a quick drive or pedal from the last one on paved country loop roads. Check websites for hours, but in summer and fall you can earn your stamps and claim your glass in one Saturday afternoon. But why hurry?