Beer glasses at Mad Swede Brewery

Spreading the Madness

Mad Swede Brewing prepares to open a second location in downtown Boise

Lex Nelson

Walking into the empty space off Bannock Street that will soon house a second location of Mad Swede Brewing feels like stepping into the hybrid of a coffee shop and a cathedral. Luckily, that’s exactly the vibe Mad Swede’s Eric Larson, son of owners Jerry and Susie Larson, was going for when he helped choose the new spot.

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Warn bottles and logo, banner

A Sweet Tale of Bitters

Meet the cocktail-loving couple behind Warn Reserve

Lex Nelson

Bitters—concentrated flavor infusions similar to kitchen staples like vanilla extract—are the unsung heroes of craft cocktails, adding sophisticated notes that can be a difficult to single out. For Adrienne and Danny Warn, parsing those flavors began as hobby but soon became a business.

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Dinner in the garden crowd at Waterwheel Gardens with chef Kris Ott

Dinner in the Garden

Local farmers, chefs and winemakers come together for a night of good food

Lex Nelson

On June 8, Culinary Collective Network’s Chef Kris Ott did what should have been the impossible: He crammed 60 New York strip steaks into a single home oven, then plated them up for a hungry crowd. Though the exercise sounds like part of a Food Network cooking show challenge, it was actually the lynchpin of the fourth course of Dinner in the Garden, Waterwheel Gardens’ annual farm-to-table dinner.

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Mai Tai Banner

The Chef Who Would Be King

How Mai Thai Executive Chef Justin Scheihing became culinary king of the mountain

Lex Nelson

It was a few days before the Shore Lodge Culinary Festival’s Culinary King of the Mountain Competition, and Mai Thai Executive Chef Justin Scheihing, one of two announced competitors, was relaxed. To hear him talk about the high-pressure competition and the four-course meal that followed, you’d think the weekend was just another dinner service.

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Sunday Roast Banner

Behind the Brunch

Meet the chefs who made the 2019 Foodfort-Alefort brunch collaboration possible

Lex Nelson

With less than 24 hours to go before Treefort Music Fest opened for its fifth and final day, chefs all over Boise were working steadily to prepare their dishes for an inaugural event under the Alefort tent’s roof: a collaborative brunch that would join the forces of Treefort and Alefort, pairing five top-notch dishes from local kitchens with Dawson Taylor coffee, regional beer and cider for a crowd of 300. Before the so-called Sunday Roast was over, a sea of moving parts and disparate ingredients would come together to make something that tasted a bit like magic.

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Horizon with flock of birds in the background and laser in the foreground

Zapping the Bird Problem

Idaho vintners use high-tech lasers to scare birds away from wine grapes

Lex Nelson

From a bird’s eye view, there’s a good chance southern Idaho’s Sunnyslope Wine Trail looks more like a miles-long buffet table than the proverbial patchwork quilt. That’s because for robins and starlings, ripe wine grapes make the perfect snack, particularly during harvest season—a problem vintners like Greg Koenig of Koenig Vineyards have spent increasing amounts of time and money battling.

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Tapping a wooden keg

Suds Across the Pond

Barbarian Brewing co-owners travel to England to brew sour beer

Lex Nelson

Trends, like 15th-century explorers, often hop the Atlantic from Europe to America—but sometimes the channel flows the other way. Garden City-based brewing company Barbarian Brewing proved that point in late September, when co-owners Bre Hovley and James Long traveled to London to teach the staff at Hop Stuff Brewery about what’s already a booming trend in American suds: sour beer.

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Camels Crossing store front

Raise a Glass to the Underdogs

Camel’s Crossing works to highlight organic, biodynamic, and women-run wineries

Lex Nelson

Food & Wine reported in March that out of the more than 3,700 wineries in California, just 10 percent have women as head winemakers. California-based Wine & Vines put out even less promising figures on organic grapes, reporting that just 5 percent of the world’s vineyard acreage is used to grow them. Biodynamic wineries, a subset of organic that follows an even stricter eco-friendly rulebook, account for an even slimmer percentage of acreage. All this is to say, Boise wine bar Camel’s Crossing’s mission to highlight wines in these three categories is a rare thing indeed.

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Plate of German food

A Taste of Germany on the Boise Bench

Das Alpenhaus Deli throws second-annual Oktoberfest

Lex Nelson

When Germany’s most-lauded party comes around, where better to turn in the City of Trees than its one and only authentic German deli? While there are a half-dozen Oktoberfest celebrations taking place in the Boise in late September and early October, none is quite like the one at Das Alpenhaus on Vista Avenue, where co-owner Jamie Webster said he and his staff have already been preparing the festival’s signature dishes for nearly two weeks.

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