Laughing Dog Brewery: Seriously Good

Dog Bowl of Treats with Taster Tray

I had the opportunity to drink some great beer while visiting the small craft brewery, Laughing Dog, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint is a fun town and is close to Schweitzer Mountain (great snow sports) and it’s on Lake Pend Oreille. Proximity to fresh water and mountains is my kind of place. Laughing Dog was opened a few years ago by veteran home-brewer, Fred. He has been home-brewing for 18 years and he knows the process intimately. His passion pays off in some tasty beer, reflected in multiple award-winning beers. We were honored to have a tour of the brewery by Fred, who let us smell the different types of hops and look inside his new mash tun. There is a beautiful geekiness in brewing that I can appreciate and relate to.

We ordered the taster, which consisted of 8 tastes. My hands-down favorite was the IPA, apparently Fred’s own recipe that precedes the commercial brewery. It is really unique in flavor, hoppy but not too intense and nice and smooth. I also really liked the Black IPA, known as Dogzilla, which looks dark but the flavor is intense, unique and smooth. Fred told me that the beauty of this IPA is that it contains Simcoe hops, which are very aromatic and different than the ever-popular Cascade hops. Another favorite was the seasonal Hot Chihuahua, which is a blonde ale brewed with chipotle and 2 other chili peppers. It’s not a 5-alarm sort of spicy, but more of a smoky taste and a heated finish. It’s really fun and enjoyable to drink.

Deep in hops discussion

Other beers drank included the Huckleberry Cream Ale, which is nice and full of flavor, but too sweet of a finish for me. The award winning cream ale, pale ale and award winning csb were good, but I wouldn’t order a pint for myself. The Sweet Stout was a nice surprise. I am usually not a stout consumer but Fred’s stout was really unique. It had strong coffee and caramel flavors, making it a party on my palate. He recently won a big award for his Hop Dog, a fresh hop ale that is made only once a year. It sounds really interesting. It’s supposed to have a really green grassy flavor, which sounds right up my alley. When they brew it next year, I’ll have to make a special visit to Idaho and say hello.

One Response to “Laughing Dog Brewery: Seriously Good”

  1. Patrick Glaser Says:

    Hi Kim,

    Thought I’d drop by and say hi. Hope everything is going well- looks like you’re back in the states!


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