What was formerly known as the Northern Lights Brewing Company has now been renamed and re–branded No-Li Brewhouse. The force behind this new venture is NLBC founder and head brew master, Mark Irvin, and craft beer industry veteran, John Bryant, both with deep roots in Spokane.
Washington ranks 8th nationally in craft brew per capita but there are only a few small draft-only craft brewers in all of Spokane. “No-Li Brewhouse is a hometown brewer with aspirations of a regional brewery that builds an even stronger Spokane centric identity as a national craft beer destination,” said Bryant.
The partners expect No-Li Brewhouse to be a significant economic contributor to Spokane and the local community through job creation, special events and philanthropic giving. “When the economy was tough, we took the high road and re-invented, grew and became energized by the short-term set-back, just like other relatively small Spokane and U.S. companies,” said Irvin. “In other words, we dug-in.”
No-Li will produce 22-ounce bottles as well as draft brands in three styles that are an extension of Spokane and the culture of World Expo ’74 that energized the local economy: Born & Raised IPA, Crystal Bitter and Silent Treatment. Here are the stories behind each style:
Silent Treatment: Northern Lights Brewing Company was re-invented as No-Li Brewhouse when an East Coast brewer began using NLBC beer names. “We approached this East Coast brewer about a solution and their lawyer gave us the silent treatment – no return phone calls, e-mails or certified letters!” said Bryant.
Born & Raised IPA: A salute to each of us that were raised in Spokane and countless hometowns across America and returned back.
Crystal Bitter Pale: Honors the historic Crystal Bitter Laundry, which had to be torn down to make room for Expo ’74.
The partners have 45 years combined experience in the brewing business. The Northern Lights Brewing Company was born out of Irvin’s love for beer and a desire to bring fresh locally brewed ales to his hometown of Spokane. For eight years NLBC made its home in Airway Heights as a production brewery producing primarily draft beer and self-distributing kegs to local restaurants and bars in the Spokane area. In June of 2002 NLBC moved into Spokane to its current location on the Spokane River and began operating as a brewery and pub. Since then, Spokane’s native son brewery has been consistently voted the best brewery in the area.
Bryant, a craft brewery veteran of 20 plus years, is returning home to his deep Washington roots in Spokane, Cheney, and Pullman to launch No-Li Brewhouse. He has worked for several well-known national brands, including Deschutes, Odell and Oskar Blues. As vice president of sales and marketing at Deschutes Brewery the brewery grew from 17,000 barrels to 140,000 barrels. As chief operating officer of Odell Brewing he created fresh strategy, beers and infrastructure to generate margin and volume growth as well as lead his team to the first-ever World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival (GABF) gold medals. While president of Oskar Blues Brewery, the brewery saw explosive, double-digit growth under his leadership where he focused on people, infrastructure and brewing quality craft beer in a can laying the foundation to grow OB from 17,000 barrels to 60,000 barrels.
The distribution plan for No-Li Brewhouse will initially be Spokane, Denver and New York City. For more information, visit www.nolibrewhouse.com.