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Paddler’s Alehouse brewing up love for area, great craft beer

by MARY BERRYHILL Contributing Writer
| May 5, 2022 1:00 AM

PONDERAY — The love of the greater Sandpoint area and for craft beer were the two main ingredients in creating the recipe which brewed into the Paddler’s Alehouse.

Chris and Stephanie Wiens realized their fondness of locally crafted beer and wanted to share their passion with others while giving back to the community that raised them. The recent opening of the Paddler’s Alehouse is a wish come true for the two purveyors.

“Supporting locals is what we’re all about,” Chris said. Their beers are pulled from local breweries located within about a 150-mile radius. The Paddler provides 24 rotating taps of beers, ciders, and seltzers.  All the while keeping a standard set of “constants” for those that are popular all the time.

“We don’t make beer, we collect them,” Chris said, who defines himself as a jack of all trades. “They say find something you’re good at and do it … and I’m pretty good at drinking beer.”  

Paddler’s one-of-a-kind tap tower, self-dubbed as “The PNW best looking tap tower”, was created from a group effort of local businesses: Jeger Customs, Full Circle Powder Coating, and Golden Rule Manufacturing.  The couple built their alehouse utilizing as many local businesses and contractors as possible. Local artists decorate the walls of the Paddler and local vendors take a role as well.

The offerings on the 24 taps include everything from light lagers to dark stouts, cider, seltzers and everything in between. Flight specials include four four-ounce glasses of your choice. Also, a local wine is on hand as well as several non-alcoholic beverages. Available is a variety of tantalizing light “bar” finger foods to go along with the drinks including corn dogs, pretzels, chicken wings, taquitos and other items that can be dunked in as many as 10 different sauces.

The newly built 4200 square foot building, with the tap house itself occupying most of the space with plenty of seating and an area designated for the local venders and artists.  Future plans include adding coolers for to-go items of your favorite local beers and ciders.

Both Chris and Stephanie were raised in North Idaho. Born in Coeur d Alene and raised in Sagle, Chris traveled the country during his six years serving in the military.  Stephanie was two years old when her parents homesteaded next to Jewel Lake.  She attended Southside Elementary and graduated from Sandpoint High School.

“Our basic principle is all about supporting our local community in any way we can,” Stephanie said. “We grew up here and this is our chance to support our businesses, charities and neighbors.”

The new taphouse was opened in February and has been open daily from 12pm to 8pm since.  The Paddler’s Alehouse can be reached by calling (208) 946-5256 or stop by at 100 Vermeer Drive in Ponderay.  The current beer listings and events can be found on Facebook and the Untappd App.  

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