People like to say Colorado has a robust brewing scene, both for home brewers and new breweries. Having lived in Colorado for two years, it's true - Colorado has some very good local brews and people there are passionate about home brewing and drinking 'good beer' - but they haven't met Bardic Brewing!
If you're a beer (or cider!) lover, then this Spokane feature is for you. Courtney and Mark Haney run Bardic Brewing, a local brewery and ciderhouse located in Spokane Valley. Curious as to how they got started and where you can find their delicious, refreshing brews? Keep reading!
Everyday Spokane: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, like where you’re from, what brought you to Spokane, etc.
I'm Courtney, wife of Mark (Bardic's brewer), mother of Peter and Wendy (8, 5), major nerd (if my kids' names didn't give that away), and the cider maker for Bardic Brewing. I was born in New Mexico but my family moved to the northwest when I was 4. We landed in Spokane when I was 8 and planted deep roots. Mark was born and raised here. In fact, we live down the street from the house he was born and raised in. Early on, we planned on leaving Spokane but we're so glad we didn't!
What or who first sparked your interest in brewing?
Mark has been homebrewing for over 10 years, and I've been cider making for the last several years. We've always loved to host and serve people and the dream of opening a restaurant has floated around our minds for a very long time. It always seem silly, though. Mark's got a career as a software engineer and I'm a stay at home mom with an art degree! Then a couple years ago, we decided why not? And that led to pursuing the dream in earnest. Bardic is still in it's early stages and no where near where it'll finally be but we're so excited to be on this journey!
What is unique about Bardic Brewing?
We are one of the few combination brewery and ciderhouses. Usually you get one or the other. We're a little bit crazy, though, and are running with it! What that means, then, is at Bardic you'll find a wide selection of craft beers and a wide selection of cider. Eventually we will even be making and serving craft soda for the kids (and the not-kids... we don't judge).
Do you have a favorite Bardic brew? If so, what's the story behind it?
I would say my Health Potion cider. It's a hibiscus and strawberry cider that is delightfully sweet and just a touch tart. It's also vibrant red, like a good health potion in the video games is. The runner up (and not by much) is my MD 314 cider. It's an apple pie cider so I named it MD (for malus demestica, the botanical name for apples) 314 (the first three numbers of the number pi)! So it's a super nerdy way of saying apple pie cider!
Mark's favorite is his Scotch ale, Relics. Not only is it crazy rich and strong, but that also happens to be the name of the Star Trek, The Next Generation episode where Scotty returns and asserts that he "never wanted to be anything else but an engineer", much like Mark. Oh, and Scotty's also supposed to be Scottish... Much like this beer 🙂
What's it like working with your spouse to build a business?
Working with my husband is amazing! Of course there are tough times but at least my business partner works hard to think the best of me and I of him. We compliment each other very well, too. He's scientific and logical and I'm creative and intuitive. Where one of us falls short the other often excels and vice versa.
What's one thing you love about Spokane?
There's a nice city vibe but you can also be in the middle of nature anytime. I've often dreamed of living in a big city but every time I started really considering a move I started mourning that I would be so far from nature. Spokane has definitely satisfied both desires for me. Besides, I can travel to the big cities, enjoy them, and come home to not the traffic and horrible costs of living! Also, the food and craft drink scene here in Spokane is going crazy!
Does Bardic Brewery have a location or how can people taste/buy Bardic brews?
We are working on our taproom (hopefully open this summer)! We just got approval for the brewery license so the "legal to sell" beers are in the works and will be released ASAP. Our ciders are regularly on tap several places around town. The most up to date list is on our website. Right now we have a keg of MD 314 (an apple pie cider) on at Renegade Wine Bar downtown and a keg of Wanna Be My Cider (a dry, spiced cider) at Elliott's an Urban Kitchen. We are also launching Bottle and Growler Fill Nights at our distribution facility (which is a really fancy name for the garage where the ciderhouse is). So, every Thursday starting 6/6 we will have several of our drinks for sale on tap and in bottles from 4:00 - 6:30 pm. We're located at 14719 E 15th, Spokane Valley, WA, 99037. This week the tap list is:
Oaked MD 314 - An oaked version of our apple pie cider
Wanna Be My Cider - A dry, spiced cider
Health Potion - A hibiscus and strawberry cider **Very Limited Quantity - more coming soon**
Thank you so much to Bardic Brewing (Courtney and Mark) for sharing their Spokane story and business. If you're looking to try some new brews and ciders, make sure to visit visit Bardic Brewing online and on their Facebook page for all the latest brews and ciders they have!