McCall is a resort town sitting at an elevation of 5000 feet. A popular ski and boating destination, the small town is situated on the southern shore of Payette Lake, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Boise. 

This scenic drive passes directly through the Boise National Forrest. The mountainous region is famous for hot mineral springs pools and the fast and challenging slopes of Brundage Mountain. 

McCall is also home to one of the largest Smokejumper bases in the United States. Smokejumpers are specially trained firefighters who parachute into hard-to-reach places — helping to control forest fires.

Idaho is one of the best states for brewing beer. It is the largest barley producer and the third-largest producer of hops. Dozens of microbreweries are scattered throughout the state and are an integral part of the state’s independent nature.

Most breweries are concentrated in Boise’s capital, but hidden gems are tucked away in smaller towns like McCall. 

Surprising for a population of 3000, this cozy mountain town is home to three Idaho craft breweries–McCall Brewing Company, Broken Horn Brewing, and Salmon River Brewery. 

Strongly supported by the town’s residents, these unique local beer companies are on tap in almost every restaurant and bar in the area.

In fact, McCall, Idaho, loves craft beer so much that city leaders have developed an Ale Trail Passport with prizes for the worthy few. Visitors must pick up an official Ale Passport at McCall’s Chamber of Commerce to participate. After receiving stamps from ten stops on the Ale Trail, including restaurants and breweries in McCall, Idaho, return the passport to the city’s Chamber for a commemorative McCall Ale Trail Coozie.

McCall Brewing Company

McCall Brewing Company is the second oldest brewery in Idaho. The oldest microbrewery in the state is Highlands Hollow in Boise, founded just two years earlier, in 1992.

Founded in 1994, McCall Brewing Company is well known for brewing handcrafted ales and ciders at its cabin-style microbrewery and restaurant. The magical brewing process can be easily watched as the tanks and equipment are located in the center of the building.

While the McCall brewery is open year-round, the back deck only opens in the summer. But the views are worth the wait as the wrap-around deck overlooks the city, just a few blocks from the shores of Payette Lake. This open-air area is perfect for enjoying a pint of Lemon Ginger Hefeweizen with friends. 

McCall Brewing Company is an intimate brewpub, open daily for lunch and dinner. Starters, thick and juicy hamburgers, and a few pub favorites such as fish and chips or bangers and mash are on the menu.

A local spot to gather, the McCall Brewing Company, has up to twelve of their ales on tap. With a range of brews from Tanglefoot, English Style Ale, to the locally popular Wobbily Man, Smoked Scotch Ale, there is always something for everyone. If you have a taste for a stronger beer, the McCall Coconut Porter is a unique blend.

The brewpub is closed Monday & Tuesday for operations but is open on weekends.

McCall Brewing Company, 807 N 3rd St A, McCall, ID 83638, (208) 634-3309.

Broken Horn Brewing

Broken Horn Brewing initially grew out of a hobby and a love for home brewing. The microbrewery was founded in 2013.

Broken Horn’s tasting room offers a relaxed, casual bar atmosphere with an open-air deck, fire pits, and several places to watch sports. The microbrewery also provides live music and trivia nights. Local restaurants and food trucks serve the snack menu. The outdoor deck is even dog friendly – as long as they are on a leash.

For those interested in a brewery tour, Kalen Dodge, owner, and founder of Broken Horn Brewing, is happy to oblige. The brewing equipment is on-site and can be easily viewed from the tasting room. This allows anyone to follow their favorite Initial Attack India Pale Ale (IPA) or Hell Canyon Jalapeno batch. 

For an added plus and for the two nights a week that Broken Horn Brewing is closed, all 11 Broken Horn selections, from the lagers to the pale ales, are available for takeout in a freshly filled Growler. 

Closed during the day, the taproom’s hours of operation vary during the week. But the brewpub is open all weekend.

Beloved by locals, Broken Horn Brewing is a mainstay in McCall. Both the tasting room and brewery sit north of the Smoke Jumper base, near the McCall Idaho Airport, on South Mission Street.

Broken Horn Brewing, 201 S Mission St, McCall, ID 83638, (208) 315-5472.

Salmon River Brewery

Founded in 2008 by owner Matt Hurlbutt, Salmon River Brewery makes award-winning craft beer using locally sourced ingredients. 

Many of Salmon River Brewery’s 35 selections have been awarded a North American Brewers Association Gold, Silver, or Bronze Award, including Alpenglow Lager, Dark Villian Imperial Milk Stout, or Buzz Buzz Coffee Porter. Comfortably Numb, a Belgian Tripel Ale, is Salmon River’s most potent brew at 10.3% IBU. 

At the same time, Udaho Gold is the microbrewery’s most famous beer. In addition to a Bronze, this unique beer garnered investment from the famed Adolphus A. Busch. Udaho Gold is a light-bodied Session Ale. Several variations are brewed in the summer, including Citrus Gold and Honeysuckle Gold. 

In addition to a brewery, Salmon River Brewery is a family-friendly full-service restaurant with Summertime rooftop and patio dining that features some of the best lake views in McCall. In the winter, outdoor fire pits keep everyone warm.

The restaurant serves great food. The brewpub’s menu includes a locally sourced Black-N-Blue Elk Burger that pairs perfectly with the hoppy PFD. Pale Ale. 

The TapRoom pours a variety of Salmon River selections and local Idaho wines. The bar has also made room for numerous guest taps.

Housed in McCall’s old train depot, overlooking Hotel McCall’s courtyard, Salmon River’s brewhouse, taphouse, and pub are McCall traditions. 

Salmon River Brewing, 411 Railroad Ave, McCall, ID 83638, (208) 634-4772.

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