More and more often the most common request by travelers in a new city is where can I get the ‘the local brew’.  Travel is about taking your senses on a journey and that shouldn’t be limited to just sight and sound.  When I visited Sun Valley, I sought out the area’s own brewery, coffee roaster, and winery because, when I travel, my experience has got to excite my smell, taste, and touch.


The Sun Valley Brewery has the laidback appeal of a local dive bar, lacking the pretention of many modern breweries.  This place is so low key in fact that if you didn’t know Sun Valley Brewery was also a brew house heading in side, you may never guess it.  With a wide selection of their own beers, the menu is too large for any person to try in one sitting, but a few we liked were the hoppy Cranky uber IPA, their most popular beer, and the think Fly Squirrel Stout, which was full of original favor.  If you’re dropping in, come with friends or make some over a pint, like many of the area’s local favorites, there’s nothing quiet about this place.


In Sun Valley, the Hailey Coffee Company’s locally roasted beans will hit your taste buds quicker than you expect.  For years, the coffee house’s organic and fair trade beans have been specially prepared with unique blends for many of local restaurants, like the Kneadery.  The store, located in Hailey, is just a short walk from the roasting house, but this is more local knowledge than tourist attraction.  Before you head out of town or on your way from the airport to Sun Valley resort, stop by the Hailey Coffee Company for a cup of Hailey joe. This large, indoor/ outdoor shop is great for a quick lunch too.


Frenchman’s Gulch proudly makes award winning “Seattle [style] wines in Idaho”, and while the taste may be coastal, the creation is all local.  During the harvesting season, grapes are smashed, juiced, and barreled on sight, and then Mac, the tastemaker, goes to work in the adjacent storehouse.  On our trip, we sampled the Cuvee, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, finding each to be full of flavor and all easy on the pallet, ultimately we left with a bottle of the Cuvee.  There are few things that provide a more intimate taste of the land than wine, and Frenchman’s Gulch is the best way to sample the Idaho countryside. When dining in restaurants, be on the lookout for one of Frenchman’s bottles so you can try the local food with a local pour.

Sponsored by Sun Valley Tourism.