This is huge, Boise. Former garden center to open as massive new brewpub, restaurant

·3 min read

Sockeye Brewing has been big for a quarter-century with Idaho beer drinkers. It’s about to get even bigger.

The Boise brewery, celebrating its 25th anniversary with two weekend parties, isn’t just one of Idaho’s largest producers of beer. Now it will have what appears to be the capital city’s most massive brewpub, too.

In spring 2022, Sockeye plans to open a second location at 3823 N. Garden Center Way, at the corner of 36th Street and Hill Road. At more than 12,000 square feet, the towering space formerly held 36th Street Garden Center & Bistro, which closed in March 2020 before reopening briefly to liquidate and say goodbye.

Sockeye won’t brew at the new location. But it will have a full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining. More than two-dozen taps will pour beer at a bar that also offers wine. There will be significant indoor event space available for public and private events.

Sockeye’s modest original location, a grill and brewery at 3019 N. Cole Road, closed in 2019. Its flagship brewery — a 12,000-square-foot building including a 5,000-square-foot restaurant — opened in 2012 at 12542 W. Fairview Ave.

“Since we shuttered our location at Cole and Ustick, we have been on a deliberate search for a site that would make a statement and reflect the next chapter of Sockeye Brewing,” Sockeye Business Manager Janice Skinner said in a press release. “We are thrilled to have found a spot that’s not only beautiful, but will be central to Boise’s Foothills and well within reach of downtown and other portions of the Treasure Valley.”

Sockeye Brewing’s Dagger Falls IPA, its flagship beer, stacked at the brewery on Fairview Avenue in Boise.
Sockeye Brewing’s Dagger Falls IPA, its flagship beer, stacked at the brewery on Fairview Avenue in Boise.

For residents of Northwest Boise and the Collister neighborhood, the new Sockeye will be huge — literally and figuratively. At the moment, many must commute to State Street, Bogus Basin Road or Hyde Park for the nearest eating and drinking opportunities.

For the rest of the Treasure Valley, it will be a not-so-hidden gem.

“Between the event space, outdoor seating, and a food menu specific to this location, we see this as an opportunity to push the boundaries of what Sockeye Brewing can be,” Skinner said.

(Let’s hope that “specific” food menu includes Hell-Diver Finger Steaks. Sockeye does the iconic Idaho food right.)

Party time

Feel like celebrating? Sockeye Brewing will mark 25 years with an outdoor, live-music blowout at 5 p.m. Friday, June 25, at Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St. AC/DC tribute band Hell’s Belles will perform at a concert that starts at 6 p.m. with openers Still Dangerous and The Mongoloids. Food trucks will provide grub. Tickets are $25 advance at, $30 at the gate.

On Saturday, June 26, Sockeye will keep rocking at the Fairview brewpub with beer and food specials all day, and local bands Bourbon Dogs and High Pine Whiskey Yell from 3 to 9 p.m. Sockeye owner Fred Schuerman will show off his antique car collection in the parking lot. The brewery also will provide tours of the restored Trolley bar, a neighborhood tavern that closed in 2006 after being engulfed in flames. A Boise landmark for 72 years on Rose Hill and Roosevelt streets, the old railroad car was relocated to Sockeye’s shop and recently brought back to life and transported to the brewery.

Now that you’ve had 25 years to sample Sockeye’s craft beer, what’s your favorite flavor? Take our survey below. Can’t see it? Follow this link.

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