No-Li Brewhouse: Born and Raised in Spokane, with an Eye on the World

Poster for No-Li Brewhouse's Japanese Lager.


Spokane’s No-Li Brewhouse recently announced the upcoming release of a new beer in its Worldwide series of beers: No-Li Japanese Lager. Keep an eye on the brewery’s social channels for an announcement about the exact release date. This beer is just one example of the brewery’s uncommon interest in international beer culture.

First up, what is a Japanese-style lager? Sometimes referred to as rice lager, the brewery replaces some portion (it varies) of the malted barley with rice. The result is typically a very light-bodied beer, at or below 5 percent ABV, light in color, with very mild bitterness and a crisp, dry finish. No-Li Brewhouse’s version is brewed using 10 percent rice, 82 percent pilsner malt, and 8 percent other/specialty malt. Add to that Sorachi Ace hops–a hop variety originally developed in Japan for Sapporo.

So, why is No-Li Brewhouse creating a beer of this style? John Bryant, one of the founders of No-Li Brewhouse, explains: “We founded No-Li to create an international brewery in Spokane, USA, and to bring more tourism and recognition back to Washington craft brewing and to Spokane beer culture.”

Unlike many other craft breweries, No-Li has always entered international beer competitions. “No-Li entered the 2012 Japan International Beer Competition and brought home a gold and silver medal,” said John. “The experience brought us an amazing opportunity to learn from the judging tasting notes and Japanese beer culture.”


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John’s connection to, and passion for, international beer culture predates the founding of No-Li Brewhouse and began when he served on the board of directors for the Association of Brewers (AOB) in the 1990s. Later, in the 2000s, he worked with the Brewers Association (BA) to establish the original BA Export Development Program, which worked to introduce American craft beer to the rest of the world. 

“Since 2012 we have participated in beer contests around the globe, winning over 150 brewing medals on five continents and in ten countries,” John says. “We have incorporated the international No-Li brand with No-Li staff visits to Ireland, England, Belgium, and Germany for brewery tours, culture engagement, and education.”  

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John says that the international experience and brewing awareness have been a fun, cultural, and educational part of the brewery’s identity. “It is rewarding to share these experiences with staff and it’s a way to bring international craft brewing back to Spokane. It brings recognition back to Washington and Spokane. It is beneficial for the entire craft brewing industry.”

It’s not just about international competition and travel. It’s about business too. No-Li Brewhouse has sold beer in Sweden, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The brewery has a merchandise line, No-Li Worldwide, for its Asian markets. Additionally, the brewery recently started a new International No-Li FC program to support international soccer awareness in Spokane and across Washington.

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While No-Li Brewhouse was born and raised here in Washington, the brewery has an exceptional interest in the international beer scene. The pending release of its Japanese Lager is just one example.

For more news about recent beer releases, visit the Washington Beer Blog’s New Beer Releases page.



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