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SquawkyFest at the Old Idaho Penitentiary

May 7, 2023 @ 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Sunday, May 7, 2023. 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm (last admission 4:00 pm). Join us for SquawkyFest at the Old Idaho Penitentiary – our very first Beerfest and Brewer’s Competition all in one!

Squawky was an alcohol that those incarcerated ‘brewed’ at the penitentiary. The name may have derived from everyone squawking like birds once they got a few cups in. Men who were incarcerated at the site grew their own fruit and vegetables, prepared their own meals, and even had a canning plant outside the walls where they could collect ingredients. Key ingredients and flavors that squawky might include were apples, oranges, potatoes, grapefruit, or prunes. Add in some yeast and sugar and let ferment for a few days – and you have Squawky!

In our first SquawkyFest competition here at the Old Idaho Penitentiary, in collaboration with Idaho Brewers United, we are asking breweries to concoct their very own version of ‘squawky’. Using the key ingredients of squawky, breweries will create their own beer/cider for the public to enjoy and vote on who’s is the best. Stroll around the site while sipping on your favorite breweries’ squawky.

Along with the local breweries we will have food trucks, and local vendors. You can also join our staff for presentations throughout the day on the history of the site and moonshiners that resided at the penitentiary.

This event is 21+ (Photo ID required at the door). Registration ($20 per person) is now open!

Admission includes site entry and exhibits, history presentations, and tasting cup for the Squawky Contest. Beer tokens available at the site for $4 each (or 4 for $15), along with limited edition SquawkyFest merch!


May 7, 2023
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Event Category:


Old Idaho Penitentiary
2205 Old Penitentiary Rd
Boise, Idaho 83
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