When Wendy Smiley Johnson first came to the Moscow Alehouse in 2006 it was simply called the Alehouse. She worked as a daytime server/ bartender then in 2008 she took over managing the business along with still serving and bartending. The business originally opened in 1999 and was run by the Coeur d’Alene Brewing Company until 2010, when they shut down. With that, the remaining surplus of beer was sold, the brewery shut down and in 2013, the Alehouse was put up for sale – and Smiley Johnson jumped on it and simply called it “Moscow Alehouse ” and still managing and maintaining her bartender server position. She often refers to herself as “The waitress who pays the electric bill”
Smiley Johnson since taking over the business has made a few changes besides the nome. She brought in a 24 tap rotating beer selection with a lineup of something for everyone including a cider tap, a nitro tap and 4 wines on top. She also pours the famous River City (formally Coeur d’Alene Brewing Co) original recipe Huckleberry and Vanilla Bourbon Stout all year long. The Alehouse introduced the “Vandal Burger” A double meat double cheese delicious burger made with meat from the University of Idaho’s Vandal Meats. Wendy gives a portion of all money made from the Vandal Burger and donates to Moscow charities.
She also continued on the tradition of the “mug club,” in which patrons pay to get their own personal 20 oz. mug that they con customize and keep at the Alehouse. The membership lasts one year at which point members can either renew it or simply take possession of their mug and great memories. The mug club provides guest with the feeling of their very own personal place to come hang out with friends.
Smiley Johnson says working for a local business makes her feel more connected to the community, which is why she jumped at the opportunity to buy it. She loves to work hard to strengthen the connections between her business, the city and the university that have kept the Moscow Alehouse in business through the years.
Smiley Johnson employees approximately 27-30 people year round from part time college students to full time workers. She is known as their boss, friend, mother, advisor and confidant and team player. She believes in nurturing her employees and teaching them about how to be great employees, employers, and team players and leaders in Me. Being a great team leader and working alongside her employees she says is the key to building a great team and great future leaders.
“I never ask anyone to do anything that I won’t do myself”
Purchasing all the meat from the university, supporting local charities, employing future leaders and renaming the business from the Alehouse to the Moscow Alehouse to emphasize its connection to the community have been her way of fostering connections with the town she cares so much for.
“Being here has really allowed me to be a part of, and help support, this great community that supports each other.”
“Happy and honored to be a part of it.”
We have daily specials that run all week long:
Monday Wing Night, we serve 150 pounds of Alehouse famous wings by the buckets! Happy Hour Beer Prices All Day Long!
Tap-a-Keg Tuesday, $1.75 pints and $6.00 pitchers. Starts 6pm, 2 Micro Brew Kegs till they BLOW!
Wednesday, Whiskey, Wells and Wine Trivia Night 6:30pm. Open Mic 8:00-10:00pm on the deck (weather pending)
Special “Tea” Thursday, Special “Teas” and Derailer’s in all colors of the rainbow. All day Long!
Faculty Friday, Happy Hour beer prices all day.
Student Saturday, Happy Hour beer prices all day.
Bloody Sunday, $2.50 famous Bloody Mary’s.
Moscow Alehouse is locally owned and operated since 2012.