For all you explorers out there who travel by taste, go ahead and set course for Wanderlust, where you can get a sip of the world through its unique, diverse beers on tap and its selection of savory wines.
In January, co-owners Albert Moreno and Jennifer Nanez opened the glass doors of their craft beer and wine tap house, Wanderlust, to the public, letting curious and eager customers relax at its rustic tables and experiment with the many various flavors it has to offer.
“We have thirty beers on tap and they are always changing,” Nanez said. “So, if you really like some you better get some,” she said with a laugh. “It might not be here the next time you come back.”
Moreno, who is from Idaho Falls and has been in the beer industry for roughly fourteen years, had been wanting to open up a craft beer and wine tap house for a few years. Up until this point, however, he couldn’t quite get everything aligned to make it happen.
“I guess I just didn’t have the right partner to help me,” he said.
Nanez, who grew up in Rupert and Burley, is new to the industry, but said this has helped her empathize with customers who are new to world of craft beer and wine.
“Coming into the business and hearing words like IPAs and lagers was like a foreign language to me,” she said. “So, when customers come in and it’s their first time, I empathize with them for not knowing what is going on. So hopefully we make it not intimidating to come in.”
Some of their beers come from breweries such as Stone Brewing, Belching Beaver Brewery, and Mother Earth Brew Co. and as such the flavors vary greatly from taste and location. In the past few months, their kegs have been filled with Belgium Beer, Mexican Lagers, an African Amber that, according to Moreno, tastes earthy and malty, and they’ve even offered a beer called ‘Good Morning Beautiful’, which included coffee, coconut, and maple syrup.
One of their brews from Belching Beaver Brewery was even a peanut butter and jelly beer.
“Once people heard about it and tried it, they loved it,” Moreno said. “[When I tried it], it didn’t blend all at once. When you try it, you taste the peanut butter, and then it has a jelly aftertaste. For being as unique as it was, it did sell fast.”
Their wines also offer lush taste. Whether it be sangrias served with fresh berries, mango moscatos with mango puree, or wines from Argentina, Spain, or Italy, they are all available at an affordable price.
“We just are getting more and more things like that for people who just aren’t beer drinkers,” Nanez said. “So, they can come in and just enjoy something fresh.”
The Wanderlust tap house itself possesses character with a wooden, fancy rustic appearance. Green and white bottles wrapped in maps sit on the tables, and in the corner sit games such as Jenga, Uno, and wooden variations of Connect Four, giving customers the opportunity to wind down with some good old-fashion fun.
Nanez also encourages people to bring in pictures of places they’ve visited around the world. She wants them to feel like a part of Wanderlust, she said.
Another notable piece of the tap house that customers may be drawn towards are the multi-colored sticky notes behind the main counter that Moreno and Nanez have dubbed, “the buddy board.” The notes have names and messages and types of drinks purchased for customers, from other customers.
“It’s basically where you can pay it forward to somebody or you can buy your friend or husband or wife a drink,” Moreno said.
“Some people post funny things on the cards or draw funny pictures and people like to just come in and read them,” Nanez added. “We had one that was for an Idaho State University engineering student and they had to answer the questions that were on the back of the card correctly to get the beer.”
The tap house sits in the hub of fast food joints, cuisine restaurants and businesses that draw in large crowds daily. Because of the nature of the location, Wanderlust is a great stop for people who have a few minutes to spare while running errands and for those who want a break from their busy schedule and lounge.
“A lot of our customers will come in before dinner or after dinner, before a show or after a show, or if they just want a little bit of down time, they’ll just come hang out,” Moreno said.
There is something special about this tap house that attracts its customers, whether it be the rotating beers that provide a new experience at each sip or the different types of people you you’ll get meet.
“It’s really easy for most of my customers to come in and try something and find [what] they really like,” Moreno said. “And the nice thing is the uniqueness that people will come in and try something but then when they come back, that [specific drink] might be gone, but then there’s something better or different to try.”
Wanderlust is located on 1799 Hurley Drive Ste. A, and regularly broadcasts their new beers and wines on their Facebook page: @wanderlustinidaho.
Idaho State University’s Continuing Education and Workforce Training (CEWT), is interested in supporting businesses and entrepreneurs with opportunities to get their story out there. For more information, visit cetrain.isu.edu or call 208-282-3372.