Scenic Brewing Company Now Open
Las Vegas’ newest brewery is Scenic Brewing, which opened in April. The 15-bbl brewhouse at Durango and Desert Inn is using the same equipment as the former Old School Brewing, but has converted from a three-vessel system to a two-vessel. Doing so made space to fit in more fermenters, doubling the previous tally of three to six, allowing for more of its brews to be tapped.
I met with Head Brewer Jamie Roberts, who after earning a degree in Food Science & Technology (specializing in fermentation) at Oregon State University moved to Las Vegas and worked his way up from volunteer to assistant brewer at Joseph James Brewing. Jamie has left Joseph James on very good terms, and in fact, Joseph James Director of Brewing Matt Marino referred him and consulted on the initial brews, which were initially brewed at Joseph James while finishing touches on Scenic’s brewing system were being completed.
The 20 taps are 100% devoted to local beer, and eventually will pour 10-12 of Scenic’s brews. The opening lineup includes Yeast Bud IPA (a collaboration with Joseph James), Blonde Ale, Pale Ale, Imperial Coffee Stout, Blackberry Wheat, Lemon Ginger Hefe, Mexican Lager, and Hazy IPA. An interesting tidbit is that Jamie is likely the tallest brewer in Southern Nevada, and his 6’7” height necessitated cutting down the brewing platform by a few inches, as he kept bumping his head.
As for the restaurant, the non-smoking, family-friendly eatery has a sports focus, with TVs throughout, but is also decorated with scenic pictures of locales from around the world. The “scenery” in both the décor and name is likely a tease to make you think about traveling, as Scenic owner Leo Falkensammer’s family founded and owns Prestige Travel. He also has some of the local Marie Callender’s restaurants, but if you think the menu will be a repeat of Marie’s, it’s not, but is a mix of flatbreads, brats, burgers and entrees such as fish & chips and baby back ribs.
Able Baker Opening Its Own Brewery
Since entering the Southern Nevada market in late 2016, Able Baker’s beers have been popping up just about everywhere. The name is reflective of the partners being longtime Nevadans, and refers to the state’s atomic history, as the very first two atomic bombs detonated at the Nevada Test Site were named “Able” and “Baker.” Their now iconic Atomic Duck logo with a duck head inside an atomic star symbol, is representative of the rumor that a duck was the only animal to survive the blasts and the use of this symbol represents perseverance and good fortune.
Most know Able Baker as a local brewery, but what many don’t realize is the beers are contract brewed at Joseph James Brewing by Able Baker co-owner Randy Rohde and the Joseph James team, but now that’s about to change. Co-owner James Manus informs that construction is now underway for a 15-bbl brewing system with the capacity to brew 6,500 barrels a year. Located in the Arts District, which is quickly becoming a “beer district,” there will be a 7,500 square foot taproom with capacity for about 150 guests and 33 tap handles to serve them with. Unlike most of the other taprooms in the District, there will be a food concept contained within the brewery, and it will definitely be high quality, for it will be operated by Van-Alan Nguyen and his group behind 595 Craft & Kitchen. In addition, there will be a small stage in the venue to be used for special events, live music, DJ’s and private events & seminars. Manus relates, “This new facility will allow us to expand our barrel-aging program and to offer some brewery-only exclusives. We’re keeping the ‘Atomic theme’ for the brewery so expect an ambiance that reflects our core theme of the Atomic Era in Las Vegas from the early 40s to late 50s. Also, we gotta keep the duck imagery going. Good times are coming ☺.”
The targeted opening date is mid-summer 2019. In the meantime, look for Able Baker Atomic Duck IPA, Kris Kael Impale’d Ale, Test Site Saison and Honey Dip Stout around town; and just debuted is PRESS IPA, produced exclusively for the Four Seasons Hotel.
Hop Nuts Brewing Opening 2nd Location
After enjoying success and building clientele over the past four years in the Arts District in Downtown Las Vegas, Hop Nuts will be opening a second location in Tivoli Village in Summerlin. Expected to open in the coming months, the new location will be situated on the western end of the outdoor and dining hub. It will not include a brewery but will feature more than a dozen taps pouring the Hop Nuts core beer lineup, along with brews unique to the Tivoli location.
IMBĪB Custom Brews Opening Second Location at Legends
IMBĪB, which opened in Uptown Reno in spring of 2015, has earned a boatload of accolades and major competition medals, and its Nevada Weisse was recently selected by the AHA to represent Nevada for its 2019 Craft Beer Clone Recipes. Such success has enabled it to garner a large fan base for its brews, and now it has secured space at Legends Mall in Sparks with plans to open a taproom later this summer. Owner/Brewer Matt Johnson tells me this 2nd location will have a small experimental brew system, 20+ taps and will offer crowler and growler fills. The new taproom will be situated across from the entrance to the I-Max movie theater.
Alibi Ale Works Opening Third Location
In late 2014 Founders/Owners Kevin Drake and Rich Romo opened Alibi Ale Works, a production brewery and tasting room, in Incline Village (North Shore Lake Tahoe). After developing a following for its barrel-aged and funky/sour/mixed-culture beers rotating frequently through its lineup, in June 2017 they expanded to a second location—Truckee Public House in nearby Truckee, Calif.—a tasting room, pilot brewery, restaurant and live music venue. Now in the works are plans to open a third location, this one in Incline Village in the former space of Hacienda De La Sierra Restaurant. Opening in the coming months, the new location will have a 1-bbl pilot brewery, outdoor patio, progressive pub food menu, dog & family-friendly atmosphere, expanded beer selection and unlike its other location in Incline, will offer ample parking.
Lead Dog Brewing Opening New Production Facility
Lead Dog in Downtown Reno opened in January 2017 and expanded distribution of its beer into Las Vegas and Northern Nevada, Arizona and all of Northern California including Napa and Sonoma. Now to keep up with growing demand for its products it will add a production facility in Sparks, which is set to open in the coming months, or possibly weeks. The 30-bbl brewhouse will be equipped with 120-bbl and 60-bbl fermenters and brite tanks, a canning line and a taproom with 30-40 tap handles. According to Founder Ryan Gaumer the new addition is expected to double Lead Dog’s production by 2020.
Under the Rose Brewing Closes
Unfortunately Under the Rose Brewing closed both of its Reno locations in November. In a social media post owners Scott Emond and Jessie Kleinedler stated: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce that we are officially and permanently closing our doors. The past five years have been an honor and a privilege. We have been fortunate enough to work with people that are not only at the top end of the industry but downright awesome in general. We would not have made it this far without them and our amazingly supportive customers. Those of you that endured the extreme temperatures of 4th St. all in the name of good beer and great times, we salute you. Please continue to support local and work hard to keep Reno the amazing city that it is, and we hope to run into you in the process as we start the next chapter. Cheers, Scott and Jesse.”
• • • • •
Upcoming openings of Trustworthy Brewing at The Palazzo resort on the Vegas Strip, Beer District Brewing in Downtown Las Vegas, Aces & Ales Brewery in Southwest Las Vegas and the new CraftHaus taproom in the Arts District, are all still weeks to months from opening. Stay tuned for future updates.
As always, great beer happens in Nevada!
• • • • •
Photos by Joe Urcioli