Able Baker Brewing Beers Now Pouring

If the name Able Baker Brewing sounds familiar, you’ve probably had the brewery’s beer at one of the many local beer fests they’ve poured at over the last several years. Now the owners’ dreams are coming to fruition as their beers are pouring around town. I recently met with Co-Owners James Manos and Randy Rohde and got the rundown on the progress of the opening of Able Baker Brewing. Plans for a brewery location are still in the works, but the new brewery is now contract brewing its beer at Joseph James Brewing in Henderson, which are brewed by Joseph James Head Brewer Kyle Weniger and Able Baker’s Co-Owner Randy Rohde. After a launch in October its core beers are popping up around town. While Manos has a degree in microbiology and curated the unique yeast combinations they are using in some of the beers, he mostly handles the marketing, branding and sales, while Rohde takes care of the brewing and handling the financial end of the business.

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.” As for its Atomic Duck logo with a duck head inside an atomic star symbol, it’s rumored that a duck was the only animal to survive the blasts and the use of this symbol represents perseverance and good fortune.

As for the beers, currently the core beers are Test Site Saison—made with fresh chamomile flower and ginger root; Atomic Duck IPA—a floral mild palate, not piney or resiny, with mango papaya notes that drinks more like a pale ale; Honey Dip Imperial Stout—11.1% ABV with fresh Madagascar vanilla bean and honey aged in an unfinished oak barrel; and Chris Kael Impale’d Ale—named for and made in honor of the Las Vegan Five Finger Death Punch bassist who is a big beer fan and longtime friend of Manos, this Imperial Brown Rye Ale is aged in Angel’s Envy Bourbon barrels, which adds a vanilla and glazed sugar flavor.

Look for Able Baker beers in pubs throughout Las Vegas, including Tacos and Beer, Grape Street in Downtown Summerlin, Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip, PKWY Tavern, both Pizza Rock locations at GVR and downtown, Pampas Brazilian Grill at Planet Hollywood and Yardbird at The Venetian. This is only a partial list; for the complete listing, visit ablebakerbrewing.com.

Number of US Breweries Reaches an All-time High?

In this column in January, 2016, I reported that according to the Brewers Association, the number of US breweries had reached an all-time high, with a year-end review totaling 4,144 breweries in the country topping the previous historic high of 4,131 breweries set in 1873. Now, it’s nearly 1,000 more, for at the end of November the number of breweries now tops 5,000.

Does this mean that we have a record number of breweries in the US? Yes and no. While the brewery count is the highest ever, it’s nowhere near the record high set in the mid-1870s as a proportion of the population, which at that time with the US population of roughly 45 million equaled one brewery for every 11,000 people. With our current population of 325 million the breakdown per capita is one brewery per 65,000; to equal the 19th century high we would need to have nearly 30,000 breweries.

Southern Nevada Beer Events

Aces & Ales will begin the New Year in style with its 7th Annual Winter Beer Fest, Jan. 13-15. Held at its Nellis location, more than 60 rare & specialty brews will be tapped over the three days, with a fresh new lineup each day at noon. Visit acesandales.com for more info.

Big Dog’s Brewing will host its annual Winterfest, a celebration of hearty food and beers, on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 3 to 9 p.m. in the outdoor area at the Draft House at Craig Rd. and Rancho Dr. As usual, there will be live music, more than 40 beers poured, including several from local breweries, and admission is free. For the lineup of beers being served, visit www.bigdogsbrews.com/festivals/winterfest.

On February 4th CraftHaus Brewery in Henderson will celebrate Comrade Day, a day of celebration with food trucks and six special editions of its Comrade Russian Imperial Stout. The name is a nod to it being made in the spirit of camaraderie with the brewery’s friend George, of Las Vegas Distillery, as the beer was oak aged on the distillery’s whiskey.

As always, great beer happens in Vegas!