photos by Erik Nielsen and Kevin Holder
Local Breweries Brewing Up Holiday Seasonals and Gifts
Head Brewer Erik Nielsen at Chicago Brewing Company is gifting us with some interesting and fun seasonals. Currently on tap are Bitter Jitters, a 6.5% ABV Coffee IPA; Brews Brothers, a 4.5% ABV Session IPA with blueberry green tea; and Sh-Wheat Dreams, a 6% ABV American Wheat with pineapple, grapefruit and strawberry. Coming up in time for the holidays will be an Imperial Brown with maple syrup and cinnamon and Quad Damn It, a 12% ABV Belgian Quad that was aged in Breckenridge Bourbon barrels for about 5 months. It’s packaged for sale in 750ml bottles, making it a worthy holiday gift.
Triple 7 Restaurant & Brewery at Main Street Station is still in full construction mode, as it installs its new Premier Stainless 15-barrel brewhouse (which I reported on in the Aug. 2018 issue). As a result, brewing has been greatly limited, but last month Brewmaster Tom Harwood partnered with Magnum Coffee Roastery in Las Vegas to make a limited (only two kegs) edition Pumpkin Spice Coffee Ale—his Royal Red Ale blended with their pumpkin pie spice coffee, cold-brewed at the brewery. By mid-Dec. the new brewhouse should be completely finished, and coming in late Dec. will be beers blended with Magnum’s Kona light roast and espresso roast coffees. And, to commemorate the old brewhouse, the aptly-named Bitter End, which was the very last batch of beer brewed on the old system, will be out in early Dec. The 6.5% ABV IPA is copper in color (like the old equipment) and assertively bitter, but a very tropical IPA, loaded with Simcoe and Idaho 7 hops.
Lovelady Brewing Brewmaster/Co-owner Richard Lovelady reports they just released Sea Breeze Sour, a combination of grapefruit, cranberry and key lime, which in Jan. will be followed up with a Mojito Sour infused with key lime and mint and a Doppelbock once some tank space is freed up.
Hitting the taps and on shelves this month, Joseph James is gifting us with their Something About Berry, which Head Brewer Kyle Weniger relates is a sour brown ale aged in bourbon barrels for 28 months on a mix of cultures—saccharomyces, brettanomyces, lactobacillus, pediococcus and acetobacter—with an absurd assortment of berries—raspberry, blueberry, black currant, cherry, boysenberry, cranberry, blackberry and strawberry (and a few fruits that aren’t berries). To help us celebrate the New Year, in early Jan. they will release Chitra Rye Hazy Pale Ale, the hazy/New England counterpart to their Citra Rye. Kyle says it is made with mostly the same ingredients, but with double the hops, cryogenically separated Citra hops and chit malt. (To save you time Googling it, cryogen hops are a complicated procedure to make a powder from hop cones that has about twice the potency of normal hops.)
Just before Christmas Hop Nuts Brewmaster/Owner Kevin Holder will release his Abominable Haze Man, a super juicy double IPA brewed and double hopped with Citra, Galaxy, Mosaic and Amarillo hops, a brew they reprise every Dec. He also informs me they recently added a new brite tank and a new canner, so another gift will be seeing more Hop Nuts beer on the shelves in the coming year.
If you’re looking for a holiday gift for a beer geek, Big Dog’s has its Brew School convening on Jan. 5 for $99 (includes brewing an imperial red ale with Big Dog’s brewers, lunch, beer and grad party) or a pack of its six anniversary beers (each 750ml), packaged in a custom wood box with the Big Dog’s logo, priced at $125.
Another New Brewery Coming to
It’s been rumored for months that our friends at Aces & Ales were planning on opening a brewery to go along with their two craft beer pub locations, and now they’ve announced it is true.
While there aren’t many details at this time, plans are to break ground in the coming months, with an opening slated for fall/winter 2019. The 275-seat, 8,200-sq. ft. 10-barrel brewery will be located at The Bend, a new center with a movie theater and handful of restaurants on W. Sunset Rd. near IKEA.
The brewery will include a scratch “craft cuisine” kitchen and family-friendly restaurant, VIP/private events space and two dog-friendly outdoor patios. The menu will offer some of the most popular dishes from the two current Aces & Ales locations, and also incorporate expanded seasonally-inspired entree selections (with vegetarian options), along with a children’s menu.
Aces & Ales first opened in 2009 in the southeast on Nellis near Twain and added a larger space in the northwest on Tenaya between Smoke Ranch and Cheyenne in 2013. For the past decade it has proven to be a bastion for great craft beer, offering numerous beer events and an extensive selection of rare and vintage beers. Now this brewery will bring to fruition their longtime dreams to brew their own, but also give Southern Nevadans in the southwest a brewery in their neighborhood. I promise to keep you updated on the new brewery as more details are revealed.