Hop Nuts Brewing Opening 2nd Location

Last issue I reported on CraftHaus expanding, opening a tasting room this spring in the Arts District. Now I can report that Hop Nuts Brewing is doing the same, but expanding from its location in the Arts District, opening a second location in Tivoli Village in Summerlin. Expected to open this spring, the new location 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.

Winter Beer Events

The winter months usually mean beer events are harder to come by, but we can always count on Aces & Ales, Big Dog’s Brewing and CraftHaus Brewery to host outstanding beer fests no matter what time of the year it is. 

As usual, Aces & Ales will begin the New Year in style with its 9th Annual Winter Beer Fest. Held at its Tenaya location on Saturday, January 19 beginning at 3 p.m., 50 rare & specialty brews from 36 of the best breweries on the planet will be tapped. Local breweries will include Able Baker, Big Dog’s, CraftHaus, Hop Nuts, Lovelady and Tenaya Creek; and other awesome breweries pouring will include AleSmith, Beachwood, Epic, Firestone Walker, Jolly Pumpkin, Pizza Port and Stone. Visit www.acesandales.com for more info. 

A week later, the Big Dog’s 9th Annual Winterfest will take place on January 26 from 3 to 9 p.m. in the outdoor area at the Draft House at Craig Rd. and Rancho Dr. You can expect hearty fare, live music and more than 45 beers, including several from Big Dog’s and other local breweries. Festival packages can be purchased in advance at www.bigdogsbrews.com/festivals/winterfest.

An annual commemoration I always enjoy attending is the CraftHaus Comrade Day, which this year will fall on February 2. This year marks the 4th annual event, which features several versions of the brewery’s Comrade Russian Imperial Stout. Named for the camaraderie with The Las Vegas Distillery and founder/owner George Racz, this year’s celebration will be bittersweet as it will honor the legacy of George Racz, who passed away in November. At press time all the special Comrade versions hadn’t been nailed down yet, but Head Brewer Cameron Fisher says we can expect this year’s Comrade, which was aged on oak spirals soaked in Las Vegas Distillery whiskey, to be to be bigger than ever with increased body and ABV; and there will also be Comrades spiked with horchata, maple coffee and a revisit of Amigo 2018, with roasted chilies and Mexican vanilla. Last year there were eight varieties, including some with vanilla, coffee, roasted chilies and cocoa nibs, so we can likely expect more fun dabbling with flavors that play nicely with robust stouts. This is also the only day Comrade is available to take home in a 32 oz pour. For more info on this free event, visit www.crafthausbrewery.com.  

Beer of the Month

The New Year is a time of celebration and remembrance of the highlights of the previous year. In the case of Firestone Walker’s XXII Anniversary Ale, brewed to commemorate the brewery’s 22nd anniversary, there is much to celebrate. As it does every year, the brewery blended its barrel-aged beers with help from friendly local winemakers. The blending session has become an annual late-summer rite at the brewery, and the 2018 session took place on September 4 with 30 winemakers in attendance. 

This year’s anniversary version is an 11.8% ABV mix of four of the California Central Coast brewery’s beers aged in spirits barrels: 44% Stickee monkee quad, 22% Parabola Russian imperial oatmeal stout and 22% Bravo imperial brown ale, all of which were aged in bourbon barrels; and 12% Helldorado blonde barleywine, 7% of which was aged in rum barrels and 5% in gin barrels. Brewmaster Matt Brynildson in describing the beer said, “Even though it’s a small percentage of the final blend, the gin barrel Helldorado adds a lot to this beer. It brings this interesting botanical quality with spicy notes that we’ve never had in our Anniversary blends before.” He also advises on how to enjoy this beer: “Allow it to warm to 55F to fully enjoy the pleasing and complex aromas. The true complexity of this blend is revealed as the beer sits and breathes in the glass, so take your time. If you wait to open your bottle later, store it in a cool dark place. Like our other Anniversary offerings, this beer will age well and change favorably for years to come.”