Tenaya Creek - Bob Barnes and Tim Etter . Photo by Joe Urcioli

CraftHaus - Assistant Brewer Bryson Bauducco, Co-owner Dave Forrest and Head Brewer Cameron Fisher. Photo by Wyndee Forrest

Aces & Ales will host its 9th annual Strong Beer Festival on August 11 beginning at
3 p.m. at its Tenaya location. The event will offer an opportunity to indulge in more than 50 different specialty or extremely rare beers that range from 7-21% ABV. Participating breweries include Beachwood Brewing, The Bruery, Jolly Pumpkin and local breweries Big Dog’s, Joseph James, Tenaya Creek and Triple 7. 

For more info, visit acesandales.com.

Last issue I reported on Steph Cope and Steve Brockman departing Las Vegas and their head brewer positions at CraftHaus Brewery to return to their homeland, Australia. While their brewer boots will be hard to fill, stepping in are Cameron Fisher taking over as Head Brewer and Bryson Bauducco, who will serve as Assistant Brewer. Both have experience brewing professionally. Cameron, a UNLV graduate, previously worked at Odyssey Beerwerks in Colorado and 13 Virtues in Oregon; and Bryson brewed at Mike Hess Brewing in San Diego and operated a mobile canning line all over Southern California.

Both brewers bring expertise in a variety of beer styles, with Cameron enjoying brewing beers out of the traditional beer style guidelines, as well as classic styles such as IPAs and Belgian ales; and Bryson appreciates the depth and complexity of barrel aged beers and sours. They will be tasked with taking the brewery to the next level, ramping up production and putting to good use the new Wild Goose canning line, 40-barrel fermenter and large distribution cold room, which were part of the brewery’s latest expansion. The Henderson-based brewery opened nearly four years ago and has seen thirty percent growth each year and anticipates surpassing this with the recent expansion and the new brewers ready to take the helm.

Mob Museum - brewing system with Cole Miller and George Racz. Photo courtesy George Racz

Speaking of new brewing gear, Triple 7 Restaurant & Microbrewery at Main Street Station in Downtown Las Vegas, is switching out its brewing equipment. Its existing system was new when the brewery opened in 1996, but the years have resulted in wear and tear so it will be replaced with a new Premier Stainless 15-barrel brewhouse (the same size as its original system). Brewmaster Tom Harwood says the new equipment will provide more consistency, but as the new construction will take place in October, brewing will have to take a breather for about a month. As a result, he’ll be brewing up a storm in the next few months to supply the brewpub and other Boyd Gaming locations including Bailiwick at Orleans, Filament Bar at Fremont, 90-NINETY at Suncoast and Holo Holo at the Cal.

In the June issue I reported on The Underground, the Prohibition-themed expansion with a small brewery and distillery situated in the basement of the Mob Museum. At the time of its opening the beer was not yet flowing, but now, after several test batches, it is being served to the thirsty public. Brewer/Distiller Cole Miller showed me around his 15-gallon brewing system and related that he has always been a fan of beer and spirits and coincidentally, his ancestors in Mississippi were bootleggers, so you can say this new position is in his blood. 

Triple 7 - Bob Barnes and Brewmaster Tom Harwood. photo by Joe Urcioli

I sampled his Z’Cream Dream, brewed with pilsner malt and vanilla extract and oranges added during fermentation. Cole explained this cream ale is representative of a beer style popular before Prohibition that became a casualty of the following ban on alcohol. The brew reminds me of an orange creamsicle cocktail and is quite refreshing during our 100° dog days of summer. Cole says each month a group from Zappos (hence the Z in the beer’s name) meets with him to help select a new beer for the following month, and as the system is so small it can only produce one keg each month, you will likely experience a new and interesting brew each time you visit.

Admission to The Underground speakeasy is included with the museum’s general admission, and free anytime for patrons using the daily passwords found on Instagram Stories @MobMuseum Underground. The Underground is also now offering happy hour M-F from 5-7 p.m. with 20% off; and free presentations Thu-Sat at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., during which educators talk about the Prohibition period and the process of making beer and moonshine, culminating with tastes of each. 

After visiting the Mob Museum I made the short trip over to Tenaya Creek Brewery, and found owner Tim Etter hanging out at the bar, which is always a delight, but I was also quite happy and surprised to find that Jackalope, my all-time favorite barleywine, was on tap. Tim informed me Jackalope is now being made year-round, which is impressive, since very few breweries even make a barleywine, much less produce it year-round! (In case you are wondering, a barleywine is an intensely malty beer style named for its ABV content approaching that of wine—8-12%—and does not contain wine.) After this discovery, I just may be finding more reasons to head to the Downtown area.