Photo credit: Joe Urcioli & A.D. Cook

Mojave Brewing Now Open in Downtown Henderson

Last month Mojave Brewing opened to enthusiastic and steady crowds. Situated in an old Bank of America building in Downtown Henderson at 107 S. Water St. (at Pacific), part of the charm is the still intact vault, as well as a larger-than-life mural by local artist Marley Richmond with a depiction of the brewery’s mascots: a jackrabbit and a coyote, chosen for being animals native to the Mojave Desert (more on the Mojave moniker later). There are also large windows providing lots of natural light, an industrial ceiling, garage doors that can open when the weather permits and front and back patios. 

The brewery is a collaboration of owners John (aka Griff) and Kristi Griffin and Nate Carney, with John and Nate sharing the brewing duties. John, who moved here with Kristi from Detroit in 2000, when asked how the name was chosen, shared it was selected because: “the Mojave Desert is the place where my dreams came true.” As to his choice of Water Street in Downtown Henderson he added, “This space has a lot of personality. It was a giant open space and we had to dig up the floors, add drains, piping and two patios. We saw a lot of opportunity here and after talking to the other business owners (on Water St.), have found a strong, supportive community.”

John is a retired schoolteacher and longtime homebrewer who has brewed since 1992. After deciding to make brewing his next career he spent a few months at Joyride Brewing in Colorado, brewing daily on a 10-barrel system (the same size as his system at Mojave) to familiarize himself with how to ramp up brewing small homebrew batches to much larger commercial versions. 

The opening lineup of beers included a range of beer styles, with the 10% Fire Wolves, a malty Belgian Tripel; Shotgun Wedding, a blonde ale with raspberry and Serrano pepper that brought the clean flavor of the pepper without the heat; Skragzilla, a 5.5% easy-drinking blonde ale; Exit 23, a pale ale with noticeable hop flavor; Almost Famous, a 6% robust porter; Bones Brigade, an 8.2%, 85 IBU IPA with hop flavor, but not overpowering bitterness; and Mojave Export, a quite flavorful foreign extra stout. I must say I was impressed with the quality, variety and cleanness of all the beers. 

In addition to the beer, Mojave Brewing offers ciders and is reputed to be the first-ever cider house in Nevada. John explained he chose to offer ciders, which are gluten free, because his wife Krista has celiac disease, but also to provide an alternative to those who are not beer drinkers. Initial offerings include Freedom of Peach and Out Cider (apple blend made from Washington State apple puree). So far the ciders have been proven to be very popular, which does not surprise me, as they are quite delicious.

While no food is served, there is an exclusive menu from the nearby Water Street Pizza with sandwiches, wings, chicken fingers and pizza, which are delivered to the brewery. 

Mojave Brewing is open Mon.-Wed. 4-10 p.m., Thu.-Sat. noon-midnight and Sun. noon-10 p.m. This new opening brings the surrounding area’s brewery tally to five, including Lovelady just steps away, and Astronomy, Bad Beat and CraftHaus a few miles away at the Booze District. 

Beer District Brewing Opens in Arts District

After years of planning, jumping through numerous hurdles and delays including government permits, inspections and buildout transforming an old building into a brewery, Beer District Brewing has finally opened its doors. Located within the Arts District at 914 S Main St. a few blocks north of Charleston, the 10-barrel brewhouse started pouring beer the last week of February. 

The new brewery is owned by Jimmy Doyle and his wife Camelia and Clyde Lipp. Camelia has graced the tasting room with her very beautiful artwork and Clyde will serve as Brewery Manager. The original artwork is not the only attribute, as there is an attractive black and white marble bartop, an epoxy floor and plenty of natural light via several windows, including one that looks into the brewery. There is no gaming but plenty of board games, which adds to a social vibe where people aren’t glued to a screen and actually talk to each other. While no food (other than bags of snacks) is served, there are several nearby restaurants from which you can order food to be delivered to your seat and food trucks will be stopping by periodically. 

The building, which had been vacant for seven years, was a former Firestone Tire store built in 1962, which happens to be the same year Jimmy was born. The large colorful sign on the outside walls of the building, which Camelia helped to design and paint, makes it easy to spot as you head down on Main, and it cleverly lists the GPS coordinates. Parking in the area can be problematic, so a big plus is that Beer District Brewing has 20 parking spaces.

Jimmy shared he had won five best-of-show awards in local and state homebrew competitions and after one such win was interviewed for an article and when the reporter asked why he wasn’t brewing professionally, a bell went off in his head. It was shortly after that he and his homebrew buddy Clyde (who related he had jumped into homebrewing with both feet), began making plans to turn pro. Jimmy still holds onto his homebrewing roots, and his 20-gallon homebrewing setup has been relocated to the brewery and is being used for test batches.

Plans are to eventually have all of their brews flowing from the 20 taps, which will soon be the case as Jimmy has time to brew more. During my visit I was able to sample four: Hue Hefeweizen, a 5.2% Bavarian style; Vegas in a Bottle, a 10% imperial stout; Sunshine & Haze, a very citrusy 6.5% West Coast hazy IPA brewed with Galaxy and Sabro hops; and Sip City, a blonde milk stout on nitro with additions of coffee, cinnamon and lactose. I found all of the beers very enjoyable and full of flavor, and the tasting room has a comfortable feel where I wouldn’t mind spending time at, so I’d say Jimmy and company are off to a great start. 

At press time the hours are still being worked out, but Beer District Brewing is open daily. For more info visit www.facebook.com/thebeerdistrictbrewery.

The Mad Fermentist Opening this Month in the Arts District 

As I write this The Mad Fermentist is just weeks from debuting in the second level of the Three Sheets craft beer bar on Casino Center in the Arts District, but Brewmaster/Founder/Co-owner Allan Harrison filled me in on his new contract brewery. Allan is Brewer at Astronomy Aleworks, which is where he is brewing the beers for his new endeavor, which will allow him to brew what he describes as “crazy, unique, eclectic, boutique beers no one else is doing.” A former chef, he is incorporating his culinary background as most of the beers will have some food aspects, and he is using more expensive, high-end ingredients. As for the name, it reflects the name he gave himself years ago when he was homebrewing in his backyard as a self-proclaimed “mad scientist of beer,” and he considers the new bar his beer laboratory. 

Allan describes the initial lineup in great detail as follows: 

Dynamic Equilibrium—6% German Helles Vollbier Lager with Barke Pilz, Munich, Aromatic and Rye malts; hopped with Saaz and Hallertau Blanc; and fermented with Weihenstephaner Lager yeast. In addition, there is a version of this lager lightly aged (for 30 days) in a Jim Beam barrel.

Consonance & Dissonance—6% Bavarian Hefeweisse Bier split into two beers, made with Weyerman Pils, Malted White Wheat and Flaked Wheat; lightly hopped with Tettnanger; and fermented with Weihenstephaner Wheat Ale yeast. The Consonance has a blend of tangerine, pomelo, Meyer lemon and orange blossom honey added; and Dissonance has blueberry, blackberry and raspberry purees.

A Liquid Perception of Harmonic Partials—8.5% NEIPA Creamsicle with Maris Otter, White Wheat and Flaked Wheat; very aggressively hopped with Azacca, Equanot and Mandarina Bavaria; and fermented at a cool 100 degrees with Voss and Hornindal Kveik and with a touch of vanilla extract.

Sine Wave—the NEIPA previously mentioned but with a ridiculous amount of peach puree added.

Amplitude—aka Milk Dudz, 10% Baltic Porter made with too much Belgian Pale 2 Row, Brown, Chocolate and Midnight Wheat; hopped with Galena; and adjuncted with brown sugar, lactose and D-180 Belgian Candi Syrup.

Liquidious Meniscus—6% Kettle Sour Weisse with Barke Pilz, White Wheat and Flaked Wheat; hopped with Tettnanger; soured using Lactobacillus Plantarum; and fruited with plum puree. 

The opening is slated for March 6, starting at 2 p.m, which happens to be during First Friday, during which all beers will be $5 with raffles for gear and gift certificates at 4, 6, 8 and 10. Hours will be Sun.-Thu. noon-10 p.m. and noon-midnight Fri.-Sat. Although Three Sheets is not open during some of those hours, The Mad Fermentist has its own entrance.  

As always, great beer happens in Vegas!