Wouldn’t it be cool to visit four or more breweries Downtown in the same evening, leisurely walking from one to the other? If you are a craft beer fan it surely would be. In the beer industry, this is described as a “brewery district,” and while there’s no official definition, four breweries is generally considered the minimum amount to qualify.
Downtown Reno has five spots—The Depot, Lead Dog, Pigeon Head, Under the Rose and the soon-to-open Record Street—all situated within a four-block radius, and a placard on 4th Street even proudly proclaims it as “The Brewery District.” While Henderson doesn’t have a brewery district, it is commonly referred to as “The Booze District,” with two breweries (Bad Beat and CraftHaus), a distillery (Las Vegas Distillery) and a winemaking enterprise (Grape Expectations) in the same industrial complex on Eastgate Road north of the 215.
In Downtown Las Vegas there are four breweries located within a three-mile radius, but only two would be considered walking distance to each other: Banger Brewing at Fremont and Las Vegas Boulevard and Main Street Station’s Triple 7. A short drive or long walk away are Hop Nuts at Main and Charleston and Tenaya Creek on Bonanza near the 95.
Helping Each Other Out
Many businesses may abhor having similar venues close by as competition could be a drain on their cash flow. But in the case of brewpubs, the opposite is true. Unlike those who favor mainstream macro beers and tend to exclusively drink the same brand over and over, craft beer aficionados prefer having choices. Rather than competing, breweries, by their proximity, help draw more visitors through their doors.
“In my opinion, we all benefit from each other’s success,” says Triple 7 brewmaster Tom Harwood. “When I go out for a beer, I’m likely to visit more than one brewery if they’re located closely together.” Eddy Quiogue, one of the owners of Banger Brewing, relates, “I would say maybe 10 to 20 percent of our guests go to a brewery before or after visiting us in the same day.”
Hop Nuts owner Kevin Holder adds, “Often we have people coming in saying one of the other Downtown breweries told them about a beer we have on tap, and we do the same. We all send customers to each other.”
Yet another way brewers support each other is with guest taps.
“Pouring beers from other local brewers is a fun aspect of what we do and nearly all of the local breweries do so,” says Tenaya Creek brewmaster Anthony Gibson. “Here at Tenaya we are fortunate to have quite a few taps, so we pour several local beers.”
Triple 7’s Harwood says they also help each other if someone runs short on ingredients or needs help pouring at a festival. They occasionally brew beers together, too.
The Near Future
Some new breweries are rumored to be in the works in the Downtown area, although nothing has been announced publicly. In my experience more often than not such rumors don’t pan out. But with the increased popularity of craft beer, and with thousands of visitors passing through Downtown each day, there is potential for more growth. And although there already is an established Booze District in Henderson, its continued success in attracting visitors to its remote location may be motivation for others to follow suit, but in a higher trafficked area like Downtown.
Time will tell, but in this reporter’s opinion, more brewing enterprises will pop up Downtown. When this happens, we can proclaim it a bona fide brewery district. In the meantime, the four existing breweries currently offer a bevy of choices for beer geeks to peruse:
Core beers: Morning Joe Coffee Kolsch, El Heffe Jalapeno Hefeweizen, Hop Bang Boom Imperial IPA, DTB Brown Ale and Perfect 10 American Pale Ale
Where you can find its beer: At 25 to 35 bars/restaurants throughout the valley, including Yardhouse, Pizza Rock and Whole Foods
Core beers: Golden Ale, The Golden Night, Belgian Wit, Papa’s Red Ale, 18b Pale Ale, Hopathon IPA, Green Mamba Double IPA, Harry Porter and Omniscient Imperial Stout
Where you can find its beer: At 20 or so bars/restaurants throughout the valley, including Beerhaus at The Park and Public House at The Venetian
Core beers: Hefeweizen, Craft Pilsner, Bonanza Brown Ale, Hop Ride IPA, 702 Pale Ale and Hauling Oats Oatmeal Stout
Where you can find its beer: Widespread across the Valley and on the Strip including Yardbird at The Venetian and throughout the greater Los Angeles area
Core beers: High Roller Gold, Royal Red Ale, Marker Pale Ale, Black Chip Porter, Double Down Hefeweizen and Carlsbad IPA
Where you can find its beer: currently distributing mainly to Boyd Gaming properties, including The Cal and Fremont