Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Brewsday - Las Vegas Beer Festival "Brew's Best"

This Saturday at the MonteLago Village at Lake Las Vegas the Buckbean Brewing Company is producing a special beer festival of local Nevada breweries as well as notable breweries from the region. Buckbean Brewing Company, located in Reno, NV, is Nevada's longest operating bottler in Nevada. Granted it's only been two years that they've been operating their business but that doesn't discredit their claim. Also, it's important to note that while they do package and distribute their beer to other markets they don't in fact bottle, they can. That's right they can, and cans are the best way to have your beer reach your customers with the closest to tap quality brew. Cans are 100% protective against oxygen and light, the #1 enemy of quality beer, and provide you to carry your beer where it might be otherwise prohibited: beaches, campgrounds, concerts and more.

Buckbean Brew produce four beers that they currently can, and I can only imagine that other flavors are on tap at their Reno location as they fiddle around with recipes in pilot batches. Their first and most well known beer is their Original Orange Blossom Ale that is actually brewed with real orange blossoms. That is followed by their Black Noddy Lager which is brewed in the Schwarzbier style noted for its dark black hue and light lager mouthfeel and a nod to a slight malt finish. More recently to join the canning ranks are their Very Noddy, an Imperial Schwarzbier (basically their Black Noddy with an extra kick) and their new Tule Duck Red Ale. This amber hued red ale is brewed with a balance of slight hops and a generous helping of amber malts. But it's not only Buckbean that will be making an appearance at this weekend's festivities.

The festival is to be held at the MonteLago Village shopping area at the serene Lake Las Vegas. It begins at 2pm and runs until 8pm. Tickets are $25 for 30 sampling tickets, and includes a souvenir tasting glass. Additional tickets may be purchase at $1 each or $5 for 10 tickets. All of the proceeds go to the local New Vista Community, "a local charity which is commited to providing the intellectually challenged of all ages with equal opportunities & support so they may experience life to the fullest." Packages are being offered from the MonteLago Resort for around $150 which includes two tickets to the festival and a one-night stay the evening of the festival.  

Other notable breweries coming to the event is Las Vegas' first beer bottler the Joseph James Brewing Company. You might not know it but Joseph James is behind the contract brews Freakin' Frog Blueberry & Apple beers, additionally they produce their own line. Alpine Wit a Belgian Witbier, Tahoe Blue an American Pale Ale, Red Fox is a Russian Imperial Stout, Fox Tail a sorghum-based gluten-free Imperial Pale Ale, Hop Box Imperial IPA, and WeizeGuy their light hefeweizen beer. Joseph James will be in attendance as well as fellow Las Vegas breweries Big Dogs Brewing Company, Tenaya Creek Brewery, Triple 7 Brewery, Chicago Brewing Company, Barley's Brewing Company, Backyard Brew Pub, White Pine Brewing Company located in Ely, Northern Nevada and our closer neighbors Boulder Dam Brewing out in Boulder City, NV and Boiler Room Brew Pub in Laughlin, NV. Also joining these Nevada breweries are the Southern Nevada Ale Fermenters Union (SNAFU), local beer bar Aces & Ales, "Nevada Beverage" which is really just the local Budweiser distributor coming to rep their swill, BMC Fine Spirits which distributes a great number of European beer brands, and the Nevada Brewer's Guild representing the other Nevada breweries unable to attend. (I'm withholding judgment on Aces & Ales after an extremely disappointing and scary trip there.) 

Welcoming our neighbors to the West with open arms, California's craft brewing history is littered with pioneers (Anchor Brewing), upstarts (Sierra Nevada), and the new-boys-on-the-block (Stone Brew). Some of that great brewing tradition is coming to Las Vegas to show off their wares. Three members of the San Diego County Brewer's Guild are making an appearance at Lake Las Vegas this Saturday. Our personal favorite brewery Stone Brewing Company is anchoring the festival as likely one of two of the most well known breweries in attendance. Backing them up are Coronado Brewing Company, Left Coast Brewing, which is the brewing arm of So-Cal's well-known and award-winning Oggi's Pizza. Other notable breweries from California scheduled to attend are the well known (and well-distributed) Gordon Biersch out of San Jose, CA. Gordon Biersch is the only brewery from Northern California to join the fold. Rounding out the California attendees are Bayhawk Ales from Irvine, CA and Indian Wells Brewing Company from Inyokern, CA. Indian Wells makes the aptly named Lobotomy Bock which comes in at a staggering 10.5% ABV. 

Next we head East from Southern California and cross over into Arizona. Two breweries are coming to represent the Grand Canyon state. First we have the appropriately named Grand Canyon Brewing Company based out of Williams, Arizona. If one has ever visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon then for sure you've likely both filled your gas tank and visited Williams, AZ. It is the last town before you enter the massive Grand Canyon National Park. Also from Arizona is Old World Brewery based in Phoenix. 

Heading due north into Utah we catch up with Uinta Brewery based in Salt Lake City. They'll be solely representing the state of Utah breweries with their Solstice Kolsch, Blue Sky Pilsner, Anglers Pale Ale, and their 14th Anniversary Barleywine. Other breweries solely representing their states are Kona Brewing from Honolulu, Hawaii, Samual Adams of the Boston Beer Company out of Boston, Massachusetts will be the most notable brewery in attendance, Del Norte Brewing Company of Denver, Colorado (which has a hilarious audio clip that plays when you visit their website), and finally Redhook Ale Brewery of Seattle, Washington. (It's imparative to note that both Kona and Redhook receive subsides from Anheuser-Busch InBev which in turn owns a small portion of those breweries.)

All of these breweries will be offering several of their beers for all festival goers to sample. 105 in all, plus more from the Nevada Brewers Guild and Southern Nevada's Homebrew Club SNAFU. That complete list is posted below. To purchase your tickets please visit the New Vista Community website HERE. We hope to see you there this Saturday! We'll be rocking our green handled Beer Hats and wearing our favorite beer shirts, and we hope you'll do the same. Also, keep a look out next Brewsday for our review of how the festival went. 


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