If you have been following me along on my Instagram or Facebook page, you will have probably noticed that this past Tuesday and Wednesday I was out in Tahoe getting my drink on. As I'm still waiting until my first international trip which is going to be to Spain, I am trying to get to as much breweries as possible here in California. While currently still running Old Redwood Brewery, I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.
I woke up Tuesday morning at 6:15am and was instantly hit with the adventure bug! I didn't want to stay cooped up in the my house out in Sonoma County (where all the fires were in Oct. 2017) all "weekend"so I decided to book an Air BnB, pack up a small bag of clothes, and head on off to South Lake Tahoe to do some sight seeing, gambling, and drinking of delicious beers.
I arrived in South Lake Tahoe around 11:30 am and stopped at Cold Water Brewery first where I met two awesome employees named Eric and Nicole who guided me as to which breweries to go to next, as well as some cool things to do in the area this time of year. I ordered a pint of their IPA. It was pretty good, nothing I'll go brag to mom about though. Sadly this was probably my least favorite spot I stopped. This place was more of a grill that just so happened to brew their own beer too. 3.1/5
Second stop was Sidellis Brewing Company. Now this place was awesome! I come in to a sort of hole-in-the-wall looking building ready to drink some beer! I instantly see the beer list to start going over what I want to try. I see the bartender behind the bar and try to strike up a conversation but didn't see too friendly at the time. The only 2 other customers sitting at the bar with me started talking to me about where I was from and so I got to talking and we exchanged numbers. Dave, one of the customers, ended up giving me the second half of his bomb ass pulled pork sandwich and mentioned to me he owned a property management company and could have hooked me up with a free room! This whole time I started talking to the bartender more, mentioning I ran a brewery in Sonoma County. Turns out the bartender was one of the owners, an then introduced me to another owner, as well as the brewmaster and told me the ins and out of the brewing industry/craft beer scene in Tahoe and the surrounding area, pointing out the hidden gems as well as the breweries who extract brew (Stateline Brewery)... Turns out we all started as homebrewers! This place had an amazing sour, a mango habenro pale ale, and a good porter! Highly reccommend! 4/5
After Sidellis, we're coming on 2:30-3pm, I wanted to hit the actual lake before I make my way out to Reno to potentially see my mom (who at this time has been riding around in her boyfriends big rig with him for the last year), so I go over to the east side of the lake, Zephyr Cove and just go and sit out by the crystal like lake on a clear 75 degree blue sky day. It was Gorgeous! After having a soft buzz I was feeling accomplished going on this journey alone, having a couple beers, and meeting some awesome people, I was told I had to try Shoe Tree Brewing in Carson City, NV.
After arriving at Shoe Tree Brewing Company, I start by saying how I've never been here before, I run a brewery in Sonoma County, and that I'm just up here on a day trip, a voice from the corner of the bar says "Oh yeah, I've had your guys's beer before!"as he shows me his Untapped account with Old Redwood beer opened. I sit down next to him and we start talking about beer, and then homebrewing, and then what we do, and have done, for a living.
I was told by the guys at Sidellis that I had to try their golden cream ale and that it looks like milk when its poured because it was on nitro. I tried it, and it was pretty good! Just not what I was in the mood for, so I ordered a Mocha Porter and it was so good! Definitely recommend that beer if you ever get the chance to go here. After talking with my new homebrewing friend Brandon, we decide to go up to Reno (where he had his hotel room) and hit up Revision Brewing Company. 3.9/5
Revision Brewing Company is arguably my favorite brewery at the time (Oct. 2017) for their bomb single and double IPA that I find in my local grocery store. Upon arrival I notice that almost all of their beers are IPA's. Roughly 15 IPA's and 5 other styles. I tried 4 sample glasses, one of them including the Disco Ninja NE IPA, which is a collab brew with Shoe Tree, was so bomb. I met up with Brandon from Shoe Tree and we converse some more and have a bunch of good laughs! You never know who you're going to meet at a brewery!
The facility there in Sparks, NV was huge! They have their, what looked like, a 14bbl brewhouse in the middle of this HUGE warehouse with THE MOST room for expansion I've ever seen. They have tons of games to keep you entertaied and an awesome painted mural in the brewhouse. Highly reccommend! 4.1/5
Finally making my way back to South Lake Tahoe, I stop at Alibi Brewing Company in Incline Village (North East Lake Tahoe). This was going to be my last brewery of the day as I wanted to get to my Air BnB that I payed a good $115 for the night! Walking in the door at Alibi was like walking in to a mountain brewery, you just get those good vibes! I take a look at the list of beers and quickly see they have a doppelbock, my favorite style of beer. I order a pint without even trying anything else. It was the best doppelock I think I ever had. I talk to the bartender and he introduced me to the brewmaster there and I say hi. I then go sit down next to a couple, strike up a conversation with them and it turns out they're on a little vacation from San Jose. They tell me it was trivia night at the brewery and wanted to team up with me. We start the trivia questions and we continue to talk and learn about each others lives and eventually the husband, Javier I believe his name was, comes back with another doppelbock for me. As the awesome night/day starts to unfold we go over the trivia answers and would you know it, we won!!! $50 gift card for the brewery. I let them keep it, say my goodbyes, and finally head to the place where I can sleep after a long day of brewery hopping! Highly Recommend! 4.2/5
Wednesday, Oct. 18th 2017
I wake up at 6:15 and hop in the shower to hit up a cafe before I wanted to go play my favorite casino game, roulette. The cafe I went to wasn't the best but it got some food in my stomach! 8am now and I arrive at Harrahs casino. I sit down at the roulette table with this super cute asian woman as the ball roller girl. No one else at the table for the next 2 hours. We start to talking and we talk about my travels and my experiences in the marines, college, and brewing. She gives me the "Best Customer Award". She shifts out with an olderish woman named Barbera who was awesome! She has been married for 33 years and have lived in South Lake for that long. I had two of the best conversations with those women ever! Great time (and the money showed it too) Good Vibes baby!
I stop at a mexican restaurant where I can sit outside and enjoy the live music playing on another gorgeous sunny day. I get a cadillac margarita and just sit there for an hour and a half listening to the great tunes. I then head out to the lake one last time before I head out.
Stopping at South Lake Brewing Company for my last brewery in Tahoe, I talk to the owner Drew. He has worked, and still does, for Vinny at Russian River in Santa Rosa. We start to talking and he is going to go visit my brewery and me soon! Says he knows investors if I wanted to start my own brewery too, Awesome place with some pretty damn good beers too! They were pumping out the distribution here too. Awesome paintings and art in this place! Even though they were only 6 months old at the time, definitely stop by and enjoy their great NE IPA and sour! 3.9/5
Finally going back in to the bay area now I make one last pit stop at Device Brewing Company in Sacramento to enjoy one last little NEIPA before arriving back in Sonoma County. I end up taking home a four pack of that NEIPA for good measure. Interesting people in the place, but some pretty good beers. Stop by if you have a chance. 3.8/5
That concludes my little day trip up up to Tahoe, Carson City, Reno, and back to Sonoma County!