Beer: Itâs surprising that Tenaya Creekâs flagship isnât a âgoldâ beer to match the sun or visions of bullion piled high at a craps table, or even a red ale to pair with the desert rocks. Instead, since Vegas knows nothing of subtlety, this 5.6% ABV brown ale follows suit and clobbers with treacly artificial toffee flavor.
Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Moderate. Distributed to Utah, Ohio, Arizona and British Columbia. Then again, LAS is the fourth most serviced airport from PDX so you should have no problem finding a flight to Vegas.
PHOTO: Cameron Browne
Nevada boasts âbout a dozen and a half breweries. Contrast this with neighboring California, Oregon, Utah, and nearby Colorado and you wonder why thereâs so little thirst for great beer there. But itâs the freaking Mojave Desert: nothing good nor wet has a fighting chance.
Nevada has been a tough place for craft breweries. It seems the local populace, and visitors, prefer other sources of alcohol. Just a few months ago one of Renoâs most ambitious breweries, the award-winning and widely distributed Buckbean Brewery, was shuttered
. Itâd seem that Tenaya Creek is hoping for better. But Nevada is not a place known for great taste, is it?
And Tenaya Creekâs quotidian beers do little to better their chances at the table.
Yes, there are better breweries including Great Basin up in Reno which has won some estimable awards, and Vegasâs own Big Dogâs or Chicago Brewingâbut Tenaya Creek is the one getting wider distribution. And, on the whole, given those townâs proclivity for artifice, how much could genuine craft beer really be in demand?
But, hey, everyone ends up in Vegas at some point. Even beer drinkers. I was there to see Sir Tom Jones at the MGM Grand. The Voice, as heâs rightfully known, tore the roof off the mother with one of the best sets Iâve ever seen. ToJo has often proclaimed his affinity for Real AleâI wonder what he drinks in Vegas? The hotelâhome to Vegas-style fine-dining restaurant Craftsteak which doesnât know dick about offering Craftbeerâwouldnât know cask-conditioned ale if spurted from Siegried or Royâs tiger-mauled necks. With so many people from around the country flying in to limit their childrenâs choice of colleges at the craps table, surely thereâs some market for good beer?
Unfortunately, Tenaya Creek isnât dealing it in.