Posted on

Hop Nuts Brewing

hop nuts brewing

A couple of good friends of mine came to visit in Las Vegas. Rather than do the typical Strip stuff like gamble in a casino and lose all their money, I opted to show them an area that’s being “revitalized” and, what I would consider, a pretty chill kick it spot with a lot to offer. The area is right near Main & Charleston. Somewhat reminiscent of a Melrose, but with a more laid-back vibe, the street is lined with restaurants, bars, more restaurants and a brewery: Hop Nuts Brewing.

We met at Hop Nuts in the mid-evening. There were a few groups of people there playing games, watching the World Series, and…drinking beer. Many laughs can heard while I waited for my friends for a few minutes, enough time to try something on tap and see who’s on deck.

The tables featured dark wood with heavy stools. Each table was large enough to fit a party of 6 or more. Also worth noting, the tables weren’t too far from the bar and taps, so it made getting a drink pretty easy.

The open-air patio was pretty cool (both literally and figuratively, as the night was a cool 50 degrees–who said it doesn’t get cold in Vegas?). The only drawback to the patio was that there were a few patrons puffing on and suffering from little cancer sticks (cigarettes). Once the breeze blew, it also blew some smoke into the bar area. Cough…cough…cough.

These days, I’ve been to enough breweries and have drank enough beer to not be wowed by a whole lot. The beer at Hop Nuts was tasty, clean and inexpensive. Three great qualities if you ask me. Although the beer didn’t stand out to me, I would still go back and grab a couple brews to throw back.

What does stand out, though, is what Hop Nuts is; it is essentially a dive bar with a brewery component. This may seem strange, but they have something going here. Too many times, I’ve seen the run-of-the-mill brewery in an industrial warehouse; with their cold stainless steel and try-too-hard-to-fit-the-mold ambience where beers run over $8 a pop and name brand over quality becomes the trend. Maybe that’s why I appreciate Hop Nuts. They don’t try to be fit what has grown to be the norm in microbreweries. They simply provide a fun place to grab a craft beer or two and keep your night moving.

Posted on

Lovelady Brewing – Henderson, NV

Lovelady Brewing – Henderson, NV

A local Henderson family with generational roots, Lovelady Brewing pays homage to the art and heritage of craft beer in more ways than one. First, it’s location in downtown Henderson is part of an economic revival of sorts; another reason to visit downtown Henderson. This pays respect to the heritage of craft beer as breweries were often centers of economic activity and opportunity. From farmers to banks to distributors, breweries have supported supply lines and have been bellwethers and cornerstones of local economies for a long time.

lovelady brewing henderson

First Impressions

Many breweries offer a very industrial and cold feel which can be off putting to some. Not at Lovelady Brewing. As I parked and walked up to the building, the first thing I noticed was the great signage reminiscent of historic signs that flagged downtowns of yesteryear. Elevated-patio seating faces Water Street and makes a great vantage point for downtown’s many events. As it’s usually a beautiful day in the Las Vegas valley, I would normally elect to sit outside, but, of course, I wanted an opportunity to soak up the interior ambience.

Stepping through the front door I appreciated the bright and open appearance with no cigarette smoke–which made for a more neutral background for tasting Lovelady Brewing’s delicious brew and a welcomed departure from the smoky Strip.

Unique Character

The first things to visually pop are the large fermenters and brewery operation tucked off in the corner. The shiny concrete floor helps draw attention to the bar and tabletops made from reclaimed wood from the Sierra Nevadas. (Quick story: The trees were damaged and destroyed by a bark beetle as a result of the long drought in northern California and northern Nevada. The beetle creates little dark areas where they burrow and lay eggs making for a very unique effect. Don’t worry…no beetles are present in the wood now of course). Using the wood not only adds a ton of character to the place, but is another example of how breweries preserve local and regional history and culture.

Tasting Lovelady Craft Beer

Sitting at the gorgeous bar, I was lucky enough to be graced by the presence of Bob, one of the owners and brothers of the operation, who was pouring me samples of their craft beers. Bob is extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to have a conversation with. There were many styles to choose from. Amongst my favorites were:

  • HopAtomic IPA (a double IPA) with a vibrant fruity nose, and for 8.2%, goes down really smooth with a nice balance of bitter and sweet at the end.
  • Love Juice (a Northeast-Style IPA), with a cloudy and juicy body is very clean and refreshing with a hint of orange peel to finish.
  • Nutty Pumpkin (a dunkel/brown lager), a pumpkin beer like none other. This one is brewed with hazelnuts and doesn’t have the full frontal assault of spices on your senses. The pumpkin is a good role player to let the hazelnut shine. Unique, yet delicious.

Besides picking up some brews directly from the brewery, you can find Lovelady beers at your Las Vegas’ Total Wines & More or other local grocers like Albertsons.

lovelady brewing henderson https://craftbeertix.comWelcoming Vibe

For a microbrewery, Lovelady attracted people outside of the typical demographic for craft beer, which speaks to how good the beer really is as well as the comfortable, welcoming vibe folks feel when they walk in. There were a few “first time” craft beer drinkers who were delighted with their choices. There were also a few regulars who certainly had their favorites, but still adventurous and tried some of the newer beers the brewery was creating. At Lovelady there is something for every person to enjoy.

More than just another reason to visit Henderson, Lovelady Brewing is a reason to try craft beer for the first time or revel in their masterpieces as a passionate beer drinker.