Tenaya Creek Brewery sits right across from the historically-significant site of the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge was once known for acts like Louis Armstrong and The Rat Pack, but that same West Las Vegas area is also known for being the center of Las Vegas’ civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s where integration was first introduced to Las Vegas. Paying tribute to this legacy, Tenaya Creek Brewery integrates flavors and aromas that defy assumptions of what craft beer is supposed to be while bringing people of different backgrounds together.
Entering the front door, one can’t help but notice the large brew operation in the back. It’s partitioned off by large glass windows so you can get a glimpse of the inner workings. The aroma of unbaked bread fills the taproom from the yeasts used in the process.
The taproom is spacious, light, and comfortable with no cigarette smoke to linger in your nostrils. Wrapped in stainless steel, the industrial theme conjures up an image of a mad alchemist in the back laboratory, bubbling with delight of the elixirs fermenting away that will send his patrons into a drunken euphoria and keep them coming back for more.
Pulling up a seat at the bar, I was greeted by a smiling Katy, who was extremely knowledgeable and guided me through the myriad of micros on tap. Tenaya has a number of small-batch test beers on hand too. These test beers are not around for long so be sure to get a taste while you can. Of the beers I tried, all were great, but several stood out:
- Phantasm – A beautiful blend of vanilla pleases the nose while a nutty backdrop comforts the maple and cocoa finish. Every ingredient gets a solo through the taste while helping each other achieve a great performance.
- Tandem – At 9%, this double IPA possess an enormous bouquet of citrusy hops, yet is as smooth and silky as the tunes that played across the street decades ago.
- Hop Ride IPA – The citrus aroma captivates, while the Magnum & Summit hops influence your taste buds to seek another sip and fall in love with the bitter side of the craft.
Tenaya Creek is easily a favorite of mine to visit and recommend to friends out of town. It’s not too far off The Strip and you get sip some stellar Las Vegas craft beer right on the historic Pioneer Trail.
Update: I recently brought my father here to pregame before the Mountain West Men’s Basketball Tournament. Not only did we have a great time, but the delicious craft brews on tap helped start the day of right.