TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - Tucked away in Truckee's industrial complex, a few locals with a love of food and beer have some big plans brewing.
At barely six months old, Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company is causing a stir all over North Lake, providing locally brewed beer and upscale pub fare. The restaurant, located in downtown Tahoe City, is soon to be complimented by a larger brewhouse and tasting room in Truckee.
The brew-pub, founded by Aaron Bigelow, is a manifestation of his lifelong vision of brewing beer and offering tasty food.
"Beer is his baby," brewmaster Clay Brackley said of Bigelow.
The duo, along with Bigelow's wife, Tanya Thayer, who have all lived in Tahoe for the majority of their lives, noticed the absence of a brew-pub on the North Shore. As soon as a spot on North Lake Boulevard opened up, they knew it was the time to open up shop.
"It was the perfect opportunity to let his dream grow," Thayer said.
Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company offers a variety of beers, which are all currently brewed at its Tahoe City location. Brackley, who has been a professional brewer for seven years, explained that the downtown location simply doesn't have enough space for their brewing operations.
They plan to open a brewhouse and tasting room in Truckee in the next few weeks, which will allow them to operate a 20-barrel system, opposed to the 7-barrel system they currently have.
"We always want to continue to improve," Brackley said.
Brackley added that they want to make unique craft beers you might not usually find on the market. For example, he is using a New Zealand hops in one of the brews, something you might not find anywhere else. He's also working on a breakfast oatmeal stout, which is something to be on the lookout for this winter.
The restaurant offers a family friendly, yet upscale pub dining experience, with menu favorites such as pulled pork tacos, wings, burgers, flatbread pizzas and more. The brew pub is becoming known for its smoked items, which are all smoked in house when the staff arrives at 5 a.m. Also notable, the dough for the flatbread pizza is made fresh daily as well.
Thayer explained that they wanted the pub to have items to feed the whole family at an affordable price. Menu items range from the $10 turkey club to the $32 full rack of ribs.
Menu items are often made with beer in mind, Brackley added. For example, the fish and chips batter is a beer batter, and the Sugar Pine Porter is used in the bread pudding.
The trio added that they have new beers coming out for the new season as well. One to be on the lookout for is Ranch Dog Red, named after Bigelow's and Thayer's three rescue dogs - all shepards.
Bigelow added that giving back to the community is important to the still-new business. They donate to the Humane Society, and added that the tasting room, once open, will be dog-friendly.
"People are really happy to have a brewery (on the North Shore)," Bigelow said.
For a taste of something local and new, Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company is the place to be.