What to expect from South Lake Tahoe’s culinary and beer scenes in 2017 | TahoeDailyTribune.com

What to expect from South Lake Tahoe’s culinary and beer scenes in 2017

In years past, South Lake Tahoe has not necessarily been known as a standout culinary scene. But this could all change in 2017.

2016 alone saw the development of new restaurants, such as The Lake House, that focus on fine dining and raising the culinary bar on the South Shore, as well as a handful of spots that went through renovations. The start of the year also brought a Restaurant Industry Group, run through Tahoe Chamber.

"Over the last four months or so, [the group] has had a variety of different speakers come in — different specialists to help them run more safely, more efficiently and more in alignment with what the regulations are.

"The focus in 2016 was bringing in expert speakers to help them all be more successful," group facilitator Betty "B" Gorman said.

At the end of the month, the Restaurant Industry Group will meet to discuss its goals for the upcoming year. As of now, these goals are not solidified, but are tentatively centered on collaboration.

"They have a list of ideas, but the agenda for the end of [January] is to look at what they might decide to do. Possibly a beer trail, collaborative marketing — they talked about having a social media person help them; I think that's a struggle for the restaurants.

"The goal is to make restaurants more likely to survive and thrive, giving resources amongst one another. Last month there was an email chain going around amongst a few of them. They're working collaboratively like they never have in the past, which is great to see," Gorman explained.

Ideally, the shared knowledge that comes from restaurants teaming up will result in a higher caliber of cuisine.

What goes hand-in-hand with good food? Well-crafted drinks.

Along with the development of the restaurant scene, the South Shore can also look toward the growth of the craft beer industry in the coming year. At least three new breweries are in the works to open in the coming months, and who knows how many more will pop up in the next 12.

Lake Tahoe AleWorX, expected to open at the Crossing at the Y in February or March 2017, is in collaboration with Incline Village's Alibi Ale Works, where their first beer is currently in the fermenter. AleWorX CEO Luca Genasci hopes to have the California common on taps around town in mid-January.

The goal of AleWorX is to blend a Tahoe brand with the adventure lifestyle, creating a beer that will not only represent the Tahoe Basin, but also unite lovers of craft brew with those who love Tahoe. Lake Tahoe AleWorX will be a self-service brewery.

Like AleWorX, South Lake Brewing Company is eyeing a late February opening date. The business is located just past the Y at 1920 Lake Tahoe Blvd., which last housed Ace Hardware. Owners Chris and Nicole Smith want their beer garden to be a place for people to stop by and connect with others between adventures.

Over in Stateline, Basecamp Hotel will transform its beer garden into Desolation Brewery come April. While many details have yet to be released, get ready for year-round relaxation filled with barbecues and concert series.

Cheers to you, 2017.

Want to get involved in the Restaurant Industry Group? Contact Gorman at bgorman@tahoechamber.org, or visit the Tahoe Chamber online at http://www.tahoechamber.org.