Drink Tahoe Brew: Best local beers in Lake Tahoe’s growing craft beer scene
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This article is adapted from the summer 2017 edition of Tahoe Magazine, a joint publication of the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Lake Tahoe Action, Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. The magazine, which features loads of features and advertisements about all that the Tahoe summer has to offer, is on newsstands now across Lake Tahoe, Truckee and Reno. Click here to read it online, and be sure to pick up a copy today!
Editor’s note: Since this story was reported, additional breweries have opened on the South Shore. In addition to some of our favorites listed below, we also recommend visiting Lake Tahoe AleWorX and South Lake Brewing Company. Click here to read more about the breweries.
After a grueling day of mountain biking, hiking or hanging out at the beach, it doesn’t hurt to indulge in a couple of beers. After all, you’re on vacation, right?
You could brave the line at the grocery store for a six-pack of your favorite go-to, but wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to check out the local craft beer scene?
Oh, you didn’t know Lake Tahoe has a craft beer scene? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Below are Tahoe Magazine’s 5 must-try craft beer locations this summer:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
FiftyFifty is not to be missed by craft beer enthusiasts. This Truckee-based brewery is known for barrel-aged stouts, and has a few medals under its belt for its Donner Party Porter, Eclipse Imperial Stout, FiftyFifty Imperial Stout and Totality (also a stout).
FiftyFifty also has a full menu that changes seasonally. Visitors can expect to pay about $15-$30 for entrees like orange-blossom salmon or an ahi tuna BLT. If you’re not into seafood, there’s also the lamb shank or a Portobello mushroom sandwich, among many other options.
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. is located at 11197 Brockway Road, Truckee.
Alibi Ale Works
Based in Incline Village on Tahoe’s North Shore, Alibi Ale Works has a classic taproom feel without a lot of distractions from its solid beer lineup. In other words, they don’t do food (except for a sushi pop-up on Wednesdays), but that’s kind of nice sometimes because it creates a more casual experience. The other perk? Alibi welcomes well-behaved, leashed dogs inside.
As for the beers, you’ll find a lot of fun varieties here, as these folks definitely aren’t afraid to experiment. With so many different styles of beer, board games on hand and a good number of tables, this place is great to visit alone or with a small group.
Alibi Ale Works is located at 204 E. Enterprise St., Incline Village (a second location is planned to open at 10069 Bridge St. in Truckee by spring 2017.
Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.
Tahoe Mountain has a brewery/taphouse in Truckee and brewpub in Tahoe City. If you’re wondering what the difference is, don’t worry because you’re not alone. The brewpub in Tahoe City is a full-service restaurant, while only beer is served at the Truckee spot.
The taproom is located through a labyrinth of warehouses and offices, and once you get there, it has a sort of homey feel to it since it is a bit off the beaten path. Since only beer is served in the Truckee taproom, that means they also allow dogs — provided they’re well-behaved, leashed and under the supervision.
The Tahoe City brewpub has a much different vibe to it, and is definitely a family friendly establishment with booth-seats and typical pub fare, including tater tots and burgers. Expect to pay about $15 for an entrée.
Tahoe Mountain’s brewpub is located at 475 North Lake Blvd. in Tahoe City. The brewery is at 10990 Industrial Way, Truckee.
Sidellis Lake Tahoe
If you’re looking for a backyard barbecue, summer vacation vibe, Sidellis Lake Tahoe, located on the South Shore, may be your spot.
The façade of the building may leave much to be desired, but inside you’ll find long tables, a big screen and even an actual backyard, complete with corn hole.
The menu doesn’t stray much from the backyard barbecue vibe, with sandwiches like the peri-peri pulled pork or Keith’s chicken salad sandwich that run about $10 each.
Sidellis Lake Tahoe is located at 3350 Sandy Way, South Lake Tahoe.
Cold Water Brewery and Grill
Cold Water Brewery and Grill brews all of its beers onsite, in the same building as the brewpub. Because of the restaurant’s size, they don’t have nearly as many craft beers as some of the other brewery locations. Still, it’s a good place if you’re craving a beer and a meal.
This place definitely has a classic sports bar atmosphere despite being a brewpub. It has a good amount of seating, both indoor and outdoor, TVs to watch the game and a lot of variety on their food menu.
Lunch items are standard pub food, like tacos, fish and chips and burgers. The dinner menu has some of the same items but adds a few more grown-up offerings as well, like the lemon shandy roast chicken or the veggie rice bowl.
Cold Water Brewery and Grill is located at 2544 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe.