Carson Valley Beer: Good for What Ales Ya

Calling all beer aficionados, the malt lovers, the sudsy savorers! These are the days of the year that beg for a frosty mug filled to the brim with summer lovin’, so we’ve rounded out a few of the many great choices in Carson Valley. So, grab your stein and hop aboard the beer train!

Shoe Tree Brewing Company – Minden

If you feel like you’re having Deja brew, it’s because this newest addition to Carson Valley is a branch from our neighbors to the north. The Minden Shoe Tree is the place that will test your loyalties from strictly hop-heavy IPA to something fruity, or perhaps a hint of vanilla will tickle your fancy. Overflowing with originality, true beer connoisseurs will enjoy testing the taps with the constantly rotating, new and innovative pours. Get ready for big, bold and unique flavors to employ your senses. If all the options seem daunting, we suggest ordering a flight and trying on a few for size. As an added bonus, Shoe Tree’s patio is dog friendly and often has live music to enjoy with your pint. They also can their crafty goodness, so you can grab a pack and get outdoors. Keep an eye on ABV though, the Shoe Horn Double IPA ain’t your daddy’s Budweiser.

Writer’s Choice: I cannot believe I am saying this as the true IPA diehard of my family, but the Coco Burrito Porter has absolutely changed the game. Remember the Chaco Taco ice cream? Yea, it’s that – in a glass. The best part? My 80-year-old, non-beer drinking aunt went bananas for it too.

Big Daddy’s Bike & Brew

Like the kids say today, Big Daddy’s is a total vibe. An eclectic mix of a bike/ski shop and bar, it is the place to be when you’re yearning for a cold one, especially after a long day of riding. They have several great beers on tap (some are very on theme with bicycle references) and have even begun to brew their own. Big Daddy’s has ‘big’ plans to expand their brewing operation under the Carson River Brewing Company moniker all while continuing to feature an indoor and outdoor bar, patio, fire truck turned beer tap, and live music and food trucks regularly. This is the spot where beer drinkers unite for the love of all hobbies.

Writer’s Choice: I was thrown over my figurative handlebars when I determined that Big Daddy’s own brew, the DIPADADDY, was easily my favorite option. I’ve never been one to enjoy a fruity twist to beer, yet the apricot finish was a subtly pleasant surprise. That Big Daddy’s Double is one smooth operator.

Minden Meat and Deli

Just because they don’t have “brew” in the name doesn’t mean Minden Meat and Deli doesn’t have every beer imaginable. Spoiler alert, they do. From 31 beers on tap, an impressively stocked beer fridge, and bottles and cans stacked toward the ceiling- it’s truly the best adult fort you’ve ever seen. Of course, they also serve great food, a definite plus when diving into their many great beer options. If you are feeling a little more Gatsby, Minden Meat and Deli also has a wide variety of bourbons.

Writer’s Choice: This was a toughie, out of the 31 on tap options there were several contenders vying for my attention. After careful deliberation, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull IPA from El Segundo Brewing Company took the trophy, or maybe in this case the championship belt. It’s a crisp and clean, easy drinking IPA (surprising for a 6.7% ABV) that has a great citrus twinge. A true classic. Even better, Minden Meat and Deli also sells it in can form to take with you. Stone cold, indeed.

Of course, there are many more great beers laying in wait for you in Carson Valley. One man’s IPA is another man’s sour, so don’t take our word for it, get out and decide for yourself! Be sure to tag us in your brew photos on Instagram and Facebook and use the hashtag #WhyCV.

Oh yeah, and we really shouldn’t have to say this but don’t be silly, drink responsibly.