I recently returned from a trip to the Sin City and was a bit surprised and disappointed that there’s not more beer there. The craft beer scene has not really changed that much over the last 5 years. There’s several decent breweries and brew pubs, but they are not seeing the growth that seems evident in other areas.
I get that there’s a bunch of distractions…gambling, shows, music, reefer, and hookers, but why not more small breweries? Ok, I’ll hazard a guess. It’s hard to compete with free…
Ellis Island casino is another place where gambling and quaffing go side by side. Strangely, the 4 Queens hotel and casino have a brewery, but they don’t share freely with the gamblers. Several other casinos are in the same shape with great multi-tap bars but no overflow or even regular flow onto the casino floor.
I decided to head out to to Death Valley, where I heard there was a new brewery.
A brewery called Death Valley Brewing? Seriously way out there in the desert, they are in Tecopa, CA. Not even in Nevada, but making craft beer in the most hostile of environments! Also, best logo ever, “When you are dyin’ for a cold one!”
It gets better. They told me about another brewery a couple of miles away, Tecopa Brewing, where they only have one beer available at a time due to the small size of the system and only having one fermentor. As soon as they put a beer on tap, they start the next one. Problem is, they always sell out before the next one is ready! 30 gallon system… don’t ask me how that works. This place has hot springs. Most places that’s pretty cool, aka let’s go check out the hot springs and get rejuvenated. Not so much here. Might get cooked! Remember, it’s Death Valley! Or close enough to count. The “season” is in the winter. The water is too hot in the summer to bathe in or use to make beer. It’s kinda a ghost town, if you know what I mean… But they persevere and do the best with what they have.
Then there’s getting there. Google took me down a single track gravel and sand road through the desert in my nice compact rental car. Bastards!
Actually, it was kinda fun. I’ve always joked that the best 4×4 vehicle is a rental car since if you get stuck, they will bring you a new one! Probably need phone service for that though. I met a camera crew at Death Valley Brewing, and they said they came down the same road. The guy said his buddy was driving and was going 60 to 70 mph. I said, well, you kinda have to to keep up out of the sand. We had a beer and a laugh!
They also have a mug club there, and the mugs are glass skulls. It *is* Death Valley!
It was was a three-hour drive each way. Fortunately, I broke it up with a couple of side trips. First, on the way there, I went ATV driving in the dessert with ATV Adventures. Great folks, check them out. Then I stopped at the saloon for a ghost hot dog and some beer. On the way out, I circled around to Pahrumph for a little gambling. A day well spent, and I didn’t die!
Huck was here!