Local Brews + Food: Reno's 10Best Brew Pubs



The Reno area has recently exploded with a wealth of brew pubs. These 10Best locations all around the Reno area include locally owned and unique breweries like The Depot (built out of a former train depot), Brasserie St. James (built over an underground artesian lake) and The Brewer's Cabinet. All three of these locations serve classic and European inspired pub food made from locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Their beers are pretty darn good too.

If you are looking for some casino dining, try the popular Brews Brothers at the Eldorado for their great menu, beers and live music or the High Sierra Brewing Company in Sparks at Baldini's. For a community experience, bring your own meat to Pignic Pub & Patio and enjoy drinks on the deck of this downtown hangout. If you want to get out of town, try The Fox Brewpub in downtown Carson City or the Virginia City Brewery & Taphouse located in a historic building of this Wild West town. 



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Located in the historic Wild West town of Virginia City, the Virginia City Brewery and Taphouse is run by experience brewmasters and chefs. Built in a former bakery, the building now serves various handcrafted beers made from alpine water from the Sierra Nevada. The beers range from IPA and pale ales to dark stouts and porters. Try the Marlette Red made from the water of the crystal clear Marlette Lake or the YellowJacket Honey Plae Ale named after the famous mine. The brews can be paired with small plates like pulled pork sandwiches, steam beer brats, soups and tamales. You can also order from other local Virginia City restaurants.


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Pignic Pub & Patio in Downtown Reno has an unusual concept: bring your own meat, grab a drink and have fun grilling your dinner on the pubs back deck. Of course, you can always choose Pignic's selection of meats including steaks, chicken sausages and other goodies. Add your own or their dry rubs and sauces and make an evening of it on the deck while looking over the Downtown Reno lights. Pignic shines in the drinks department. The bartenders know their stuff and serve a variety of cocktails and spirits, a changing selection of draft beers and even special event drinks like mint juleps and holiday drinks. If the weather doesn't cooperate, you can also stay inside and play a variety of parlor games.


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The High Sierra Brewing Company in Sparks, Nevada creates a series of handcrafted brews by Boulder, Colorado brewer Tim Mason. While High Sierra has just a few flagship beers, they also create specialty and seasonal beers throughout the year. The menu reflects both light and heavy fare with items like sliders, onion rings and soups and salads. Their Steakburgers are made with a 1/2 pound of fresh ground beef and steak and include "The Cure" burger with fried egg, grilled onions, melted cheddar cheese and special sauce ($10.95). Try a burger, sandwich or pizza with the OMG India Pale Ale or the Buzzed Bee Gold Medal winner draft.


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The Silver Peak Grill and Tap Room (the downtown river location) is as popular for its ales and lagers as it is for its pub fare. With items such as salmon fish and chips dipped in Red Ale batter, grilled-lamb burger with kalamata olives and goat cheese, and their signature barley-crusted chicken-breast sandwich with applewood-smoked bacon, this isn't your average bar menu. The drinks include on-tap beers such as XXX Blonde, Battle Born Beer and Stella Artois. Located on the corner of First and Sierra streets near the Truckee River, Silver Peak is a popular meeting spot, and the outdoor seating on the patio is a great place for people-watching. The second (original) location of the Silver Peak is in Midtown Reno on Wonder Street and the top deck has great views of the city.


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Carson City


 

The Fox Brewpub is located in downtown Carson City and features 17 finely crafted draft beers from the Fox and other local breweries. Try from a variety of award-winning brews including the NV'64 Honey Blonde Ale and Mayan Heat which is a spiced herb beer. The Fox's menu is a mix of both Latin and Asian inspired dishes. Start out with Thai Chicken Wraps with snow peas and peanut sauce ($12.95) or Sweet Potato Fries with chipotle mayo ($7.95). Main dishes include salads, burger, pizzas and English pub favorites with a twist. Try the Chicken Pot Pie ($12.95) made with local beer, Bangers, Beans and Mash ($10.95) or Jambalaya over basmati rice ($15.95).


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Brew Brothers
Photo courtesy of Ceol


 

The Brew Brothers has been named the Best Brewpub in America by Nightclub & Bar magazine and has been voted "Best Microbrew, "Best Beer Selection" and "Best Live Music" in several Best of Reno polls and was named the highest selling brewpub in North America. The Brew Brothers is located in the Eldorado hotel and casino in downtown Reno. It's a fun place where you can get great draft microbrews, food an live music. The Brew Brothers brew their own beer and their specialties include the Big Dog IPA and the Wild Card Wheat Ale. Food includes pizza, burgers, sandwiches and salads. Try the Margarita Pizza and the Chicken and Apple Salad.


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Great Basin Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Great Basin Brewing Company


 

One of the most popular places in Reno/Sparks for pub grub and microbrews. Great Basin is home to the hoppy Icthyosaur Pale Ale. "Gimme an Icky" is the calling card of this place located on Victorian Square. The Great Basin serves up food for both lunch and dinner that is inspired by the Nevada desert and mountains. Items such as Ale Battered Zucchini or Dill Pickles, Shepherd's Pie, Sonoran-Style Fish Tacos, and the classic Caesar Salad are all excellent. Other brews besides the Icky include the Wild Horse Ale, the Nevada Gold Pilser and the Jackpot Porter. Other drinks are offerer such Wyders Pear Hard Cider and wine from Kendall Jackson and Seven Deadly Zins. Live music is featured on most weekends and includes bluegrass and country bands such as Smokin' Bulldogs and Dust on the Bottle.


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The Depot is Reno's first brewery and distillery that serves some excellent pub food with a local twist. The brewery portion serves up a selection of Nevada-inspired beers and the distillery creates spirits for purchase or for use in the bar's numerous cocktails. The lunch and dinner menu features salads and main dishes like Poutine with oxtail gravy ($8), various burgers and sliders and an excellent beet salad. Their snack dishes are great to share and include items like Shrimp Ceviche ($11) Steamed Cockles ($13) with beer broth and bacon, and a four cheese Mac & Cheese ($7.50) that will remind you of your cool Mom's dish.


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This rustic, but classic brew pub in Midtown Reno was actually built over an artesian lake right in the middle of the city. The icy cold water from the lake is used to make this brew pub's selection of tasty drafts. The Brasserie's drafts include a variety of German Kolsch, ales, porters, lagers and a Farm-hand Saison called Daily Wages ($7 for a tulip glass). You can enjoy a $2 taster or larger pints, imperial pints and growler fills. The pub also serves European style dishes and American comfort food made from natural ingredients. The dinner menu features appetizers like salads and soups and starters such as Steak Tartare ($14) and Bone Marrow Canoes ($14) with bacon jam and toast. The entrees include the Brasserie Braise ($22) with short ribs and oxtails braised in dark ale and served with vegetables and creamed polenta. The Dixie Chicken ($17) is southern style with creamed kale and country grits.


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The Brewer's Cabinet, located just steps from the Truckee River in Downtown Reno, creates their own small batches of of craft beers as well as delicious food made from fresh, local ingredients. For both lunch and dinner, you can pick up one of their beers on tap. Try the Tahoe Pale Ale or the Tahoe Amber. The Sorry for Partying Pilsner is light and fresh and the stronger Dirty Wookie is for the dark-lovin' folks. The Brewer's Cabinet menu features salads, sandwiches and delicious burgers. The dinner menu features entrees like beer battered fish and chips with a lemon and caper aioli ($12.50) and the Baby Back Ribs with fries ($14.95). If you like burgers try the Lamb Burger with smoked tomato jam, goat cheese and lettuce on a rosemary bun ($11.50) or the Pulled Pork sandwich on a variety of homemade breads ($10.50).


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Meet Christina Nellemann

Christina has lived in the Reno/Lake Tahoe area since she was a baby. A first-generation Nevadan, her Danish parents instilled in her an intense love of travel and the wild, rugged outdoors...  More About Christina

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