North Tahoe-Truckee breweries tapping seasonal beers for summer | SierraSun.com

North Tahoe-Truckee breweries tapping seasonal beers for summer

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Whether you spend the day roving through the Sierra Nevada forests, scaling towering cliffs at Donner Summit, or navigating the blue Lake Tahoe waters off Incline Beach — whatever your flavor of outdoor fun is — there's a shared exercise at the end of (or even during) many people's summer day: enjoying craft beer.

With that in mind, adventurists are not the only ones brewing with excitement for summertime at Truckee-Tahoe.

Just ask Andrea Keil, head brewer of Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company, which has a brewery and taproom in Truckee and a brewpub in Tahoe City.

"I think because there are so many recreation enthusiasts, people really earn their beers around here," Keil said. "I'm always seeing people come up here on their mountain bikes or coming back from whatever sweaty adventure they were doing.

"I think as brewers, it's nice to embrace that and help satisfy that beer craving that they deserve."

Kevin Drake, co-owner/head brewer of Alibi Ale Works in Incline Village, agreed.

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"It's recreation heaven up here," Drake said. "And after long days playing on the lake or hiking or camping, you know everyone's looking for beer — and locally made beer at that."

For Andy Barr, co-owner of FiftyFifty Brewing Company in Truckee, beer drinkers in the region are especially looking for "light and refreshing" pints this time of year.

In other words, "one that doesn't come across as heavy and dehydrating and puts you to naptime," Barr said.

"I think it's similar to what you get in a surf community or other outdoor, active communities," he continued. "Because of that component, I think it makes it a little bit lighter (beers) during the day; a little more refreshing on the palate."

Or, as Keil succinctly put it, "something crushable."

Which begs the question: what kinds of "crushable," summer-focused beers are being brewed up at three of the main breweries at Truckee-Tahoe?

Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.

If there was ever a beer that captured summer, perhap's its Tahoe Mountain's "Hot Pants," a Berliner Weisse-inspired German wheat beer the brewery describes as "our 'lemonade' on a hot day."

"It's super low ABV (3 percent) and really tart and refreshing," Keil said.

Another seasonal release on tap, Keil said, is the Gose Rustica, a German sour beer brewed with salt and spice.

Tahoe Mountain is also rolling out a few new brews this summer: a barrel-aged Strawberry Berliner Weisse and a Foudre IPA — an IPA aged in a French oak foudre, "so it's going to have a little bit of that oak, aged characteristic to it," said Keil.

Alibi Ale Works

The Incline Village brewery's three main "summery" beers are its Saison, Mandarina Kolsch and Pluot Berlinerweisse, Drake said.

The Saison — Alibi's "flagship beer" — is a Belgium beer that evokes flavors of lemon, pear and sourdough bread with a crisp, earthy finish.

"This is our go-to beer on a hot summer day," Drake said. "Or any day, really."

Meanwhile, Alibi's Mandarina Kolsch is a lager-like beer with subtle spice characteristics and an orangey flavor in the finish, and its Pluot Berlinerweisse is a tart wheat beer fermented with plums and apricots — hence, "pluot."

"So it's a really fruity beer with a nice bright lemony acidity," Drake said.

Yes, They 'can'

All three aforementioned beers, among others, are being canned by Alibi for the first time since the brewery opened less than two years ago. The Saison is currently available in 16-ounce cans, while the Kolsch and Pluot Berlinerweisse are being canned at the end of June, Drake said.

"Since we've opened we've wanted to get cans out on the market," he said. "Especially in Tahoe, for obvious reasons; outdoor recreation, beaches and rivers … cans are the right vehicle for beer."

Drake said four-packs of 16-ounce cans will be sold at retaliers throughout Truckee-Tahoe and Reno starting next week. In addition, a portion of the cans are being sold at the brewery's taproom, he added.

FiftyFifty Brewing CO.

At FiftyFifty, the Truckee brewery is pouring a few new refreshing Belgium beers and a new IPA this summer.

FiftyFifty's Saison du Prick is Belgian ale brewed with purple prickly pear cactus, while its Belgian lipstick is brewed with tart cherries.

Meanwhile, the brewery is refining and rolling out its new Session IPA, "Mannslide," named after one of FiftyFifty's new brewers.

What's more, FiftyFifty will have draft tastings from their specialty bottle club, "Brewer's Intent."

Examples of beers geared toward summertime include a Belgian Tripel with apricots, a barrel-aged Imperial IPA and a Blond Barley Wine brewed with tart cherries.

"We'll have those on throughout the summer — even those not in the (beer) club can try some on draft," Andy Barr said.

Leg Lifter release party

FiftyFifty is also eying the June 14 release party of its Leg Lifter Ale, with $1 of every pint donated to the Truckee-Tahoe Humane Society.

This is the fourth summer FiftyFifty has brewed up its Leg Lifter — an ale conditioned with Mosiac Hops, making for berry flavors and earthy tones — to benefit the local humane society.

The release party, which is free to attend and will include entertainment by the Bison Bluegrass Band, will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14 at FiftyFifty Brewing Company, 11197 Brockway Road, Truckee.

More online

Visit the following websites to learn more about Truckee-North Lake Tahoe’s three craft beer breweries:

Alibi Ale Works: alibialeworks.com

FiftyFifty Brewing Company: fiftyfiftybrewing.com

Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company: tahoebrewing.com

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Editor’s note

We at the Sierra Sun encourage locals and visitors to enjoy the many recreation opportunities in Truckee and at Lake Tahoe, and to enjoy craft beers, wines at other spirits offered by local businesses as part of the summer season here — but we also encourage everyone to do so responsibly.

Just like how Nevada and California prohibit driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, laws also exist for operating bicycles, skateboards and longboards, and paddleboards, kayaks and other water vessels. The legal limit for blood alcohol levels in both states is 0.08 percent. Always drink responsibly.