The brewing room at The Depot in Reno. (Courtesy The Depot)
Reno-Tahoe is home to many excellent microbrewers and distillers who take advantage of the region's pure water and, at times, local ingredients. In Reno's downtown and mid-town, multiple brewpubs are within walking distance, making a pub-crawl the perfect pre- or post-dinner activity.
One of the newest hot spots, The Depot, occupies one the oldest buildings in town, built in 1910 as a railway headquarters. The interior of this three-story brick structure has been transformed into a sparkling clean restaurant, bar, brewery and distillery. Seven handcrafted beers and a barleywine are the brewery’s standard offerings, augmented by seasonal brews. Grains for The Depot's whiskeys are milled onsite, cooked in the customized brewhouse and sent into traditional open-style fermenters. Lunch, dinner and snacks are available, if you want to soak up some alcohol.
Silver Peak Restaurant and Brewery has been winning over beer-enthusiasts since 1999, with two Reno locations. Downtown, it's in the center of the action on North Sierra Street, just a block off the Truckee River. Its second, larger facility is off Holcomb Avenue in mid-town. Both locations serve up a dozen flagship or seasonal brews, plus a large wine list and lunch and dinner menus.
Two nearby spots to extend your crawl are 1864 Tavern and Brasserie Saint James. This old-style tavern would have fit right into its namesake year, except for its very modern approach: In addition to draft micro-brews and spirits, a complete "detox" juice menu is available. Saint James is a large restaurant and brewery that specializes in Belgian-style beers.
Wherever you hoist a glass, tip one to the memory of the miners who started this region's love affair with micro-brews more than 150 years ago. Their legacy has aged well.