Great Basin Brewery's 15 Anniversary Celebration

November 2008

Sparks, Nevada


I happened to be in Sparks, Nevada and by chance stumbled upon the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Great Basin Brewey. I had the opportunity to visit Great Basin and enjoy their beers previously in April 2004 and March 2008. I got a tour of the brewery on my first visit in 2008 from Tom Young, the owner and brewmaster while they were brewing one of my favorites - Ichthyosaur IPA

....................Brian .................Scott ..................and Uli................................................Scott and the Great Basin Brewers


............Hey - your're using a kayak paddle to stir the mash..............................................Scott and owner Tom Young


Beer menu from the anniversary celebration

Since it was so crowded the first night we stopped, a second visit was required the following day to get a representative sample of the 32 beers on the menu. I don't think I've ever been to any brew pub with 32 selections of beer - all brewed on site. This rivals the beer fridge for variety! I was amazed by the Cerveza ChileBeso and used nearly all my special beer tickets to keep my glass filled. I spoke with the brewer and got a few ideas for making a chili beer in Nairobi - the result was Hell's Gate Red Pepper Ale -one of my better efforts of 2009.


.......................Uli .........................................and Terry.............................................Kathy - our liaison for getting quick beers


Check out the Great Basin Website

Great Basin has a long history of award winning beers:

October 1994
Golf Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Denver Colorado, Herb-spice division – Cerveza Chilebeso
Bronze Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Düsseldorf Altbier/German-Style Brown Ale Division – Wild Horse Ale

October 1995
Bronze Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, Colorado, Düsseldorf Altbier/German-Style Brown Ale Division – Wild Horse Ale

October 1998
Silver Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, Co. Herb-spice div. – Rosemary Rye Patch

October 1997
Gold Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, Co Herb-spice division – Cerveza ChileBeso

October 1999
Gold Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, Co, Herb-Spice div. – Cerveza ChileBeso

October 2000
Silver Medal, Great American Beer Festival, European Dark/Munchner div. – Slam Dunkel

Silver Medal, Nevada Gold Kolsch – Beverage Testing Institute

October 2001
Gold Medal, World Beer Cup, Chocolate/Cocoa flavored beer div. – Death by Chocolate Stout

June 2002
Silver Medal, World Beer Cup, (Extra Special) Strong Bitter div. – Black Rock ESB
Bronze Medal, World Beer Cup, European-Style Dark/Münchner Dunkel – Slam Dunkel

Silver Medal, World Beer Championships – Outlaw Oatmeal Stout

Bronze Medal, World Beer Championships – Stone Mother Marzen
Silver Medal, World Beer Championships – Ichthyosaur India Pale Ale

Gold Medal, Great American Beer Festival, Denver, CO, Smoked Beers division – Smokecreek Rauchbier

Silver Medal, World Beer Cup, sweet stout category – Outlaw Stout


If you are heading to Reno/Sparks, here's what's currently on tap:

Bitchin' Berry
A Great Basin favorite! A crisp, effervescent brew with a generous addition of real raspberries, not extracts. Additional charge applies. (A.B.V., 5.0%)

Ichthyosaur India Pale Ale
Just say “Gimme an Icky!” Named after Nevada’s official state fossil, this beer is made in the India Pale Ale style. Ichthyosaur is accented by a blast of Cascade hops. (A.B.V., 6.4 %)

Munich Kellerbier
Fresh and unfiltered (the German word “keller” means “cellar”), this Bavarian style hazy lager is a predecessor of our filtered version. (A.B.V., 5.0%)

Nevada Gold
You’ve struck it rich! Taste the smooth finish and delicate balance of this German K?lsch Beer, brewed with 2-row barley and wheat malts, and a kiss of noble Saaz hop grown in the Pilsen region of Czechoslovakia. (A.B.V., 5.0%)

Nitro Icky
Our favorite Ichthyosaur goes "Nitro." The wonders of dissolved nitrogen (famous thanks to Guinness) allow the quaffer to enjoy the spicy and bittersweet character of this aggressive brew. Marvel at the beautiful cascade of tiny bubbles that forms a firm and lasting creamy head. (A.B.V., 6.5%)

Old Fitz Bourbon Barrel Barlywine
Our barleywine is aged in a 27 year old Fitzgerald Bourbon barrel for six months – lively, intense, rich & satisfying with a taste of bourbon. (A.B.V., 13%)

Pogonip Pilsner
A straw-colored classic that originated in the great brewing region of Bohemia. The crisp, herbal palate from noble hops and the soft, creamy malt character of German barley are an irresistible combination. (A.B.V., 5.0%)

Truckee River Red
Made with 100% organic barley and hops – pure, refreshing, smooth, nutty, caramelly rich, and very satisfying – this unfiltered ale is brewed as a tribute to the brewery’s lifeblood, our beloved Truckee River. (A.B.V., 5.4%)

Wee Bee Heavy Scotch
The ultimate “Scotch Ale”, this potent copper-colored brew boasts a smooth, biscuity malt character that makes for easy quaffing. A word of caution, however; at 8.8% alcohol, Wee Bee can sneak up on you! Sold only in 10 oz. glasses. (A.B.V., 8.8%)

Wheeler Peak Wheat
Refreshing and effervescent – The liberal use of malted wheat lends a light, dry but fruity finish to this satisfying brew – an unfiltered hefe weizenbier. Drink it in the German tradition with a slice of lemon. (A.B.V., 5.4%)

Wild Horse Ale
This award-winning amber ale is guaranteed to tame your wild thirst. Wild Horse is brewed in the German “Alt” tradition. It gets its malty, rich and complex flavor from a blend of five malts. A two-time Bronze Medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. (A.B.V., 4.8%)


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