If you want a Drinkable Reno, it starts now
Some say Reno’s craft scene is approaching critical mass. They are wrong. Reno is just getting started.
This moment in time, right now while you’re reading this, is critical. This is the moment Reno’s craft scene becomes a legitimate driving force for local pride, tourism, industry and identity. This is the moment to jump on that bandwagon — you, me, legislators, retailers, distributors, business owners.
In Nevada, we have our first six modern distilleries open or opening soon (and here and here and here and here and here). Our first Nevada bourbon is coming out in June (pause, read that again). Our thirteenth Reno brewery is opening soon with a fourteenth coming soon. Our only remaining brewpub from 1993 is still going strong and expanding with 23 other breweries and brewpubs scattered throughout Nevada. Our first hops farm is growing right now. Our first estate winery is expanding and two other wineries beside them grow strong. Our own stainless steel brewing equipment makers are now booked a year out. Our own brewing and distilling grain grows in Winnemucca and Fallon.
So where do we go from here, this starting point, to rival Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Pennsylvania? What’s holding us back, how do we get better?
Do our outdated prohibition-era laws hinder entrepreneurs? Yes, emphatically. Do Nevada legislators’ strange sense of morality inhibit business planning? Absolutely. Do our traditional attitudes and culture of old western “I’m not that fancy and get off my lawn” mentality stop businesses from growing? Probably a little.
But laws change. Craft can become part of our identity. Attitudes evolve.
We’re all here together, educating each other, spurring on competition, patronizing innovative craft establishments. The simple fact that this site exists, means we’re moving forward. We’re just young and inexperienced — Reno’s first modern generation of craft beer, wine and spirits. We’re trying on a new pair of shoes to see how they fit. It’s nice, maybe a bit snug, but we just need to break them in.
If Reno wants to be a destination for food and drink, outdoors and recreation, gaming and tourism then we have to move along together. That means supporting the businesses and being critical about their offerings while being patient with newcomers (you think your favorite breweries were immediately award winning?). That means producers with thick skin who listen to customers and focus on great service and improving their products. That means no more petty squabbles between the business owners, Midtown, Downtown and local casinos. That means healthy competition that builds the community instead of dividing it.
If you want a Drinkable Reno, it starts now. With you.
Latest posts by Mike Higdon (see all)
- Drinkable Reno sold out to The Man and it’s all your fault - July 11, 2015
- Branded Hearts Distillery is the fifth in Northern Nevada - June 3, 2015
- Virginia City Muckfest: Mining, Whiskey & Cigars 2015 - May 30, 2015
- Definitive guide to the craft beer scene at Lake Tahoe and Truckee - May 21, 2015
- Bacon, Bourbon and Brews 2015 moves to Peppermill - May 18, 2015