One of the largest components of Tahoe's nightlife is the mix of countless breweries, bars and restaurants that offer unique drinks difficult to find outside the basin. In our Drink of the Week segment, we'll showcase one type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try during your stay in the region.
This week's drink is Sidellis Lake Tahoe's My Maine Squeeze, a New England-style hazy IPA. The brewery and restaurant is known for its ever-changing taps, which constantly feature new and (in this case) seasonal beers. My Maine Squeeze became available in late July — so be sure to grab it while supplies last.
The brew comes in at 5.8 percent ABV, which isn't too hard-hitting (unless you haven't gotten enough food in your system throughout the day). My Maine Squeeze showcases "big hop aroma and flavors, light bitterness and [is] hazy in color," according to Sidellis' drink description.
True to the brewery's explanation, My Maine Squeeze tastes only somewhat bitter and slightly hoppy — it's a great concoction for those who are just entering the IPA realm and want an introduction to the stronger flavors that define that style of beer.
In all, My Maine Squeeze is a spectacular beer for the summer and a refreshing choice to conclude a long day in the sun. (Consider enjoying the drink in Sidellis' outdoor seating area — we recommend it.)
Sidellis Lake Tahoe is open 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. The family-friendly establishment is located at 3350 Sandy Way in South Lake Tahoe.
Tahoe Brewfest is nearly here, and set to kick off summer on South Shore.
Coming off its debut's success last year, the beer-focused event arrives bigger and better in 2018.
"Everything's different — nothing is the same except the name and sampling beer," said Nicole Marsel, event coordinator and development manager for Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe. "Last year there were punch cards, and you had to punch the card after every sample. This year you buy a ticket, and once you're in the event you can sample as many times as you want."
Tahoe Brewfest has grown exponentially in more ways than one. The event, which took place at Swiss Chalet Village in 2017, now takes over Heavenly Mountain Resort's California Lodge parking lot on Saturday, June 2. Whether you're looking to try local drinks from basin-based breweries, or sample regional offerings, Tahoe Brewfest has something for your palate.
According to Marsel, people walked away from the inaugural festival with four desires for its return: more beer, more food, more space and more restrooms. And she listened.
"We have all of that, plus seating areas, shade — there's really a lot to experience within the event even beyond sampling craft beer," Marsel said, adding that the new venue offers approximately 150,000 square feet of space.
Last year's event faced a challenge when the participants ran out of beer, but Marsel doesn't foresee that being an issue at the second annual Brewfest. Over 30 breweries will be featured this year, a number that is more than double of the inaugural event.
"Each brewery brings two kegs, so 30 gallons, minimum. Beyond that, they can bring as many kegs as they want," Marsel noted.
She also has implemented regulations to control the size of pours, and will limit the amount of people who can attend.
"Four thousand is my cap — after that I don't have glasses," Marsel said, adding, "When I run out of glasses, I'm not letting anyone else in."
Tahoe Brewfest is fun for the whole family: Aside from the beer, it also offers attendees the opportunity to sample ciders, craft root beer and kombucha, play games like cornhole and giant Jenga, listen to live music from local groups Sierra Gypsies and Ike & Martin, and enjoy food from local vendors.
There also will be a silent disco (grab headphones and tune into the channel of your choice), a variety of merchandise, facepainting and more. Guests can shop from local retailers such as Tahoe Heartbeat, Tahoe Grown and South Tahoe Craft Co., among others.
A variety of tickets are available, but each offers unlimited tastings: General admission tickets ($35) grant access to Tahoe Brewfest from 1-4 p.m., and purchases include a 5-oz. commemorative tasting cup; VIP tickets ($50) grant access to the event from noon through 4 p.m., and include a commemorative stainless steel pint glass; guests under the age of 21 can buy $10 tickets, and children 5 years old and younger enter for free.
Proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, a nonprofit that provides children and teens with a safe environment for enhancing their education and life experiences.
Come mid-June, beer will be flowing in one more spot on Tahoe's South Shore: Lake Tahoe AleWorX is opening its second taproom.
Located beside Lucky Beaver Bar & Burger in the midst of Stateline's casino corridor, AleWorX's latest spot comes to an already busy area.
"We're really excited to expand something that's been really well received by the community and try to offer a little taste of the family-fun action down in a higher foot traffic area of town," said AleWorX CEO Luca Genasci.
His business made its debut just over one year ago — and after it was met with success, Genasci began exploring other locations to open up another restaurant. Key factors in settling on Stateline included bringing AleWorX closer to Nevada residents and opening in an area of town that was already thriving, as opposed to having to draw customers in (as was the case with the first AleWorX location), according to Genasci.
"We looked at the space and thought, 'Wow, this is a great opportunity.' It's right next to the Lucky Beaver, and we're going to be a total complement. They're 21 and over, allow smoking and gambling, and are burger-focused.
"We're going to allow kids, and being along the lines of a family-oriented establishment there is no smoking or gambling," said Genasci, adding that AleWorX fills a "niche market" within the casino corridor.
The new AleWorX location will be similar to its sister in The Crossing at Tahoe Valley, with one major difference: The latest addition will also feature a full bar specializing in craft cocktails and whiskey.
"We're also going to be featuring a bunch of Tahoe Blue Vodka. Matt [Levitt] is a really good friend of mine, and we're excited to partner. In [The Crossing] there's no opportunity for a liquor license," said Genasci.
The bar will be fully operational by the time the new establishment opens in June — according to Genasci, the proper licensing and certificates are already in place.
Patrons who have visited AleWorX's original location will recognize the self-service tap wall and wood-fired pizza at the Stateline spot, too.
"The interior design and flow structure is based on what we've done and what's worked at [The Crossing]. It's just a different iteration tailored to the new space," Genasci noted.
As the second AleWorX location approaches its opening, the business is looking for new staff to come on board in a variety of positions. While high-level management has already been secured, a bar manager, kitchen managers and other roles are still wanted at both taprooms. People interested in working for AleWorX should send resumes to email@example.com.
AleWorX's new taproom is located at 31 U.S. 50. An exact opening date has yet to be announced. The original establishment is found at 2050 Lake Tahoe Blvd.