While Great Basin may not be the oldest brewery ever in the state of Nevada, it is the oldest brewery still operating at this time. The oldest and longest running brewery in the state was Carson Brewing Company, which was in operation until 1948 when the business was liquidated. The building is currently home to the Brewery Arts Center. As for Great Basin, they were established in 1993 and were the first operating brewery in the state since the dissolution of Carson Brewing Company in 1948. Great Basin has made great strides since their conception and their label has spread across the state quickly. We’re not surprised, as they’ve had some pretty outstanding sales representatives over time.
Whether you like mainstream brews or not, these folks have some outstanding brews on the market. One of the most recognized craft beers they produce is Ichthyosaur Pale Ale, also known as Icky IPA. Locals love the brew and it can be found on tap at a variety of locations from smaller craft breweries to local bars and clubs. We have to admit, Icky has gained quite a following in the Western United States already. We were curious about why this brew has become so popular, so we decided to give it a try.
The aroma of this IPA is super hoppy, with a good dose of Cascade hops in the brew. The beer definitely evolves in the glass, something the Ichthyosaur could have benefitted from, as perhaps they would not have died out then. Unlike many IPAs, which are served either somewhat chilled or at room temperature, this one is honestly better served cold. While it is a great brew, either way, the flavor seems to benefit from being chilled rather than being left at room temperature. It was certainly an interesting experience, as we tried this brew at Mike’s Mineshaft Bar in Winnemucca, Nevada and the brew’s interesting character matched the locale.
Our resident Portaholic came out of her little corner to give a suggestion as well where Great Basin’s brews are concerned. We were a bit surprised that she would know about these folks, but she was apparently close to one of the reps and has tried a few of their brews secretly (oh the controversy). Her suggestion is their Imperial Bourbon Chocolate Cherry Stout. We weren’t able to find out how she came across it, though we’re betting that awesome rep had something to do with it. Here’s her take on this stout.
“The aroma was pretty intense, with hints of cocoa and the barleywine blended into the beer. The flavor profile was really cool, going from a chocolate cherry to the malty base, then off to that bourbon burn, which really wasn’t overpowering at all. The finish is super smooth and I wish I had a few more bottles to put away for aging. Looks like I’ll just have to make a short road trip, because this one needs to live next to my porters.”
We took a look into the what other brews Great Basin might offer and when we saw the list we nearly crowed. These folks have a huge selection and we can only imagine how many we will fall for over time. We’re certainly looking forward to that road trip because that’s a long list of options that we absolutely have to check out!
Check back later in the year, as we’ll definitely be bringing you more news about this craft brewery and the many delights they are offering to the public! Until then, we’ll be right here in West Palm Beach, working on getting the new tanks set up and planning for our opening in April.