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A lineup of favorite free-flowing beverages in Reno/Tahoe.

By Rae Matthews, Elevation Eats

Tahoe Pourhouse
Tahoe Pourhouse

Welcome to the draft, though this is not every college athlete’s dream, I’m referring to some tasty draught drinks right here in the Sierra. Beverages from the tap, of course, started with beer, and date back as far as the 17th century (possibly further). Originally, the beer was in wooden casks and gravity was the primary mode of conveyance. This is still done today and is known as real ale by enthusiasts. Then the 20th century saw the advent of the pressurized keg, though this didn’t become the norm till about the 1970s. Now it is so popular that other beverages are getting in on the mix. Check out these awesome ways to enjoy a delicious draft.

Frothy coffee

Yes, that’s right, coffee now comes on tap. For all of us who say they need coffee in an IV drip, this is as close as we’re going to get. Nitro cold brew is a style of coffee that is pressurized with nitrogen (like a Guinness) and comes out with a creamy texture. It is just starting to make its mark on the map. Like most good ideas, it seems to have sprung up almost simultaneously in multiple locations all since 2011. But word has spread of this most profound idea, and now it can be found right here.

It’s definitely draft season.

Old World Coffee Lab in Reno is a purveyor of all things coffee. They are a coffee roastery with cafes to showcase their specialty coffee drinks, which includes the cold brew tap. Hub Coffee Roasters also a roastery and also in Reno, is frothy on the outside, but community focused at its core. Bibo Coffee Co. offers an enticing assortment of flavor-infused cold brews on tap and you can pack them up in a growler. Down in South Lake Tahoe is Revive Coffee and Wine, a local favorite with a large, charming outdoor space that can be reserved for private parties, and they’ve joined the cold brew draft train. oldworldcoffee.com; hubcoffeeroasters.com; bibocoffeecompany.com; revivecoffeewine.com

Tahoe Pourhouse
Tahoe Pourhouse

Bottomless wine

Well there’s probably a bottom somewhere, but we haven’t found it yet. Wine has now joined the movement of draft beverages. Tahoe Pourhouse in South Lake Tahoe has run full steam ahead with this idea. They feature no less than 20 self-serving wine taps. With a great location and delicious food, it’s very easy to take your time here. Reserve Wine Bar in the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno takes this concept up a notch, by offering 88 options to choose from in their Wineemotion wine dispensing system. Pour yourself your favorite or treat yourself to the most extensive self-guided wine tasting available. tahoepourhouse.com; grandsierraresort.com

Beer, still first pick in the draft

We can’t possibly talk about beverages on tap and not mention beer. The question is not “who has beer on tap?” because who doesn’t? The question is, “who is awesome at it?” Here are those in Reno/Tahoe who take their draft picks seriously, for the love of beer.

Beer NV in Reno does draft beer by sheer volume. With 60 craft and import beers on tap, they are the envy of beer lovers (pun intended). They are also very community minded and support a number of local nonprofits. They do not, however, provide food, so plan to bring food in from several close eateries. Mellow Fellow with locations in Reno and Truckee, offers 40 beers on tap as well as hard cider. They also serve sausages made in house. A staple to the Reno beer scene is The Brewer’s Cabinet. They offer their own selection of funky brews as well as guest taps, including a coffee stout made with coffee from Hub Coffee Roasters, in many shapes and sizes. Also, in Reno, there is The Eddy, a newish spin on the public house. This family and dog-friendly outdoor space is filled with games, art and live entertainment. They have 24 craft beer taps (Plus 10 wine taps!). Subject to the weather, they are only open in the warmer months. beernv.com; mellowfellowpub.com; thebrewerscabinet.com; theeddyreno.com

Up on the hill, Tahoe City just saw the addition of Tahoe Tap Haus. They feature a respectable draft beer (and cider) selection, but best of all, these are the same people that brought you Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema, so they offer a menu that can be enjoyed at the theater. tahoetaphaus.com

Lake Tahoe AleWorx
Lake Tahoe AleWorx

Down in South Lake Tahoe, and with a new location at Stateline, the beer flows freely at Lake Tahoe Aleworx. Here all 25 craft beer taps are self serve, as well as the three wine taps, one kombucha and one nitro coffee. You can sample as you go! Upon arrival, you are outfitted with a wristband that tracks your pours by the ounce, so you are in charge of the draft. They also have some of the best oven-fired pizza in town. New to South Shore is The Hanger Taproom and Bottle Shop. They have 30 rotating taps inside a cozy bar and an expansive outdoor area featuring firepits, cornhole, bocce ball and even a dog park (subject to the weather, of course). Also, in South Lake Tahoe is McP’s Taphouse Grill, an Irish Pub that features 40 beers on tap and live music five nights a week. Every day of the month there is new featured beer. And finally, a must visit in South Lake Tahoe is Cold Water Brewery & Grill, where they bring the draft to you. In addition to their bar, grill, and brewery, they also have a tap room where you can taste their beers while you wait for a table and also purchase home brew supplies, thereby making you commissioner of the draft.laketahoealeworx.com; thehangarlaketahoe.com; mcpstahoe.net; tahoecoldwaterbrewery.com

Lake Tahoe AleWorx
Lake Tahoe AleWorx

So, take your pick and enjoy your beverages pressurized. It’s definitely draft season.