It has been a year since I moved to San Francisco from the lovely town of Truckee in California. While I lived there I didn’t have too much of a preference about what types of beer I drank but then a trip to Belgium changed all of that. I came back and realized that small towns like the resort town Truckee don’t often have much to offer for beer drinkers dabbling in new styles. This all changed recently when I took a trip back to Truckee for a few weeks and found several spots now offer an impressive selection of locale and imported beers. From restaurants, to bars, cafes and bottle shops their is sure to be something for everyone and any situation that requires a frosty cold beverage.
Tahoe Mountain Artisanal Beer Bottle Shop
Boasting to have, “The best bottled beer selection in North Tahoe and Truckee,” this bottle shop was a real treasure to find in old town Truckee. Gone are the days of driving to reno to stock up on decent beer. The shop is small unassuming located next to Carmel Gallery and Cake Tahoe, but all good things seem to come in small packages. I might have missed it if I hadn’t had a cupcake craving, but I’m insanely glad I spotted it and my vacation was enlightened with unique beers from near and far.
Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co. opened this shop in Spring 2013 and it rotates a stock of over 300 beers, meads and ciders from around the world as well as reasonably priced growlers from their brewery. It can be a bit overwhelming to walk into this little shop that is chalk full of an amazing assortment, but no need to fear, the knowledgable staff will help you make choices based on your preferences.
My picks included Mikkeller Sort Gul Black IPA, 7.5% alc/vol; Alvinne Undressed Morpheus Wild, almost unhopped brown ale for fans of the “oud bruin” style, 6.9% alc/vol; Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, artisan golden ale aged in oak barrels, 8% alc/vol; and Mikkeller Open Windows Open Hills Tiger Baby IPA, made with mango and passion fruit, 8% alc/vol.
Coffee bar is not necessarily a new spot in Truckee but it’s only been within the last year that they now offer beer and wine. This coffee shop has more than meets the eye and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. It is a bit off the beaten path and can be easily missed if you’re not looking for it, but I suggest you do go look for it. The Italian coffee bar inspired shop features organic coffee & espresso (including latte art), pastries, panini sandwiches, gelato, European crepes and now beer & wine.
This is a great spot to hit up for a late lunch or early dinner after hiking, biking, climbing or whatever your outdoor pleasure may be. The beer selection is small but packs a punch and delights. The best part is that they have outdoor seating to enjoy the glorious Truckee summers and dogs are welcome to hang out with you in the patio area while you sip on your brew.
My pick for this trip was Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale, 5.5% alc/vol.
Mellow Fellow opened in old town Truckee in Summer 2013 and has over 40 beers on tap, specializing in American Craft beers. This bar offers a lot of open space to stan around, darts as well as outdoor (dog friendly) seating. The bartenders are friendly and will offer up any samples you desire. It can be a bit hard to decide on what to get since there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to how they list their beers and the options are constantly changing. It’s a great spot check out if your in old town for a great prices and a wide selection.
My picks included Black Racer by Bear Republic Brewing Co., 8.10% alc/vol; and a Stone IPA aged in red wine barrels, 8.6% alc/vol.
I’m going to say it – Trokay has the best food and best beer selection in Truckee. This restaurant started as a cafe and has now moved to a new location that is more modern, sleek and spacious. The food is inventive with twist of molecular gastronomy. The desserts and beers are not to be missed under any circumstances.
The beer selection features Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Mikkeller, and a few other nuggets like Russian River Brewery. I highly recommend treating yourself to a four course meal or even a chef’s tasting after a hard days work of skiing or snowboard at one of the many nearby resorts. They also offer a beer pairing if that’s how you role. Or, just belly up to the bar for a beer, and maybe add an amazing dessert such as their Frozen Latte featuring Blue Bottle Coffee accompanied by mini doughnuts and a chocolate sauce for your pouring delight.
My beer picks were Pliny the Elder IPA by Russian River, 8% alc/vol; and Mikkeller Its Alive Belgian Ale aged in chardonnay barrels with mango, 8% alc/vol.
So there you have it – Truckee is upping it’s beer game and new places are popping up left and right to offer us thirsty locals and vacationers tasty and unique beers. Going to a resort town doesn’t mean you have to drink PBR, Corona or Coors Light anymore (although there is a time and place for those beers if needed). I highly recommend checking out these unique spots and helping out the locale community with your patronage.
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