Last night I visited the top floor of the Trump Tower for a special event featuring the Tenaya Creek Brewery. The past couple weeks they have been working with James Watt and Martin Dickie, co-founders of Scotland based Brew Dog, brewing a collaboration beer celebrating Las Vegas; and it was time for the big reveal.
Brew Dog is most well known for some of their outlandish beers. The End of History is a 55% alcohol beer in which the bottles were shoved in the mouths of taxidermy squirrels. They’ve also fermented a beer at the bottom of the ocean, and most recently released a protest beer named Hello, My Name is Vladimir.
They also have their own TV show, aptly named Brew Dogs. The show features the co-founders as they travel around the US, brewing beers that are meant to represent the given city that they are visiting. Of course, these are no ordinary beers that are brewed. A San Francisco a beer was brewed using fog, a Colorado beer was made using the power of the sun, and a highly caffeinated beer was brewed on top of a ferry in Seattle. The show also features a brewery local to the city to assist with the creation of the beer. They are currently filming season 2, with Las Vegas and Tenaya Creek being chosen to participate.
I’m not sure what I personally would have chosen as ingredients in a beer meant to represent Las Vegas. Anthony Gibson, head brewer for Tenaya Creek, and the Scottish duo chose to go big. Really big. They brewed the most expensive beer in the world, in the most Las Vegas way possible.
The event started with Anthony talking about the beer’s ingredients, and what the experience was like brewing such a one of a kind beer. James and Martin then talked about the experience that they had in our city and process they used to brew the beer.
While I don’t want to give away too much about how or where they brewed the beer, the result was audaciously extravagant. The ingredients come from across the globe, ranging from black truffles, kopi luwak coffee, New Zealand water, Tahitian vanilla beans, and saffron; one of the most costliest spices in the world. Also gold was added. Yes, they brewed the beer with gold. The beer was then bottled in a 1.5L magnum bottle, custom made specifically for this beer.
But what makes it the most expensive beer isn’t just the cost to brew it, but also the price paid to buy it. Robin Leach was present to assist with auctioning off the bottle (I was outbid pretty early on in the evening) with the proceeds going to the Keep Memory Alive foundation. Keep Memory Alive funds the local Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center For Brain Health, which treats patients with Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, as well as various other neurological diseases. Most notably, they’ve been treating celebrity chef Kerry Simon, who was recently diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Parkinson’s known as MSA; or multiple system atrophy.
The collaboration beer between Tenaya Creek and the Brew Dog cofounders was sold for $2,650, breaking the current beer auction record of $2,368! The beer was purchased by local residents, and Barley’s Angels members, Rose Signor, Jen Kleinbeck, and Tori Bender.
Thankfully, there was still some beer left over after bottling the magnum for us all to have a taste. The beer was definitely something else. A big coffee aroma with flavors of toasted marshmallows, vanilla, and dark chocolate.
Season 2 of Brew Dogs should start airing sometime around June. Be sure to check it out and see Tenaya Creek represent Las Vegas!
* Top photo of the beer in a glass was taken by S. Lewallen. All other photos taken by Hooked on Hops