Crafthaus currently has $13,540 pledged of their goal of $20,000, or about 68% to goal. There is only 9 days left to raise another $6,460.
We are fans of all the great local businesses here in Las Vegas, especially those that promote craft beer, whether they be bars or retailers. In the case of breweries, we get exceptionally excited.
I’ve agreed to host an “All About Beer” class at the brewery once they open. For a donation of only $30, I’ll take you on a tour of Crafthaus’ brewery and discuss how beer is brewed. We’ll sample the beers and discuss sensory evaluation and food pairing.
Of course, there are plenty of other awesome gifts for other donation amounts, like entry into the Propagation Program.
For more information, read my interview with founders Dave and Wyndee Forrest here, and visit their Kickstarter campaign here.
As much fun as it is to see new Las Vegas breweries on the horizon, it is equally great to see new names pop up in familiar breweries. Roughly a week ago, Tenaya Creek unleashed their new Easy Rider Pale Ale, the first release from assistant brewer Marcos.
What this pale ale does really well, is blend the crispness of a west coast pale ale with a solid, but drinkable body. You are met right away with a big, citrusy aroma, followed by slight malt sweetness, and finished off with a piny, grapefruit bitterness that is surprisingly refreshing. This is the kind of beer that you want to sit on your porch and sip on a mild spring day, and at a respectable 5.8% ABV, you certainly can!
Personally, I’m quite looking forward to what Marcos dreams up next!
Once again, Aces & Ales is holding their annual Stone Domination tap takeover. As always, Stone co-founder and CEO Greg Koch will be in attendance, probably signing bottles, probably preaching, probably stage diving off of the bar…
See below for the incredible tap list:
- 2010 Double Bastard Ale
- 2010 Old Guardian Barley Wine
- 2011 BELGO Anise Imperial Russian Stout
- 2011 Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Red Wine Barrels
- 2012 Double Bastard Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels
- 2012 Double Bastard Ale w/Dark Toasted Oak
- 2012 Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in White Wine Barrels
- 2013 ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout
- 2013 Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels
- 2013 Old Guardian OAK-SMOKED Barley Wine w/American & French Oak
- Ken Schmidt/Iron Fist/Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout
- Stone 9th Anniversary Ale
- Stone 14th Anniversary IPA
- Stone 16th Anniversary IPA
- Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale
- Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale
- Stone Mixtape Ale vol. 2 – CH & HS’s Blend
- Stone Mixtape Ale vol. 4 – RK & JM’s Blend
- Stone Mixtape Ale vol. 5 – The Winking Lizard Blend
- Ruination IPA – Tropical Heat Edition
Smoked Porter w/Vanilla Bean
- Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale w/Espresso Beans
- Suitable for Cave Aging – An Imperial Smoked Porter Tribute to Danny Williams aged in Bourbon Barrels
This past Friday, Dave and Wyndee Forrest launched a Kickstarter campaign to open CraftHaus Brewery. While I met with them to discuss their plans, a donor had just pledged $400, putting CraftHaus over the $5,000 mark, or about 26% to their goal of $20,000, in only four days.
CraftHaus isn’t the only new brewery in planning in Las Vegas, nor is it the first to use Kickstarter to raise additional funding. But one thing that sets CraftHaus apart from others, is the amount of time and patience that Dave and Wyndee have put into their business plan over the course of almost three years. One of the first things they did after putting together a plan, was scheduled a meeting with Tomme Arthur, Co-Founder and Directer of Brewing Operations for Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey. Tomme gave them feedback about the areas of their plan that was lacking, and made some suggestions on what needed to be changed. They rewrote their business plan and scheduled more meetings, and not just with Tomme, but also with Patrick Rue, CEO and Founder of The Bruery, and Dave Cole, Co-Founder of Epic Brewing Company.
Dave and Wyndee continued to write and rewrite their business plan, ensuring that they didn’t miss anything. They attended the Craft Brewers Conference last year to meet with other brewers and to be familiar with the type of business that they were entering. This isn’t just a couple that wants to open a brewery because they enjoy homebrewing. They understand the amount of work that is needed to run a successful brewery. They were advised by Jamil Zainasheff, co-author of Yeast and founder of Heretic Brewing, to not open a brewery. He reminded them that it requires a lot more non-brewing work than what homebrewers think it does. Hearing his insight on opening Heretic helped the pair to better understand and better prepare for the day to day life of running a brewery. In one of their visits with Patrick Rue, he showed Wyndee the pilot brewing system that he had just purchased. Despite the past five years of success that The Bruery has had with making some of the highest rated beers in the country, he stated how excited he was “to finally start brewing beer again!” Dave and Wyndee reached out to so many other professionals for advice and help because, as they told me, “we know our weaknesses, and we know where we need help and what to reach out to others for.”
All of the work that they have put into the planning of CraftHaus means that they are ready to open their brewery. Their Kickstarter campaign is already off to a great start, but even if their goal isn’t met, it won’t be the end of CraftHaus. The reason that they are using Kickstarter, is because they want the community to get involved with the brewery as well.
“We don’t want you to think of this as our brewery. We want you to think of this as your brewery.”
Through Kickstarter, they can invest in additional equipment which would mean better beer for their customers. A pilot brewing system would allow for additional experimentation, and oak barrels would allow for barrel aged beers. They hope that the tasting room could be used to not just talk about beer, but also as a place for people to talk with each other and to meet others in their community. They plan on having a rotating “community tap handle.” The proceeds of that beer’s sales would go to a different charity focused on Las Vegas, that way they can give back to the city and the community that is giving to them.
If you haven’t already, head over to the Crafthaus Kickstarter page and take a look at their offerings for donors.
While meeting with CraftHaus, I also got to taste a few of their beers. First, was Charlie’s Mantra, named after the father of American homebrewing, Charlie Papazian. In his book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, he constantly reminds the readers to “relax, don’t worry, and have a homebrew.” CraftHaus chose to name their pale ale after this saying because they want to keep the fun in brewing. The beer is a little bit more malt forward than most pale ales that are being brewed today, but it still maintains a sweet, citrusy aroma from the Citra hops. The beer is very light bodied and refreshing, thanks to it’s 5% alcohol level. The finish is clean and dry, with a lingering piney bitterness from the Chinook hops.
Next was Evocation, CraftHaus’ saison. The beer has a lot of fruity, Belgian esters in both the aroma and flavor. Banana was the standout flavor in the beer. Ginger is also added, giving the beer some spiciness in the aroma. This is also a very refreshing beer, with lingering sweetness that would make this great for Las Vegas summers.
Finally, I tasted Saboteur, a double IPA. This was a very interesting take on the double IPA style. Rather than loading the beer with bittering hops, Dave adds a lot of late addition hops, giving this beer an immense piney, resinous hop aroma and flavor. The beer maintains it’s balance with enough of a malt backbone to give the beer some sweetness to compliment the hop flavor.
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to take part in a Lagunitas beer pairing dinner at Mandalay Bay’s Fleur. The event was organized by Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson, Mandalay Bay’s director of food and beverage. The event was wonderfully executed, and featured not only great beer, but also very delicious food paired with it. Without further ado, let’s discuss the incredible dinner that took place!
Lagunitas’ pilsner was the first beer that we were given, to help whet our palates and prepare us for what was to come. This beer is extremely dry and crisp. It has the firm bitterness that pilsners should be known for, with a nice, grassy finish.
Seared Cajun Albacore, Yuzu Soy Vinaigrette, Garlic Chip paired with Censored Rich Copper Ale
Censored is an amberish red ale. It’s got a very sweet and rich malt character. Hops are at a minimum here, only poking their head out to balance out the sweetness at the very end and give it a little bit of an earthy finish. However, what made the beer really stand out, was the tuna. It was beyond soft and tender; the pieces would just fall apart in the chopsticks when trying to pick it up. The light, delicate flavor of the tuna was complimented by the sweet, soy vinaigrette that matched the sweetness in the beer perfectly. However, my favorite part was the green onions that wait until the end to bitter up the palate and clear out all the sweet flavors, causing you to reach for another sip of beer!
Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Truffle Vinaigrette, Shaved Parmesan paired with Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale
The beer is all fruitiness, but not quite as sweet as Censored was. The beer is made with three different kinds of wheat, creating a soft body and a lot of sweet bread flavors in the beer. A bouquet of hops pour out of the glass. It’s very fruity, with aromas of various citrus and tropical fruits. It smells like Fruity Pebbles. Thin strips of raw beef were wrapped around a bushel of arugula and topped with parmesan, basically encompassing the only ingredients worth putting in a salad. After chewing on the bitter, peppery arugula, the fruitiness of Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ was a refreshing palate cleanser.
Loup de Mer Veracruz Style, Caper Beurre Blanc paired with Lagunitas IPA
That’s a bunch of fancy words that really mean “sea bass.” The crispy skin of the fish covered the very light and flaky meat, which was surrounded by artichokes, peppers, and olives. The mix of spices and vegetables gave the dish an herbaceousness that matched in character to the IPA. Lagunitas IPA is a great middle of the road IPA. It has a moderate malt character that you don’t quite find in IPA’s anymore. The hops have some of the typical grapefruit like bitterness, but it primarily leans towards a piney, floral character. While I do love the super dry, overly citrusy IPA’s, this beer was a reminder of how good a balanced IPA can be.
Lagunitas Braised Shortribs, Celery Root Mousse, Coffee Foam paired with Wilco Tango Foxtrot
This was definitely the best dish of the night. The beef was super tender, and just fell apart upon touching it. The coffee foam was more amusing than anything, but still added an interesting texture and added flavor. Celery root mousse was like eating sweet, creamy mashed potatoes. What made this paring great, was that the beef was braised in Wilco Tango Foxtrot. This beer is awesome. It has a strong, almost chocolatey malt backbone, but is also filled with massive citrus flavors from the hops.
Imperial Stout Bacon Beer Float
Not only was there a strip of bacon sticking out of the glass, the ice cream also had bits of bacon in it too. Not much can really be said about this. It’s one of those desserts that needs to be experienced to understand. It’s sweet, salty, and chocolatey. It was just perfect.
2009, 2010, 2012 Brown Shugga
In closing, we were given a platter of stinky cheeses and candied fruits and nuts to enjoy along with various vintages of Brown Shugga. Brown Shugga is Lagunitas’ winter seasonal beer, and it encompasses all the things that you should want in a winter beer. It has a bit of caramel-like malty sweetness to it, but also enough alcohol to balance it out. Fresh beer is always delicious, but it is also fun to age a beer and see how the character changes and develops. The 2009 vintage was incredibly smoothed out, with very little heat, or sweetness overpowering it. The beer becomes dangerously easy to drink at that point. I personally preferred the 2010 vintage. This had more oxidative characters to it, primarily those associated with higher levels of alcohol. Whereas the 2009 was easy drinking, the 2010 was incredibly complex in flavor, so much so that it demands to be sipped and enjoyed slow.
Once again, this was fantastic event, and was a great example of how beer can play a part in fine dining. Sarah Johnson’s next event will be a Beer Garden that is taking place as a part of Vegas Uncorked. Expect to see lots of delicious beers and awesome food!
Certified Cicerone Sarah Johnson, director of food and beverage for Mandalay Bay, is hosting a beer pairing dinner along with Lagunitas head brewer Jeremy Marshall.
In addition to the below pairings, dessert includes tastings of 2009 ,2010, and 2011 vintages of Brown Shugga!
We are very excited to have another craft brewery joining the Las Vegas community! Below is a press release for CraftHaus Brewery, and their impending Kickstarter launch. Be sure to catch them pouring their beers at Big Dog’s Peace Love, and Hoppy-ness on April 13th, and the Great Vegas Festival
Of Beer on April 27th!
For immediate release
Contact: Wyndee Forrest
CraftHaus Brewery looks to Kickstarter to launch a Vegas craft brewery
March 27, 2013
(Las Vegas, NV) – CraftHaus Brewery is banking on support from the crowd funding website, Kickstarter www.kickstarter.com. Since its launch on April 28, 2009, over $500 million has been pledged by more than 3 million people, funding over 35,000 creative projects. CraftHaus is looking to raise $20,000 to give their start-up brewery a “kick.” This is the first brewery of its kind to call the Vegas valley home, as it will not offer gaming or a restaurant. “We want to focus on the beer, not offer distractions from it,” said Wyndee Forrest, Owner.
Their Kickstarter campaign will launch simultaneously at The Great Vegas Festival of Beer, www.greatvegasbeer.com on April 27th in Henderson, NV and run for 35 days. Kickstarter is an all or nothing funding platform, so if the $20,000 goal is not met, there will be nothing earned. Donation levels range from $5.00 to $5,000 and rewards are offered in gratitude. Rewards include merchandise, membership to their loyalty program, design and name your own beer. If the goal is met, the funds will be used for purchasing a pilot brewing system, local licensing, and 5% of the proceeds will go to the newly formed Nevada Craft Brewers Association.
CraftHaus Brewery is a production brewery with a taproom where locals and visitors can see exactly where their beer is coming from. Better yet, they can sit down with the people who make it and get the backstory of what is inside their glass. “Beer has a story to tell, and so do I,” said Dave Forrest, Head Brewer and Owner. The brewery also plans on thanking their community by giving back 5% of proceeds from a designated tap handle to local non-profits.
About CraftHaus Brewery
CraftHaus Brewery is owned by Wyndee and Dave Forrest. They are passionate about producing excellent craft beer for their community. Their beers are traditional, but tweaked. This means their beers have a traditional backbone, but they like to express their creativity by tweaking the beers a bit. The brewery plans to be open late Fall 2013.
For more information on CraftHaus Brewery, visit www.crafthausbrewery.com