This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

State #11: Nevada

Beer: Red Ryder Ale

Brewery: Tenaya Creek Brewery, Las Vegas, Nevada

ABV: 6.2%

First in a series of 2: Pictures of beer in flimsy plastic Motel 6 cups. Motel 6 has crummy lighting; the beer is still pretty dark, but it's hard to see the redness here.
The wife and I recently returned from a monster road trip through the American Southwest. Our primary goal was to see a bunch of national parks, but along the way I was excited to pick up beers from states that don’t “export” to California. Shockingly, two of the three states that border California—Nevada and Arizona—don’t ship beer there (as far as I know, anyway).

First stop here is Nevada, where I picked up a big bottle of Red Ryder Ale from Tenaya Creek Brewery in Las Vegas. We had originally planned on spending our first night in Vegas, in which case I would have drunkenly roamed the strip, taking swigs off the Red Ryder—Vegas has no open container law—all the while snickering at pear-shaped 50-somethings from Omaha with their brand-new, glistening white Avia sneakers. However, Zion National Park, in far-more-sober Utah beckoned the next day, and we decided it would be better experienced sans hangover. So, instead of a series of hilarious pictures of me making an ass out of myself in front of billion-dollar casinos, we stopped in Vegas long enough to pick up the beer, and continued on to St. George, Utah for the night.

Swing and a miss, Whole Foods.
For a state whose primary source of income depends on debauchery, it’s surprising that Nevada has so few breweries. The Beer Mapping Project lists only four packaging breweries in the state, three of which are in Metro Las Vegas. The business model should be easy, though: brew your beer, design eye-catching packaging, and have hip, 20-somethings (so, not me) walk up and down the Strip drinking the stuff. (Almost) Free advertising!

What the hell, Nevada? From from my favorite web site on the planet,  The Beer Mapping Project.
The marketing for Red Ryder is a little different. On Tenaya Creek’s bottle and web site, she comes across as a bit of a floozy. But that’s okay, and it’s befitting of Vegas. Like these girls, she’s only allowed to ply her trade in Nevada, and this geographic limitation makes her somewhat of an attraction. 

I guess she did give me what I want: a gosh-damn beer from Nevada.
But seriously, how’s the beer? In this case, really good. This is not your standard red ale. Instead, it’s darker, thicker, maltier, hoppier, and altogether more substantial than what I’m used to. Though I don’t recall any silk sheets or smoke clearing, I did enjoy the experience.

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