On Tap: Tenaya Creek Expands, Lovelady Breaks Ground


An ice-cold Tenaya Creek beer would have gone down easy, standing in the blazing August sun outside 831 W. Bonanza Road. But there are no brews to be had here just yet; the former plumbing-supply warehouse is still being converted into Tenaya Creek Brewery’s new production facility and taproom, slated to open in October.

Upon its completion, plans call for the sale of the original Summerlin location for which Tenaya Creek takes its name. “Maybe ‘Bonanza Creek?’” staffers joke about a highly unlikely name change, but even with a new address closer to Downtown than Red Rock, Tenaya Creek continues inching closer to a purely beer-focused existence.

To understand the significance of this move, you have to remember that Tenaya Creek opened in 1999 as a fine dining restaurant and brewery with gaming. The two distractions of food and gaming eventually fell away, allowing owner Tim Etter to focus on beer production. In its new digs on an industrial corridor—just west of Interstate 15 and north of the U.S. 95 Interchange—Tenaya Creek will take a giant leap in the direction of distribution, as well as offer a new guest experience and even a classroom.

Park in the massive lot that will also host beer festivals and food trucks and enter through the taproom. A long gray quartz bar faces the wall of taps, 28 in all for Tenaya’s six year-round brews plus one-offs, limited releases, seasonals and guest taps. Some of the light fixtures might look familiar as they were brought over from the Summerlin location. Sit at the bar, at pub tables or on the patio. “By 11 a.m. this area is already shaded and will remain that way the rest of the day,” sales manager Alex Graham points out.

But the real jewel is the original vaulted redwood ceiling soaring high overhead in the 11,000-square-foot brewery behind the tap room. A little seating area with floor-to-ceiling windows looks right into the facility. Beside this is Graham’s favorite aspect of the project, a small classroom, where he can teach UNLV students about beer stewardship. Head brewer Anthony Gibson hopes to fire up the new brewhouse and start cooking as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, in Henderson, another brewery is just getting started. Lovelady Brewing Co. ceremonially broke ground on August 19. The 6,000-square-foot production facility and taproom will offer tours, tastings, pints, bottles and growler fills of Lovelady’s signature “creative craft lagers.” At the helm is Richard Lovelady, currently head brewer at Gordon Biersch Brewing Co. Lovelady will leave there at the end of the year to work full time on his eponymous brewery at 20 S. Water Street. Lovelady says he’s aiming for a March 4 opening; the date also happens to be his birthday. I honestly can’t think of a better present.


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