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What can brown do for you? Depends what you’re looking for

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First off, let me say that Las Vegas has some fantastic local breweries. If you’re a beer lover and haven’t been out to Chicago Brewing Company, Big Dog’s or Joseph James, you are seriously missing out on some of the Valley’s bounty.

Of course, if for some reason you’re just not able to make it out to any of these, fear not—much of their product is now available at your local liquor store. I recently hit the local Total Wine for a few Tenaya Creek products, and I’ll write about them each individually within the coming weeks.

Tenaya Creek Brewery opened in 1999, and while they originally served food along with beer, they decided to pursue just beer in 2008, and in 2010 they began selling their products in bottles, selling it not just in Nevada, but in Utah, Ohio, Arizona and Vancouver, British Columbia.

I’ll tackle Tenaya Creek’s Calico Brown first, but first, a word about their packaging: It’s very cool. This particular product’s label gives a shout-out to Red Rock Canyon in a small blurb on the left-hand side, along with the line, “Do yourself a favor: Get back to nature. Get a beer. Enjoy it!” Words to live by, to be sure …

I should add in full disclosure here that I’m not a huge fan of browns. I feel like my brown ale phase has long come and gone. I just don’t get a deep flavor and satisfaction from this style of beer anymore. But if you’re a fan of the amber ale, by all means grab a bottle.

Calico Brown is smooth as silk going down, but comes up just a bit empty on the finish. It’s a very drinkable, sweet beer, with the ABV coming in just around 5 percent. It’s pleasant enough to have with dinner, and it’s certainly a bit more ambitious than the typical summer beers you’re used to.

Next up: Hop Ride India Pale Ale.

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Ken Miller is Las Vegas Weekly's associate editor, having previously served as assistant features editor at the Las Vegas Sun ...

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