Having grown up in Green Valley, Henderson’s Water Street takes me back to holiday parades with high school marching bands and the last traffic ticket I paid at City Hall. The Downtown drag never became something like Las Vegas’ Fremont East or Main Street, hip thoroughfares sprinkled with solid watering holes.
But things are looking up for Hendo, specifically with the addition of Water Street’s—and Downtown Henderson’s—first brewery. Lovelady Brewing started pouring some spectacular suds in early April.
Brewer Richard Lovelady has more than two decades of experience, most recently at Gordon Biersch’s Paradise Road operation, before he went independent, and his inaugural crop of nine (!) brews reflects that knowledge. The Tres Amour Tripel is light and tangy, the HopAtomic a balanced yet boldly hoppy take on the double IPA, and the Sour Puss a clean, crisp sour sans the musty notes sometimes characteristic of the style. And those are just the beginning.
Lovelady has remained true to tradition with many brews, but he’s also having fun experimenting with styles, with delicious results. The bright, subtly fruity OutBock! is a combination bock/IPA brewed with Australian hops, while the Paradise City hopped lager is a light and refreshing pilsner/pale ale hybrid. Most of the lineup will stay, but the brewery plans to rotate some selections, and new beers are already in the works, including a pepper brown brewed with Anaheim and jalapeño chilies.
You’ll want to hang out here. The taproom is warm and welcoming, with sunflower walls and crimson accents, reclaimed-wood tables and a lengthy bar. Lovelady says his goal is to become part of the community. The brewery’s patio is both kid- and dog-friendly, and just a stone’s throw from the dive-tastic Gold Mine Tavern—and down the street from the soon-to-come second location of Makers & Finders coffeehouse. It’s almost time to make a day out of Henderson’s oft-forgotten Downtown district—beers in hand.
Lovelady Brewing 20 S. Water St., 702-857-8469. Monday-Wednesday, noon-10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, noon-11 p.m.; Sunday, noon-8 p.m.