You barely notice it as you speed along Charleston Boulevard, but nestled in the corner of a nondescript strip mall are 800 square feet of pure beer geekery. Bags of hops, large plastic buckets and the makings of Rogue Brutal IPA and Hazelnut Brown Nectar clutter the walls of the small storefront. The fridge holds 70 strains of yeast, and customers grind grain on a mill outside before taking it away to work stovetop magic. When local homebrewers want to clone their favorite craft beers or try something original, they come to Vegas Homebrew & Winemaking, and they talk to owner Steve Berg.
“A lot of these beers I’ve made myself,” says Berg, a Portland, Oregon, transplant and former pharmaceutical sales rep who moved to Vegas four years ago to open his shop and turn a hobby into a career. Today, Vegas Homebrew functions like an old-school hardware store—a place for local beer obsessives to hang out and swap tips. Berg spends his days giving out recipes, diagnosing flaws and encouraging anyone who walks through the door with an interest in brewing. “Part of my job is cheerleader,” he says. Even without the pom-poms, you can feel his enthusiasm.
Vegas Homebrew & Winemaking 5140 W. Charleston Blvd., 207-2337. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday noon-4 p.m.