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Banger Brewing, Downtown Beer Boys

Banger Brewing was founded and is now operated by five local friends, all of whom either met during high school or while working in food and beverage positions for the Light Group.
Mona Shield Payne

The local craft beer scene expanded late last month when Banger Brewing opened the doors of its Neonopolis brewery and brewpub, becoming Downtown’s second brewery—and Fremont Street’s first. Banger’s brick-and-mortar storefront is a dream realized for five local friends, who met during high school or while working in food and beverage positions for the Light Group.

Banger began as a homebrew operation by brewmaster Michael “Banger” Beaman (hence the name), who would pack his homemade beer for the group’s camping trips.

After considering a foray into real estate, the crew turned to brewing in 2010 and began establishing itself at local beer festivals. If you’ve tried their Sandia, a watermelon wheat, you know these guys know good beer. On December 27, that beer became available on a daily basis. The 3,000-square-foot Downtown Banger Brewing space features 10 taps—seven Banger brews and three exclusively reserved for other locally produced beers. The brewery doesn’t offer bottles at the moment (though part-owner Roberto Mendoza mentioned cans of Joseph James’ gluten-free stuff might make the menu) and plans to keep the tap selections fresh by rotating them out every four months.

Mendoza says Banger’s portfolio is 25 recipes deep. Even more exciting? Mendoza says they hope to expand into production—meaning Banger brews might be on your grocery store shelf sometime soon. For now, get down to Fremont Street and grab a damn good beer. We’ll be there, ready to clink glasses.

NEXT: Brett Wesley, Arts District Developer

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