2005 | REGIONAL | WEST COAST
Brews And Blues Take Over Downtown Reno
By John W. Ostrom
The 10th annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival
took over the streets of Reno on June 25, bringing together
beers from 36 breweries, including microbreweries and brewpubs
throughout Nevada, California, Montana and Idaho. Combined
with a variety of tasty barbecue and blues bands on two different
stages, the event was a great excuse to spend a weekend enjoying
all that Reno has to offer.
Although the event was cut back to one day from its previous
two-day format, the change seemed to be appreciated by the
brewers, who previously had to spend an entire weekend at
the festival and still get back to brewing the following Monday.
Running from noon to almost 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, the festival
actually kicked off with a first-ever Brew Fest Pub Crawl
on Friday, which featured a beer tour through four of the
Eldorado Hotel’s bars and a preview of Saturday’s
entertainment with a free set by guitar legend Elvin Bishop.
Held in conjunction with the festival was a competition recognizing
the best draft beers in seven broad categories, with each
brewery entering up to two beers. First-place winners were
St. Stan’s Blonde Ale in the light ale category; Heineken
in the lager category; Barley’s Casino & Brewing
Boulder Gold Hefeweizen in wheat beers; Firestone Walker Brewing’s
Firestone Pale Ale in the popular pale ale category; Censored
from Lagunitas Brewing in the amber/brown category; and the
Bristlecone Brown Porter from Ruby Mountain Brewing Company
in the dark ale category.
The winner in specialty beers and best of show was the Cellar
Rat Raspberry from Third Street AleWorks in Santa Rosa, which
featured a deep red color and huge raspberry flavor from real
The event attracted brewers from as far away as Idaho; M.
J. Barleyhoppers brought along a brand-new six-handle wall
of taps for the event. Also present were Nevada brewers from
across the state and California brewers from Newport Beach
to Red Bluff. For beer lovers, this event is a sure bet for
a great afternoon of beers from throughout the West.
John W. "Brook" Ostrom is an associate
editor of the Celebrator Beer News. He is a national
beer judge and an award-winning homebrewer living in Davis,