If a place has “beer” in their name, they’d better bring their A game if they want to impress hardcore beer lovers and earn their business. Put that place on the opposite side of town from where I live, and they really need to shine to get me in the door.
Growing up and still living north of I-80, I’m still somewhat stuck in the mindset of my youth, when Meadowood Mall and Magic Carpet mini golf were way, way down south—Foothill Road may as well have been in Carson City. Beer NV is slowly chipping away at my reasons not to drag myself down to their beer mecca in the South Creek Center. Breaking away from Midtown, Fourth Street, or other central neighborhoods for beer lovers, Beer NV gives beer geeks and curious others in the southern suburbs a great option for quality beer without much of a commute. My recent visit was only my second—both times for special events (put on so routinely it’s hard to call them “special,” but they are). Tonight was the second annual “all local tap takeover” where all 60 taps are dedicated to brews from 17 area breweries. You read that right, we now claim at least 17 breweries in our region, and we have a beer bar with 60 taps! If that’s not living in glorious times as a beer drinker, I don’t know what is.
I got there early, knowing special events can get crowded fast, and, indeed, it was starting to fill up. Eager to get a flight of tasters going, I started considering my options on the menu board, but was quickly overwhelmed with choices. With 60 taps, Beer NV can’t possibly keep up with a chalkboard or printed menu. Instead, they’ve embraced technology with a bar-length digital display listing everything currently pouring. But it doesn’t stop there—each beer listing includes prices from the four-ounce taster through the 32-ounce “crowler” can, as well as information about alcohol level, beer style, and how much is left in the keg. (This is all fed to their website as well.) Smaller inset panels stream @beernv tweets, check-ins from social beer logging/rating app Untappd, and kegs to be tapped soon. I felt like I was on the NYSE trading floor, visual beer data coming at me relentlessly.
I was attended to quickly, tasters poured, card swiped and returned. I appreciated being able to run a tab electronically without surrendering my credit card the whole time and, later, to close out and pay on a roaming server’s smartphone. This place, to me, is the ultimate confluence of beer and technology.
As if 60 taps and the very name “Beer NV” weren’t a clear enough message, the quasi-industrial decor with light shades fashioned from old kegs and beer bottles is another subtle hint that beer reigns here. But, truthfully, it is not all about beer, as mixed drinks, spirits and wines are readily available as well.
If I were going to open a beer bar, Beer NV is a really good example of what I’d want it to look like. It pains me that it is so out of my way, most inconvenient to stop by for an impromptu beer and putting it in the category of places I have to plan for a visit. For now, unless I can stop thinking of a 20-minute drive as a major excursion, I can only hope for a second location near me and be “beer envious” of you folks down south.