I’ve been a pathetic Renoite this summer, having failed to get to the Lake even once—no beach, no swimming, nothing. The closest I came was a concert in a casino parking lot in Stateline. This is my roundabout way of explaining why I haven’t made it to Alibi Ale Works’ brewery and tap room in Incline Village yet. No matter how much I’ve been meaning to visit one of our region’s newer beer spots, that drive up the mountain just hasn’t been in the cards for me. That being the case, when I heard they had opened their new Public House in Truckee, I put that on my list as a slightly more achievable goal.
A recent Saturday little league game gave me an chance to visit. I budgeted a little extra time so I could get in a few tasters when the bar opened at noon and still catch the opening pitch under the sun and pines of Truckee River Regional Park.
Set just north of the main drag in historic downtown Truckee, Alibi Ale Works occupies a 110-year-old building with style. A combination of rustic, rough-hewn lumber and modern design, it’s a perfect fit for this town. Having just opened in June, it still has a shiny, new feel. Large tables and bars for sitting or standing are available. Even just a few minutes after opening, there were already a few folks enjoying their beers.
You’ve likely seen cans of Alibi Ale Works beer available locally—shiny silver cans of saison, pale ale or porter with a mustache and derby hat logo. Occasional special release bottles, like coconut white IPA and the exotic Rubus Nocturne—a bourbon-barrel aged dark raspberry sour—find their way down the mountain to our shelves as well.
The Truckee location offered the canned and bottled lineup, of course, and plenty more—22 taps worth of those and draft-only releases, plus a couple of ciders for the gluten-averse. While I always appreciate breweries’ willingness to put on guest beers, it’s pretty cool to see the house be able to fill this many faucets entirely with its own product. As I like to do, I ordered a flight to try a variety of beers; an IPA, a nitro Irish stout and a couple of specialties filled my four small glasses. While I really enjoyed Crescendo No. 2, a tart beer aged in chardonnay barrels with kiwi and wine grapes, the assertive rye beer aged in pinot barrels was not to my liking.
Besides the main commodity, a small list of non-alcoholic “craft beverages”—soda pop—is also available for nondrinkers, children included. During my visit, several families with younger kids enjoyed the open room, playing an oversized Connect Four game on a small stage. Evening hours often find it occupied by live bands.
While I sipped and contemplated my beers, I nibbled on an order of hops-and-honey-roasted almonds. They sounded better than they were, starting as an almost unbreakable solid mass, transforming into a gooey blob after my server kindly warmed them for me, and there was little hop flavor to be had. I regretted my early lunch when I saw the creative nacho dishes that came out for other customers.
I’ve seen Alibi’s beer progressing from afar and have found its canned beers agreeable. While I wouldn’t consider those worth a special trip to the source—they’re available in Reno anyway—the variety and quality of the draft lineup, and a second chance at those nachos, means I will return when I have a bit of time in Truckee.