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Top 6 Tahoe craft beers to try this summer

Dylan Silver  |

Craft breweries are popping up all over the West Coast. At Lake Tahoe, it’s no different. Here are a few highlights from the region’s beer scene.

Sidellis Lake Tahoe Brewery and Restaurant's Brewocracy IPA

The small South Lake Tahoe brewery is known for its mellow vibe and bright interior. The constantly rotating taps always seem to be featuring something interesting. From sours to small batches of obscure fruit beers like Mangonada, a mango and habanero white ale, the brewery has a lot of freedom to experiment. Hands-down, one of the best brews is the staple Brewocracy IPA, a powerful citrus-y beer with a slight bitterness that lingers between sips.

Address: 3350 Sandy Way, South Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe AleworX/Alibi Bretted Belgian Pale Ale

Though it’s more of tap house than a brewery, Lake Tahoe AleworX has been trying its hand at beer brewing. The Bretted Belgian pale ale is a collaboration with the North Shore’s Alibi Ale Works. The light straw-colored beer hinges on summer flavors like cantaloupe, lavender and fresh alfalfa. It’s easy to drink on the beach or with dinner. If it’s not to your taste, Lake Tahoe AleworX has dozens of other beers on its serve-yourself taps, and the pizzas alone are worth the trip.

Address: 2050 Lake Tahoe Blvd. Suite 2050, South Lake Tahoe

Cold Water Brewery's Mr. Toads Wild Rye

Named after the famous South Lake Tahoe mountain biking trail, Mr. Toad’s takes after its namesake, a thrilling up-and-down traverse of German Noble hops and nutty rye malt. Cold Water Brewery is owned by South Lake Tahoe local Debby Brown, who named her business after Tahoe’s chilly waters where she loves to stand-up paddleboard. Brewmaster Ryan Parker, a mountain biker, specializes in German-style brews, but loves any and all beer. Each of Cold Water’s beers is brewed in small 200-gallon batches.

Address: 2544 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe

Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.'s Reno Noir

Noir is not the easiest concept to encapsulate in a bottle, but Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company gives it an incredible go. Its Reno Noir is a 14-month port-barrel-aged dark ale with notes of chocolate and dried fruits. The brewery uses tart cherries to add a complex bitterness to the beer. Not much for dark noir? Tahoe Mountain also has Primrose, a brighter hybrid ale aged in oak barrels for a happier ending. Both are only available on tap.

Address: 475 N. Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

South Tahoe Brewing Company's Barrett Brown

With a massive new facility near South Lake Tahoe’s “Y,” South Tahoe Brewing Company is quickly becoming a favorite among the area’s beer aficionados. Owners Chris and Nicole Smith spent years working towards their dream of opening a brewery in their hometown of South Lake Tahoe. And their dedication paid off. The brewery's Barrett Brown is a full-bodied brown ale that pairs well with rich chocolate-y desserts. Look for Barrett Brown and their other beers at many Lake Tahoe locations.

Address: 1920 Lake Tahoe Blvd., South Lake Tahoe

Alibi Ale Works' Boysenberry Berlinerweisse

Sours are all the rage. Alibi is jumping on the trend with a strong, fruity offering. Incline Village-based brewery Alibi Ale Works uses boysenberry puree and a double fermentation to add complex flavors to this seasonal brew. It was a hit with the judges at the 2017 Craft Beer Awards, taking home a silver medal. Alibi suggests trying it with appetizers like bacon-wrapped dates or sipping it as a summertime dessert.

Address: 204 E. Enterprise, Incline Village

Fiftyfifty Brewing Co.'s Rockslide IPA

There is an avalanche of hops in Fiftyfifty’s Rockslide IPA. At a whopping 70 IBU, the beer’s profile is an intense tongue-twisting malt assault. With tinges of citrus, pine and grapefruit, this brew is for the West Coast IPA connoisseurs. It’s not the hoppiest beer of the Truckee-based brewery, but it’s pretty close. If you’re feeling wild, try the powerful Totality Imperial Stout or the soul-warming Old Conundrum Barley Wine.

Address: 11197 Brockway Road No. 1, Truckee