Great Basin Brewery Celebrates 20 Years - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Great Basin Brewery Celebrates 20 Years

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Sparks Mayor Geno Martini stopped by for lunch at the Great Basin Brewery on Monday and wished the owners a happy 20th Anniversary. "We appreciate their being in Sparks. That is their first location and coming up on 20 years, that's wonderful," said Martini. The mayor credits the owners with good customer service, serving good food, and keeping things interesting. "They do good things for the locals and keep them coming back, so that's what makes them successful," he said.

Great Basin Brewery started small, but now has three locations in Reno and Sparks. It's the oldest operating brewery in Nevada, and has won many national awards for its creative beer, like the now famous Icky IPA. Brewmaster and owner Tom Young wanted something that said "Nevada" in his brews. "I'm a geologist and mining engineer by training," said Young. "And we sat around and as a group with other geologists and said 'we better honor the state fossil here, the Ichthyosaur.' It took a little while to realize that no one could pronounce the term, especially after having a few Ichthyosaurs here too," Young told us. Now most of his customers just call it Icky.

In twenty years, the owners have come up with more than 80 different brews, all made on the premises in either Sparks or Reno. Phil Wells has been a customer for most of those 20 years. "I come for the different beers that they offer," he said on Monday. "They're always making something new-- different flavors, different styles and that's what draws my attention."

Tom Young says he's looking forward to the next twenty years. "The whole people thing," he said. "The staff, the customers; we' have a guy sitting at the bar -- he was there the day we opened," said Young.

Customer Phil Wells is looking forward to new brews and 20 more years. "It says a lot about a small business to actually be able to survive through all the ups and downs and supply good beer," Wells said.

This Thursday Great Basin Brewery will hold a coat drive to benefit the Salvation Army. Bring a bag of warm clothes to either the Sparks or the Reno location and they'll give you a pint.

Written by Jennifer Burton

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