Lead Dog Brewing opened the doors to their first brewery on 4th Street in Reno, in January of 2017, and grew quickly from there in their 4,000 square foot brewery. Now, they have opened a second location, a tasting room and production facility, in an 18,000 square foot warehouse on E.Glendale Ave. (near S. McCarran) in Sparks.

I was lucky enough to wander in when things were in full production mode. A new beer had just been brewed and was on its way to the fermenter and the canning line was kicking out cans of Peanut Butter Stout.
I then had a chance to grab a beer with owner Ryan Gaumer in the new tasting room. The conversation began with us talking about his “debated decision” to get really big, really fast. “We were at a teeter-totter point as far a distribution. We were not in the big accounts yet like Safeway, Kroger and Costco and we were having trouble filling orders for the smaller retail accounts. We felt as if we were leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.”, says Gaumer. So, as the saying goes ‘If your not the lead dog, the view never changes’.

The search for a suitable location began and when the ink was dry, renovations began back in January on the new tasting room and production facility. The doors opened quietly in mid-June and everything was underway. The tasting room has a seating capacity of around 50. There are 30 taps and a cold case for to-go items. All with a great view of a full-scale production brewery.

Hops are a fixture around here. (sorry)

“We’ll probably shoot for annual production of about 10,000 to 15,000 barrels”, says Gaumer, (a barrel of beer is 31.5 US gallons) even though the brewery capacity has a potential for much more. Currently Lead Dog is distributing throughout Nevada, Arizona and Northern California (mainly Sacramento and The Bay area).

 

The original 4th Street brewery will not see many changes. Some of the larger fermenters were relocated to the new facility leaving behind the 15-barrel system and fermenters. The good news is that you will see a lot more experimental beers, seasonals and one-offs being brewed at this location. Gaumer also mentioned the start of a barrel-aging program.

The Grand Opening party is scheduled for this Saturday, August 3, from Noon to 10 PM. You’ll see some beers that you haven’t seen in a while including Underdog Hazy IPA, Oranges Are Orange, Raspberry Blonde and Local Lager. Grab some grub from Espinoza’s and hear two bands; The Grimtones and Outlaw Kindred.

There will also be a  commemorative pint glass available that you can have filled and keep the glass for $10. Supply is limited.

The 30-barrel, 3-vessel brew house

Geeky brewery stuff: The new system at the production facility starts with a brand new 30 barrel, three-vessel brew house. Two 45-barrel fermenters, four 60-barrel fermenters and one 120-barrel fermenter. There are also 2 hot liquor tanks and three brite tanks for finishing and canning.

A forest of fermenters

A new CODI canning line was installed that can produce over 100 cases per hour and fill up to 19.2 ounce cans. There is a good amount of storage space and a loading dock. Outside is a grain silo that holds 48,000 pounds of base malt.

Three more 90-barrel fermenters and one 120-barrel fermenter are on the radar.

Brewer, Derrek Doutre, is getting the canning line dialed in.


Spent grains are being loaded into a trailer to be used as feed at a local farm.

Grand Opening
Lead Dog Tasting Room & Production
Saturday, August 3 from Noon – 10 PM
305 E. Glendale Ave., Sparks

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