By JAN HOGAN
VIEW STAFF WRITER
Step inside and have a cold one. PT’s Brewing Co. opened its doors Feb. 10, taking over the building that once housed Tenaya Creek Brewery at 3101 N. Tenaya Way.
The move means that PT’s now brews its own beers. In the back area, visible to diners through a large glass wall, are the stainless steel brewing tanks — three holding 40 barrels, one holding 20 and one holding 15. The taller ones are 12 feet tall, close to tapping the building’s 15-foot ceiling. The team said it would like to be able to install bigger tanks, but that’s not feasible.
It’s not the only shortcoming encountered at the site. The curved bar seats 15 people, while PT’s had hoped to be able to fit 25. On the plus side, the bar has electrical outlets so patrons can charge their devices.
“It’s so important that we’re (retrofitting) our other locations to include that,” said Michael Snyder, director of operations for PT’s Entertainment Group. “You’ll have people sit there and go, ‘Oh, my phone’s dead; I’ll have to go.’ ”
Dave Otto, PT’s brewmaster, joked that the plan in taking over the building was to “get this thing up and running, max it out and force the company to build me a bigger brewery.”
Actually, he said he’d like one that is “a little bit easier to work with.”
“It’s small, so you have to brew multiple times to fill one tank, so it’s labor-intensive,” he said of the space. “But it is what it is, and we’ll deal with it.”
The property can brew 10 barrels (20 kegs) at a time, taking eight hours to brew. Then it’s another two to three weeks for the batch to ferment and condition. From start to finish, PT’s is looking at about 20 days to complete a batch, depending on the beer.
“The learning curve is on our end,” Snyder said. “We’ve never brewed our own beer. Up in Reno, we have a property up there where the craft beer market is really strong, about 25 percent of the market there. Down here, it’s only 8 to 10 percent, so it’s been a learning process. And bringing (Otto)on, he’s been doing this about 20 years. Us? We’ve been doing it about two months.”
Since PT’s already had a relationship with Tenaya Creek, the changeover went smoothly, Snyder said.
“We had our machines in here and … Tenaya came up to us and said, ‘Hey, would you be interested (in the building)?’ ” Snyder said. “We’d talked about it (internally before that), but we were not going to go out and build a brewery. It would have to be the perfect scenario, which this was.”
The company declined to disclose how much it paid for the location.
Snyder said the only hiccup was the licensing. PT’s had to follow federal guidelines, so the delay was about two weeks.
The goal was to get the self-brewed beers out to the various PT’s locations. One beer in particular, Sean Patrick’s Irish Red, is logical to ship to the company’s Sean Patrick’s Irish Pub & Grille locations.
The operations side of the Tenaya Way building also meant adding a kitchen, revamping the area where the dining tables would go and refinishing the bar’s decor.
“We couldn’t move walls or make the building bigger, but everybody is super pleased with how it came out,” Snyder said.
Now that it brews some of its own beer, PT’s can truck it directly to its other outlets, right? Wrong — Nevada law stipulates it go through a distributor first, so the beer is taken to Southern Wine &Spirits’ wholesaler and distributors and then routed to its pubs.
“We cannot deliver directly from this location to one of our properties,” Snyder said. “It’s Nevada law that it go through the distributors. … It’s a clunky law. In other states, like New York, you can brew a batch in your home, take it to a bar down the street and sell it to them directly. Not here.”
PT’s can, however, sell a growler (64 ounces) to an individual directly. It had some of the containers made up with its logo.
When you’re known for beer, it’s a no-brainer to incorporate some of that into your food offerings. Some of PT’s brews are used to make dishes on its menu, such as the the seasonal Brew House Chili, the five-cheese dip for the giant pretzel, and Brussels sprouts. It also offers upscale food to go along with the brews.
While the bar area remains much the same from Tenaya Creek’s time, there are some new touches. Reclaimed wood accents were added, and the lighting was changed . In the dining area, PT’s revamped the interior to give it a wine cellar feel, doubling the patio dining space and adding a large kitchen in what had been storage space.
It is planning a beer-making contest for the fall, with the winning beer to join its offerings.
PT’s is on track to open five more properties by year’s end. Snyder said the company is also looking to open another brewery, likely in the Henderson area.
PT’s Brewing Co. is open 24 hours daily. Visit ptstaverns.com or call 725-333-7151.