Tom Young, Brewmaster and Owner of Great Basin Brewing Company began his career in the dirt, literally. Initially studying geology and geological engineering in college, he quickly developed a deep love for beer. The problem that quickly arose for a young man dedicated to his education, such as Tom, was that beer was relatively expensive.
After graduating college, and newly married, he was looking to shore up the expanding hole in his pocketbook (from all the beer he was buying), when he came across the craft of homebrewing. After looking into it more he convinced his wife that it would be “cheaper” to brew his own beer instead of buying it. This resulted in him buying hundreds of dollars worth of equipment and taking over the basement with pots, pans, burners and fermenters. These early years of brewing were fraught with trial and error for Tom as he dedicated himself to learn the craft he had set out to perfect. Many batches would turn out to be quite tasty, while others could only be described as disasters, exploding and coating the basement with berry beer.
Soon, as his experience grew, he was finding himself surrounded by a glut of delicious beer that was unlike anything you could purchase at the time. This encouraged him to enter homebrew competitions and eventually becoming one of the first in the state to be honored with national homebrewing awards.
Meanwhile in his career as a geologist, the company he worked for was on rocky ground and soon the company downsized to the point where Tom was the last remaining employee. He began to see the writing on the wall and started getting involved in getting laws passed in Nevada to make it legal to brew beer commercially in the state. By this point, he had his eyes set on opening up a brewery so he could bring delicious craft beer to people who were looking for something more than that yellow fizzy stuff. While the politics were being figured out, Tom enrolled in UC Davis to enrich his brewing knowledge and apprenticed at breweries in the Bay area.
The stars aligned in December of 1993 when Tom opened Great Basin Brewing Company in Sparks, Nevada, where he remains head brewmaster and owner to this day. Under his direction Great Basin has transformed itself from brewing under 1,000 barrels of beer their first year to becoming the state's largest brewery. Great Basin remains Nevada’s oldest and most award-winning brewery, winning numerous national and international competitions.
Tom has a true passion for the Great Basin, which is shown in his hobbies, which in include: cooking, hiking, camping, skiing, and boating. His desire to promote the welfare of others runs deep as he makes strides to actively promote and partner with philanthropic interests locally as well as nationally.
Tom attributes much of the success of Great Basin to his patient wife, Bonda, who handles many of the day-to-day activities of the two brewpubs and offers support and "nudges" that keep the flow of beer moving. In the years to come, Tom is eager to keep sharing his vigor for brewing world-class craft beer, right here in Nevada, and to give back to the community which has been there for him.
Please join us join us next month as we hold the 2015 Brewmaster’s Dinner on February 11th at our Reno brewery. Tom and the brewery crew will personally be guiding you through the evening with their unique insights on life, love and beer. The menu will feature locally inspired ingredients such as Baker Ranch Beef and selections from Big Horn Olive Oil Company. Each course will be expertly paired with a Great Basin Brew (watch for a few rare surprise brews to make an appearance).
This personal affair is limited to 40 guests and will be prix fixe at $60 per person. Call the Reno brewery today at 775.284.7711 to make your reservations.
Get Icky this Valentine’s Day
Ok, listen… Here’s your chance to make up for last year’s Valentine’s Day. Not with any stuffy, fancy, overpriced dinner but rather with something heartfelt, comfortable and real at our brewery. Whether it’s you, your sweetheart or the whole gang it’s sure to be a fantastic night. We'll be celebrating in true Great Basin fashion with warm cheer, pints of Liplock Lager and Death by Chocolate Stout and delicious dinner specials including:
Beer Braised Prime Rib
Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
Chocolate Espresso Mousse
We’ll be taking limited reservations at our Reno Brewery, call us at 775.284.7711. In Sparks, just come on down and we’ll make room for you and your sweetie.
We’re starting off the new year with an all new, intimately crafted brew that’s been aging in whiskey barrels at our brewery for over a year. It’s a bold brew, weighing in at 13% ABV, with a swift complexity that wraps completely around your palette and demands your full attention. Look for details on it in early February and learn how to break the code to find the reward in this extremely special release.
Ready for THAT
On Sunday, February 1st you’re gonna need a few things:
1. A big comfy couch to watch the game.
2. A boatload of friends to cheer your favorite team on.
3. Some awesome beer and pizza from Great Basin Brewing.
Make sure to stock up on kegs, growlers, and six-packs of beer from Great Basin so you’re not stuck with the swill your nephew brings over. While you’re at it, call ahead and order some delicious hand-tossed take-n-bake Great Basin pizza from our Reno brewery.
It’s the perfect recipe for a super time.
We know you've already been enjoying the First Chair at both of our brewpubs and at Mt. Rose Ski-Tahoe, but did you know that you could be winning some cool prizes like day passes, season passes, or Moment Deathwish Icky Skis? Keep drinking First Chair when you find it to stay in the contest.
We are adding an extra chance to win a pair of Icky Skis at each of our brewpub locations – one pair for Reno and one pair for Sparks! Drink a pint of Icky anytime on a Wednesday from 1/14/2015 to 4/1/2015 and you’ll be given an entry into the drawing for the skis. Additionally, each week of the competition we will draw for a pair of day passes to Mt. Rose Ski-Tahoe. The drawing will be held at 7:00 pm at both locations on April 1st (no foolin’) and, as an added bonus, if you are present for the drawing we’ll throw in a 5 gallon keg to help you celebrate your big win.
Come have a pint then hit the slopes!
Check out the Mt. Rose website here...
We’re opening up our stage at our Sparks brewery to every Tom, Dick and Harry. Bring your jokes, accordions, and a big sense of humor every Thursday now until Spring. Think of it as an experiment where we see just how valuable beer is in humor. Sign-ups begin Thursdays at 8pm and the mic fires up beginning at 9pm. Make sure and bring your ID, because this raucous event will be 21 and over.
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Brunch Keeps on Rollin’
As Sunday morning football comes to an end we suddenly realized how much we’d be missing our brunches with you all. Because of that, we’re happy to announce that our Sunday brunches will live on. Every Sunday at 9:30 am our Reno brewery will continue to feature our special brunch menu, $3 beer, mimosas, and bloody mary’s until 12 noon.
Come on down and join in the fun... and don’t worry, we’ll find something else to watch.
Award-Winning Outlaw Milk Stout in Cans