Great Basin Brewing Company celebrating 25th anniversary

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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) Great Basin Brewing Company is celebrating its 25th anniversary Saturday.

"I remember when we first opened, everybody said, 'Tom, this is a fad, man,'" admits founder Tom Young. "You're going to put all of your money into this too; it's not going to last."

What began as his home-brewing passion has grown into three locations and numerous awards for a variety of beers.

"We want to be as natural as possible," added brewery manager Dave Miller. "We don't want to use extracts; we don't want to use chemically-derived things. We want to use nature; real fruits, real vegetables, real herbs."

It was a real fight to just open the original brewery and restaurant in Victorian Square. Young was among a group of people who worked to change state laws, lobbying for Senate Bill 250 in 1991. That approved the brewing, sales and consumption of beer at the same business.

"Luckily when you're trying to change something in the state that makes perfect sense, at least you have logic on your side," said Young. "So opponents who might be fighting against it really don't have a good argument."

It didn't just change the laws; it altered the future of northern Nevada, which now has multiple brew pubs from which to choose. It also directly correlates to the rebirth of downtrodden neighborhoods in our area, since the law stated that breweries had to be built in redevelopment areas.

"You've got quite a few breweries over in that area that are starting up," said Miller. "And because those have come, that has brought in families and people. Then all of a sudden you have all of these other businesses coming in and all of these things become revitalized."

Those who want to celebrate can head to the Victorian Square location November 10 from noon until five. Tickets are $20 and include a commemorative pint glass and ten four-ounce tastings.