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Carson Valley Brewery: It’s not just for beer-drinkers

by Christina Nelson

Just because it produces beer doesn’t mean the new Carson Valley Brewery excludes children and families.

Actually, the brewery is hoping to attract a lot of business from people who aren’t coming just for the alcohol, say the restaurant’s managers.

“We’re trying to do something for everybody,” chef and manager Sal Cardinale said.

The brewery is trying to attract families with dishes for kids that will be a certain price up to a certain age, then 10 cents extra for each year after.

The 6,600-square-foot facility includes a patio dining area, a family dining room, a cigar room, a bar and a coffee bar that will serve cappuccino, espresso and Danish pastries to the morning crowd.

The 15-barrel brewhouse, which is encased in glass to allow patrons to view the beer-making process, can produce 450 gallons of beer a day.

“We have aspirations to expand and immediately start doing bottling for places in the area,” said Guy Bartmess, the brewmaster and manager.

The brewery is going to open Monday, and staff members are in the process of getting a license from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms so they can bottle and distribute their beer.

A grand opening is set for Thursday, Aug. 12.

Scheduled for Aug. 13 and 14 at the new brewery are music and fun, with two different bands playing classic and alternative rock both evenings.

The bands are Lost Touch on Friday and Red House on Saturday. Music will begin at 9:30 p.m. each night, and there will be no cover charge.

The facility will serve six of its own microbrews and other standard beers, Bartmess said.

While some may find the Airport Road location a bit out of the way, Cardinale said it’s the perfect location.

“We’re right in the middle, we can draw from every place. It’s five minutes from everywhere,” he said.

“The reason for the Airport Road facility is that we hope to not only draw from Gardnerville – obviously Genoa – but also Carson City,” said Bill Noonberg, a consultant working on the project.

“There are going to be a lot of businesses in here,” Bartmess said. “We’re hoping people will come in here in the morning.”

Bartmess will eventually give tours of the brewing area and show home brewers how beer-making is done on a larger scale. Cardinale would like to do something similar where he would give gourmet cooking classes one morning a week.

Until then, the business will be serving dishes made of only the freshest foods and many of which will be made using Cardinale’s own recipes.

“This project, everything is going to be fresh – fresh herbs, fresh spices,” Cardinale said. “When you come in here and get something, you’re going to know that it’s fresh.”

“I expect the best quality. I expect (my food) to have the best possible taste it can,” he said.

The menu includes 26 different appetizers, pizza, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, pasta, steak, chicken and seafood.

Also offered are four different types of sausage, all of which are from Cardinale’s recipes.

“We’re trying to do something for everybody, but, at the same time, we’re not priced out of the market,” Cardinale said.

Prices range from $3.50 for a side of french fries to $16.95 for a giant cut prime rib steak.

The facility will also include a banquet room that may be reserved for business meetings or parties.

The owner of the brewery, Ted Canavan of Washington, was also an investor in the Tahoe Mountain Brewery in the Horizon Casino Resort. All of the furniture and brewing equipment was purchased by Canavan from the brewery when it went out of business and will be used at the Airport Road location. But the Carson Valley Brewery has nothing to do with the one at Lake Tahoe and is under different management, Noonberg said.

Cardinale, who has lived in the Carson Valley for 10 years, has been a chef for 28 years and trained at the San Francisco Culinary Academy. He has worked in 10 different restaurants, two of which were his own.

Bartmess, who is from Portland, Ore., graduated from the American Guild Brewmaster’s course at the University of California, Davis after working in numerous breweries.

The Carson Valley Brewery is set to open at its Airport Road location Aug. 9.