A Brewer's Tale
“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.” - Queen Victoria
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they question purpose. Did I make the right choice? Am I on the right path? Am I being true to the person I know myself to be? When we ask the question, we face a crossroads. Do we continue on in perceived monotony or do we face the crisis of identity with reinvention? I’ve been through several such crossroads over the course of my life - the first being when I left home for college. I became someone new. I was more outgoing. I was more fun. I was more confident. My second reinvention occurred when I became my own boss. Delving into the world of entrepreneurism is not for the faint of heart. I climbed the ladder of success quickly. Stocks, advertising, marketing, whatever struck my fancy. My romance with commerce in and of itself ultimately faded. Something was missing.
Disenchanted, I climbed aboard a ferry from Seattle to Vashon Island, seeking out the counsel of the person I trusted the most to provide me with guidance - my father. It was a short ride. I cleared my head; dad cleared my insecurities. I disembarked that day headed in a fresh, new direction. Beer! My dad scoffed at first. Brewing had been a secret passion of mine for years and now my secret was out. As I talked and my genuine enthusiasm frothed over, he couldn’t help but encourage me. That’s what parents do, right?
I'd been brewing at home for a while at that point. A friend gave me my first home-brew kit in 2002. Several months later and several bad beers later, I brewed a porter that was, in my humble opinion, as good as any porter I’d ever had. In a moment of shock and disbelief, I realized I was hooked. Within a few months, home-brewing was more important to me than running my seven year old advertising company. A year after that ferry ride, I closed up shop, set sail for Boulder City, NV, and once again reinvented myself. On February 17, 2007, Boulder Dam Brewing Co. opened its doors to Boulder City.
I certainly didn’t face the endeavor alone. My family was fully onboard in this new adventure. From the beginning, we wanted the brewery to reflect Boulder City and its past. We researched building styles and décor from the early 1930’s and incorporated that in everything from the lighting to the seating to the millwork. Our choice in art also involves the ‘30’s, with half depicting the construction of the dam and half dedicated to the many great American breweries that folded during Prohibition. We were also fortunate to have the city’s assistance in acquiring dozens of actual pieces of equipment used in the construction of the dam. These artifacts can be found throughout the brewpub and beer garden. Our goal was to create a fun destination for tourists, but more importantly, to create a place that Boulder City residents could call their own.
We currently brew up to six different styles at a time, ranging from rich stouts and hoppy pale ales to our most popular, a light, refreshing hefeweizen served with a slice of juicy orange. Having brewed over 40 styles in the past, we will be continuing to release new beers frequently. We offer growlers, half-gallon to-go jugs, so our customers can enjoy our beer wherever and whenever they want. In addition, we have some great wines and non-alcoholic choices. Our food menu is diverse and fun, like the beers we produce. We have the only true beer garden in Southern Nevada. Misted and shaded, it seats over 80 and is the place to be for great live music every weekend.
Boulder Dam Brewing Co. is truly a family business. My parents, Toby and Gail Cook, in no small way, helped to bring my dream of brewing for a living to reality. My sister, Lisa, a teacher at the local elementary school, and her husband Bruce work with us as well. All four of her children have worked at the brewpub at one point or another over our eleven year history. My daughter has also tested the waters of brewpub hospitality. We strive to provide a family-friendly, fun, community environment. Family has always been my number one priority and to create a family-owned, family-run business with the people that matter the most to me, all while making beer, is one accomplishment I will never surpass.
The phrase “Bigger, Bolder, Fresher” are words we live and brew by. We believe in the traditional rule of brewing - a beer should not be drunk farther from the brewery than a draught horse can carry it in a day - twenty miles. We invite YOU to the Boulder Dam Brewing Co. experience. Come sit, have a pint, and savor the rich history of Boulder City and the community we are today.
- Todd Cook, Brewer