ELKO — Modern civilization built its foundation on beer. When nomadic hunter tribes settled down to become farmers, it was to harvest grain for beer. They made bread, too, but that was also the main ingredient for beer, transformed into golden ambrosia through a mysterious, magical process we now call fermentation.
Then, a whole bunch of other things happened and I arrived here in Elko last Friday. My grandmother’s family emigrated from Smallville, Switzerland to settle Elko County’s Metropolis, which became a ghost town after losing its water rights, and unable to open a brewery. In the time-honored tradition of journalists moving to Metropolis to hone their craft, I moved here with my pen and my enthusiasm for craft beer.
While there are many quality mass-produced American beers, our great country allows the freedom to enjoy — and make — something different. Just as there is great music on the radio, nothing beats supporting a local band on a small stage. Likewise, grocery stores carry many brands of bread, each of great quality, but none can match anything from grandma’s oven. Craft beer simply captures grandma’s home cooking in a way nothing mass-produced can.
There are many bars and casinos serving beer in Elko, and most offer the standard options found in any American watering hole. My quest is to reveal those hidden craft taps for locals and tourists to find their favorites and to expand their horizons. I’m merely your tour guide, and it is not my job to tell people what to like; I’m just pointing out other options, and where to find them.
When I asked my new friends here in Elko about local breweries, several people mentioned Mattie’s Bar and Grill in the Elko Junction Shopping Center.