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Henderson microbrewery beating the odds and brewing a recipe for success

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Posted at 10:09 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-09 00:31:58-04

HENDERSON (KTNV) — In poker, a "bad beat" means the player who seemed to have the best hand was beaten by the underdog. And in the world of craft beer, Bad Beat Brewing is counting on what many others may think is an underdog in order to beat their competitors who may seem to have better odds.

13 Action News Anchor Todd Quinones takes you behind the scenes of this local brewery and the woman brewing up a winning hand.

HOPPY TIMES

"When you first walk in here, this tower of beer cans, it's what immediately grabs your eye. This is something I've never seen before," says Todd.

"Yeah, it's pretty incredible... This is Hoppy Times. This is our India Pale Ale," says Amanda Koeller, master brewer at Bad Beat Brewing.

"These are all of the other styles up here... That obviously goes to show you how much of this IPA that we do sell... I brew this, 30 barrels every single week," says Koeller.

FEMALE HEAD BREWER

Amanda Koeller is a one-of-a-kind long shot. According to the Nevada Brewers Association, she is the only female head brewer in the state.

And here inside Bad Beat Brewing in Henderson, Koeller took me to school.

"The only living organism that we want in the fermenter is going to be the yeast that we add specifically to ferment that work," says Koeller.

"The yeast can survive a higher temperature than other bacteria or parasites or something like that?" asks Todd.

"No. So we'll bring it to a boil, we'll add hops in here," says Koeller.

"By the way, that was a very nice way of saying 'incorrect.' (Laughing) Stop pretending like you're a brewmaster," says Todd.

The brewery is part science-lab and part backyard barbecue hang out, and Koeller is an academic with a master brewers' certification from U.C. Davis.

SEASONAL BREWS

"The alpha acids now become ISO alpha acids and ISO alpha assets are bitter," says Koeller.

She's also the emcee, constantly coming up with new ways to keep the crowd entertained with seasonal brews.

"It's a milkshake IPA with cherries and vanilla," says Koeller.

"Wow," says Todd.

"So we have about 400 pounds of cherry puree in there right now," says Koeller.

These vats are filled with all kinds of beers from their IPA, lager and Hefeweizen, to their limited special brews.

BARREL TAP

"We are going to try a barrel," says Koeller.

"Okay," says Todd.

"We are currently adding our Gingerbread Porter in this barrel," says Koeller.

"Gingerbread Porter?" asks Todd.

"Gingerbread Porter," says Koeller.

"I think you're in for a treat on the aroma of this. It's pretty amazing," says Koeller.

"You could smell, again to me this is kind of like Christmas," says Todd.

"Yeah," says Koeller.

"This is the holidays in a glass," says Todd.

"Yeah, it's amazing that when you put it into these barrels, it really draws the Caramel character out," says Koeller.

SMELL & TASTE

Smelling it is one thing. Tasting it is something else.

"Hey Kris, did you see? Look over there. Can you point the camera that way?" asks Todd

(Amanda laughing) "Oh! You've got a problem. There's a hole in your glass," says Todd.

"I know! I don't know what happened," says Koeller.

"Where did it go? We need better glasses," says Todd.

"So crazy. I'm going to have to talk to Nathan about that," says Koeller.

Pre-COVID-19, Bad Beat was brewing about 77-thousand gallons of beer per year.

Like so many businesses, they took a hit during the pandemic. But business is picking up again at their Henderson location, plus sales at local grocery and liquor stores, bars and restaurants.

Learn more about Bad Beat Brewing on BadBeatBrewing.com