Great Basin Brewing Co.

Great Basin Brewing Co.Great Basin Brewing Co.
Great Basin Brewing Co.Great Basin Brewing Co.
Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

846 Victorian Ave
Sparks, Nevada, 89431-5275
United States

(775) 355-7711 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25
was great to visit this place, an institution down here and rightly so. the space itself is funk, sort of looks like a new orleans type spot from the outside, with outdoor space and the balconies, really neat feel. inside its sort of eclectic, old timey, and bustling on a saturday afternoon, felt lucky to get a table. they have a long bar in to the left when you walk in, with a view to the tanks and equipment all the way in the back, a huge all adorned with some prestigious beer awards, and then several dining areas, merch up front, sort of heritage craft beer vibes, they have been around awhile. i was impressed with the service for how busy they were, nothing took too long, no mistakes, personable enough considering, and we had a big group so it couldnt have been easy. little something for everyone on the beer list, most ambitious was a mayan old ale, but i liked the rosemary rye beer too. less ambitious but also delicious were the truckee river organic red and the leave no trace lager, least impressive were a lackluster cream ale and a peculiar fruited sour, but the diversity rules, and the menu was just as good at their southern location that we hit the next day. the food here was bomb too, pub food yeah, but creative and super hand made, my wife loved the wontons as an appetizer, and i had mac and cheese on a veggie burger with a house made pretzel bun that was out of this world, so the good fit the beer really well, and frankly is probably an equal draw to this place. fair prices for the portion sizes, good quality all around, and its obvious why these guys have made such a successful go of it over the years. recommended, more personality here than the other location too, this spot is cool!
Feb 13, 2023
Rated: 3.75 by Beergod420 from Michigan

Jan 30, 2023
Photo of RPV18
Reviewed by RPV18 from Nevada

1/5  rDev -74.6%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1
1.0 star rating

We have lived in the Reno-Sparks area for 20 years and USED TO frequent both locations at least once a week. We bought a "growler" bottle, which they charge you for, with the intent to refill it at intervals with their brews. Unfortunately, they only allow you to fill it with their regular brews, which you can buy cheaper at any supermarket (e.g. "Icky", which is appropriately named, or their "Wild Horse Ale"). In the spring I wanted to fill it with the Chile Beso beer, but was told it was a 'limited' brewing. Just today I went in to fill it with the Christmas Wassail, but was told the same - they wouldn't fill it. The waitress even checked with the brewer, Tom, but he informed her we could have it filled but would have to pay the same price as if we bought it in the bottles! I asked her why they bothered to sell the growlers then, but the poor waitress just said that they could only do what Tom allowed. I think Tom has gotten a little too big for his britches. We'll be going to Mello Fellow from now on. They fill THEIR growlers with anything they carry on tap.
Dec 18, 2018
Rated: 4.24 by Rubezahl from Pennsylvania

Jul 11, 2018
Rated: 4.05 by Frank_TX from Virginia

Mar 10, 2018
Photo of Bum4ever
Reviewed by Bum4ever from California

4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25
This place had the feel of somewhere that has a bunch of regulars. They had a decent selection of beer and they were pretty good, but nothing spectacular. I really enjoyed the food.
Jun 29, 2017
Rated: 4.5 by ShortyTahoe from California

Apr 30, 2017
Rated: 4.43 by Sinhoptra from Nevada

Sep 23, 2016
Rated: 4.15 by RBassSFHOPit2ME from California

Jul 23, 2016
Photo of Bryan12345
Reviewed by Bryan12345 from Texas

5/5  rDev +26.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
(Sparks location) I don't know how a brewery / brewpub could get much better. Beers are fantastic, food is excellent, and the service is superb, especially the perky bartendress - she's a riot. Quality, quality place.
Jun 09, 2016
Rated: 4.01 by LXIXME from New Mexico

May 03, 2016
Photo of Rockjocknroll
Rated by Rockjocknroll from California

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
Great staff, great food, awesome beers. Only wish the special offerings on the website were current. Best brewery in Nevada.
Apr 09, 2016
Rated: 4.16 by Smak_Hermann from Idaho

Apr 08, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.19/5  rDev -19%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
Place is an institution in Reno. Not really a destination place for a brewery, but if you're stuck in the area, head on over. Quality of the beer is average, there's some good stuff, especially the barrel aged ones, but nothing out of the ordinary. I still can't figure out how Icky is so loved, its a total meh beer.

Service is decent, selection is deep, about a dozen beers, usually something I've never had here. Food is standard pub fare.
Nov 27, 2015
Photo of RyanK252
Reviewed by RyanK252 from California

4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5
Stopped in at the Reno location on a Saturday evening after the air races. Staff was very friendly and accommodating even though it was pretty busy. There were beer and food options aplenty to satisfy just about any taste imaginable. We left full and happy. I'll be looking for an excuse to return.
Sep 24, 2015
Photo of raiderandbeerfan
Reviewed by raiderandbeerfan from Nevada

3.23/5  rDev -18%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25
Located in shithole Sparks, NV, which is right next to shithole Reno, NV. Now if you're looking for skanks, this place often has them. Depending on the event going on outside, you'll see a different crowd at this place. Rib cook off, farmer's meat/meet market, street vibrations, balloon and air races etc. . . . or you could just have the normal day where underqualified wanna be nurses from Renown are meeting up with Tindr and Zoosk "dates". Either way, the patronage is usually less than to be desired, but at times unintentionally hilarious.

The quality here is pretty run of the mill. I will say, their barrel aged and stout/barleywine offerings are the shit. Their flagship ipa is as east coast of an ipa calling itself west coast gets.
Sep 22, 2015
Photo of mjstern70
Rated by mjstern70 from California

5/5  rDev +26.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5
I love this place. A brewpub with great beers, great food. A wonderful oasis in the high desert.
May 21, 2015
Rated: 4.04 by mmilyko from Nevada

Mar 01, 2015
Rated: 4.52 by Joe1224

Feb 21, 2015
Rated: 4.34 by misternebbie from Pennsylvania

Feb 07, 2015
Photo of xdvop86
Reviewed by xdvop86 from Nevada

4.78/5  rDev +21.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25
Great place to grab a bite to eat and a great selection of locally brewed beers. A must visit while in the Reno area. They now have two locations. One in Sparks and one in Reno.
Jan 08, 2015
Rated: 3.78 by largadeer from California

Dec 24, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by T_type231 from California

Oct 24, 2014
Rated: 4 by TwoBeers from Washington

Jul 19, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by MFauver35 from Minnesota

Jun 16, 2014
Rated: 4 by BobbySue22 from Oregon

May 20, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by crnhusker from Nevada

May 13, 2014
Photo of humlet_oel_elsker
Reviewed by humlet_oel_elsker from California

4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
Visited for 1st time April 12, 2014 around 3 pm, needed an alt/atitude adjustment before landing at the El Dorado for a bday party. Casual vibe, roomy place, sat at the bar. Young barman friendly and knowledgeable, about the beer he was serving and music too! Started with a pint of the Hop Head Strong Ale, 100 IBU's handled nicely in this smooth, dry-hopped brew. Felt it would go perfectly with the salmon and chip, special of the day. Very generous portion of perfectly fried fish, great with the garlic fries that the barman recommended. Started getting busy so he got some help from a friendly young woman who started offering me samples based on the discussions we had. This is just a big plus for me in terms of a brewpub offering good service, got me to try some of their 'different' brews that I wouldn't normally try. Finished up my fish with a shorty of the Wild Horse Ale....5% ABV was a good choice after the stronger first selection. I like a good German style altbier and this didn't disappoint with a good combo of strong malts and noble hops. After some further good convo, with other patrons too (explaining the joys of RRV Brewery), decided to finish off this stop with a 10oz Deathwish (based on the mention of handcrafted skiis...) Really enjoyed this pale ale, good finish that had just a touch of carael malt flavors. Looking forward to coming back, with a group of friend next time.
Apr 18, 2014
Rated: 4 by CEDAMA from California

Feb 18, 2014
Photo of Dear_Abbey
Reviewed by Dear_Abbey

4.71/5  rDev +19.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5
The Great Basin Brewing Co. is absolutely the best (only) local brew pub in town. The beer is great, regardless of who you are and what you like (college kids need not comment, but they do have many low abv beers for the UNR twerps). These guys make, what is probably, the best barley wine I have ever had - the Bourbon barrel barley wine. The food is great, the beer is better. If you dig beer and are in Reno, check one of their 3 locations out, you will not be disappointed. Grade A and I'm proud to say it.
Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Cinderbike
Reviewed by Cinderbike from Nevada

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
Located in Victorian Square in downtown Sparks, this is the original Great Basin location. It's small but has enough room for you to eat.

The food is good to great (try the cheese soup, it's amazing), but the star of the show is definitely the beer. I've never been disappointed with the beers on tap, either. The Icky IPA is the most popular but I prefer most of their seasonals, including bourbon-barrel aged barleywines and stouts, as well as the occasional DIPA or spiced beer (try the chili beer that's on tap during the rib cookoff).

Overall, it's one of my favorite hangouts.
Feb 04, 2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Reviewed by Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4
Located in Victorian Square, across from the Nugget. This place's atmosphere can really depend on the event going on outside. Sometimes when its rib cook off, farmer's market, a-hole biker vibrations, hot august nights, it will definitely be a non craft beer crowd.

But then sometimes its a cool evening of bands and a variety of beers. Its not some Mecca type of brewery where you will be driving 500 miles to check it out, world renowned etc. . . but it is the best thing in Sparks hands down. This place is an institution, while many knock it and dream of migrating from homebrewing in their garage or whatnot, this is the place that has made it happen. A rotating specialty list is really the draw here. You can pretty much get their flagship Ichy IPA, which owes more to English IPA's than west coast, just about anywhere.

But if you wanna check out their high gravity beers, the taphouse is where its at. Big open area with tons of wood all over the place. Really nothing atmosphere wise you haven't seen elsewhere in a brewery/bar scene. Bartenders don't seem to have the greatest amount of enthusiasm or knowledge. They will cater to the bar scene more than the craft beer scene when faced with a choice on a busy night.
Oct 24, 2010
Photo of Mark
Reviewed by Mark from California

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25
Love this place, when in Reno for more than a few days we attend happy hour without fail. Pints are only two bucks and change. Food is decent. A simple layout but ver homey and comfortable. Icky IPA is a solid beer. Getting served by the lovely Andrea is always a pleasure and the other staff members are nice too. My only complaint is their pours often lack a head. We now are sure to request it and all is well. A must visit when in the Reno area. Easy to reach via 80 east to Sparks. Get of at the Pyramid Lake exit. Make a left at the next light. Great beer awaits in what is generally macroville.
Oct 03, 2010
Photo of RLaurel
Reviewed by RLaurel from California

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
For a hot traveler, this place is a good stop on your schedule. I am not familiar with any other watering holes in the are so I cannot draw contrast. I found it welcoming, busy, crowded & loud.

As other reviewers have pointed out, parking is a bit of a problem but I got that out of the way quickly. I started by quenching my thirst with a double IPA. Now, I ordered food and a second beer for my hunger.

The double IPA was very satisfying. Not overly hoppy flavored with a smooth taste & easy to swallow. The jalepeño won ton are superb! The jalapeño sauce is not spicey but has a smooth sweet taste. The maibock is what I like with my food & is the way I gauge the beer quality. The chips & salsa are a good chew with a litely pepper taste. I liked it very much.

I usally finish with a stout or porter, however, a lively conversation with the fellow next to me who is considering beginning his own brewery, convinced me to try the "Icky" IPA. So, I did. It is a very good IPA without the hoppy taste to finish. I had trouble telling the difference between the IPA & the double IPA at this point.

The atmosphere is typical but nothing exceptional. Four televisions with sports games. At least no HSN or QVC.

It is a stop I would make again but before I do, I would try their competitor the Silver Peak.

This establishment will fill, refill anyone's growlers provided it has the government required warning concerning the consumption of alcoholic beverages. They also sell their own silk screened growlers.
Jun 23, 2010
Photo of OStrungT
Reviewed by OStrungT from California

4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
This place is located right of the freeway. There is a big parking garage right behind the building. Inside, there is a big counter with a huge selection of shirts. There is a lot of seating area. A bar off to the left, and lots of tables everywhere. The walls are decorated with beer bottles and shirts.

I went on a Tuesday called "Tightwad Tuesday" It was very crowded. Our waitress was friendly, and everything we ordered was brought quickly.

The beer selection was incredable. They had 3 different stouts, and a good balance between ales and lagers. They had about 10 house beers and about 7 Belgain bottles.

The food was not the best. On the menu, everything looked incredable, but no one was entirely happy with the main course. The appetizers, however, were great. The jalapeno wan tons were amazing.

The price was pretty good. "Tightwad Tuesdays" have $2.50 pints for most pints. The Bourbon Impreial Stout and the Barelywine were not included, but most others were. There were 3 of us, with 3 appetizers and 6 beers and we walked out with a $85 bill. That is pretty good anywhere.

Overall: I will definately be back the next time I am in town. This place is great for the area.
Mar 11, 2010
Photo of wspscott
Reviewed by wspscott from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3
I ended up here 3 different time over a 4 day weekend because it was right down the street from my wife's convention hotel. The place looks like standard bar/restaurant, exposed ducts, TVs, basic tables,... not bad, but not impressive. There is a patio, which would be nice if the weather cooperates.

The food was nothing special, basically standard brewpub, i.e. burgers, sandwiches,... The beer was much better than the food which is better than the reverse for a brewpub.

The first time in my wife and I had lunch and a couple of beers. I had their "wet hop" IPA which was excellent, very hoppy but not overly bitter. I also tried there standard IPA ("icky") which was more malty than I expected for a west coast IPA, not bad but not great. I had a sample of the belgian IPA which I did not like at all.

The next time in, I had been drinking at FiftyFifty in Truckee so I just went with another wet hop. The last time was breakfast with college football at the bar. I had both the chocolate stout and the porter. Both were nice examples of the styles. The bartender was friendly as was the one local at the bar having a sandwich and filling some growlers. Speaking of, the growlers fills are pretty cheap, I think I heard $8.

Great Basin is worth checking if you are in Reno/Sparks, but probably not worth doing a special trip if you are near Lake Tahoe.
Oct 29, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
Reviewed by ThreeWiseMen from California

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3
I stopped by Great Basin Brewing Co. twice during the Best In The West Rib Cook-Off this past weekend. Therefore, my experience at the brewpub was an atypical one: Victorian Avenue was jam-packed with people, all beer was served in plastic cups, lots of noise, lots of smells, etc. With that said, hopefully this review can provide some very unique insight.

The first stop I made at Great Basin was an uneventful one. I stopped in shortly before we began our tour of the rib cook-off on Saturday and ordered a Jason Green's Russian Imperial Stout. My $4 beer was served in a 10oz. clouded plastic cup. Yay :-/. I pulled up a chair at the only empty table and dug in. The brewpub was absolutely loaded with people! While most had beers in hand, quite a few were there just to use the restroom. I finished my beer quickly and left.

I stopped in again the next day with Wiseman Zach. After about an hour of rib-eating, we decided to meet a couple of friends at the brewpub. Surprisingly, it wasn't nearly as crowded as the day before. We ordered a round and sat at one of the outside tables. The beer was once again served in plastic cups, but I guess that's just protocol during the festival.

Great Basin had hired a band to play (called Bad Neighbors), and they were actually pretty good. They played a collection of folk, country, and classic rock songs; both old favorites and original works. The crowd was into it and a couple of people were dancing in front of the stage. Even though we were only 30 yards or so from the stage, we didn't feel crowded at all. It was very relaxing and cool. I dug it!

We all shared our beers with one another, and each one that I tasted was solid. The Chilibeso stood our the most though. It smelled and tasted just like jalapeños, without the spiciness - it was awesome! Carbonation did seem to be a bit of an issue, however: nearly every beer came out a little flat. Still, I was impressed. They offered a wide variety that included a lot of off-center styles.

The service was quick, friendly, and fairly knowledgeable. Our waitress always showed up right as we finished our beers, and she answered each of our questions promptly.

We split an order of chips and artichoke dip while we were there. It was the only food we got. I thought it they overdid it with the mayo, but it still tasted okay.

I'd love to come back to Great Basin again and see what it's really like. From what I've been told, this is the best brewery in northern Nevada. I believe it!
Sep 09, 2009
Photo of willjschmidt
Reviewed by willjschmidt from California

4/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4
A brewpub located in downtown Sparks. Standard brewpub atmosphere, some outside seating. They have a large selection of house brewed beers on-tap, probably around a dozen. Pretty good range in the beer selection as well; IPA, DIPA, pilsner, stout, porter, RIS, chile beer, witbier, etc. I sampled the Hop Head DIPA and it was pretty good. The food menu was standard brewpub fare; burgers, sandwiches, etc. The food was decent but nothing to write home about. If you find yourself in Sparks and are looking for a decent brewpub meal and a good beer, I would recommend this place.
Aug 03, 2009
Photo of VegasBill
Reviewed by VegasBill from Nevada

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4
I manage to get to Great Basin about six times a year. The atmosphere is nothing to get exited about. As stated by many before, parking is tight, but that is the lot right behind Great Basin. Across the street from that lot is a free city parking garage and across the street from that is a number of free casino parking lots.
I consider their beers to be quite good, with the most recognized one being Ichtyosaur, locally called Icky,this beer is sold in many bars in northern Nevada and is an IPA. Great Basin has won many awards including some at the GABF.
As for the food, one notch up from standard pub fare. If one likes fried pickles they are called Willy Dillys. This micro brews a lot of beer for a small operation, they brew for the pub and restaurant and all of the bars that sell Icky and the many events that they sell beer at each year.
Mar 04, 2009
Photo of CanadaBlue
Reviewed by CanadaBlue from California

3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3
Visit 2/18/09.

This is a nice place - casual, not refined. It has an unfinished western bar feel. As noted by others, the parking is limited.

The food we had was very good, and the beer was better. A real bargain during happy hour at $2.50 a pint as well.

I had a new one, not yet listed on their web site - Mission Style Belgian Ale, a hoppy Belgian-style ale. I also had a sample of the chocolate stout and the Scotch ale. All were very good.
They have at least 10 of their own beers on tap at a time. Well, at least in theory. They were out of at least two when I was there.

If I ever have the chance to come to Reno/Sparks, I'll definitely go out of my way to come here again. You may not be blown away by the place, but you'll enjoy some good beers in a place meant for beer lovers.
Feb 21, 2009
Great Basin Brewing Co. in Sparks, NV
Brewery rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 623 ratings