Got back from this trip a couple of weeks ago. Here's a recap:
First brewery stop was Ruby Mountain Brewing
, south of Wells, Nevada. Can't say enough good things about this place, which is almost literally in the middle of nowhere. Had a great time chatting with owner Steve over samples of his amber, pale, and porter. I liked the amber, which is unusual for me, but this one is dry and hoppy and not sweet. More like a hoppy brown with a little extra oomph in the caramel. If you're in the area (NE Nevada), I highly recommend giving Steve a call. Mind that the brewery doesn't have a tap room or regular hours, and it's on his personal property, Angel Creek Ranch on Hwy 232 (not where Google Maps thinks it is). Drive past the house and park next to the brewery.
During the next week in Las Vegas I didn't have time to get out to breweries, but was happy to see that the craft beer invasion was in full bloom there. The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay had a good tap selection and a phenomenal bottle list. At the new Linq mall next to the Flamingo there is a Tap House Grill, though we ended up at Brooklyn Bowl instead, sipping Brooklyn Brewery suds. On our last day in Vegas we did get out to a couple of breweries.
Banger Brewing is the new kid in town. Located on the Fremont Street pedestrian mall, downtown. They're small but have a comfortable tap room. Their beer was good, with some flaws but lots of potential. I had a good chat with an enthusiastic guy behind the bar (owner/brewer?), who took me over to the glass-walled brewery when I started asking questions about their water filtration and other processes. Really nice folks there and I'm looking forward to visiting them again next year.
Then we drove out to Tenaya Creek. I wish I could give a better report, but I was very disappointed. The beer was mediocre, nothing inspiring or interesting. The seasonal Baltic porter was... meh. The tap room is an uninspiring tavern, with noisy video poker in the bar and cigarette smoke hanging in the air. We got some relief on an outdoor patio, though it's next to a busy street so a bit noisy. Overall it's not a place that I'm going to hurry back to.
After all that I never did get any growlers filled in Nevada. But on the way back we stopped at Sierra Nevada, Ninkasi, and the Lucky Lab in North Portland, so I got my fills.