'The beer is boss': Silver Peak Brewery in Midtown to become Huntsman Brewing

Evan Haddad
Reno Gazette Journal

A pioneer of craft brewing that opened in Midtown Reno over 20 years ago, and shuttered during the pandemic, is reopening soon with a new name and young brewers at the helm. 

Renovations are underway at the Silver Peak Brewery and Restaurant at 124 Wonder St., a longtime staple of Reno's bar scene that will soon be known as Huntsman Brewing. 

Tim Turner, owner of Huntsman Tavern in Sparks, and a group of his friends have leased the property with a view to purchase it from Silver Peak's owners, David Silverman and Trent Schmidt. Huntsman Brewing plans to open by late August, though those plans are contingent on how the renovations and licensing process go. 

In the meantime, Turner and his friends are revamping the old two-story building themselves. They've installed a 10-barrel brewhouse where master brewer Nick Taylor will concoct lagers, ales, sours, milk stouts and many other types of beer. Huntsman even plans to age some of its beer in wine casks provided by a nearby winery.

Huntsman brewing's beer maker Nick Taylor pours a pint of Huntsman IPA Friday at Huntsman Brewing, the former Silver Peak brewery on Wonder Street.

Huntsman's slogan, "The beer is boss," was born when Turner interviewed Taylor for the job. 

"As soon as I told him that, everything clicked," Taylor said. "The beer tells us when it's ready."

Huntsman aims for self-sufficiency. Apart from doing their own renovations, which, by Turner's estimate, saved nearly half a million dollars, the Huntsman team plans to make their own pickles, venison sausage and sauces from scratch. Turner told the RGJ that Huntsman planned to offer a full kitchen menu and employ between 20 and 30 people. The head chef and sous chef have already been hired and were working in the kitchen during RGJ's Friday afternoon visit.

 Also on the menu: bison burgers, freshly made soft pretzels with beer cheese, wings, pizzas, and bangers and mash (venison sausage over mashed potatoes and brown gravy). 

From left, Brewer Nick Taylor, Paul Bray, Sean Clemens, Brian Bosna and Tim Turner talks in the upstairs patio Friday at the Huntsman Brewing, the former Silver Peak brewery on Wonder Street.

Turner's professional beer ventures began in 2018 when he owned Nevada Seal & Pump, an industrial pump and repair company. Through his work, which regularly led him to local bars and restaurants, he developed relationships within the brewing community. Some customers would let him use their brewing equipment in exchange for his services. 

"Those relationships helped us tremendously," Turner said.

In May 2019, David Silverman and Trent Schmidt listed the original Silver Peak at 124 Wonder St. for sale at $1.8 million, including more than $300,000 in restaurant and brewery equipment. Silverman said in a 2019 interview with the RGJ that an unsolicited offer for the restaurant "got us thinking for the first time about what things would look like if we were to sell."

"We had never really had an exit strategy," he said. "That truly was the impetus."

Huntsman Brewing is set to open at the former Silver Peak brewery on Wonder Street.

Silver Peak shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Silverman and Schmidt remain landlords of the Wonder Street property, Turner says he ultimately plans to purchase it.

Turner and company have faith in their beer and business, even though many local restaurant and bars are struggling to stay afloat. 

"I'm hoping that my product standard is as good as I think it is," Turner said when asked about his hopes for the future. 

Brian Bosma, who handles marketing for Huntsman, offered a more full-throated take. 

"All the right people are sitting in the right places on the school bus," he said. 

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