Wonder Aleworks fits right in with its Midtown neighbors Pizzava and Rum, Sugar, Lime. The brick wall, the outdoor gathering space, the trendy cocktails and bartenders–honestly, it’s a perfect match.
Wonder, of course, has its own flair though. Instead of the tropical scene next door, Wonder Aleworks pays homage to its Reno roots and adds a touch of whimsy with hot air balloon décor floating around. Not the place to grab a Coors Light after work, the new space—which makes many beers on-site—caters to a craft beer drinker, plus offers cocktails and food.
Nothing is bottled; it’s all on draft. Choose between a not-too-spicy Pineapple Pepper Hefeweizen that is decidedly refreshing though a seemingly odd combination (ABV 4.7%) and a blonde ale dubbed Something Beautiful (ABV 5.3%).
Fans of an IPA have several to choose from, including West Coast Style (ABV 6.7%), Hazy (ABV. 7.9%) and even a Black IPA—a dark and hoppy rendition not found easily—(ABV 7.4%). If you’re a fan of the basic fall fare, you shouldn’t skip the Wonderfall-Pumpkin Spiced Latte, a pumpkin brew that tastes of pumpkin pie and coffee, bursting with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove (ABV 6.2%).
If you came for the cocktails, the Balloon Ride is fun not only because it fits into the theme and offers a fruitful twist on a margarita, but mostly because it comes with a balloon straw souvenir. Sip the Corralejo Reposado and Domaine de Canton with flavors of pineapple and mint.
1041 S Virginia St., Reno, NV 89502
Sunday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Or dive deeper into local drink culture with a Nevada Cleanse, made with Fallon’s Frey Ranch Bourbon, maple ginger syrup and walnut bitters.
These are only the start of a fabulous list of delicious if not slightly weird flavor combos available, draft cocktails and wine are also available. But remember, nothing is bottled or canned.
For food, we don’t quite know how to describe the eclectic menu. You can go easy with a salad or share a few appetizer-style dishes: “Ta”chos, Taco Trio, Boneless Wings, Slider Duo & Fries, the raved-about-chef’s-special Jambalaya Balls. Perhaps oddly—or completely expected at this point—a grilled cheese sandwich served with warm tomato soup places crème fraiche and aged cheddar on Wonder Bread.
Many of the dishes are gluten-free or even vegan to cater to several diets. One thing is for sure: this isn’t the food you’re used to getting at the neighborhood bar. For heartier appetites, a list of large shareables provides bigger servings of fish and chips, cheesesteak, chicken and waffles or shrimp and grits.
If you’ve saved room, don’t skip dessert. Mascarpone, pecans and caramel sauce make the perfect sweet potato beignets while churro bites served with spiced chocolate and a brownie a la mode round out the decadent options on this long and not-so-lean menu.
Stay for a while on a cozy couch or make friends with staff by grabbing a seat at the bar (complete with purse hangers underneath, an important detail—trust me). Tall tables of varying sizes cater to groups large and small, but the best seat in the house is outdoors on a nice night, where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Midtown with a cold beer in hand.
Nora Heston Tarte is a long-time Reno resident living on the southside of town. In addition to food, her hobbies include wine, hiking, yoga and travel. She is also the managing editor of a regional, lifestyle publication and freelances for other publications most frequently in the travel space. Nora received her bachelor’s in Journalism from California State University, Sacramento before graduating from University of Nebraska, Lincoln with a master’s in Professional Journalism. You can follow her travel adventures, and local exploits, on her Instagram account @wanderlust_n_wine.