Labour of Love

Henderson, Nevada is just 30 mins from the Las Vegas “Strip”. In the ’50s, when Richard Lovelady’s grandma was a schoolteacher in Henderson, there was nothing but desert between the two towns. Richard and his brothers would travel from their home in Northern California to visit frequently and recalls at that time the Water Street District, in Henderson’s town centre, was a thriving hub of business and social activity.

In the decades that followed, economics and social priorities changed and the once vibrant Water District was abandoned.

Richard and his twin brother Robert started making beer in high school and thus were very popular at parties. Known for “Dick and Bob’s Brew”, Richard went on to earn a science degree followed by a master’s degree in international business. His love of brewing brought him back to a special brewing school in Davis, CA. Richard, his wife Linda and young son moved to Henderson Nevada when he took a job at a Gordon Biersch brewpub.

After 20 years, Richard had learned every facet of the brewing business and felt it was time for a change. Linda suggested he follow his dream and open his own brewery and shortly thereafter, in partnership with his brothers, Robert, Jerry and Jeffrey, and his best friend from high school, Mike Brook, the Lovelady Brewing Company was born.

Wistful for the old glory of the forgotten and neglected Water Street District, Richard decided to open the brewery and taproom right in the middle of it. Although he was taking a gamble on the location, he knew a Specific brewhouse was a sure thing having brewed on them at Gordon Biersch.

Richard wanted the same high quality he was used to and knew they had the technical innovation he needed for his brewery. He ordered a 20-barrel system complete with an oversized hot liquor tank to easily facilitate multiple brews in a day.

On April 1, 2016, with Richard as head brewer, Linda as accountant and operations manager, and the brothers in key operative roles, doors opened for the first time. Naturally nervous about his grand opening, his anxiety was quickly put to rest as within 10 minutes of opening the doors the entire taproom was full and people were lined up down the block.

With a rustic décor and repurposed wood, the building was warm and inviting, designed with only a couple of TV screens so the social emphasis would be on conversation and connection.

This move to the centre of town turned out to be visionary as in the months that followed, other bold retailers chose to locate on Water Street and brought the area back to life.

Lovelady’s “Outrageously Local” slogan embodies the Brewery’s symbiotic relationship with the community. Through its support of local charities, hosted events and its comfortable, welcoming environment, Lovelady is truly “outrageously local.”

Now closing in on the tenth anniversary, today, Richard and Linda’s son Max is the lead brewer and Lovelady Brewery and Taproom is the anchor business in a revitalized downtown core.

With many varieties of beer available year-round and seasonal beers on frequent rotation, the taproom is constantly busy.

So much so, that in September of last year, a second location was opened up about 10 minutes away. Designed along the same lines but outfitted with more screens, the Green Valley Taproom is more sports-oriented and even partners with local teams to broadcast their games.

Richard, Linda, Max, Robert, Jerry and Jeffrey Lovelady, along with “brother from another mother” Mike Brook have revitalized a neighbourhood and community by following a dream and continuing a long legacy of smiles that all started with “Dick and Bob’s Brew”.

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