After a day in the mountains, the open atmosphere and outdoor patio seating at the Mellow Fellow Gastropub in Crystal Bay is the perfect spot to share tales of your adventures over a round of beers, a quick bite and a game of corn hole. The menu offers a variety of sausages, sandwiches and finger foods, which pair nicely with the 40 beers available on tap.
The bartender, Kristi Thompson, comes from a long background of beer tasting and pairing making her knowledgeable about the vast selection. At her suggestion, I try the Firebreak Red Ale from American River Brewing Company in Rancho Cordova. This beer offers a malty kick up front, reminiscent of brown ale and washes away with a hoppy finish.
The majority of beers served at the Mellow Fellow come from the heart of Northern California, though some of their more eclectic beers come from outside of the Northwest. Two of the taps at the Mellow Fellow are strictly reserved for ciders for those looking for something other than beer. In addition to the large tap selection, the Mellow Fellow also keeps between five and 10 bottled beers, which are often hard to find and not available on draft. Two gluten-free beers also are part of the regular offerings.
I order the elk sausage, which comes on a pretzel bun with my choice of honey, spicy or yellow mustard. The pretzel buns are a special order from Truckee Sourdough Company and only available at the Mellow Fellow. The sausages are ordered daily from the Village Market in Incline Village and the selection varies depending on what’s available. Today, the choices are elk, venison, pheasant and jalapeno jack. While the sausages are the Mellow Fellow’s forte, the menu also includes a variety of sandwiches, such as the pulled pork grilled cheese and the pesto and gouda, as well as finger foods including a beer board, pretzels, hummus and fruit.
For dessert, I have the Extra Special Bitter from Dust Bowl Brewing Company in Turlock. The sweet malty flavor and floral aroma are perfect to wash down the smokey grilled sausage and contrast well with the hoppy finish of my previous beverage.
The Mellow Fellow hosts private parties and tastings on request and sponsor weekly events including trivia night on Tuesdays and open mic night on Thursdays. They recently opened a second location in Truckee, which features 40 different beers than what may be found at the Kings Beach restaurant.
Mellow Fellow is located at 9980 N. Lake Blvd., Kings Beach (at Crystal Bay) and may be reached at (530) 553-1333. The Truckee location is at 10192 Donner Pass Road and may be reached at (530) 214-8927. Both locations are open from 3 to 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and from 2 p.m. to midnight (or later) on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit mellowfellowpub.com or Facebook.
By Jenn Sheridan