Old Stonehouse Brewery – Nevada City, California - Atlas Obscura
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Nevada City, California

Old Stonehouse Brewery

A watering hole where the options for seating include a bar, patio, or subterranean cave. 

These days, this popular brewery hosts reggae nights, salsa dancing, open mics—your typical modern brewery fare.

But like everything else in historic Nevada City, the brewery has preserved a link to its past, a window into what makes it unique. If you pass through the modern, warm wooden main bar and onto the pretty patio littered with flower baskets and laid-back, beer-sipping 20-somethings, you will discover what is quite possibly one of the coolest places to drink in the entire town, a chilly, LED-lit cave entrance that leads to a secluded set of tables and chairs within.The building itself is a beautiful example of stonemasonry. Built in 1882, the three-story building was constructed with local granite, painstakingly put together stone after stone by Chinese laborers and Italian stonemasons. The structure was paid for buy a local businessman who included fixtures and ornate wooden doors that were once a part of the once decadent Kidder Mansion into its decor, and ordered a cave for storage dug out of the hillside against the building.

Under the once thriving boomtown turned tourist town lies a series of tunnels, many of which were filled in once a full-sized freeway was built above them, and some of which once connected to the Stonehouse’s cave. Once used to store casks of ales they aged, the cave now acts as a chilly but somewhat private hideaway to sip your cocktail and snoop around looking for tunnel entrances to fall into.

Renovated in 2004, the 10,000 square foot brewery now boasts a restaurant with craft beers, as well as live music and event bookings.