Tenaya Creek Brewery
Old Jackalope Barleywine Style Ale
Las Vegas, NV
The jackalope is a fearsome creature that is known to roam the vast countryside of the American West. Resembling a jackrabbit with the horns of an antelope, jackalopes have been a part of American lore ever since they were first discovered nearly a century ago. There are less than 10,000 of them still alive in the U.S. today and that, most likely, is because they don’t actually exist.
Finding a home among other great American legends like Bigfoot and the Jersey Devil, the jackalope first came into existence in Douglas, WY in 1932. One day, brothers Douglas and Ralph Herrick, who were skilled hunters and taxidermists, decided to graft a pair of deer antlers onto the taxidermied head of a jackrabbit. According to Ralph, they were working in their shop when the carcass of a jackrabbit fell next to some antlers and it appeared for a moment that the rabbit had horns. They made their own version of the creature and then sold it to the La Bonte Hotel in Douglas for $10 where it was displayed on a wall. The jackalope trophy was a hit and a legend was born.
The Herricks continued to make jackalopes and sell them all around the Wyoming area but they also inspired many others to create jackalopes of their own. Tens of thousands of jackalopes have been created over the past many decades and they now adorn many saloons and gift shops (and at least one brewery in Las Vegas), usually as comic relief. It is not uncommon to see a jackalope trophy mounted next to other hunting trophies like deer, elk or bears. The original jackalope was stolen in 1977 but many likenesses of the animal remain throughout the U.S. and new takes on the unnatural creatures have also come into existence. Flying jackalopes can now be found in Wall Drug, SD (complete with glued-on partridge wings), a jackapanda (jackalope + panda) has allegedly been spotted at a bar in Colorado and there are even rumors that a jacamelope (jackalope + camel) might be wandering the landscape somewhere in America.
The residents of Douglas, WY have embraced the unique critters as their pride and joy. Jackalopes adorn their park benches and an eight-foot tall statue of a jackalope can be found in the middle of Jackalope Square. The city also issues Jackalope Hunting Licenses although there are a few restrictions on using them: 1) the hunter must have an IQ above 50 but not greater than 72; and 2) jackalopes may only be hunted between midnight and 2 a.m. on June 31. Jackalope milk, promised to be an excellent aphrodisiac, can be found in many stores in Douglas as well.
There are many interesting facts about jackalopes that set them apart from other animals. For one thing, they have amazing vocal abilities and can even mimic human sounds. They can sometimes be heard singing along at campfires and, when chased, will often throw hunters off-track by yelling out, “Look! He’s over there!”. If one wants to catch a jackalope it is best to lure it with some whiskey, its favorite drink, and once it has had a little too much, only then should someone try to capture the elusive creature. Take note that milking a jackalope is considered highly dangerous and should always be left to professionals. And remember, if ever you find yourself cornered by the vicious creature, it can be pacified by humming the jackalope’s favorite tune, Roy Rogers’ “Happy Trails to You”.
Although they’re tough to spot both among the bright lights of the city and in the vast deserts of Nevada, Jackalope sightings are actually quite frequent at Tenaya Creek Brewery in Las Vegas. The name for the beer came about after the staff found a stray rabbit near the brewery (which they kept as a pet) and a jackalope can now be found hanging behind the bar at Tenaya Creek Brewery as well as on the label of their Old Jackalope Barleywine Style Ale.
From the Brewer: ABV 10.4%, IBU 100+
Tim Etter - Owner