The above hash tag is used often, even by me, on twitter and untappd when talking about local breweries. I want to take a moment and expand this loose definition even further.
First and foremost, I am not trying to discredit any of the breweries here in Las Vegas, or take away from the work that they do. Instead, I want to give credit where credit is due to the other small businesses in town who are also working hard to impact the craft beer community.
First, breweries like Tenaya Creek, Joseph James, and Big Dog’s Brewery do an amazing job of making incredible beers, and distributing these across not just the state, but in other states as well. But don’t forget about everything else they do besides brew great beer. Tenaya Creek and Big Dog’s both operate brewpubs where they not only serve their own beers, but they include guest taps as well. Big Dog’s holds several beer fests each year with incredible beer lists from a lot of great breweries across the country. All three of these breweries are incredibly helpful and supportive of the growing homebrew community and the local homebrew club, SNAFU. Tenaya Creek and Joseph James participate in GABF Pro-Am competitions and offer to brew winning homebrew batches of beer in their breweries. Big Dog’s offers classes for people to come and brew Big Dog’s beer at the brewery, and take home a growler of beer that they helped to brew.
In addition to these breweries, there are several other smaller breweries who also operate brewpubs and beer fests. Altogether, without these companies, not only would we have less beer in Nevada, we’d also have a smaller pool of bars available that offer craft beer. There would be less support for homebrewers, and as a result, there would likely be fewer homebrewers and fewer new breweries in planning.
Second, I think it’s worth mentioning the other businesses who are also deserving of the #drinklocal tag, even if they do not brew their own beer. Places like Khoury’s and Aces & Ales, offer a tremendous service to Las Vegas craft beer drinkers.
Khoury’s not only has a great bottle selection, but they even offer beer on tap and let you drink beer in the store. As a result, Wednesday nights have become a weekly gathering of craft beer drinkers across the the city. Guests are welcome to open and share beers with other guests, whether they are purchased at Khoury’s or not, and best of all, there’s no corkage fee! Wednesday nights also feature local food trucks, and often a brewery tapping or serving of a new beer.
Aces & Ales has the best beer list in the city. Best of all, the prices are just right too. They hold several yearly beer fests, and even brewery tap takeovers, like the yearly Stone Domination, featuring Stone CEO Greg Koch. They offer several weekly specials, like discounted growler fills on Sunday, and Tuesday Night Tastings, which feature a specially prepared dish paired with a featured beer. In addition to their tap list, they also offer a range of beers available in bottles, including several aged beers.
Both Khoury’s and Aces & Ales, among others like Money Plays, The Dillinger, and even Public House and Todd English’s PUB, are helping to spread cask ales, double dry hopped beers, beer sharing, food pairing, aged vertical tastings, and beer fests across Las Vegas.
Supporting these local breweries and businesses also supports craft beer in Las Vegas. The more support we can give to our retailers and restaurants who serve craft beer, then the more we are building a stronger craft beer community in Las Vegas, and the more distributorship this city will get, the more craft beer events will be held, the more breweries will get started, and more retailers and craft beer bars will open. Support your local businesses and #drinklocal!