I’ve lost count of how many emails I’ve received from people flying into Las Vegas, asking where to get craft beer here. Serious Eats just posted an article I wrote, talking briefly about six different spots that I think should be on any list for Las Vegas craft beer.
Keep in mind though, this list is far from complete, as there are plenty of places with great beer menus. Places like Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay, Holsteins in Cosmopolitan, and The Pub in Monte Carlo are a couple more examples for places on the strip that have a great beer menu. Off the strip, there’s places like The Dillinger, Money Plays, and Freakin Frog that also have a great beer list. If you’re looking for bottle shops, in addition to Khoury’s, the Las Vegas Boulevard Whole Foods is always my go to spot, and for most people, there’s a Total Wine nearby that’s a trip too. There really is a great beer culture here in Las Vegas, as long as you know where to look.
The Serious Eats article can be found here.
Two weeks from now, there are a few awesome New Belgium events coming to Las Vegas, courtesy of our local Beer Ranger, Karl Herrera. New Belgium’s Sensory Specialist/Blender/Organoleptic Educator, Lauren Salazar will be in town bringing some special beers to all of these events.
(All tap lists below subject to change)
First, a tap takeover at Khoury’s on Wednesday, March 13th at 6pm, featuring the following beers on draft: (more…)
The first event will take place at Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits on Wednesday, March 6th at 6pm, with a sampling of Epic brews. On Thursday, March 7th at 5pm, Malachowski and co-owner Dave Cole, will be at Aces and Ales for the official rollout with a tap takeover to include 21 different Epic brews. On Friday, March 8th, there will be two sampling opportunities at Total Wine in Bocca Park at 3pm, and Total Wine in Henderson at 6pm. Finally, on Saturday, March 9th, Epic will be attending the Brews Best Beer Festival at Lake Las Vegas starting at 12pm.
Epic makes some absolutely fantastic beers, and this is extremely great news! Be sure to check out as many of the above events as possible.
Tenaya Creek: Tapping their newest beer, God of Thunder Baltic Porter, at 6PM. Sauced Food Truck will be serving food made with the beer, and Tenaya Creek will be raffling a growler of the beer at 7 and 8PM.
Khoury’s Fine Wine: Also tonight at 6PM, Khoury’s will be tapping 3 rare kegs of Ballast Point beers: Victory At Sea (imperial vanilla coffee porter), Barrel Aged Black Marlin (porter), and Abandon Ship (smoked lager). Sausagefest Food Truck will be serving food.
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!
I just want to take a moment and point out how much I like Unita’s label artwork. I love the minimalistic look to them. Very few colors are used, the label is primarily two-toned between the background and the font colors. There is only a simple, single, two toned image in the center, and that’s it. It’s perfect.
And not only are the labels great, the beers are great too. Any of the below 12 oz bottles should be go-to session beers for all of you.
Uinta also has another set of beers available in cork finished 750 mL bottles, called their ‘Crooked Line’ beers. While these labels are not as clean cut and simple as the others beers, they do still have great artwork on them.
Uinta’s beers are available at the usual craft beer shops in town: Whole Foods, Khoury’s Fine Wine, and Total Wine.
Little known fact, the owner of Las Vegas’ Tenaya Creek Brewery, Tim Etter, got his start as a brewer at Uinta!
*all of the above images were taken from Uinta’s site.
With Father’s Day coming up, I feel it is my civic duty to educate any people who may be buying gifts for their hop loving dads. As a father myself, trust me when I say that your father does not want a tie, or slippers for Father’s Day. As Hank Hill would say, they may want “beer, and beer related accessories!”. Read on for some great local ideas for the male parental unit that you love!
General Manager Karl Herrera of Tenaya Creek Brewery has devised a fantastic gift for fans of great, local craft brews. For just $45, you will receive a wax sealed, brewer autographed growler full of their delicious Old Jackalope Barleywine, which is perfect for aging (and ages beautifully), as well 22oz bombers of both their Calico Brown Ale and Hop Ride IPA. With three distinct, delicious beverages…how could you go wrong?
For more info visit: Tenaya Creek Father’s Day Package
Aces and Ales
As of yet, Aces and Ales is not doing anything fancy for Father’s Day…however, how about surprising dad with a 07.07.07 Vertical Epic from Stone, or perhaps a bottle of 14th Anniversary Firestone Walker? With an extensive list of hard to fine and aged bottles, Aces and Ales is a great choice if you want to pick up something unique. Or, why not treat your pops to some great tap beer and food on his special day? Either way, it is sure to put a smile on even the pickiest beer-lover’s face.
Khoury’s Fine Wine and Spirits
What can I say about Khoury’s? Imagine a place when you can get a great craft beer on tap, and then shop for beer while enjoying it! Khoury’s is truly a beer geek’s dream come true! Head on in, grab a glass, and then take a gander through their extensive selection of beer, whiskey, wine, and even glassware. Khoury’s would be the perfect place to pick up your father’s favorite beer, pack it with a glass featuring his favorite birthday, and perhaps get him his favorite whiskey to boot. Oh, and did I mention that you can do all of this while enjoying a drink yourself?
Whole Foods on Las Vegas Blvd
Whole Foods on Las Vegas Blvd. rivals any destination in town for their great selection of fermented craft goodness. Pick up a gift card for your dad, and let him go to town! You can also speak with their Beer Specialist, Chris Brown, and let him help you pick out a beer that will go straight to your old man’s heart. I would love to recommend every Whole Foods in town, but the one at Town Square just plain leaves the rest of them it he dust.
Do you have any great beer related gift ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them! Please feel free to share the love in the comments field below, or send us an e-mail.
UPDATE: Joseph James commented on Twitter regarding how to find the new recipes:
Red Fox 4-packs, Lager cans, Gluten Free (Fox Tail) cans, and Weize Guy bottles that do not have the word ‘light,’ are new. As for Tahoe and Hop Box, look for Tahoe 22oz and Hop Box 4-pack bottles. In about a month all beer in the market should be the new recipes regardless of package. These recipes have been evolving over a year so there are newer versions on the shelf.
This past Wednesday, Joseph James re-launched their brand at Khoury’s Fine Wine.
Earlier this year, the brewery hired Alex Graham as the new head brewer. They then began the process of seeking honest feedback about their beers and rewriting all the recipes to match what they wanted to represent their brand. From what I understand, every recipe of theirs was changed. Some beers were completely rewritten from scratch, others were slightly modified.
At Khoury’s, the brewery staff was on hand giving free samples of all of their beers. I didn’t try all of them, but here’s a recap of what I did try:
Tahoe Blue Pale Ale: I had never tried this beer before, so I can’t compare it to the old recipe. I can say though that this is a very solid pale ale. Very crisp, bright and refreshing. On the hoppier side for a pale ale, so it’s got a nice bitterness up front before the dry, citrusy finish.
Hop Box Imperial IPA: Previously, I always had mixed results with this beer. I’ve always thought it was a decent beer, but it was never bitter enough, or had enough hop aroma. The new recipe takes care of all of that. Very strong upfront bitterness with a wave of grapefruit aroma. Less sweet malts are used to keep the focus on the hops. Overall, this is a great IPA.
Red Fox Imperial Stout: The old version was a good stout, but had a bit of thin mouthfeel. This new version feels like a stout should. It has a dark roasted espresso taste and it’s also a bit smokier too, with an almost ashy, vanilla finish.
Joseph James is also experimenting with new beers as well. The first 48 customers at Khoury’s had received one of Joseph James’ “rough draft” beers. I was able to snag a bottle of Toasted Coconut Pumpkin Porter. The other rough draft beer available was S’mores Porter.
I picked up all of their beers so I’ll get to try the rest that I didn’t try that night and write about them here.
Wednesday, February the 1st, Joseph James Brewing Company of Henderson is set to relaunch their brand at Khoury’s Fine Wine.
The brewery recently hired Alex Graham as a new head brewer and have been reevaluating and rewriting the recipes to all of their beers based off of the feedback given to them by consumers. Graham will be at Khoury’s at 6pm introducing the new Lager, Weize Guy, Tahoe Blue, Hop Box and Red Fox.
The first 48 customers to buy a six pack of Joseph James also gets one of two limited release beers for free. There will be 24 bottles of Roasted Coconut Pumpkin Porter and 24 bottles of S’more Porter available.
Hope to see you all there! Several of us from Hooked on Hops will definitely be there as well.
Old Rasputin is one of the best Imperial Stouts I’ve had. I always recommend this beer because it’s a perfect example of the style. If you can find the beer on nitro tap, it brings it to another level.
This bottle is a bourbon barrel aged version of Old Rasputin. I didn’t know it existed until I saw the bottle at Khoury’s Fine Wine. I can only imagine that this is pretty rare, and as much as I wanted to age it, I had to taste it.
The bourbon was very present in the way this beer smelled and tasted. It gave the beer a stronger alcohol taste and warmth. In addition to the bourbon flavor, the barrel aging added additional layers of vanilla in the body of the beer.
The carbonation gave this beer an incredible mouthfeel. It felt like it was served on a nitro tap. It had a giant, pillowy soft head.
This would be the perfect beer to drink with an after dinner dessert, or even as one in an ice cream float.