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.
Simply put, cask beer is a beer that is brewed and fermented, and then placed into essentially a small keg, where it is then conditioned and naturally carbonated through a secondary fermentation. The beer is transported to its serving location in this vessel and served directly from this vessel without the use of any additional pressure.
That being said, cask beer is delicious. Todd English’s PUB and Public House always have at least one cask beer available at any given moment. There are a couple other places in Las Vegas that also have cask beers available off and on. If you get the chance, try out one of these beers!
Here’s what to expect: (more…)
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!
The above image greets you when you visit Public House’s website. There are billboards in town with a business suit dressed chimpanzee holding an American flag. While the concept of a gastropub is traditionally English, Public House is quintessentially American.
The interior resembles a library. Dark wood covers the floors with bookshelves holding various old books, ornaments and antiques. The decorations typically have an American theme. Pen drawings of American Flags or founding fathers are displayed.
Where to start? Public House is home to the only Certified Cicerone in the state of Nevada, and as such, has an impressive beer list. There are roughly 200 beers to choose from, primarily in bottles, ranging from German lagers to Belgian abbey ales, and from French farmhouse ales to American IPAs and even a few sours and barrel aged beers. They also regularly keep a beer available on cask. During my visit the cask beer was Deschutes Black Butte Porter. The cask version gave this beer a very soft and smooth texture. It retained it’s dark chocolatey taste while feeling very light texture-wise. I also tasted Stillwater’s Existent, a dark farmhouse ale. A lot of plum aromas paired with grape flavors. Despite the dark, fruity flavors, the beer was still refreshingly light.
Both beers paired perfectly with the hearty, rich food that Public House has to offer. Appetizer was the Welsh Rarebit. “Cheddar-Beer Sauce on Toast” as the menu described. The cheese sauce tasted like it was comprised of a dark malty beer with a little mustard, possibly even Worcestershire sauce? The bread was perfectly crusty to contrast the creamy cheese sauce on top.
I opted to try the Pub Burger for the main course. Maybe it was the bacon marmalade, the Guinness aioli, or the gruyére cheese, but this was one of the best burgers I’ve had in Las Vegas. The grass-fed beef was juicy and the toppings complimented it with rich cheese and sweet bacon. Despite the flavorful ingredients, the burger was perfectly balanced with no one aspect dominating the others. This is a difficult burger to eat in one sitting, but it’s even more difficult to stop eating it!
Other items on the menu include fried quail served with waffles, roasted bone marrow served with bacon, and various steaks, and shellfish. There is also grilled octopus, duck confit, and a foie gras parfait.
Public House is located in the Venetian resort on the strip. They use the best quality ingredients and have a renowned chef. As such, the prices reflect this. The quality of food definitely matches the price and this restaurant is worth every penny. That said, the beer prices are also higher than most places in Las Vegas. Bottles start at $7 for 12oz and drafts start at $8. You are likely to end up paying about $10 a beer if you want to drink the less common stuff. Yes, the beers are priced high, but you are likely not going to find most of these beers anywhere else in town. Even still, this place is completely worth it for the food alone.