Sunday, 23 October 2011 14:02

Beer Drinkers Guide to Vegas

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I won’t go into just how much fun I had in Vegas recently, but suffice it to say I ended up staying an extra two days and switching hotels to a Palm suite, the bastardized version of the Playboy Palm Suite. Sweet, nonetheless.

Amidst all that fun, I still noticed the lack of craft beer in the city that never sleeps. Stumble into nearly any casino bar and you’ll find a plethora of liquors & wines and of course the official watered down beers of the NFL. Unlike craft beer cities like San Diego, Philly or Portland, or even most other cities in the states for that matter, Vegas is falling short when it comes to offering choices for the craft beer drinker.

But, there are a few gems in Sin City that are worth visiting. I couldn’t help but seek them out – call it my “beerdar”, it’s always on.

Off the strip, on East Tropicana Ave. is one of my favorite English pubs, Crown and Anchor. They have 30 draught beers of the world including Fullers London Pride Ale, Chimay, Abbot Ale, Boddintons Pub Ale, Tetleys and a guest tap. The Vegas version of the Anchor has graveyard specials from midnight to 8am and if you play $20 (max coin) in one of their video poker machines, you get lunch and a drink. Have I mentioned how much I love Vegas?

Something you should try at least once for no other reason than Vegas tourist points is Sin City Brewing. Try one of their three locations either inside the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood, inside the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian or their largest bar at Flamingo Las Vegas which includes outdoor patio seating.  I tried their Amber and the IPA. Let’s just say I would rather drink their IPA. I wouldn’t bet on the Amber.

Located at 200 North Main Street, try the Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery in the MainStreet Station Casino for microbrews, hand-made pizza and gourmet burgers. Their "Pumpkin Spice Ale” and "Baby Zeus" are worth trying. The Zeus consists of a 50/50 blend of their Marker Pale Ale and Zuhse Double IPA.

A little off the beaten track on Nellis Blvd. is Aces & Ales. Inspired by the classic gastro pubs of London, they frequently rotate their 22 beers on tap. Aces also offers 40+ bottled brew list (including Stone 13th Anniversary, Saison Du Buff, Stone Vertical Epic 9.9.9., Firestone Parabola, Jolly Pumpkin Oro De Calabaza 2009 and more). And they’re open 24 hours a day. God I love Vegas.

My favorite stop of the trip (well, it was up there, anyway) was The Pub, located in the Monte Carlo. As I walked in, I realized it was decorated like my future game room – with a wall of glowing, mesmerizing kegs. The Pub has over 300 beers on tap and you can even organize your own private party in “The Keg Room.”  It’s always happy hour in Vegas, but their official Happy Hour includes $1 Wings & $1 Sliders. Gotta’ love that.

I enjoyed a Hitachino Espresso Stout for a mere $25.00. Yeah, be careful about some of the prices here. It is Vegas after all.

But check out this partial beer list:

Chimay Première Red Belgium
Chimay Cinq Cents Belgium
Gulden Draak Belgium
Firestone Velvet Merlin Stout
Maredsous Abbaye-Abdij
Gayant Amadeus Beer
Estrella Damm Inedit
Baladin Al-Iksir
Bosteels Deus Brut des Flandres
Crooked Line Cockeyed Cooper
Dogfish Head Miles Davis
Redhook 8-4-1
Stone Smoked Porter
Alaskan Amber
Rogue Hopped Red
Strada S. Felice
Moose Drool
Petrus Dubbel Bruin
Rogue Hazelnut
Stone Arrogant Bastard
Joseph James
Sierra Nevada Glissade Bock
Wells Banana Bread
Morimoto Soba Ale
Spaten Franziskaner
Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA
Rogue Shakespeare Stout
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
Lagunitas IPA
Speakeasy Big Daddy
Stone Ruination
Firestone Union Jack
Widmer Deadlift
Delirium Tremens
Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre
Duvel Green

If having no last call is more important to you than having a great craft beer, then any casino will do. But if you’re anything like me, then you’ll want a tasty brew at some point during the gambling, strip club partaking, dancing debauchery that is Vegas.

In the craft beer revolution, can you afford to gamble with what the craft beer drinker wants?

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