Let’s be honest, almost everyone comes to Vegas to drink. What may come as a surprise, though, is that some people actually care how their beer tastes. Equally as shocking, some people are more interested in sampling local flavors than getting wild and crazy.
The craft beer scene in Sin City has been slow to develop, but regulations have begun to dwindle, and there are several good options for craft beer lovers.
It’s a little out of the way in Henderson, but if you don’t make the trip, look for a pint at bars or liquor stores that have a decent craft selection. Just over two years ago, former poker player Nathan Hall sold his house and closed out his bank account in order to open Bad Beat. The Hoppy Times IPA has a very clean finish and avoids too much bitterness. The Ringer is an everyday pilsner that you can throw down in volume.
In a business that is hot and growing, Big Dog is old school. Around since 1993, the brewery is a little drive from the Strip, but it’s worth the effort. The dark and hearty Black Lab Stout is for serious beer drinkers. The citrus-infused Dirty Dog IPA is light with a sweet finish. The Tailwagger Wheat hits the spot on a sunny afternoon.
Started by a group of longtime friends, Banger has a creative and ever-changing menu. They do fun stuff for holidays, and tend to be upscale, which fits its downtown Las Vegas locale. Their Morning Joe Kolsch is deceiving; it looks light, but hits you with a bold coffee flavor. It’s not nearly as meaty as a porter or stout, though. Because they have a large and interesting selection, the $7 tasting flight is a good value.
Tenaya recently moved to a larger location downtown after 16 years in the suburbs. Their Bonanza Brown is a time-tested award-winner with roasted malt. It is kind of rich, but a great end-of-the-evening brew. The Dutch, which is only offered seasonally, has a unique banana taste. It has a fairly high alcohol content and that full flavor you want in a Belgian-style brew.
(Photo credit: John Fischer (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode].)
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