Las Vegas is just over a week away from the largest craft beer festival in Nevada, and it’s time to get your palate ready. Spring means warmer weather and nothing beats the heat like an ice-cold brew.
For those who can’t wait for the Motley Brews Great Vegas Festival of Beer on April 9, these six beers will get you in the mood ahead of time.
It’s not traditionally spring-y but this dark brew deserves a chance. Its unique taste explains why Bad Bear Brewing has been picking up some loyal fans lately, despite the dry finish. Cans are available in area liquor stores, but it’s best on tap at the Henderson brewery. The makers call it “dark as night and velvety smooth” and it contains subtle hints of coffee and chocolate. Sweet but clean, this newer beer is worth betting on.
Only two of the three Sin City Brewing locations on the strip offer Spring Bock on tap, but the German lager is worth seeking out. It has a sharp kick but it’s mothy and goes down easily – perfect for outdoor drinking and dining. All of Sin City’s beers are produced in small batches using high-end raw materials and adhering to German beer purity laws – something mass producers can’t replicate. Try Spring Bock at the Grand Canal Shoppes or Harmon Corner.
Nothing says spring like a fruity beverage and the Mango Hefeweizen at Triple 7 Brewery is no exception. It’s not available yet, but the unfiltered wheat beer usually shows up in April and fills the fruity void in your palate. Triple 7 is both a microbrewery and a restaurant, serving handmade pizza, burgers, steak, and sushi. Recommendation: Oxtail chili fries.
This traditional Belgian-style beer was made exclusively for the Center Bar and Parlor Lounge at the Mirage and it’s easy to see why they’d want to keep it to themselves. Similar to the Triple 7 brew, above, Island Hopper has hints of mango, but the Australian summer hops (plus hints of lemon and pepper) give it a taste all its own. This is CraftHaus’ only proprietary beer on the strip so it’s a must have for anyone looking to see what the local-favorite has to offer.
What this beer lacks in naming creativity – “saison” is just a fancy way of saying “seasonal” – it makes up for in taste. The Belgian-style beer is perfect for spring with its pineapple overtones. PT’s took over the old brewing space of the Tenaya Creek Brewery and now offers a modern and low-key restaurant to go with their signature crafts. They make and serve seven craft beers and feature menu items like Sriracha spiced wings and a popcorn chicken pizza.
Saving the fruitiest, most seasonal, and most clever name for last, Hell or High Watermelon is a crisp and refreshing option. This wheat beer is brewed with watermelon puree and only available on tap from April to September. It’s basically summer in a can.
Plus, it’s available a month early in Vegas. To make this unique concoction, a traditional American wheat beer undergoes a secondary fermentation with fresh fruit, giving it the signature watermelon taste. Try it at the Cosmopolitan, Venetian, Aliane, and on MGM properties.
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