Monday, July 28, 2014

Good Beer on the Vegas Strip

Nobody goes to Las Vegas for craft beer; it's not a destination the way that Portland (both of them), San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Burlington, Asheville, Grand Rapids, and a handful of other cities are. However, limiting ourselves to the southern end of the Strip, South Las Vegas Boulevard, there's good beer to be had.

Thanks to the magic of in-flight wifi and twitter, a beer crawl was organized around this part of town. And when I landed, Vegas was ready.
Our southern-most bar was our starting point, Pour 24 at the New York, New York Casino. It's right off the lobby, open to some shops and restaurants and there's a good view of the hilariously fake New York City and the casino floor below. They were pouring Ballast Point's hoppy porter, Black Marlin, for $5 per pint, a very good deal.

Two days later I got to Michael Mina's Pub 1842 in the MGM Grand, which served draft beer in frosted mugs (cold masks taste, which is why Coors Light does what it does on the cans), so I opted for a can of Big Sky Moose Drool out of Montana. I wish I had brought a six-pack of this excellent brown ale home. But back to the beer crawl.
That beertail was at The Pub at Monte Carlo, which had well over one-hundred draft lines. One of those lines poured Stone's Enjoy By 4-20-14, an India Pale Ale with the serve-by date right in the name. It was June 29th. When I asked a bartender what was fresh, he just shrugged. In sum, that's too many taps. Take a look at this pdf beer list. They did have Deschutes Black Butte Porter on tap, though.

Our final stop was Todd English P.U.B. (Public Urban Bar) in City Center, near Aria. It was probably the most expensive of the bars we went to, but also had the best deals during its two happy hours, half price drafts, as well as between two and four casks at a time. I'd probably be most likely to return here, especially between 3-6pm or 10-midnight for happy hour, or to Pub 1842.
I'll add that Central in the lobby of Caesar's Palace also had a good selection, and like Pub 1842, had a few barrel-aged cocktails.

In terms of local beer in Vegas, I had a solid cream ale from Pub Dog, and a decent Russian Imperial Stout from Joseph James and an IPA from Tenaya Creek. But again, nobody goes to Vegas for the beer, and given that it was well over one hundred degrees (and I assume that will be the case until October), that's okay. I think the beer I had the most while I was there was Miller Lite, passing up multiple West Coast IPAs for tallboys of macro lager on Saturday night.

When it's 101 degrees at 9:15pm, this happens.
Photo by Daniel Ransom.
Speaking of beer, here's yet another interview with Brian Strumke of Stillwater Ales over at It seems like I do one of these just about once a year. We talked about what it means to remix a beer, and what he's got planned for the rest of the year and beyond. A sample:
DCBeer: How is the Omnipollo beer made? When you remix a song, you can sample it, take snippets of the original and move it to the remix track. With brewing, it's a bit different, right? You're starting from scratch with the same or similar ingredients, but not actually using the beer, correct?
Brian Strumke: When remixing a beer we are not using the other beer (well, not yet) but the elements are obtainable such as types of malt or hops... but it's more of a cerebral breakdown... working off the concept of the beer and the elements that signify it as a unique product. Omnipollo decided to ramp up the body and ABV a bit on Premium and then include a lovely bright fruity hop profile that definitely speaks out the the hop heads out there.
He's an interesting fellow. Do check it out. Cheers.


  1. I'm sorry I missed the Beer-up. I did happen to try a place called Sin City Brewing Co. that was pretty decent. A friend and I went one evening and we were both quite shocked that we were actually having fun in Vegas!

    1. Sorry we missed you, J. Another time.

      I heard some not-so-good things from multiple people regarding that brewery, so we skipped it. Good to hear it was a fun time.