Last Updated :11/10/06
by Mark Enderby
hould you find yourself in Vegas then hopefully the following will guide you to some decent beer.
Vegas is BIG and several of the micros are located at the edge of the city - some 8-10 miles from the Strip. A hire car and willing driver are the best way of reaching these. Cabs will cost $20-25 - don't expect to hail cabs on the street, especially off the Strip as they seem reluctant to pick up on spec. In the centre use hotel taxi stands and in the suburbs ask the bar staff to order a cab (and be prepared to wait !). There is a bus system (the CAT) but info is almost impossible to pick up. Arm yourself in advance using http://www.rtcsouthernnevada.com/. Single tickets are $2 and a day ticket is $5. Note that the Deuce which connects Downtown with the Strip is extremely slow … 90-120mins for the complete trip due to the large number of stops and traffic lights ! The monorail is useless as it is expensive and doesn't go anywhere useful.
There are 10 micros in town of varying style. Most concentrate on german-style beers with hefeweisse being mandatory along with an amber and a stout. IPAs are comparitvely rare.
Triple 7. The only brewpub in downtown. Good beer including a seasonal cherry stout. The gents is constructed from a real piece of the Berlin Wall !
Monte Carlo : A cavernous brewpub at the rear of the hotel serving a good range of beers (available in columns). Convenient for the Strip.
Ellis Island : An old-style single storey casino set back from the Strip on Koval street. The beers are fairly ordinary but are, remarkably only $1 for a US pint !!! This must be the cheapest beer in Vegas (and possibly the US !).
Gordon Biersch . Typical large Biersch outlet - supposedly their biggest. Off the strip but close to the monorail.
Chicago. Out-of-town brewpub but beers readily available at the Four Queens hotel on Freemont St in downtown. There's a cosy bar with the full range (including a very good IPA) and several beers are available at bars on the gaming floor.
BJs. Summerlin-based brewpub - due west of the strip by the beltway. Part of a chain. Not tried.
Tenaya Creek. A reasonable drive out west in the medical district. Small suburban brewpub in typical US style. Good range of beer.
Big Dog. Widest range of all the brewpubs. The brewery is approx 8 miles NW and has a typical US bar feel. Tourists are rare and cabs thin on the ground. Good quality beer. Also has an outlet about 4 miles out on the west side of the Strip.
Sin City. Another out-of-town brewery, but beers are widely available in central hotels. They have a beer stall in the Aladdin centre.
Barleys. Henderson-based brewpub approx 8 miles from the strip - not tried.
The best beer bar is the Freakin Frog. Choice is mainly in bottle with a cold store holding 100s of varieties, draught selection is somewhat more limited. It's situated in the student area and difficult to get to as cabs need to be guided there. While it looks unpromising from the outside, the place is friendly and beer good. I'll forgive their listing of Melbourne's fruit beers as being from Australia ;-)
Casinos and hotels : surprisingly, micros are everywhere - even in bars on the gaming floors. It's always worth a quick check as you're passing by. Most seem to do a hefeweiss (generally Widmer or Pyramid) but all sorts turn up. Amongst those I came across were …
New Belgium Sunshine Wheat and Fat Tire Amber
Gordon Biersch Marzen
... as well as big names such as Anchor and Siera Nevada