If you like something then every week should be "National _____ Week." I typically think these made up holidays are silly, but today is an exception. I was recently reminded that American Craft Beer Week takes place May 15 – 21. This gives me an excuse to talk about beer.
If you drink beer then every week should be Craft Beer Week. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer brewers must have an annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less and not have an ownership stake of more than 25% by alcohol industry member that isn’t a craft brewer. You can read the full definition here.
The term "craft beer" is thrown around loosely in Las Vegas. The majority of "craft beer" is often just a small brand from a large distributor like ABV (Budweiser). Budweiser actually has partnerships with a lot of smaller breweries. You may not realize that the “craft” beer you’re drinking isn’t technically a craft beer.
Sometimes we need a gateway to the promised land. A heavy metal fan might not have found Pantera if it wasn't for Poison. Similarly, a country music fan might not have found Johnny Cash without Billy Ray Cyrus. Sometimes it takes something popular and accessible to show us the way to greatness.
I like craft beer because of the flavors and not entirely because I'm a beer snob. I still enjoy Elysian beers because they’re good regardless of the fact that they were sold to Anheuser-Busch and are no longer a craft beer. Their Spacedust IPA is delicious and has a nice 8.2% ABV (the average ABV of beer is 4.5%). Beer with flavor means more to me than who owns the company. Extra booze is a bonus.
Having mass distribution allowed Elysian to be available in more bars. I love New Belguim, Deschutes, Duvel and I'll like them no matter who owns them - as long as the beer is the same. Keeping this in mind, I’m going to share a list of great places in Las Vegas to drink beer.
When I first moved to Las Vegas it was almost impossible to find a not BudMillerCoors beer. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. The focus here will be on craft beer but not exclusively. There some non-crafty bars and restaurants in Las Vegas that are great despite having beer from large distributors.
My hope is that this list will satisfy an experienced beer drinker looking for a good beer selection while giving less experienced beer drinkers access to a delicious beer they may never have heard of. This isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of everywhere to get beer in Las Vegas. The goal is to share an overview of great places to drink beer.
Casino Bars (where you can gamble and receive complimentary craft beer)
Long Bar (The D)
Pub 365 (Tuscany)
Tag Bar (The Linq)
Casino Breweries (can gamble and receive complimentary beer made on site)
Main Street Station
Bars and Restaurants At Casinos
Beerhaus (The Park/New York-New York)
Beer Park (Paris)
Born at Raised Craft Pub (Bally’s)
Chicago Brewing Company (Four Queens)
Burger Bar (Mandalay Bar)
Michael Mina 1842 (MGM Grand)
Public House (The Venetian)
Tap (MGM Grand)
Umami Burger (SLS)
Local Brewers (just a few)
Crafthaus (the Jean Claude Belgian is one of my favorite local beers)
Sin City Brewing Co.
Tenaya Creek Brewery
Aces and Ales Tenaya