Las Vegas Brewing News

By Bob Barnes

CraftHaus CHAD

CraftHaus patio

Although I was Uber-ing home, my tank was beginning to run out of gas, but had enough energy for one more stop, so we headed over a few blocks east to Casino Center and on to California to the satellite taproom of CraftHaus Brewery, known as CHAD (CraftHaus Arts District). I was delighted to find one of my favorite beers of 2020 still pouring, the Big Boy Pants Barleywine!

Opened in 2019, some aspects of the brewery location in Henderson are repeated and celebrated, such as the cuckoo clock theme and lime green color scheme, but there are some unique differences. Co-owner Dave Forrest related that being in the Arts District, it was fitting that a local artist was brought in to contribute to the décor, which was Donovan Fitzgerald, who painted a beautiful mural of a Vegas showgirl. There’s also an increased number of taps (24), an outdoor beer garden patio and limited food offerings of several types of brats and charcuterie and cheese plates.

This walking tour scratches the surface of the sudsy options in the area and very worthy options we didn’t make it to include Hop Nuts, Mad Fermentist, Three Sheets and Beer District; and a short drive away Banger Brewing and Tenaya Creek — but we’ll have to save those visits for another time and another article.

April 2021

Spring has sprung and with the temps in Las Vegas getting better and warmer with each passing day, our local breweries have been hard at work to keep us well hydrated with our favorite beverage: beer!

Also, Bob Barnes appeared on the 4/9/21 episode of the Beer Freaks podcast to discuss the history of the Las Vegas beer scene. Listen to the episode on the Beer Freaks website.

Blueberry Vanilla BLAM! BLAM!

Able Baker co-founder James Manos tells me they have Blueberry Vanilla BLAM! BLAM!, a fruited sour beer that uses a magical yeast strain called Sourvisiae that produces a clean, bright, lactic acid character. This is balanced by blueberries to leave a “BLAM!” of residual sweetness followed by warming vanilla flavor.

> For more information, visit the Able Baker website.

Brewmaster Joe Cuozzo at HUDL in the Arts District has a South German Hefeweizen made with 50% German Heidelberg and 50% Best Malz Pale wheat, which should be quite a refreshing brew to enjoy as the desert temperatures rise.

> For more information, visit the HUDL website.

Richard Lovelady at Lovelady Brewing has Hatch Nites, a 5% golden lager with Hatch chile peppers. He also has Pinewood IPA, in celebration of the brewery’s 5th anniversary, made with Cascade, Centennial and Idaho7 hops and pinon pine branches; and Love Island, a collaboration with Ellis Island Brewing, which is a tart, hazy 7.5% IPA with pink guava.

> For more information, visit the Lovelady Brewing website.

Cameron Fisher at CraftHaus Brewery reports he has StationHaus Red Lager, which is brewed annually as a partnership with the Henderson Firefighters Benevolent Association, as members of the Association come to help brew the beer, and a portion of its sales are donated to charity. Befittingly, it’s a Franconian-style Rotbier—a red lager with a mild smoke character in the background.

> For more information, visit CraftHaus Brewery official website.

A way to check out the breweries, winery and distillery at the Henderson Artisan Booze District at a really good value is by purchasing its Passport. Priced at $20, the Passport includes flights of beer, wine, spirits and other offers and incentives to explore the Booze District businesses including Las Vegas Distillery, Bad Beat Brewing, CraftHaus Brewery, Grape Expectations, Astronomy Aleworks, Vegas Valley Winery and Ambros Whiskey. The offers in the Passport are good through June 15, 2021, and available for purchase at any of the Booze District businesses.

Anthony Gibson at Tenaya Creek has brewed KVEIKing IPA using a unique yeast strain called Norwegian Hornindal Kevik and high fermentation temperature (85+F) that produces nice, fruity esters. He also dry hopped it with Citiva and Rakau to add flavors and aromas of stone fruit, mango and a touch of pine spice. It’s available on draft only, so head over to the brewery taproom on Bonanza to experience it.

> For more information, visit Tenaya Creek official website.

Kyle Weniger, a.k.a. Juxta Nomad, continues to roam the Valley’s breweries as a gypsy brewer, but now has a bit of permanency. He’s purchased a 20 bbl fermenter and 20 bbl bright tank from Joseph James (the recently closed brewery at which he was director of brewing operations) and moved them into Astronomy Aleworks as part of an expansion partnership to help with capacity issues, so we can expect a lot more beers coming out of that facility in the near future. Craft beer pubs around town are taking note of Kyle’s outstanding brewing skills, as no less than four have contracted him to make house beers for them: the Nueva Esperanza Mexican lager made with Vienna malt and maize for Servehzah; the 365 Days of Beer, a light, easy-drinking brew to accompany Tuscany Casino’s Pub 365’s pub cuisine; for 595 Craft & Kitchen the Pilau Talk—a Southeast Asian-inspired rice ale made with three types of rice for subtle flavor contributions and an ultra-light body and color; and for Rollin’ Smoke, a lightly smoked amber ale with layers of rich malt and caramel made to pair with their killer BBQ.

> For more information, visit the Juxta Nomad website.

March 2021

The artistry of craft beer has been growing in leaps and bounds in the past few years in the Arts District and Downtown Las Vegas, with an abundance of new breweries and craft beer bars bursting upon the scene, to the point where there may now be more venues celebrating the art of barley and hops than visual artistic endeavors. Now we have two new craft beer establishments offering one-stop shopping for those wanting to enjoy the fruits (or hop cones) of our local breweries.

The Silver Stamp

The Silver Stamp photo by Dave Canela

The latest new arrival is The Silver Stamp, which opened in late February, and at 222 E. Imperial technically is not in the Arts District, but is only half a block outside the boundary of the 18-block area and two blocks east of Main. Therefore, while it is designated in the Gateway District, it’s only a short stroll from Able Baker, CraftHaus “CHAD,” Hop Nuts, HUDL, The Mad Fermentist and Nevada Brew Works.

The new craft beer bar is the brainchild of two much loved and respected members of the brewing community: Rose Signor and Andrew Smith. Rose managed Atomic Liquors when it first reopened nearly a decade ago and transformed the historic institution into a craft beer bar with one of the best selections in town. She also introduced many beer lovers to sour beer and instituted an annual sour beer festival that grew to be one of the largest of its kind in the US.

After deciding to open her own place with her boyfriend Andrew, Rose took a sabbatical from Atomic and spent nine months traveling with Andrew throughout the U.S. and Eastern Europe, visiting Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Morocco. During this global adventure the couple learned and appreciated what other beer traditions around the world have to offer and their revelations from that experience influenced the designing of the beer list at The Silver Stamp.

The interior of the building was gutted and recreated to bring forth an old school vibe. Upon entering you can’t miss the wall of old beer cans (Rose’s personal collection), along with vintage beer memorabilia, with various beer signs and logoed neon lights, as well as Christmas lights, a 1960s era TV, wood paneling, brick walls and a stuffed javelina adding to the kitschy (in a good way!) atmosphere.

As for the beer, it should come as no surprise that about ¼ of those pouring from the 20 taps are sours, for as Rose said, “I like sours so want to sell what I love.” In fact, on opening day there was Andrew’s Hips Don’t Lie, a sour golden ale with ‘rose’ hips made exclusively for The Silver Stamp by Juxta Nomad and Astronomy Aleworks. Rounding out the list are mainly beers you won’t find anywhere else in town such as Aecht Schlenkerla Fastenbier Rauchbier and Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux Saison. There are also about 50 in cans and bottles of equally stellar brews.

A limited food menu of Rose’s house-made pickled eggs, hot dogs and snacks is served and guests are welcome to bring in their own food. Currently hours are Wed.-Sun. from 5 p.m.-midnight.

> For more information, visit The Silver Stamp official Facebook page or website.

Servehzah Bottle Shop & Taproom

Servehzah photo by Dave Canela

Servehzah Bottle Shop & Taproom opened in October 2020 and is located at 1301 S. Commerce near Colorado (the entrance is actually on Colorado) in the heart of the Arts District. No, the word cerveza is not misspelled, but rather is the owners’—Tony Herrera, Johnny Barbosa and Tony Martinez—play on the word. All three were raised in Las Vegas, met in high school or college and as Tony Herrera says, “wanted to create a place to incorporate our (Latin) culture.” Such is evident with Latin music playing; pics on the wall of iconic figures including Carlos Santana, Aniceto Molina and Vicente Fernandez; and Servehzah Nueva Esperanza, a Mexican-style lager made exclusively for the taproom by local Juxta Nomad and Astronomy Aleworks.

Inside is a comfortable atmosphere with an epoxy floor; wood bar, tables and ceiling; and an outdoor patio with additional seating. Pouring from the 24 taps are several local brews, which during my recent visit included Able Baker Liquid Quicksand New England IPA, Bad Beat Ringer Pilsner and Big Dog’s Man’s Best Friend 004 Doppelbock; Reno-based Imbibe Custom Brews Wild Dark Grisette Farmhouse Ale and Lead Dog Snow Paws Vanilla Milkshake IPA; and noteworthy brews such as Boneyard Notorious Triple IPA, Evil Twin Biscotti Break Stout and Stillwater Artisanal Gose Gone Wild. Herrara says they always try to have a lager, amber, sour, porter, stout, Belgian and some IPAs, and as soon as one keg empties a different one is brought on, meaning you will likely find new beers to try each time you visit. He added that they always support local and carry beers from every local brewery that produces beer for distribution.

In addition to the taps is the “beer cave,” a refrigerated room where you can personally select from 140 rotating cans and bottles to take home or drink in the taproom (with a $1 pour fee) and several more Nevada-brewed brews like CraftHaus Avo Toast Red Ale and Great Basin Outlaw Milk Stout. Another quite popular offering, which has sales equal to the beer, are the micheladas made from a proprietary mix created by owner Tony Martinez, with the most popular options to add to the michelada mix being the aforementioned Nueva Esperanza, and Ace Mango, Guava and Pineapple ciders. The best way to experience them is in a four-glass taster.

Although no food is served, there are food trucks scheduled daily: on weekday nights and all day and night on weekends. Hours are Sun.-Thurs. noon-10 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. noon-midnight.

> For more information, visit Servehzah official website.

February 2021

As we round the corner from winter to spring, local Las Vegas brewers have a nice mix of very interesting and delicious new beers to sustain us, in the styles of Imperial Coffee Porter; Double Red, Tropical and Hazy IPAs; Cherry Sour; and even a Gruit! Don’t know what a gruit is? Read on to find out and where you can experience one.

> On February 23, 2021, Bob Barnes appeared on KNPR’s State of Nevada to discuss how the Las Vegas craft beer industry has changed and adapted during the pandemic. Listen to the full interview on KNPR.org.

The Mad Fermentist

The Mad Fermentist will celebrate its 1st anniversary on March 6, 2021, from 2 p.m.-midnight. The celebration will include a food truck, DJ and the tapping of Brewer Allan Harrison’s Tarragon Shandy and a gruit bittered with coriander and lemongrass. To save you time looking up the word, a gruit refers to beer made centuries ago before the availability of hops using a blend of herbs that brewers added to their ales for bitterness and complexity. 1115 S Casino Center Blvd.

> For more information, visit The Mad Fermentist official Facebook page.

Big Dog’s Brewing

Big Dog’s Brewing Director of Brewing Operations Dave Pascual has released Ruff Morning, an 8% ABV Imperial Coffee Porter. Dave shared that they used a mix of Ecuadorean and Brazilian beans roasted especially for the brew by Cedric Parlade, Master Roaster of the local Sambalatte coffee roasters. The addition of the beans adds a coffee aroma and natural chocolate and fruit flavors of the roast, to pair nicely with traditional English malts and hops in this brew which has enough sweetness to balance the bitterness and light touch of acidity. It’s available on tap at the brewery and in 16-oz 4-pack cans, which are adorned with colorful, highly entertaining, clever artwork, which is so good they should qualify as collectors’ items. 4543 N Rancho Dr.

> For more information, visit Big Dog’s Brewing official website.

Ellis Island Brewing

Head Brewer Eddie Leal at Ellis Island Brewing has a new beer, an 8.1% ABV, 80 IBU Double Red IPA which he assures us is well balanced with deep malt and elevated hop character from additions of Pale, Munich and Crystal malts and Warrior, Cashmere, Sabro and Idaho 7 hops. It’s set to begin pouring at the Front Yard on February 22, 2021. 4250 Koval Ln.

> For more information, visit the Ellis Island Brewing official website.

Nevada Brew Works

Nevada Brew Works President Jason Taylor reports they just brewed their Kickstarter donor beer, honoring one individual who donated at a high enough level to get to create and brew their own beer with the brewmaster. The chosen brew is a Tropical IPA brewed with a healthy dose of Eukanot, Sabro, Cascade and Azacca hops in the whirlpool and Mango and Passionfruit added in the secondary followed with another healthy dosing of dry hops. The result is expected to be a crystal-clear straw-colored beer, low in bitterness but high in hoppy aromas with strong notes of mango, pineapple and passionfruit clocking in around 7% ABV. We’ll look for this beauty to hit the taproom around February 26, 2021, in time for March Madness. Also in the works is a red lager, a golden ale and a not-so-secret collaboration beer with their friends next door at HUDL. 1327 S Main St. Ste. 160.

> For more information, visit the Nevada Brew Works official website.

Astronomy Aleworks

Brewer/Founder Matt Brady at Astronomy Aleworks is always ready to entertain us with fun Star Trek, Star Wars and other space-themed names. His Hazers on Stun Hazy IPA fits the bill and has a robust hop bill, as it’s double dry hopped with Mosaic and Mandarina Bavaria. It’s available on tap at the brewpub and in 4-packs to take home. Up next will be his Attack Ships on Fire Lime Cherry Sour, a wheat-based Kettle Sour with Oregon fruit purée, which will also be in cans and on tap. 7350 Eastgate Rd #170, Henderson.

> For more information, visit the Astronomy Aleworks official website.