Las Vegas Brewing News
Beerfests Return to Southern Nevada
At long last, beer festivals are returning to Southern Nevada with several on tap for the coming months. Following is a brief rundown on each and while complete details of some of the ones farther off in the fall are not available yet, I promise to provide updates as the dates draw nearer.
First up, on Saturday, July 24, the Tuscany Suites & Casino will celebrate the 5th year anniversary of its Pub 365 with the Silver State Brewfest from 5-9 p.m. Held in the Tuscany’s Florentine Ballroom, the event will feature more than 16 Nevada craft beer breweries, live music and food for purchase. Tickets are $40 for unlimited beer sampling and 10% of ticket sales will go to the Pink Boots Society to support their mission of assisting, inspiring and encouraging women in the beer industry to advance their careers through education. To purchase tickets and to view the list of breweries pouring, visit here.
On Saturday, August 21, the Nevada Craft Brewers Association will host the Nevada Beer Bash. Held at The Front Yard at Ellis Island from 6-10 p.m., it will be an opportunity to taste several Nevada-brewed beers in one night featuring special collaborations, rare beers, live music and food pairings. VIP and general admission tickets will be available at eventbrite. Proceeds will benefit the Nevada Craft Brewers Association to promote and protect Nevada Beer.
Save the date for Saturday, August 28, as Big Dog’s will resume its quarterly beerfests, with this one dubbed Summerfest and held under the stars in the outdoor area of the Draft House. No details at this time, but I should have more next month.
Due to the pandemic last year, CraftHaus had to put their annual anniversary beerfest celebration on hold, but not so this year. Its HausFest commemorating CraftHaus Brewery’s 7th Anniversary will convene at the brewery’s parking lot on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 6-11 p.m. with pours of more than 28 beers including new releases, guest taps and barrel aged beauties. Tickets get you unlimited sampling and a logo glass and there will also be a VIP option. For more info and to purchase tickets visit www.crafthausbrewery.com.
Due to venue scheduling difficulties, we will have two beerfests occurring on October 16: one in Downtown Henderson and one in Downtown Las Vegas. Out at 230 S. Water St. at the Henderson City Hall, the Southern Nevada Brewers Guild will present the 1st Annual Water Street Oktoberfest Beer Festival with 60+ Nevada-based beers, food from food trucks available for purchase, live music and giveaways. It will run from 6-9 p.m. for general admission, early admission at 5 for VIP and the Golden Scroll ticket gets you early entry and an afterparty hosted by Hardway 8 located walking distance from the festival where ticket holders can mingle with all the brewers in a more intimate setting. Early bird specials are being offered through Aug. 16. For more info, prices and tickets, visit here.
Also on Oct. 16, the Motley Brews Downtown Brew Festival will return to the Clark County Amphitheater for its 9th year after having to take a brief intermission last year. One of the larger fests in the state drawing thousands of craft beer fans, more than 60 attending breweries, 200+ craft beers, culinary artists and live music acts, the amphitheater venue is centrally located and is a nice environment set in a grassy area in a circular configuration so everything is within steps. Visit downtownbrewfestival.com for more info, prices and tickets.
Last Chance to Get Mad Fermentist Beer
Sad to say the Mad Fermentist will be closing its location on the 2nd level of Three Sheets in the Arts District. To help them (and yourself) out, show up to enjoy $5 pours until the beer is gone. The most recent offerings are the fan favorite Liquidious Meniscus, a sugar plum sour; and a new twist on Cadence, a Grilled Pineapple Cherry Upside Down Cake sour. Owner/Brewer Allan Harrison says the last weekend in August will be the closing date and he hopes to return later at a new location. I sure hope he does, as I’ve always found his brews to be top notch and some of the best in town.
Updates on Two New Breweries
North 5th Brewing Co, named for its location just west of N. 5th at 60 W. Mayflower a bit south of Cheyenne, will be the first brewery ever to open in North Las Vegas. It now has its 10-barrel brewing equipment in place and has announced its head brewer, Patrick Tofte. Many in the brewing community should recognize that name, as Patrick’s a longtime homebrewer who turned his passion into a career and worked his way up at Banger Brewing from assistant brewer to the head brewer position he was promoted to in 2018. An opening date of late September is expected.
Also making progress is Nevadan Brewing Company. Owner/Head Brewer Adam Cegavske tells me they’ve submitted final plans to the City of Las Vegas, hope to break ground by early August and to be serving beer by the end of 2021. Nevadan will be a state-of-the-art two-story brewery and restaurant located in the northwest, at Oso Blanco and Farm (between Durango and Sky Canyon near the 95 Freeway). Stay tuned for more updates on both new breweries next month.
What’s Pouring in July
Joe Cuozzo at HUDL in the Arts District has brewed Patio, a tangerine shandy; Basement, a barrel aged golden ale; and Mosquito, a Mexican lager. Stop in to SoulBelly BBQ next door and you can enjoy some of the best BBQ in town courtesy of “Top Chef” alumnus Bruce Kalman, and the Charred & Shifty. Made exclusively for SoulBelly by HUDL, it’s a 6% American amber ale aged with ash—slivers of oak chips supplied by Kalman from a Garrison Brothers bourbon barrel soaked in bourbon—which I found to be an excellent companion to chef’s phenomenal BBQ offerings.
Richard Lovelady at Lovelady Brewing can always be counted on to bring a bevy of unique beers to his brewery on Water St. in Downtown Henderson and local beer retail outlets. This month he has Ratings Boost, a 10% triple IPA with pineapple, a collaboration with Lovelady, Speedee Mart and the Dave and Mahoney Radio show; 9th Island Paloma Sour, a 5% kettle sour with grapefruit and lemon; Speedee Mart Arnold Punker, a 6% kettle sour with tea and lemon; and Stardust, a 7.5% double hazy IPA with blackberry.
Pedals & Pints
For just more than a year Aces & Ales has been sponsoring Pedals & Pints, which as the name implies is a combination of cycling and beer drinking. Obviously, both are not done at the same time, but rather after a group bike ride, participants in the free events are invited to gather at the Aces & Ales Tenaya location to enjoy a free pint, 20% off their tab and brewery swag from sponsoring breweries.
GM Adam Metcalf describes the outings as “a way to earn your calories and to mix a healthy lifestyle with craft beer.” He also adds that in addition to the rides, more healthful items have been added to the craft beer bar’s restaurant food menu.
The program came about through Adam’s friendship with Cliff Usher, a fireman very active in the local cycling community whom Metcalf credits with getting him into bike riding. After Metcalf became quite a cycling enthusiast himself, the two initiated the program in the hopes of providing more opportunities for cyclists to get together for rides.
A different sponsoring brewery is selected for each ride, with breweries donating a keg for the outing and swag for giveaways. In the coming months, the local brewery Hop Nuts will be sponsoring the first road bike ride (so far, all have been on mountain bike trails).
Cliff says the rides have grown from 15 participants to as many as 30. Before the ride, cyclists are split up into groups based on stamina with the beginners doing about 8, intermediate 12 and advanced around 16-mile routes.
Rides are held about once a month or so and with hotter temps now having arrived, rides may be scheduled for earlier starts or possibly in higher elevation areas. As the rides are not on a fixed schedule, your best bet is to follow the Aces & Ales Instagram page or join the Aces & Ales club page on the Strava fitness app (www.strava.com/mobile) for info on the next ride.
Rebellion Pizza Supporting Local Beer
Rebellion Pizza is now open in the Anthem Village center at 2540 Anthem Village Dr. The name represents pizza business veterans Ricky Lewis and Ryan Perras, who after spending several years working for others, have launched their own venture. Most in the beer community know Ricky, who was born and raised in Henderson and curated the beer list at Pizza Rock and has managed the CraftHaus taproom in the Arts District since its opening. A commendable decision was to make the beer selection at Rebellion 100% Southern Nevada local, serving brews from every brewery that distributes its beer.
As for the restaurant, the focal point of the 1,650-square-foot space is a large pizza oven firing up to 800°, churning out styles of American hand-tossed (similar to NY style), Midwest tavern (cracker thin crust), Sicilian (focaccia thick crust) and Detroit (cooked in a pan packed with white cheddar topped with marinara sauce). Also on the menu are wings, tenders, pasta, sandwiches and plant-based items. The décor features white and brown brick walls, large windows and a mural by local artist Delano Yepes depicting a space theme with an astronaut in a yoga pose, a flying saucer and floating pizza slices. We wish Ricky and Ryan much success and I personally am looking forward to enjoying a high-quality craft beer spot located only two miles from my house! Hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily with plans to extend the hours in the future. Rebellion Pizza, 2540 Anthem Village Dr., Henderson, 702-268-8268, www.facebook.com/RebellionPizzaLV
June Beer Events
595 Craft & Kitchen is celebrating its 4th anniversary with a weeklong party kicking off on Monday, June 14, featuring new and rare local craft brews every day until Saturday, June 26, when all 24 taps will feature a local brew. For more details follow on Instagram @595craftandkitchen.
CraftHaus Brewery will host a Father’s Day brewery tour Saturday, June 19 at noon. Dads can get a 30-min tour of the Henderson brewery and a flight of four CraftHaus core beers for $15. To reserve, visit crafthausbrewery.com.
Big Dog’s Brewing Company will partner with the Nevada Craft Brewers Association to present a Nevada Tap Takeover on Saturday, June 26 from 5-10 p.m. The takeover will feature 35 taps of beer made exclusively in Nevada from breweries from both Southern and Northern Nevada and there will be live music. Each pour will be priced at $5 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the NCBA. For more info, follow on Instagram @nvcraftbrewers.
What’s Pouring This Month
Richard Lovelady tells me during June his Lovelady Brewing is releasing Brillifent, a 10% triple IPA hopped with El Dorado and Citra and Speedee Mart Gas Station Squeeze, a 6.9% West Coast IPA with tangerine, both available in 16 oz cans; and a 6.5% golden lager with chipotle peppers, pouring exclusively in the taproom.
On June 1, in celebration of Las Vegas businesses returning to 100% capacity, Erik Nielsen at Chicago Brewing released Capacity 100, a 4.8% Blueberry Mango Sour made with more than 200 pounds of blueberry and mango that should be perfect for the sourheads out there. He also has his 2019 GABF Gold Medal Winner Quad Damn It!, an 11.7% Belgian Quadruple; and Kellen’s Red, an 8.5% lightly hopped and very malty Imperial Irish Red.
Kyle Weniger, aka Juxta Nomad, expects his Smoke Wheat Every Day to be pouring by early June. This 8.2% smoked weizenbock is a collaboration with Bad Beat’s brewer Weston Barkley, and Kyle says they have been talking about brewing it since way back in the day when they worked together at Joseph James. The base beer is a very rich and bready German Style Wheat beer and the smoke character comes from Applewood and Beechwood malt that doesn’t overpower the beer but rather adds a delicious smokiness. It’s also Juxta Nomad’s first beer in cans and you can find it on draft and in cans at Bad Beat and a handful of bars and retailers around town. Kyle’s also got yet another house beer, this one made with Astronomy Aleworks exclusively for Berlin Bar in the Arts District. Called Buxta Move Berliner, it’s a 4% lightly tart, no-frills classic Berliner Weisse that will be paired with a rotating flight of traditional fruit and herb syrups including woodruff, raspberry and peach (just like they do in Germany) so you can choose your own adventure and customize to your ideal sweet and sour balance and depth of flavor.
May 2021 – A Walking Tour of Craft Beer Destinations in the Las Vegas Arts District and Gateway District
In the past five years or so the Downtown Las Vegas Arts District and Gateway District have burgeoned into a beer lover’s paradise, with craft beer options in the area so plentiful that if you chose to visit one venue a night it would take more than a week to do so without repeating. Rather than devote several days, on a recent afternoon that turned into evening I ventured on a walking tour to see how many craft beer establishments could be visited during one session.
My guide for this beery adventure was Able Baker Brewing co-founder James Manos, whom I have come to enjoy spending time with ever since meeting him and his co-founder Randy Rohde in 2014 back when they were developing plans for their brewery via homebrew batches brewed in James’ garage. Naturally, Able Baker was our starting point, partly because at Wyoming and Main it is on the southern end of this craft brewing wonderland. After contract brewing at the (now closed) Joseph James Brewing for three years, Able Baker opened its own brewing facility in 2019, which in addition to brewing the brews one can find on tap and in cans throughout most retail locations around town, also sports several taps topped with the iconic yellow ducks pouring several brews you won’t find anywhere else. On this outing I was pleased to enjoy their barrel aged Honey Dip Imperial Stout. Other beers Able Baker has become known for are its Atomic Duck IPA and Chris Kael Impale’d Ale, a high ABV Imperial Brown Ale named for the Five Finger Death Punch bass player that James Manos once worked alongside.
The pub presents a cheerful environment, with a bright and open feel thanks to a high ceiling and ample natural light from garage doors that open up to the outdoor patio when weather permits. The name refers to Nevada’s atomic history, as the first two atomic bombs detonated at the Nevada Test Site were named “Able” and “Baker.”
Nevada Brew Works
After being fortified with a satisfying chicken sandwich at Able Baker’s Arts District Kitchen (serving a menu created by Van-Alan Nguyen, who for the past three years has been wowing us with his terrific offerings at his 595 Craft & Kitchen), we hoofed our way north a few blocks to the corner of Imperial and Main. There sits Nevada Brew Works and HUDL, two side-by-side breweries that both opened in the fall of 2020 during a trying time during the COVID pandemic. Both share a sizeable patio, but otherwise are separate operations.
Nevada Brew Works has a rustic feel with wood paneling and hanging Edison lights and is completely a family operation, with husband-and-wife Jason and Lauren Taylor running the operations and Lauren’s father, Ken Hallyburton, and Jason handling the brewing duties. Jason says they are “sticking to approachable, true to style beers, to capture people who have never tried craft beers and to offer lower ABV, introductory beers that won’t scare them off,” like the easy-drinking Kolsch we enjoyed. To accompany the brews, a small brick pizza oven churns out freshly baked pizzas and on the menu there are also burgers, wings, tenders, cheese curds and large pretzels.