Las Vegas Brewing News

By Bob Barnes

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.

January 2021

HUDL Brewing and Nevada Brew Works Open in Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

HUDL Taproom in Downtown Las Vegas Arts District

As the burgeoning 18b Arts District cultural hub in Downtown Las Vegas continues to blossom with new eateries and craft beer establishments, the recent openings of HUDL Brewing and Nevada Brew Works brings the 18-block area’s total of breweries and taprooms to seven, along with a handful of craft beer bars now pouring or opening soon.

Both of the new breweries are situated at 1327 S. Main in the same building and share a sizeable dog- and kid-friendly outdoor patio. Inside HUDL you’ll find a coated concrete floor, repurposed wood wall and a black and gray color scheme with black tables and black/gray chairs. There’s also an attractive high-def screen above the bar listing the beers with descriptions. As for the name, HUDL is a shortening of huddle, but is not a football reference, but rather denotes a community getting together to have a good time.

Head Brewer Joe Cuozzo is a multi-award-winning brewer with two decades of professional brewing in San Diego and Chicago under his belt. On opening day he had a full roster of eight beers ready to pour, including Wrathful Rose, made with raspberries and hibiscus tea; Shaggy Assassin, a hazy IPA; Vanilla Oak Cream Ale with a slight oak character; Salty Swabber, a 9.4% American Double IPA made with all U.S. hops; and the 8.2% 115° Imperial Stout on nitro aged on dark chocolate in a bourbon barrel. Weeks later he followed with Super Mini, a 4.2% crisp, clean single hop (Mosaic) American Pale Lager with German Heidelberg malt; and a 9.9% American-style Barleywine.

Nevada Brew Works

Nevada Brew Works - Photo by Dave Canela

Nevada Brew Works is truly a family operation, as it’s owned and run by Brewmaster Ken Hallyburton and his daughter Lauren and son-in-law Jason Taylor. The family-friendly space has large windows, graphics on one wall detailing the brewing process, TVs, an expansive whiskey and spirits list, a small brick pizza oven and the aforementioned large patio shared with HUDL. The pizzas coming fresh out of the oven are quite good, and at only $12-$14 are large enough to feed two. Also on the menu are burgers, wings, tenders, cheese curds and large pretzel.

Brewmaster Ken Hallyburton had been homebrewing for 20 years and to get ready to turn pro took the Siebel Institute 2-week Concise Course in Chicago. Among Ken’s first beers were a Bavarian Hefe, Ariana Rye Pale Ale (named for Jason and Lauren’s daughter, with a portion of every purchase going to the Ariana RyePA Foundation to help purchase medical supplies for children that have Cerebral Palsy and Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder), an Irish Red, an Oatmeal Stout and a Hazy IPA.

With the addition of these two new breweries, the Arts District is hopping (pun intended), and it now appears that the District has morphed into a beer district, and with these recent openings and more coming soon, it certainly qualifies as one.

>For more info visit the HUDL official website and Nevada Brew Works official website.

December 2020

With this being the time of year to consider gift giving, I decided to check in with several of our local breweries in Las Vegas to see what they are gifting us with during this holiday season.

HUDL

This is Las Vegas’ newest brewery. Head Brewer Joe Cuozzo has been busy cranking out new beers. Shortly after their opening in October he brought out Super Mini, a 4.2% crisp, clean single hop (Mosaic) American Pale Lager with German Heidelberg malt. He’ll have a 9.9% American-style Barleywine ready in early December brewed with Special B, Maris Otter and Biscuit malts, bittered with Columbus and dry dropped with Cashmere and Chinook. Thankfully he decided to repeat his 115° Imperial Stout aged on chocolate, which was my favorite of his opening beers. Due out the second week of December, this new version will have more brown sugar and a higher ABV (bumped up from 8.2% to 12.2%). Joe says it’s the best stout he’s ever made, and after tasting it from the fermenter last month, I can confirm it is quite splendid.

> For more information, visit the HUDL official website.

The Mad Fermentist

Allan Harrison has crafted a West Coast DIPA. Called CITRAIC, at 7.8% it’s malty and hopped with Mosaic and Citra hops, which explains the unique name. Also on the way, is MANTRA, an American-style Barleywine in honor of cancer survivors and victims, and Allan’s sister, who sadly just passed from cancer. One dollar from every beer is being donated to a cancer charity. It’ll be close to 12% and hopped with Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Chinook and should land close to 100 IBUs; and, it’s part of the Steal the Glass deal: for $15 you get your first pour and keep the glass, which has a unique logo.

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

CraftHaus

Head Brewer Cameron Fisher brings us Big Boy Pants, a 13% English Barleywine stoked with Maris Otter and select malts. As it’s an English style opposed to American, it’s more on the sweet, malty side with a rich, boozy complexity with alfalfa honey added for a unique twist. A limited run of 70 gift tubes of three 12 oz bottles are for sale, and the fun imaging on the label make it a good candidate for a Christmas gift. Also available is Hop Vegas, a 78 IBU 7% West Coast IPA with complex layers of hops from Cascade, Centennial, Columbus and Mosaic bringing ripe citrus up front followed by pine and then a slight tropical finish.

> For more information, visit the CraftHaus official website.