We recently spent an extended weekend in Vegas to make sure a certain brother-in-law had good company as he transitioned from his 30’s. The celebration began in the Bellingham airport where every party known to mankind was Vegas-bound and had the team t-shirts to prove it. Before we left we had mapped out any sign of a craft beer bar to ensure we experienced some culture while there. He is what we discovered for any beer loving traveller who finds themselves in Vegas.
Freakin Frog - get off the strip, catch the 201, and get to this little gem of a place located on South Maryland Parkway and very close to UNLV. Thanks to founder Adam Carmer, this bar is considered the one that launched the craft beer scene in Vegas. Adam also has a Whiskey Attic on the second floor where you can sample some of his private collection by appointment. Our amazing host, Josh, gave us a tour of their capacious beer fridge and the Whiskey Attic. They offer over 1,000 beers including 15 rotating taps. Here we sampled Tapit IPA, Sierra Nevada Harvest IPA, Mission Shipwrecked and Deschutes Chainbreaker. We would have made a dent in the beer fridge had it not been so spendy (loads of Mikkeller, Evil Twin, several Belgian varieties and Trappists including a Westie 12 for $150 and several American craft breweries).
The Pub at Monte Carlo - a very impressive beer menu and pub within this casino and hotel. Here we enjoyed Firestone Walker IPA, Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, Uinta Dubhe, St. Feuillien Saison, Sierra Nevada Kellerweis, and Tenaya Creek Hop Ride. What was most enjoyable about The Pub was our server, Ozzie, who when we sat down during happy hour announced that just the crap beer was on special. He continued to use every opportunity to try to convince the punters not to order the crap beer by providing samples of craft beer. There was very little uptake but we were impressed with his commitment. An added bonus is that the pub and restaurant open to the poolside patio where you can enjoy your amazing beer by the pool. This is unique as most pools are restricted to offering a very limited selection of macro beer.
Michael Mina Pub 1842 - our local as it happens, at MGM Grand. Newly opened and named after the year Pilsner was invented, this pub offered an okay selection of beer amidst the regular macro fare. Here we enjoyed Ommegang Abbey Ale, Speakeasy Double Daddy, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Blue Moon Witbier.
Pour 24 - 24 taps open 24 hours. This pub is located in a very high traffic area at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. Here we sampled Great Basin Icky IPA, Sin City Stout, Shock Top Belgium White and Seasonal while watching a sea of people pass by.
It’s hard to drink craft beer while in Vegas as they make it so easy for you to drink things like ‘yards’, or out of footballs, or offer boozy specials that you cannot possibily say no to while you are trying to have breakfast. We indulged in it all but were relieved to enjoy several craft beer in between.
Thanks Mark for providing the excuse to travel to Vegas - it was amazing to spend time with you and Linda.
DoB - C