Las Vegas can (at times) appear to be a craft beer wasteland. Having just spent 3 days wandering up and down The Strip, we can certainly vouch for this. Over the course of our mini-vacation, we ran into single handles of non-macro beers at most bars, but it’s pretty obvious that the major casinos and hotels haven’t put much focus on their craft selections. Despite this, we’re TapHunters, and we weren’t about to let the boozy, free drinks that came with our nickel slot games get us down. Here’s where we went to try and quench our thirsts for craft beer in Sin City.
Located in the Flamingo Hotel & Casino this place is, well, trying. They have a 2 for $15 “pitcher” special– plastic pitchers with Miller Light logos on them, that they pour their own beer into. We were hopeful when we ordered the “season special”, but the bartender called it an IPA and the brew had no bitterness or hops. The mystery beer scored an honorable mention on our list, but I still pawned the last half of the pitcher off on Marie:
After a morning roller coaster ride, we visited Pour 24 at the New York New York. Although not all 24 taps were craft, there was a decent selection with New Belgium, Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing Company, Rogue, Abita, and Anchor, too. You aren’t going to find any rare varieties here, but the bar area has a fun atmosphere– hello, it’s VEGAS– and at least there’s some tasty options. Prices were steep, but hey, we were willing to drop all our winnings to avoid drinking another Dos Equis.
In the strip mall connecting Mandalay Bay and Luxor is a great (albeit pricey) place to grab a burger and a craft beer. With around 24 taps and a darn respectable bottle list featuring American and European varieties, we made ourselves right at home here. The build- your-own-burgers were great, and if you’re feeling like a high roller, upgrade to the Kobe beef. (OK, high roller or not, just do it!)
(No photos from here, give us a break, it was 11pm and we were on a mission.)
After the above trials and tribulations of hunting down craft beer in Vegas, we got the crazy idea to venture off the strip to see what we could find. Ah, much better! A $15 cab ride from the lower part of The Strip brought us to the Freakin’ Frog. A respectable 14 taps (with no macro?!), we were stoked to drink the VERY NICE Lagunitas Farmhouse Gueuze. The tap list didn’t thrill as much as the bottle selection… Just take a look at this walk-in cold box and see why.
Guests can go right on in and find the beers of their liking, which shouldn’t be a problem; this is just one of three aisles. Sections are mostly separated by origin, so browsing was simple, and frankly we could have done so all day. We eventually decided on a bottle of the Cantillon Gueze, even though our moods were anything but sour at the Freakin’ Frog.
Freakin’ Frog’s pub fare has a hot and spicy focus. We sampled the house chili and while it was good, our already Vegas ravaged digestive tracts couldn’t take the heat. Next time.
After our trip, we decided that Las Vegas doesn’t deserve its craft beer wasteland status. There’s a noticeable shift going on, and we applaud it. So next time you get out to Vegas, pry yourself away from the tables and sports book, and hunt yourself some craft beer.