Inaugural Locals Only Beer Festival a Resounding Good Time

The first ever Locals Only Beer Festival, held on May 23 at Neonopolis on Fremont Street, was a resounding success. Thanks are in order to Banger Brewing, for stepping up to organize the event, which was a showcase of all 14 Las Vegas and Henderson breweries. It proved to be one-stop shopping for fans of local beer, with each of the breweries pouring 3 or more of their creations. Many were unique offerings I hadn’t tried before, and while space doesn’t permit mentioning all, some standouts were Rhubarb Saison from CraftHaus, Rollin’ Smoke Amber Ale from Big Dog’s, Belgian Quadrupel from Gordon Biersch, Angrish Barley Wine from Chicago Brewing, Honey Blonde Strong Ale from Barley’s, Imperial Stout with Coffee Beans from Joseph James and Dark Knight Stout from Banger.

SNAFU, our local homebrew club, brought several beers which competed for best homebrew, with the winner receiving a personalized plaque, and more importantly, the chance to brew their beer at Banger Brewing and have it sold on tap. The winning brew was Allan Harrison’s Milk Dudz, a scrumptious milk chocolate Baltic Porter, which I was not surprised to see win, as I voted for it myself. Adding to the fun was a dunk tank with our local brewers getting doused, but I couldn’t bring myself to partake, as I found it too hard to punish my brewing heroes.

July Beer Events

Big Dog’s Brewing’s next quarterly beerfest will be its Summer Beer Fest, held under the stars on Saturday, July 18 from 5 to 11 p.m. in the outdoor area of the Draft House at Craig Rd. and Rancho Dr. A carefully selected list of more than 40 local, regional and international beers will be poured, including the debut of Big Dog’s Prickly in Pink Prickly Pear Berliner Weisse. There will also be live reggae music throughout the night and grilled chicken & rib platters from Chef Sergio. For the beer line-up visit www.bigdogsummerfest.com.

Aces & Ales will host its 6th anniversary party on July 11 at both the Nellis and Tenaya locations with all draft beers and new anniversary growlers for $5 and all growler fills ½ off. A few days later on July 15 a six-course Firestone Walker beer dinner at the Tenaya location will have none other than “The Lion” himself, Firestone Walker’s Co-Founder David Walker. For more details on both events visit acesandales.com/events.

Bad Beat Brewing will mark its 1 year anniversary with a celebration on July 11 from 3 p.m. to midnight. The bash will feature 4 different cask beers yet to be determined and two barrel aged beers: Morning Payoff, an Imperial Breakfast Stout that was aged in one of only 6 Las Vegas Distillery bourbon barrels; and Strong Belgian Pale Ale aged in Chardonnay barrels coming in at 11% ABV. Bottles of each will only be sold in the taproom and the Next Level Imperial IPA will also be re-released as well. The brewery will be opened up so everyone can see where all of these great beers are made. To keep you nourished the Stripcheeze food truck will be onsite all day.

Local Beer Collaborations

Chef Rick Moonen has collaborated with local CraftHaus Brewery to create a beer to pair with seafood at his RM Seafood and Rx Boiler Room restaurants at Mandalay Place. Cleverly named Gone with the Wit, it made its debut at a beer dinner at Rx Boiler Room in June and is a Belgian-style Wit beer featuring a blend of locally sourced flowers, herbs and botanicals from Desert Bloom Eco Farm. It’s exclusive to Moonen’s restaurants and is also infused into some of the menu items.

Sin City Brewing has teamed up with ARIA to create Sin City Extra Pale Ale, a hoppy 5.5% ABV session beer with slight malt sweetness and a crisp finish. Sin City’s Master Brewer/Owner Rich Johnson said, “With ARIA’s impressive beverage program, we wanted to make a beer that would excite the beverage enthusiasts who frequent the resort. Sin City’s Extra Pale Ale provides craft beginners a hoppy drink that won’t overwhelm them, while at the same time delivers unique depths of flavors to appeal to beer aficionados.” ARIA’s Property Mixologist Craig Schoettler added, “Just like foodies, today’s beer drinkers are savvier than ever and prefer a high-quality, locally sourced brew.” The Extra Pale Ale is the first local addition to ARIA’s beverage program developed by Schoettler and will only be available on tap at a variety of venues within the resort, including Jean Georges Steakhouse, FIVE50 Pizza and Lobby Bar.