Beerfest Season Is Abloom
Without a doubt beerfest season is in full bloom, with a major beer event taking place every week or two during the month of May.
Lee’s Beer & Tequila Experience has always been held at the location that seems to change its name every year or two including Las Vegas Hilton, LVH and Westgate Las Vegas, but is now moving to a new locale, the Sunset Station Hotel & Casino in Henderson. The 10th annual event will be held May 7 from 4-8 p.m. with more than 300 beers and 70 tequilas. Tickets are available at any of the 17 Lee’s Discount Liquor locations throughout Southern Nevada.
Beginning at 3 p.m. on May 14 Aces and Ales will hold its 7th Annual Stone Domination, during which all 50 taps at the Tenaya location will be devoted to Stone Brewing, with CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch and Stone Lead Brewer Jeremy Moynier popping in to rub elbows with anyone who feels worthy. The night before, on May 13, the Domination will be prefaced by a five-course Beers, Bourbons, & BBQ dinner paired and hosted by Stone Brewing’s Dr. Bill Sysak and Aces & Ales Chef Raul Silva.
Also on May 14, Banger Brewing and the Nevada Craft Brewers Association NCBA will host the 2nd annual Locals Only Beer Festival from 2-6 p.m. in the center court of Neonopolis at the Fremont Street Experience. All of the Southern Nevada breweries will be pouring, along with a handful of Northern Nevada breweries and the SNAFU homebrew club. There will be live music, a DJ, food vendors, a dunk tank with representatives from the local breweries and a best homebrew contest, with the winner receiving a plaque and the opportunity to brew their winning beer at Banger Brewing. Tickets are available at localsonlybeerfest.com and proceeds benefit the NCBA.
The 7th Annual Brews & Blues Festival on May 28 at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve from 4-8 p.m. will have an array of local, regional, national and international beers and The 44’s, Shanda and The Howlers and The Lucky Cheats blues bands performing throughout the festivities. Tickets can be purchased at the Springs Preserve or at vegasbrewsandblues.com.
Beer festivals occur in Southern Nevada more frequently than rainy days do, so it was a testament to the Motley Brews Great Vegas Festival of Beer that they raked in a record breaking sold out capacity crowd of 6,000 on a day with nonstop rain and a day that also set a record for rainfall on April 9. The turnout is evidence of how Las Vegas has turned the corner in embracing craft beer, as local beer fans and also a large amount of tourists were savvy enough to attend the largest beerfest in Nevada in terms of amount of beer selection, which at this fest totaled more than 400 from 110 different breweries.
Lovelady Brewing Company Now Open
Last issue I reported that Lovelady Brewing Company would be open by April 1 and I wasn’t fooling. The built-from-scratch 5,975-square-foot non-gaming/non-smoking tasting room has an old timey vibe, with retro leather chairs, beetle-damaged Ponderosa Pine repurposed for the long bar and tables, an industrial ceiling and wood placards displaying the beers on tap that originally came from the Dunes and later the Debbie Reynolds Casino. For entertainment there is shuffleboard, foosball on an antique table and corn hole on the outdoor patio and although it’s not a sports bar, the room is equipped with two TVs. While the brewery doesn’t serve food, the building is designed with a dedicated food truck slot out back and several nearby restaurants will deliver within 15 minutes of placing your order.
As for the beer, Richard Lovelady, who spent 19 years as the head brewer for Gordon Biersch, is showing his prowess as an award-winning brewer and is making both traditional and experimental beers. I was happy to find two outstanding sour beers: 9th Island, a caramelized pineapple sour; and Sour Puss, a kettle sour ale. Other initial offerings are a Belgian Triple, Double IPA, Hopped Lager, Coffee Porter and a Red Ale. For those wanting to take some beer home, there’s a crowler that will can a 32 oz pour.
The family-owned brewery is the first brewery to open in historic Old/Downtown Henderson, the city in which the Lovelady family has roots dating back to the 1950s. Lovelady Brewing Company is open daily at noon, closing Mon.-Wed. at 10 p.m., Thur.-Sat. at 11 p.m. and Sun. at 8 p.m.
Lovelady Brewing Company
20 S Water St.
Henderson, NV 89015
As always, great beer happens in Vegas!