Photos courtesy CraftHaus, Motley Brews and by Sharon Mendez.

BJ’s Rogue Ales Beer Dinner

The Henderson BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse location had its usual packed house for its latest beer dinner I attended last month featuring the beers of Rogue Ales: the American craft brewing pioneer founded in 1988 in Ashland, Oregon. We were welcomed by BJ’s GM Jamie Uphoff, who provided tidbits about the featured brewery and the beers and dishes we were treated to, and also entertained us with trivia questions in between courses. A nice touch was having our servers—Ashley, Erin, Holly and Ian—take turns helping her out to introduce the beers.

We began with Hot Tub Scholarship Lager, named as a nod to Rogue’s late founder Jack Joyce’s memorial scholarship and his fondness for hot tubs. Jamie pointed out that the bready malts and spicy hop nuances of this Helles Lager match up nicely with the blistered shishitos & crispy pepperoni it was served with. 

Following courses were honey Sriracha Brussels sprouts with Rogue 7 Hop IPA, a complementary pairing matching bitterness with bitterness; BBQ chicken chopped salad with Rogue Honey Kolsch with notes of citrus, orange and lemon; Peruvian quinoa bowl with chicken matched with the classic Rogue Dead Guy Ale, a robust malty Maibock; double bone-in pork chop with bacon jam (which Jamie proclaimed the best pork chop in Las Vegas, a claim I find hard to dispute, and it may also be the largest!) with another Rogue classic, Hazelnut Brown Nectar, a brown ale with a rich, nutty flavor and smooth malty finish; and chocolate chunk pizookie with Rogue Chocolate Stout with dark-roasted maltiness matching up well to the chocolate in the BJ’s trademark cookie.

As if that weren’t plenty bang for your buck, we were also treated to three bonus beers: Scarecrow Gone Rogue Saison—collaboration with Rogue and BJ’s stoked with coriander, elderflower, Angelica root and Sorachi Ace hops; Rogue Combat Wombat—newly released New England sour hazy IPA loaded with grapefruit, blood orange and Australian hops; and Rogue Marionberry Sour that highlighted the tart side of the berry while allowing a balance of the fruit’s natural sweetness.  

The fare for this feast was a quite reasonable $40, a bargain considering the superb beers and bounty of excellent fare we enjoyed. Go to www.bjsrestaurants.com/beer/beer-dinners  to find out the date your favorite BJ’s location will be hosting the next beer dinner, which will feature the beers of Germany on October 8-9. 

Mark Your Calendars for These Beer-worthy Events

Now that summer is winding down beer fest season is about to get underway.

Although the name suggests an October date, traditional Oktoberfest celebrations begin in September, and Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas’ festivities will run from Sept. 14 through
Oct. 31. Celebrating their 15th year of Oktoberfest, the Vegas Hofbräuhaus is the only authentic replica of the brewhaus in Munich, Germany. A highlight is the unveiling of the Oktoberfestbier, the very same beer brewed by the Hofbräu brewery for the Munich Oktoberfest. Celebrity guest keg tappings take place every Friday and Saturday night and bands from Germany and Austria are imported, providing nightly entertainment.

CraftHaus Brewery will celebrate its 4th anniversary with its Fourth Splosion Fest, held in front of the brewery in the Booze District in Henderson on Sept. 15 from 5-10 p.m. The block party-style event will include the unveiling of CraftHaus’ Dry Heat-NE IPA anniversary beer, rare out of market and local guest beers, live music from local bands and food trucks. Ticket includes keeper glass and unlimited pours and VIP also includes early entry, admittance to the brewery lounge and small bites. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit 4thsplosion.bpt.me. 

Big Dog’s Brewing is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its Draft House location Sept. 27-30 with beer and food specials, live music, beer releases and an anniversary party with an authentic Wisconsin perch fish fry, entertainment and games for the whole family on Sept. 29 from noon-6 p.m. For more info visit www.bigdogsbrews.com/festivals/drafthouse30. A month later, on Oct. 27, the brewery will host its annual DOG-tober Beer Fest & Brat Party combining traditions of Oktoberfest celebrations with the charm of an old Wisconsin brat cookout along with live bands and more than 40 local, regional and international beers, including several Big Dog’s brews. As usual, it will be held in the outdoor area of the Draft House at Craig Rd. and Rancho Dr. in northwest Las Vegas. For more info and the line-up of beers visit www.dogtoberbeerfest.com.

Time to mark your calendar for the Motley Brews 7th Annual Downtown Brew Festival, set for Oct. 20 from 5-9 p.m. (early entry at 4). The fest will again be held at the Clark County Amphitheater in Downtown Las Vegas, and you can expect a wide range of beer styles with more than 200 beer choices from 60 breweries, including several from Nevada. Motley Brews fests typically sell out, and purchasing in advance gets you a reduced rate, as well as availability of VIP and early admission tickets, so consider purchasing your tickets at www.downtownbrewfestival.com, where you’ll also find the line-up of breweries that will be pouring.