Expert Topic What to do in Las Vegas for CBC

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The U.S. brewing industry will soon turn its attention to Sin City, as Las Vegas hosts the annual Craft Brewers Conference, Brew Expo America, and World Beer cup. Some have questioned holding the event in the city, citing it’s overall lack of craft beer culture and destinations. However, locals are pushing back on that notion, highlighting a growth of local breweries in the last several years, bars dedicated to interesting drafts, and restaurants that have well-thought-out beer menus.

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“I think the opinion that there’s no good craft beer in Las Vegas is tired. It’s antiquated, it’s old. Sure, if you stay only on the strip, and you’re only in large properties, and you only go to casino operated bars and lounges, then maybe you won’t see a lot of local Nevada made independent craft beer,” says Wyndee Forrest, the co-founder of CraftHaus Brewery and president of the state’s brewer’s guild. “But take two steps out of the sportsbook and go to a five star restaurant, chances are the executive chef in that restaurant has sought out Nevada made beer because they’re mindful of what they’re presenting to their guests.”

She credits the tourism industry with helping to grow the local craft beer scene and larger interest in other national small breweries.

“They want a taste of Las Vegas, and that’s really helping drive it,” she says.

David Pascual, the Head Brewer and Director of Brewery Operations at Big Dog’s Brewing Company agrees.

“Over the past 10 years has been pretty huge for us, we haven’t grown as quickly as other markets, but you can definitely see there’s been a big change,” he said. “And a lot of it has been driven by people coming to this town, requesting it, and by chefs and other people who are, crafty and whatnot, but they’re wanting to see local craft beer, or what’s being made locally here in town put on the forefront. And it’s been a process, but it’s coming. And I’m hoping it keeps coming.”

Both Forrest and Pascual are advocates for any visitors coming to Las Vegas to get off the strip and experience the city outside of the casino floors.

Chief among the areas to explore is the Arts District. Dan Pixley, a life-long Las Vegas resident who is a homebrewer and the editor of the Milk The Funk Wiki compiled a list of places to visit in that area.

This includes these breweries, all within walking distance:

Able Baker, Cin-Cin Brewhouse and Seafood Bar, CraftHaus Tap Room, Hop Nuts
HUDL, Las Vegas Brewing Tap Room, and Nevada Brew Works.

He also suggests these beer bars in the arts district:Berlin Bar, Hola Habibi, Ser Veh Zah, Silver Stamp, Voodoo Brewing, an Garagiste, a notable wine bar that has natural wine too.

Em Sauter of Pints and Panels will be hosting a pop-up shop and event at The Silver Stamp from 5p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 22.

There are also breweries in the Henderson booze district and Water Street
CraftHaus (brewery location), Neon Desert Brewing Co., Lovelady Brewing Co., Mojave Brewing Co.

There are also breweries on Fremont and nearby including Beer Zombies/Tenaya Creek on Bonanza (take Uber from Fremont; Beer Zombies bars have several other locations all around town), the Mob Museum ( a staple Vegas spot), and Triple 7 (inside Main Street Casino).

And finally some breweries in North Las Vegas and North and West Las Vegas:
Big Dogs Brewing (24/7 food and gaming), North 5th Brewing, Las Vegas Brewing (walkable to Aces and Ales), and Chicago Brewing.

See his full list here.

“As being somebody that’s born and raised in this town, I’ve seen it come such a long way in the past 10 to 15 years,” says Pixley. “I’m really proud of that the steps that that we’ve made with people like Wendy and Dave, and all the other small business owners in this town have really created an awesome scene.”

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