The beer scene in Las Vegas is thriving. There are many great bars, casinos and restaurants where thirsty visitors can sit back with a glass of their favorite suds – whether it be a craft brew or a bottle of Bud. Here are five of the best!
Big Dog’s Brewing Company — Just a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip are the two spirited establishments that make up Big Dog’s Brewing Company: Big Dog’s Draft House at 4543 N. Rancho Dr. and Big Dog’s Cafe & Casino at 6390 W. Sahara Ave. Brewing in Las Vegas since the early ’90s, this company is known for its whimsical dog-inspired beer names. There are seven signature brews on tap at all times – the Leglifter Light, the Tailwagger Wheat, the Holy Cow! Original Pale Ale, the Red Hydrant Ale (a 2006 and 2010 World Beer Cup gold medal winner), the 38 Special, the Black Lab Stout and the Dirty Dog IPA. The War Dog Imperial IPA and the Lake Mead Monster Double Red are two seasonal brews available during the month of September. The atmosphere at both places is always friendly and fun. Mingle with locals and watch this season’s NFL games (note: Big Dog’s Brewing Company supports the Green Bay Packers) or join in one of the company’s year-round tastings, tapping parties, brewmaster dinners or beer festivals. On Oct. 19, Big Dog’s Draft House will host the DOG-tober Beer Fest & Brat Party, which will combine the great traditions of Oktoberfest with the charm of a Wisconsin brat cookout.
Ellis Island Casino and Microbrewery — Also located off the Strip, this microbrewery is something of a hidden gem. Head a block east on Flamingo Road (behind Bally’s) to 4178 Koval Lane. Inside you’ll discover a maze of stainless steel tanks where four delicious concoctions are created: a light, an amber, a weiss (a beer made with a larger than normal amount of wheat malt) and a stout. During fall, you can also enjoy the Oktoberfest seasonal brew. Plus, the Ellis Island Microbrewery produces an old-fashioned, all-natural root beer. Voted No. 1 in Nevada and No. 9 in the country by the National Brewers Association in past rankings, the beers here are all created by brewmaster Joe Pickett.
Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas — There’s no more fitting place to guzzle beer than at Hofbräuhaus, a faithful reproduction of the centuries-old beer hall in Munich. It’s also situated near the Strip at 4510 Paradise Road, just across from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. You can partake in beer brewed from recipes handed down by the Duke of Bavaria more than 400 years ago as well as listen to live Bavarian-style music played by the band Die Rotzlöffl. On Sept. 14, this German bar and restaurant will kick off its Oktoberfest celebration. Legendary magicians Siegfried & Roy will be on hand at 7 p.m. to tap the first keg. Keg tapping and stein holding contests will also take place every Friday and Saturday night through Oct. 26. Among the celebrities scheduled to appear are UFC fighter Frank Mir, singer Taylor Hicks and cast members from Bally’s “Jubilee!” production.
Rí Rá in The Shoppes at Mandalay Place inside Mandalay Bay — A 500-pound statue of St. Patrick presides over the merriment in this authentic Irish pub. Eleven premium imports (including Guinness, of course) and up to seven craft beers from the U.S. are on tap. There are also about 100 bottled beers from around the world available at Rí Rá. On weekdays you can take advantage of happy hour specials from 3 – 6 p.m., when pints of Carlsberg and Heineken are only $4 each. And be sure to drop in on Sept. 26 because the pub will be paying tribute to Arthur Guinness, the creator of the Guinness brand. Starting at 5:30 p.m., a free pint of Guinness will be given to the first 100 guests, with a worldwide toast to be held at 5:59 p.m. In addition, Rí Rá will offer $5 Guinness drafts, Guinness black lagers and Guinness foreign extra stouts from 5 – 11 p.m. There will be other giveaways and music from The Cray & Dempsey Experience throughout the night as well.
Triple 7 Restaurant and Microbrewery at Main Street Station — Looking for an award-winning beer experience in downtown Las Vegas? At Triple 7, the ingredients are hand-selected and the recipes have been developed with painstaking care over the years. The High Roller Gold, a wheat beer, is the brewpub’s flagship creation. More adventurous drinkers may want to go for the Marker Pale Ale or the distinctive Vienna-style Royal Red Lager. The Blackchip Porter, named for a $100 black gaming chip, is made by blending five malts and perfect for dark beer lovers. There’s also a monthly rotation of brewmaster specials, like the Oktoberfest Bier (a Märzen-style German lager that’s currently available) and other favorites such as the Raspberry Wheat, Black Cherry Stout and India Pale Ale. It’s hard to beat Triple 7 when comes to price. A 16-ounce glass costs only $3.49 – and during happy hour, which runs from 3 – 6 p.m. on weekdays (excluding holidays and Monday night football broadcasts), that drops down to $2.50!