We’ve never actually finished the song “99 Bottles of Beer” so we have no idea how long it takes. But we’d bet you could hum through the whole thing a few thousand times before Las Vegas runs out of beer. While you’re humming away, check out these upcoming beer festivals pouring into Sin City.
Oktoberfest at Hofbräuhaus – Sept. 13 – Oct. 31
When it comes to beer, or anything really, it’s best not to argue with Germany. They’ve earned their reputation as world-renowned braumeisters. And one Las Vegas institution can trace its roots back through the ages to the 1589 founding of the original German Hofbräuhaus by Wilhelm V, the Duke of Bavaria – they also have crazy good beer!
Since 2004, Hofbräuhaus in Las Vegas, located across from the Hard Rock, has been serving up the best German food and most authentic Bavarian brews this side of Munich. And for the next month and half they’ll be going all out for the legendary Oktoberfest. Typically a quiet and understated people (wink), Oktoberfest is the chance for Germans, and everyone who enjoys a beer or 12, to let loose and savor great company and even greater beer.
This year, celebrity guests will be tapping kegs every weekend through October starting with Vegas institutions Siegfried and Roy on Sept. 13. Other guests include comedian Eddie Griffin, the Chippendales, “Pin Up” star Claire Sinclair and “Zombie Burlesque” on Halloween night. Stein holding contests will also be held each weekend and live music plays throughout the week. Wunderbar!
Mandalay Bay Beer Festival – Sept. 12 – 14
Mandalay Bay takes a personal approach to their weekend-long festivities. Through four events across three days, beer lovers will be treated to delectable brews from some of the best craft breweries and will also have the opportunity to converse with some of the brewmasters themselves.
Representatives from Brooklyn Brewery will be on hand to walk guests through “five courses of glory” at the Brewmaster’s Dinner on Sept. 12 at miX. And Brooklyn Brewery co-founder Steve Hindy will participate in a panel discussion at Eyecandy Sound Lounge on Sept. 13. The panel discussion is free, and special craft beers are only $4 – so you can relax from the Brewmaster’s Dinner’s $225 price tag.
When evening rolls in on Sept. 13, head to the BEER Festival at Mandalay Beach. For $75, revel in some of the finest beers from local and guest breweries. And be sure to pair them all with the exquisite food prepared by some of the best restaurants MGM properties have to offer. Take your time, savor the affair and don’t worry about hangovers the next day. They’ve got your hair of the dog covered too.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Sept 14, Fleur by Hubert Keller will host a beer breakfast offering a special à la carte brunch menu and perfect beer pairings to start off your Sunday morning the Vegas way. They don’t require a reservation, but since we know it might take a few tries before you finally roll out of bed, you might want to make one so you don’t lose your table.
In case you needed more proof that Mandalay Bay knows their beer, Sarah Johnson, their director of food and beverage, just happens to be one of only 700 Certified Cicerones in the world. (A Certified Cicerone is someone who knows way more about beer than you ever will and has a certification to prove it.) So when we say you can trust Mandalay Bay’s beer cred, we really mean it.
Downtown Brew Festival – Sept. 20
Like that cool beer you can always come home to, Las Vegas’ Downtown Brew Festival returns to the Clark County Amphitheater on Sept. 20. The evening event will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for General Admission ($35 – $45) with early entry ($45 – $55) and VIP access ($75 – $85) starting at 5 p.m. And don’t worry about missing dinner. This year food takes the stage with beer.
Chefs from famous Las Vegas eateries like Comme Ça, DW Bistro and Forte will create special dishes designed to pair with the wide range of local and guest brews. In between sips of beer and outstanding snacks, check out the live music from A Crowd of Small Adventurers, Josh Royse and Daniel Park. And, if you get your tickets in time, make your friends jealous by getting in early and hitting up the VIP Pavilion for special treats from Chef Sonia El-Nawal, finalist on Food Network’s “Chopped” and executive chef at Perch restaurant – soon to open at Downtown Container Park.
We know this is Vegas, but we still have to point out that we do have drunk driving laws. And the festival will boot anybody who gets plastered. So to play it safe from the get-go, have a buddy pick up a Designated Driver ticket for only $20. They can get into the festival, enjoy all the sensational cuisine and still get you home safely. Note: Designated Driver is not responsible for text messages you may send to your ex.
BLVD Brew Fest – Sept. 27
Fine wines may get better with age, but never underestimate the impact of something new. The Boulevard Brew Fest, hitting the MGM Resorts Village – right across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Luxor – on Sept. 27, is the newest beer bash to soak Sin City. Partnering with Oregon Brew Festival, BLVD Brew Fest will bring in more than 50 Oregon beers that many Vegas tasters may not have tried, creating a truly unique experience within the Las Vegas beer scene. Local beer will be showcased as well.
Adding to the allure of the new festival is an impressive lineup of musical guests. Kings of Leon, Young the Giant, Kongos and more join local favorites like Brumby and Lady Reiko and The Sin City Prophets. General Admission tickets for $59 (plus fees) include access to all the concerts and live performances, as well as food trucks and $10 in tasting tokens, throughout the seven-hour event.
This is one event where they could add a few more Vs to the VIP. With a private VIP lounge housing its own bar, a complimentary happy hour, a premium viewing area and limited release beers and rare selections available for purchase, along with all the GA perks, the VIP tickets will make you feel like a very, very, very important P. They even offer “special A/C restroom facilities.” Because you’re too I to P anywhere else.
Desert Hops at The Cosmopolitan – Sept. 27
Desert Hops is an international beer festival at the outdoor Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan. With gorgeous views of the Las Vegas Strip, as well as an atmosphere that screams both “super classy” and “look how much beer I can drink,” the Boulevard Pool is perhaps the best location to stir together soothing brews and suave international flair.
Beer from more than 25 different countries will be showcased, totaling 150 different individual brews. And multicultural food from The Cosmopolitan’s restaurant partners will pair an evening of drinking with a night of delicious dining.
Tickets start at just $45 for General Admission and Early Entry VIP costs around $68.50. With a stage, bar, pool, unbeatable views and the always exhilarating autumn air in Vegas, it’s easy to see why Desert Hops bills itself as an “International Beer Experience.”
Any time of year
Vegas isn’t just a 24/7 town; we’re 365 too. Forever dodging the snowy season (in your face, New York) we can keep the beer flowing any time you like. So even when there’s no festival set up to tickle your taste for hops, some of the finest bars and pubs in the world will tap a keg or pop a top just for you.
Public House in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian is a casual dining gastropub featuring more than 200 different beers. Lagers, ales and Belgians abound in this brilliant pub that also offers cocktails and an impressive list of malts.
Todd English P.U.B. at Crystals is another location where beer and food come together to make us wonder why we’d ever want to eat anything sober. A wide selection of beers, with expertly written descriptions of flavors and notes, are available by the glass, half yard or pitcher. They’ve even got Trappist beers which are brewed by communities of real monks in actual – we’re not making this up – monasteries.
Sin City Brewing Co. is pretty much the opposite of monk-made beer, but it’s still delicious. A local company founded by brewing expert Richard Johnson, Sin City Brewing Co. combines modern microbrew methods with strict regard for the Rheinheitsgebot. For those too lazy to google that long German word, it’s the 1516 German beer purity law that’s basically protected people from terrible beer for the last 500 years. While some of the big name brews could use a refresher course in the Rheinheiregsbhto-whatever, Sin City Brewing Co. is doing the German beer heritage proud with their outstanding selections available at the Grand Canal Shoppes, Miracle Mile Shops and Harmon Corner.
Las Vegas beer festivals are the perfect places to tastefully and politely sip your beer and converse with other connoisseurs. And Las Vegas in general is the perfect place to chug a few pints and argue about whether or not you could take a Chippendale in a fight. (You could not. Those guys are ripped like a losing keno ticket.) But you could buy them a beer. And grab a round for us while you’re at it!