Sometimes it seems like there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who love beer. And people we don’t really understand. Not too long ago, it was the second kind of people who were probably happier in Las Vegas. Beer lovers could enjoy cheap suds though nothing much more exotic than a Guinness here and there.
But Vegas is like a great white shark when it comes to trends: when it sees a big one coming, it races towards it and grabs on tight. So now that beer is hot, Vegas enjoys an incredible number of places with fantastic selections, some even mind-boggling. You probably want to get to checking them out, so I will just start listing some favorites:
- Public House (The Venetian): If I had to name one place a self-respecting beer hound should visit on the Strip, this would be it. Why? Well, the fact that it’s run by Vegas’ first certified Ciccerone is a good clue—but one look at the list and you’ll see that beer expert’s stamp immediately. This isn’t just a “big” selection, it’s a carefully curated list of 200 brews (24 on tap) from around the world. Also, they have some different food like fried quail and waffles. If you really can’t find anything you haven’t tried before here, I tip my cap to you. Open until midnight on weekends.
- The Pub (Monte Carlo): Redic. At some point, the Monte Carlo decided, in true Vegas spirit, that nobody on the Strip was going to beat them. So they put in something like 100 taps, and also stocked 200 beers (take that, Yard House!) True, many of the brews here you can see anywhere, but you can also try Morimoto Soba Ale or Vuuve, okay? Great choice if you’re with a bunch of guys who want to watch the game, or ladies who want to sit out at the adjacent pool while you pound. Open until 3 a.m. (4 on weekends)
- Rí-Rá (Mandalay Place): Even though the interiors are above average here, you might look at this “authentic Irish pub” set in a mall and think “meh.” Don’t be so hasty, lad: They’ve got 15 taps here–focusing on the Emerald Isle’s finest–and 80 more in bottles. Good fish & chips, and fun Irish bands on the weekends, for a bit of spirit. Also open until 3 a.m.(4 on weekends)
- Todd English P.U.B. (Crystals at City Center): Big and brassy, this popular place wouldn’t be mistaken for a pub anywhere outside of a steampunk movie set, but we’ll let that slide. Solid beer selection with a good amount of west coast crafts (and three casks). The 7 second deal (down your pink in that time and the next one’s free, don’t ask me why) and the good happy hour somewhat counteract the generally higher prices. Open until 11:30 p.m.
- Burger Bar (Mandalay Place) was virtually the first ‘fancy’ burger joint by a star chef (Hubert Keller) on the Strip, but it’s real ace-in-the-hole is a specialty list of about 100 bottles. The selection may not be as special as it once was, but it still features a few bottles you likely won’t see elsewhere (the rarest things are priced accordingly). Open until 11 p.m. (1 a.m. weekends)
- Queen Victoria Pub (Riviera): Even though this classic-replica English pub might seem a little less fancy than other spots, it does offer some 40 bottles and 24 drafts, in particular as deep an English selection as I’ve seen anywhere Stateside. It’s owned by Brits, so you can bet the (English) Football Match will be on the big screen live no matter the time difference. Totally traditional pub fare won’t win any awards, but it fills the bill. Oh, almost forgot—Open 24 hours daily!
Other decent options on the Strip include Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill (Caesars Palace) Pour 24 (New York New York), I Love Burgers (Palazzo), Holstein’s (Cosmopolitan) and Gordon Ramsay’s BurGR (Planet Hollywood).
If you are really passionate about the suds, there are a number of brewpub type places off Strip, such as a Gordon Biersch and Chicago Brewing Company, and the Triple 7 downtown in Main Street Station casino, to name a few. But the real places to make a pilgrimage are the Freakin’ Frog (4700 South Maryland Parkway) and Tenaya Creek Brewery - 3101 N Tenaya Way, Las Vegas. The Frog, despite its goofy college-friendly name, is the grandfather of all serious beer selections in Vegas, and claims to offer somewhere around 1000 different beers from bottle and rotating taps. They have special cask events monthly. Tenaya Creek is Vegas’ one serious bottling brewery, with an impressive rotating selection.
Huge thanks to E.C. Gladstone for help with this piece. Who am I kidding, I love beer and he writes. So I sample, he writes. I tell him what’s good and right when I start mumbling about hockey and Canadian beer he finishes the article and starts talking to the pretty girls.