Vegas has forever been perceived as a hard liquor and cheap booze kind of place. Casinos, clubs, and lounges overflow with bottle service and top and bottom shelf hard liquors on the inside, while outside you're guaranteed to run into hundreds of dozens of people walking the strip sipping on cheap, sugary, neon slushy drinks through bendy straws or chugging 24 oz cans of Bud Light Lime in brown paper koozies. But that said, Vegas is a city that knows how to market to the masses and they are catching on to the rest of the Nation's obsession with the craft. Most of the places I list below have opened within the past year or two, with the exception of the Freakin Frog, which is local and national landmark. The Freakin Frog is also home to the Whiskey Attic, which has the largest collection of whiskeys in America. I've had the opportunity to visit both... my friends don't call me Nancy Whiskey for nothing! I enjoy whiskey so much so, that I've decided to also do a blog on whiskey tasting and profiling. I'm hoping to launch the site in early 2015, so if you're also a fan of whiskey too, you should keep a look out for it.
top5 Craft Beer Joints in Viva Las Vegas!So, you're in Vegas and feeling like a hunk of burning love for the craft? Then you should visit these tasty beer places in the Sin City, where you can respectfully go to cool your palette in the desert.
- Freakin Frog (off the strip, near the University of Nevada... and its totally worth the $20 cab ride) A super hard to find dive bar that appears to be closed in a dimly lit in a strip mall. My cab driver was even nervous dropping me off and leaving me, without me confirming with a friendly wave that they were in fact an open establishment. Inside locals wear down the bar stools and the bartender RJ would be happy to whip you up some fresh tater tots with honey, (it's amazing) the entire kitchen is a small grill behind the bar. This place is a gem of a find. Between their impressive selection of Belgian on draft and hundreds upon hundreds of bottles in their walk-in beer fridge, (see pic on right) there is something here for everyone who enjoys a frothy beverage. I'd recommend Gulden Draak or a regional Imperial Alien Stout and clearly the honey tots! YUM.
- Public House (located in the Venetian) As close to a Belgian gastropub you can find on the strip. Their bartenders are friendly and knowledgeable and you can easily find Belgians, sours, and cask beers a plenty. I'd recommend Kasteel Rouge or a citrus mango Brett called Bright Moments by Tahoe Brewing or any local Joseph James on tap.
- Michael Mina Pub 1842 (located in the MGM) Are you looking for a a local Nevada brew, from Big Dogs Brewing or a rare Gose? We'll you'll find them here. They have a wide selection of bottles and draft and great pub food. I'd recommend the pub burger with a side of their kale Cesar and wash that down with a Gosebrauerei or a rum aged Innis & Gunn.
- Todd English (located in Aria) Where world craft and fine hard liquor meet. Excellent selection of global beers on draft, including beers from Italy, Belgium, Japan and Switzerland! They always have a rotating cask, sour, and super rare/foreign beer. I'd recommend going during one of their happy hours, which is 5-7pm or 10pm-12am) when all draft beers are half off. Bottle list is impressive too, including a rare Swiss 225 Saison which is made with water from the Swiss Alps and aged in oak barrels. I didn't get a chance to eat the food, but everything coming out of the kitchen looked delectable.
- TAP (located in the MGM) The mecca for sports fans. It's a hot spot for cheering on your local team, while also providing spectators with an excellent selection of craft on draft. Come here if you want to catch a game, grab some great grub, and wet your whistle. May I recommend the Proper Ruben and a glass of Chimay Blanche or a Sculpin IPA.