Food & Drink

These are Las Vegas's 8 best beer destinations

Published On 06/24/2014 Published On 06/24/2014
MGM Resorts International

If you want an epic margarita served inside a guitar, or a $5,000 cocktail, or an 8-gallon bottle of Champagne, Vegas is totally the town for you. But what if you're looking for some of the world's best craft beers? You're totally out of luck, right? Wrong. Provided you check out our list of Vegas's eight best beer destinations...

Banger Breweing

Vegas's Best Tasting Room

Banger Brewing (address and info
Simplicity is the mantra at this laid-back (especially compared to the rest of Fremont Street Experience) tasting room, where they're pouring only their own suds, and a few other local brews, along with gourmet popcorn... and nothing else. No pub grub. No extensive drink list. No table service. No nonsense.

JoAnna Haugen

Biggest Bottle Selection

Aces & Ales (address and info)
Boasting about 200 craft bottles (and an additional 50 rotating beers on tap), this London pub-inspired boozer has brews that'll appeal to casual beer drinkers and serious suds snobs, plus a killer grilled cheese/mac and cheese-laced eats menu to pair with your cold one (or two or three).

MGM Resorts International

Best Pizza + Beer Combination 

FIVE50 (address and info)
The artisan selection of pizza at FIVE50 is worth the visit alone, but they've also got seasonal brews from local suds-makers, an ice cream beer float made w/Young’s Double Chocolate Stout & homemade vanilla ice cream, and something you can't get anywhere else: ARIA’s own specially beer, which's brewed by Stillwater and is only available at the resort.

Public House

Best Speakeasy With a Beer Cicerone

Public House (address and info)
A Prohibition-era type atmosphere + a beer menu made for brew snobs = Public House. They've got over 200 premier ales, lagers, IPAs, and stouts and 24 taps flowing with hearty lagers, rare pilsners, and oak barrel-housed cask beers. Clueless about what to drink? Ask the on-site certified cicerone for advice.

Big Dog's Brewing Company

Best Local Brewpub

Big Dog's Draft House (address and info)
This mainstay sports-hang serves up its own selection of hand-crafted small-batch brews to go with a Midwestern-inspired menu: Wisconsin Cheese Curds with house-made horseradish; a Brewer's Sandwich topped with a Johnsonville beer brat AND a red Klement’s smoked brat; and a slow-cooked Grandma’s Pot Roast Melt.

McMullan’s Irish Pub

Best Irish Pub

McMullan’s Irish Pub (address and info)
Top o’ the day to ya from McMullan’s Irish Pub, where Guinness flows freely from tabletop taps, trivia nights pack in the crowds, Celtic music is all the rage, and a countdown clock to St. Patrick’s Day signals how soon all hell can break loose in rowdy, rambunctious, green-tinted goodness.

MGM Resorts International

Best Pub Eats 

The Pub at Monte Carlo (address and info)
The backlit kegs at The Pub’s bar are mesmerizing but don’t let 'em distract you from trying a tasting flight, taking on their 8lb feast for one (finish this giant burger in 45mins and you get a T-shirt), or from hitting one of their Gus’ Beer & Bites dinners, which pairs a multi-course meal with several beers from a single brewery.

Ellis Island Casino

Best Casino/Brewery

Ellis Island Casino (address and info)
Serving "over a million glasses of happiness" a year, EI is Nevada's biggest local suds-maker, thanks in part to some seriously sweet brews (the European-inspired Amber, a very herbal IPA, etc.), sizable BBQ plates, and a friendly locals-heavy vibe that sets it apart from the usual Vegas spots.

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1. Banger Brewing 450 Fremont St Ste 135, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

It’s all about beer, so don’t expect table service: just good suds, from light weisse to dark stouts. You’ll want to opt for a flight, with half-pints served in a custom mini wooden shelf. The proprietor favors the Jalapeño Hefeweizen, which packs a bit of a kick, but you can find your own favorite on the rotating tap list. Tours of the brewing facility take place every hour on the hour.

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2. Aces & Ales 3740 S Nellis Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89121

Aces & Ales is the rare beer bar that's also a serious beer collector, hoarding beauties like a 2006 Stone's Vertical Epic Ale and Firestone Walker's Parabola. And both of its Vegas locations are beer snob approved, partly because there aren't that many beer bars open 24/7. By supplying about 200 bottles of craft beer (along with an additional 50 beers on tap, rotated weekly), it's the perfect bar for the novice drinker or the beer connoisseur. Bonus: a killer grilled cheese and mac and cheese menu to pair with a cold one.

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3. Five50 3730 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89158 (Strip)

James Beard award-winning chef Shawn McClain's teamed up with the Aria hotel to bring East Coast-style pizza to Vegas, in addition to shared plates, small bites, handmade pastas, craft beers, and desserts.

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4. Public House 3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Deep within the air-conditioned annals of the Venetian Casino, this polished gastropub boasts a list of over 200 types of craft beers, as well as a robust offering of American and Canadian whiskeys (not to mention single malt scotch, with Japanese selections to boot). It’s probably where Ron Swanson would hangout if dragged to Sin City: the menu here is fairly meat-forward, with regulars raving about poutine with duck confit (pro tip: opt to add the fried egg) and heavy-hitters like the porter-braised short rib with carrot mousseline and IPA-battered onion rings.

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5. Big Dog’s Brewery 4543 N Rancho Dr, Las Vegas, NV 89130

Whether or not you want to bring your big dog and hang on the pooch-friendly patio, catch the latest Packers game, or unleash for a bit and try your luck in the casino, Big Dog’s Brewing is there with quality craft beer and friendly service. Like their cheese-forward menu, Big Dog aims for that midwestern comfort and kindness. Nothing says “Wisconsin” more than football, fried cheese curds, and bratwurst … except maybe one of the 30 plus trail-blazing brews on tap like Tripel Dog Dare and Tailwagger Wheat.

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6. McMullan's Irish Pub 4650 W. Tropicana, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Guinness flows freely from tabletop taps and trivia nights pack in the crowds at McMullan’s Irish Pub. They've got a countdown to St. Patrick's Day too, just so everyone knows how long until they can drink green beer again. And don't forget the Irish American menu (think corned beef hash and poached eggs), and the battalion of TVs, on which rugby is always playing.

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7. Monte Carlo Resort and Casino 3770 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

There are stuffy, uncomfortable, and exclusive luxury hotels everywhere in Vegas... then there's the Monte Carlo, which is just as luxurious -- where you'llfeel rich, even if you’re not. This is unpretentious luxury at its best.

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8. Ellis Island Casino 4178 Koval Ln, Las Vegas, NV 89109

This casino comes with its own excellent brewery, offering light, amber, IPA, weiss, stout, and seasonal specials. There's even house-brewed root beer, if you're one of the brave souls who avoids alcohol in a city like Vegas. Ellis Island's dinner is an equally solid bet, boasting some of the best ribs in Vegas.