Food & Drink

The Best Places for Craft Beer in Vegas, According to a Beer Snob

Published On 02/15/2016 Published On 02/15/2016
Beer Park in Las Vegas
Beer Park | Anthony Mair

PKWY Tavern

Spring Valley

PKWY has the advantage of being literally right off the 215, plus it has 150 tap lines and over 250 total beers, and an admittedly killer loyalty program. I mean, you give me a free tank top, and I will wear the hell out of it.

Shakespeare's Grille & Pub

Henderson

This strip mall bar in super-suburban Henderson doesn't really look like much, and the draft list usually isn't all that long (though occasionally it'll host events, like local tap takeovers with Joseph James, CraftHaus, and Bad Beat). But the bottle list is satisfying, and it's a great place to chill far, far away from the silliness of the Strip.

Atomic Liquors

Atomic Liquors

East Fremont

As the "oldest freestanding bar" in Las Vegas to grab Nevada's first-ever tavern license, Atomic Liquors has some history. It earned its name because people used to grab a drink and go up to the roof to watch the "sky show" from the nuclear explosions at the nearby Nevada Test Site. If that wasn't enough, this was once one of the Rat Pack's hangout spots -- and one of Clint Eastwood's! More recently, Atomic got another dose of fame from Anthony Bourdain. But even without all of that to recommend it, Atomic is still my favorite beer bar in Vegas, with tap takeovers, release parties, and extremely limited special events with highly allocated beers that nowhere else in Las Vegas has access to. It'll even host the occasional bottle swap. Oh, and it's also a solid dive bar.

TAG Sports Bar

The LINQ Hotel & Casino

TAG is a surprisingly great beer bar in the middle of the LINQ Hotel. When this place opened two years ago (back when the property was still known by its transitional, let's-forget-Imperial-Palace-entirely name, "The Quad"), I didn't think it stood a chance in hell of staying open. And yet, totally defying my expectations, it has; not only did it stay open, but it also received Travel + Leisure‘s designation as one of America's "most superlative sports bars" -- which are words that normally do not go together.

Flickr/David Vo

Burger Bar

Mandalay Place

Of all the places on the Strip purported to have a great beer list, this one actually does. It's something of a surprise considering how much this place caters to the most basic of basic tastes -- and all the more refreshing for it.

Beer Park

Paris Las Vegas

What was once the lame Chateau Nightclub and Rooftop -- at least, just the rooftop portion -- is now Beer Park. The bar is themed like a ballpark... the kind you would find in a suburban neighborhood playing host to kids' baseball games, as opposed to an MLB game. The food is served out of a "food truck" on "paper" plates, and the beer is in "plastic red Solo cups." None of that is actually true, but it is made to look that way.

I have to say, drinking an Elysian Hawaiian Sunburn on that patio on a nice, warm, sunny Saturday afternoon didn't suck.

Beer Garden

Beer Garden

Downtown

Located in front of the Plaza, Beer Garden (formerly Bier Garten, which was probably changed because it was confusing, because oh, Vegas, you're so pretty... ) is an indoor/outdoor venue loosely modeled after a Munich beer garden...  which means lots of wursts and super-sized soft pretzels. The outdoor portion has (real!) grass and a living wall for a bit of greenery in the middle of the desert. (Though I'd hate to see the water bill.) The draft selection has a lot of great standbys like Lagunitas IPA, North Coast's Pranqster, and Arrogant Bastard, with a few rotating seasonals. You won't be disappointed.  

Holsteins Shakes and Buns

Cosmopolitan

While Burger Bar's selection runs a bit more niche and international, Holsteins' list does a good job of appealing to a wider audience while still having enough interesting labels to appeal to even the most snobbish of connoisseurs.

Pizza Rock Las Vegas

Pizza Rock

Multiple locations

First off, you are going to pay far too much for pizza here. Second, you are going to pay far too much for beer here. I once paid $50 for one pizza and one beer -- with tax and tip! And it was not an overly generous tip. The tourist tax is strong here. With those qualifiers out of the way, it does have a damn good beer list, even if I'm hesitant to admit it.

Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits

Henderson

As far as beer stores go, this one isn’t the largest (speaking in terms of square footage). It also doesn’t have the most inventory (speaking in terms of sheer number of bottles on shelves). But Khoury's is playing a quality-over-quantity game, and HOO BOY do they pack some fun stuff in there. Whether you live in Henderson or all the way out in no-man's-land north, Khoury's is worth the drive, as it has the best bottle selection of any store in the entire Las Vegas Valley. As if that weren't enough, it also has a decently sized bar area where it serves beers on draft.

Courtesy of Block 16 Hospitality

Flour & Barley

The LINQ

Same ups and downs as Pizza Rock, with a slightly less interesting beer list, if I’m being honest.

Fred Morledge

Aces & Ales

Multiple locations

Everyone reading this list has been scanning specifically for this one. YES, here it is, the one beer bar that has received national notice as one of the best beer bars in Vegas that actually deserves to be on such a list. I love the beer selection at Aces & Ales -- and I love it even more because it'll sit on bottles no one buys because Las Vegans have no clue (except for the beer snobs who do). I also love that it's open 24/7, because you never know when the beer mood might strike you.

Park on Fremont

Park on Fremont

Downtown

Nothing on this beer list is going to really hit you, but it has Dogfish Head for days, and one of the best patios in Vegas, so you can definitely make it work.

Tacos & Beer

Paradise

Just because a place puts the word "beer" in its name doesn't mean it's going to be beerific. Such is not the case at Tacos & Beer, which is a delightful respite from crappy wannabe "beer" bars all over the Valley. The tap list is borderline esoteric, which is honestly how I like it. Right now it's featuring a bunch from Almanac Beer Company that are like WHAT! Also, tacos.

The Griffin

The Griffin

Downtown

It's a small list, yes, but there's nowhere in downtown Las Vegas quite like The Griffin for the night to veer weird. The fact that it has a few good beers (and a killer jukebox) is the icing.

Rebel Republic

Westside

It's a local bar, a sports bar, and a beer bar all in one... because local bars kind of have to fulfill all of those needs all the time. The draft list is sizable and solid, and the food is tasty. It’s pretty much everything you could want or expect in a multi-tap that isn't trying to break world records.

Courtesy of Yard House

Yard House

Multiple locations

This is pretty much the best Vegas has to offer to the craft beer lover, and it's a California-based chain. I'm not even mad about it. Yard House, as a brand -- corporate chain or no -- is pretty great, and there are enough of them throughout the Las Vegas Valley that you're never too far from one. Its draft selection is always exciting, with something to please any beer palate. If you go to the LINQ location, they have somewhere around 160 tap lines... and that's approximate, because when you start talking numbers that high, it's OK to round.   

Artifice

Artifice

Las Vegas Arts District

Another small beer list in another part of town where all you need is a few good options to be happy, Artifice hooks you up with an Abbey or Mirror Pond for $5, and $6 for a Dead Guy. That fits the bill just fine for a place that has a certain chill factor that, frankly, is very hard to find in a city that epitomizes trying too hard.

HiScores

Henderson

A bar arcade with a decent beer list? Perhaps Insert Coin(s) could have taken a few cues from HiScores, where you can find Founders KBS in bottles... which means nothing to you Las Vegas people, and bless your little hearts for it.

Bardot Brasserie

ARIA Resort & Casino

How does one Michael Mina restaurant that doesn't specialize in beer beat out a Michael Mina restaurant (Pub 1842 in MGM) that does? Answer: easily. With only six handles, Bardot supports the old adage that less is more. Those six handles are collectively more exciting than anything on draft at 1842, largely because Bardot targets a more niche consumer than the wannabe catch-all list at 1842.