Food & Drink

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

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

To be honest, being a beer snob in Las Vegas sucks. Living here can sometimes feel like you’re stuck in the past. Seriously, candy-flavored vodka martinis still reign supreme, horrific glamour is celebrated, and the majority of people you meet often refer to beer via color distinction: dark or light. But if you’re looking for the good stuff, the craft beer that no one else knows about (or cares to know about), you’ll have to go hunting. Luckily, we have some ideas to help you get started. Some of you might notice that a couple well-known and well-publicized places with 200-bottle beer lists are not on this list. This is intentional. Stuffing a list with 200 generics you can get at any area Lee's Liquor Store does not a quality beer bar make.

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 barcade 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.

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Nicole Rupersburg is a self-professed beer snob who knows just how real the struggle is in Las Vegas. She also realizes that this list is heavy on Caesars Entertainment properties. This was not intentional. Follow her on Instagram: @eatsdrinksandleaves.

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1. Atomic Liquors 917 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

If you're looking to escape Vegas' glitzy, dramatic theatrics, Atomic Liquors is just what you need. Opened in 1945 as a Rat Pack hangout, this restored Downtown dive is the oldest freestanding bar in the city. Let its massive (and original) neon signage guide you indoors to its unpretentiously vintage interior with brown leather seating and antique decorations adorning the bare brick walls. The fast and friendly staff can concoct any cocktail you can dream up, or pull a draft beer from their handful of local crafts.

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2. Tag Lounge & Bar 3535 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

This high octane sports bar and lounge serves hundreds of beers from around the world, plus some seriously some strong craft cocktails. Their beer menu is extensive and varied, offering a wide selection of stouts, porters, lagers, ales, sour beers, and saisons. Located inside the LINQ hotel and casino, TAG is a top spot to bro out with your boys pre or post hitting The Strip.

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3. Burger Bar 3930 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (Strip)

Located inside the Mandalay Bay on the strip, this casual bar serves an unbelievable number of bottled beers alongside upgraded bar food, like build-your-own burgers and the option to top them with black truffles or oysters. And if you're the indecisive type, rest assured that Burger Bar has premade pairings as well.

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4. Beer Park 3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Budweiser's Beer Park on the Strip at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino offers picturesque views of the city from their 10,000 square foot rooftop beer garden. Come by to catch a game on one of the many flatscreens and shoot some pool, prepare yourself for the beer menu that features 100+ national and international brews (re: Bud Light's not the only option). They also serve up smorgasbord of American ball park delicacies and high-end backyard BBQ-style foods like soft pretzels, Mac & Cheese Egg Rolls, burgers, and even oven roasted salmon. Check the calendar to find out when they host international DJs and bands.

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5. Holsteins 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Serving up sliders like crispy pork belly with hoisin & pea shoots next to a dozen other inventive burgers (e.g., a duck confit/foie-stuffed patty with pickled pear & duck cracklings), Holstein's does the classic American food item in its classic exaggerated fashion. Make sure to save room for one of their boozy shakes like the Coconut Rasberry Vegan, which, loaded with Skyy vodka, coconut sorbet, coconut vodka, and marshmallow, is likely richer than the entree itself.

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6. Beer Garden 1 Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101

This outdoor drinking spot features real grass. Go figure!

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7. Pizza Rock 201 N 3rd St, Las Vegas, NV 89101

This fun pizza spot has craft cocktails and beers, gourmet pizza pies, and games available to play as well as DJ nights. This is a fun place to grab a pie and enjoy a beer in a cool atmosphere.

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8. Khoury's Fine Wine and Spirits 9915 S. Eastern #110, Henderson, NV 89183 (Off Strip)

Looking for a new favorite brew? This speciality beer and liquor shop off-strip offers tastings in their cozy taproom. Try out international and domestic draft beer and a wide variety of wine by the glass. Local distillers and food trucks also regularly stop by the shop.

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9. Flour & Barley 3545 Las Vegas Blvd. South #L-25 The Linq, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Located in close proximity to the LINQ, Flour and Barley is serving up brick oven-fired pizza. The pizzas are hot and fresh, with wood-fired crusts, and are complimented well with an impressive wine list, and more than 150 beers, including a deep selection of craft brews from around the country.

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10. 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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11. Park on Fremont 506 East Fremont, Las Vegas, NV 89101

This hip little eatery on Fremont boats great cocktails, sharable plates, and eclectic decor, all meant to convey a vibe of friendly unpretentiousness. To that end, the food is made of bar favorites like wings and corn dogs, or signature dishes like the chicken and waffle sandwich or the Philly mac and cheese—messy comfort foods meant to bring people together. The back patio of this place is where the action is, with 2,5000sqft of space, a seesaw, and salvaged metal art galore. Cocktails like the Stranger Danger and the Trophy Wife display their sense of humor, while packing a serious wallop at the same time. This place is pretty popular, but easy enough to walk in and find a seat.

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12. Tacos & Beer 3900 Paradise Rd Ste A, Las Vegas, NV 89169

The name says it all… they've got affordable Mexican food that won’t break the bank. Try the pork al pastor taco with sweetened with pineapple goes perfectly with more than 50 selections of beer by the bottle or more than 20 on tap.

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13. The Griffin 511 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101 (Downtown)

Calmer and more laid back than most of the party-focused bars in Vegas, The Griffin concentrates on serving up cold beer, great cocktails, and live music. The dark, cool bar is an escape from the desert heat of the city, with low lights and comfy booths for serious lounging. The selections of beer on tap and music in the jukebox are always changing, but they're both always fresh and hip. Two working fireplaces increase the coziness factor during the winter, and the back room features DJs and all night dancing all year round. It gets busy in here, especially during weekends and late nights, but this local's hangout is definitely worth checking out.

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14. Rebel Republic 3540 W Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102

You'd be astonished to learn how many places don't have pool tables in Las Vegas. Rebel Republic is one of the few, since it's really a sports bar with a ton of leather furniture and big TVs. The best parts here are the hours (it's open all day/night) and the huge beer list, which features lots of local and regional brews mixed in with craft brewery mainstays and a few wild cards.

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15. Yard House 3545 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Downtown)

Located in Las Vegas's LINQ mall, a premiere destination for dining, shopping, and entertainment, Yard House is a upscale casual beer bar and eatery. Offering plenty of flavorful shareable appetizers and small plates, in addition to an extensive menu of domestic and imported craft brews, Yard House is a solid choice for a happy hour.

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16. PKWY Tavern Taphouse and Grille 9820 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89147 (Off Strip)

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, PKWY Tavern is an around the clock spot for hearty comfort food fare and delicious brews. Offering breakfast all day (!!), plus over 250 types of beer from around the world, AND on-site gaming, PKWY's got everything you need for a good night out.

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17. Shakespeare's Grille & Pub 790 Coronado Center Dr #130, Henderson, NV 89052 (Off Strip)

This busy English-style pub and eatery serves Brit comfort food dishes (fish & chips with mushy peas, chicken tikka masala, and sheperd's pie) alongside perfectly poured draft brews (they've got Guinness, Newcastle, Lagunitas, and plus regularly rotating taps). Stop by for pub trivia, comedy shows, and coverage of international soccer matches.

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18. Artifice 1025 First Street, #3, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Downtown)

A former electrical warehouse now broken into three separate spaces, the raison d'etre for this 3400sqft lounge is local artwork, with handpainted walls adorned by a rotating collection of photos and paintings from the City of Sin's most talented denizens; the rest of the vibe pays homage to the space's industrial roots, with original cinder block walls, exposed piping, hand stitched leather banquettes, and old TVs strewn about the bathroom, meaning no matter where you look you'll be staring at junk.

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19. Hi Scores Bar-Arcade 65 S. Stephanie St., Henderson, NV 89012

This bar and restaurant has a ton of craft bee, plus food made with fresh ingredients and video/arcade games you can play for free.

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20. BARDOT Brasserie 3730 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89149 (Strip)

Chef Michael Mina's Bardot offers upscale French cuisine inside a swanky, 1920s' inspired brasserie. Classic cuisine is dressed to the nines: prime steak tartare, garnished with a farm egg yolk, is ground to order and French onion soup includes périgord truffles and braised oxtail. Its location within the plush Aria Resort & Casino accentuates its opulent charm.

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