The 19 Most Essential Craft Breweries in Las Vegas

Beat the Sin City heat with cold beer.

Las Vegas Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Brewing Company

The best bars in Las Vegas offer plenty of variety, from wine to craft cocktails and even a few secluded speakeasies, but sometimes nothing beats an ice-cold beer. Fortunately, the local craft brew scene continues to boom with no sign of slowing down. Henderson and Downtown dominate the action, with steady, noticeable growth throughout the rest of the valley. Even North Las Vegas has its own brewery now. So take advantage of the options and check out the best craft beer Las Vegas has to offer, all made with the right amount of hops, expertise, and passion.

Las Vegas Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Brewing Company

The Las Vegas Brewing Company opened in March, but is already making a splash under the guidance of Dave Otto (one of the OG brewmasters in town, dating back to Holy Cow and later, Big Dog's). The brewery is down to experiment, but focuses on a core lineup of beers that are now showing up in bars around the valley, especially the West Coast Junkie IPA and Chantilly Cream Ale. An Irish-style dry stout is served throughout the Palms. Las Vegas Brewing got off on the right foot, taking over the closed PT's Brewing space (which was also the original Tenaya Creek operation) and is better than ever with a clean, modern gastropub feel and an inspired take on wings, flatbreads, sausages, and other beer-friendly bar food by executive chef Hollin Rothmann, who previously worked at Picasso and Carson Kitchen. You can’t go wrong with the Pretzel Bread Pudding. There are 15 gaming machines, but the taproom is smoke-free and all-ages with two dog-friendly patios.

North 5th Brewing Co
Photo courtesy of North 5th Brewing Co.

North 5th Brewing Co.

North Las Vegas

North 5th became the first brewery in the city limits of North Las Vegas after the owners of a home restoration business turned 5,000 square feet of their warehouse into a beer operation. You can always count on the Fierro Mexican-style lager and the Flor de Mayo West Coast-style IPA, while at least other 12 handles host a rotating lineup of recipes, leaving room for fun stuff like a malty Scotch Ale, which you don't always see on draft. Head brewer Patrick Tofte recently introduced a sour that mixes blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry with cinnamon and vanilla for a taste that's almost like dessert. The taproom is a relatively intimate space with a long bar and handful of tables. When the weather cools down, bring your dog for Yappy Hour on the outdoor patio and get a discount. North 5th also does buy-one, get-one growler refills on Mondays. Food trucks show up Tuesday-Saturday. Ask about a year-long membership full of perks, including an exclusive beer on tap.

HUDL Brewing Company

Downtown Arts District

As the name suggests, HUDL is meant to be a place where friends old and new can gather together over a love of beer (although a few bottles of wine are behind the counter too, just in case). Inspired by the San Diego craft beer movement, the brewpub is a mix of industrial and wood decor with Edison light bulbs and long accordion doors that open up to a spacious outdoor patio. The 22 beers on tap aim to cover a wide range of tastes, from a light lager to a triple IPA. The digital menu above the bar showcases an evolving lineup of craft beer, but the Vanilla Oak Cream Ale and High Hatter pineapple hef are likely here to stay. The Shaggy Assassin IPA changes every three months, although the name remains the same. Scan a QR code and have food from neighboring SoulBelly BBQ brought to your table.

Trustworthy Brewing Co.
Photo by Eugene Della Cruz, courtesy of Trustworthy

Trustworthy Brewing Co.

Grand Canal Shoppes

Trustworthy Brewing Co. is the only business brewing beer on the Strip—no small feat, since all that equipment had to be safely installed on the second floor of the Venetian's Palazzo hotel tower in the Grand Canal Shoppes. It's a huge space with at least six different seating areas, including banquet rooms. The brewery itself is behind glass in the center. The concept was founded in Burbank with a focus on West Coast-style beers, but the second location in Vegas is developing an identity of its own with exclusive brews. Order a flight and ask about what's new. You can't go wrong with the Trustworthy IPA or the Brass Jar Amber Ale. The food originally focused on barbecue, but expanded to include more traditional pub fare like nachos, pretzels, and fish n' chips. A second, smaller taproom is on the opposite side of the property near the main Venetian tower.

Nevada Brew Works
Photo courtesy of Nevada Brew Works

Nevada Brew Works

Downtown Arts District

Nevada Brew Works manages to cover more ground than the average brewery without spreading itself thin. There's a cocktail menu and full kitchen (serving brick-oven pizzas, Bavarian pretzels, burgers, and wings) in addition to beer. It's also one of the few breweries that's all ages. The 12 beers on tap change with the season, focusing on lagers and lighter recipes in the spring and summer, while shifting to darker, heavier beers in the fall and winter. The Ariana Rye IPA is named after the daughter of owners Jason and Lauren Taylor and benefits their charity foundation for cerebral palsy. It also happens to be a spicy, malty IPA with a hoppy aroma and smooth finish. The Belgian-style Lemondrop Saison has no actual lemon in the recipe, but has a sweet, citrus taste based on lemondrop hops.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
CraftHaus Brewery
Photo courtesy of CraftHaus Brewery

CraftHaus Brewery

Henderson & Downtown

CraftHaus Brewery was founded by Dave and Wyndee Forrest, a husband and wife inspired by the craft beer culture in Europe. The brewery established the first taproom in the Henderson Booze District, emphasizing a social sense of community in place of gaming machines. A second taproom serves customers in the Downtown Arts District, featuring local artwork and a specialized Czech tap that controls the flow of foam to beer for an authentic slow-pour pilsner. There are usually around 24 CraftHaus beers produced at any given time with lagers, sours, and IPAs that rotate with the season. The Belgard Stout is made with coffee from Vesta roasters, while the seasonal Dry Heat is a hazy IPA with extra hops and a citrus aroma. The Silver State blonde ale is a familiar sight in bars, grocery stores, and even hotel rooms in Las Vegas. As for food, try the soft pretzels made from the brewery's spent grain with beer cheese or bacon bourbon jam on the side.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Tenaya Creek Brewery
Tenaya Creek Brewery | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

This family-owned and operated brewery has been around for more than two decades, moving Downtown after outgrowing its previous facility in the northwest valley. It's not your typical Las Vegas watering hole: no gaming, smoking, or liquor. Just great craft beer and a little bit of wine. There are 28 handles—about half from Tenaya Creek and half from other microbreweries. The house brews are also available by can or bottle. There are a few exceptions, but the recipes are generally well-balanced and drinkable—not super-hoppy. The Hauling Oats oatmeal stout, and the easy, light-bodied 702 Pale Ale are longtime favorites. A rotating lineup of food trucks serve bites in the parking lot.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Banger Brewing
Banger Brewing | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

There are a few breweries in the Downtown area, but Banger Brewing is the only one surrounded by the high energy and bright lights of the Fremont Street Experience. Despite the location, the brewery and bar is a favorite of locals with reasonable prices. Opened by a group of service-industry friends, Banger Brewing is proving to be a great Las Vegas success story. The beer list is constantly revised, but El Heffe—a hefeweizen with a jalapeño kick—is probably the most popular mainstay. The Sandia watermelon wheat is a light, refreshing choice to fend off the notorious Nevada heat. Beers are $2 off during happy hour 1–3 pm and 10–midnight.

Lovelady Brewing Company
Lovelady Brewing Company | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

Lovelady is making a big, sudsy splash in Henderson's revitalized Water Street district. The business, which includes a comfortable taproom with games and a dog-friendly patio, was founded by four brothers (and yes, their last name is Lovelady) who got their start experimenting with at-home brewing back in their high school days. It made them popular at parties, and the love for producing beer was hard to shake. One of them is the former head brewer at Gordon Biersch in Las Vegas. Love Juice is the most popular seller, a hazy IPA with a touch of lactose for a smooth hint of sweetness. Other fun choices include the tangy 9th Island Pineapple Sour and Paleo Porter, made with coffee beans from Dark Moon Roasters. A second Henderson location is in the works for the Green Valley area.

Bad Beat Brewing
Photo courtesy of Bad Beat Brewing

Nathan Hall got into homebrewing on a whim. It started with a coupon for a five-gallon beer kit and quickly grew into a full-blown operation in his garage. Hall developed his own recipes and tested them out with friends during UFC viewing parties. He was encouraged to open his own brewery, which finally happened after selling his house. Make a point to visit the taproom in the Henderson Booze District. It has a charming clubhouse feel with long wood tables. Bad Beat seems especially comfortable experimenting with fun recipes while showcasing core beers like a hefeweizen, IPA, and the signature I Love NV amber lager. Try the Dreamy Life Japanese lager (formerly known as Drunken Life, Dreamy Death), brewed with 20% rice for a light body and dry finish.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Big Dogs Brewing Company
Big Dog’s Brewing Company | Photo by Ty Burgess

The legacy of Big Dog's dates back to the mid-90s, when founder Tom Wiesner opened Vegas' first legal brewery at the Holy Cow casino on the Strip. It was eventually demolished—a Walgreens is currently in its place—but the beer operation relocated to the Northwest Valley as Big Dog's Brewing Company, leading the way for the craft beer movement in Southern Nevada. Head brewer David Pascual won his share of awards and is among the best in the business. Most of the beers are given a dog theme with the Red Hydrant English Brown Ale and Black Lab Stout among the popular choices. The Triple Dog Dare Belgian Tripel was a seasonal favorite that stuck around. Big Dog's has its own full-service restaurant—modeled after a large barn with Midwest hospitality in mind. If you're a Green Bay Packers fan, you're among friends. There's also limited seating on the patio and in the beer garden.

Available for Delivery/Takeout
Hop Nuts Brewing
Photo courtesy of Hop Nuts Brewing

Hop Nuts Brewing

Downtown/West Valley

Blame Hop Nuts for kicking off the beer craze in the Downtown Arts District. Aside from the Golden Ale, most of the brews have something of a hoppy bite with the bitterness turned up to full blast with the Green Mamba, a hop-heavy West Coast-style double IPA that scores extremely high on the IBU scale. That's "International Bitterness Units," so consider yourself warned. The Golden Knight is a less intense, robust Belgian Golden Strong ale that honors our local hockey heroes. A second taproom operates in the West Valley at Tivoli Village. Both have an outdoor patio. The daily "hoppy hour" runs 4–7 pm with $4 pints.

Chicago Brewing Company
Chicago Brewing Company | Photo by Rob Kachelriess

Located on the eastern edge of Summerlin, the Chicago Brewing Company offers a little bit of everything for Las Vegans living in the West Valley, including an outdoor beer garden, cigar lounge, and overloaded menu of bar food and breakfast bites. Hang out and watch a game or try your luck with video poker. The house brews come in six basic choices with at least three playful, seasonal recipes. It's hard to resist favorites like the Ramblin' Reck amber or the Old Town brown ale, but the new Paloma Persona grapefruit sour ale comes with a bright citrus burst of flavor.

Ellis Island Casino & Brewery
Photo courtesy of Ellis Island

Just a block off the Strip, Ellis Island is a hotel and casino with its own on-site brewery. Things were given a major upgrade a few years ago with the addition of Eddie Leal as head brewer, making striking improvements to the core lineup of beers served throughout the property. He also gets to experiment with six additional taps in the Front Yard (a two-level beer garden, restaurant, and atrium). The stout was dropped in favor of a rotating lineup of dark beers that changes about once a month. The light has the bright, sweet corn flavor of a Mexican-style lager; the amber is hoppy and robust; and the IPA has a vibrant, fruity character with a new Belgian yeast strain. Pours generally run $3 to $5, making Ellis Island easily one of the best values in the Vegas beer scene.

This Arts District brewery gets its name from "Able" and "Baker"—the first two nuclear bombs dropped in the Nevada desert. The decor reflects the theme, paying tribute to the state's role in the Atomic Age. Yet the place is much more than a gimmick. Able Baker Brewing is a fun social spot with long wood tables and garage doors that roll up to an outdoor patio. Food is served from the Arts District Kitchen, a walk-up counter with a menu that changes frequently. Choose from more than 30 beers on tap, including collabs with former Golden Knight Ryan Reaves' 7FIVE brand (best known for the Training Day golden ale) and Chris Kael of Five Finger Death Punch (a barrel-aged dark Impale'd Ale). The Atomic Duck citrus-forward IPA remains Able Baker's signature beer, while the Radioactive Duck IPA balances a fruity finish with the bite of serrano peppers.

John Griffith has been sharing his own home brews with family and friends for more than 30 years. "Griff" got so good at it, he was convinced to open his own place with partner Nate Carney. Mojave Brewing Company, renovated from an old Bank of America building in Henderson's historic Water Street district, is an engaging, industrial space with roll-up garage-style doors, bistro string lights, and a long patio where dogs are welcome. The small-batch beers change frequently, but the Bones Brigade IPA and Almost Famous porter appear to be sticking around on a regular basis. There's a strong dedication to ciders too. Ask about the Freedom Peach, Flyin' Hawaiian Pineapple, or whatever Griff happens to be playing around with these days.

Neon Desert Brewing is the combined force of Jim Doyle and Clyde Lipp, who've collectively won dozens of homebrew competitions around the country over the past ten years. Formerly known as Beer District Brewing, the venture has 21 ambitious brews on tap, covering a lot of ground with small-batch recipes and a beer list that changes frequently—and drawing especially strong attention for dark beers. There's always a few hazy IPAs on tap and either a German or Bavarian-style hefeweizen. Overfruited sours and slushie beers are popular during summer. If in doubt, go with the signature Vegas In A Bottle Russian Imperial Stout. Scan a QR code and have Mexican food from Letty's delivered straight to your table. Plus there's usually a food truck outside Thursday through Saturday.

Along with CraftHaus and Bad Beat, Astronomy Aleworks is one of three beer producers in the Henderson Booze District. The brewery has a science fiction theme, but also describes itself as "science based," having hosted events with UNLV astronomy students and guest professors in the past. There are 12 beers on tap at all times with special brews changing every week or two. Just come in and ask about what's new, especially on Heavy Metal Tuesdays, themed trivia nights on Wednesdays, or if you can handle it, knitting and crochet on Thursdays. Food trucks often show up, especially on weekends. Astronomy Aleworks also makes an exclusive "Dwarf Piss" lager for the Red Dwarf tiki bar.

Scenic Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Scenic Brewing Company

Sometimes you need more than a taproom. The Scenic Brewing Company is a full-fledged restaurant with beer produced on site. Expect at least 17 recipes at any given time. That leaves plenty of room for variety, from pilsners, lagers, and ales to coffee stouts and fruity fun stuff. The Mas Cerveza Por Favor is a Mexican lager with flaked maize added to the mash for a reddish hue. The extra-hoppy Tropical Hopanero pale ale mixes the sweetness of mango puree with the bite of habanero peppers. The brewery doubles as a restaurant and sports bar with food honoring the Austrian heritage of Scenic Brewing's owners. Try the schnitzel.

Available for Delivery/Takeout

Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than seven years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's sometimes hoppy, sometimes malty, but never stale. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.