The Most Essential Craft Breweries in Las Vegas
You’ve got your work cut out for you.
The Las Vegas craft beer scene has been growing steadily the past few years, but is being reshuffled like a casino card deck in 2020. First, the bad news. Joseph James, Sin City Brewing, and PT’s Brewing Company all ceased operations in recent months. However, new breweries are more than picking up the slack. The Downtown Arts District is suddenly a hotbed of beer producers and taprooms, with HUDL on the way and Nevada Brew Works just getting started (but not serving beer until at least October). On the other side of the valley in Henderson, a new wave of intriguing breweries are planting a flag on historic Water Street and in a small business park known informally as the Henderson Booze District.
As we continue to climb our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, taprooms are following strict social distancing guidelines to remain in business. So show some love and patience while spending money at these local businesses. You may experience limited seating and required food orders when buying a brew. But here’s the good news -- it's totally worth it. The beer in Las Vegas is better than ever with ambitious producers offering a variety of options. Here's a look at the top Las Vegas breweries worth your dollar.
Beers to try: The Belgard Stout is made with coffee from Vesta roasters and the Sour Chad uses hibiscus and prickly pear from the Ethel M Cactus Garden. The Silver State blonde ale is a familiar sight in bars, grocery stores, and even hotel rooms in Las Vegas. For the health conscious, the brand new Electro-Lite is a low-calorie IPA with electrolytes added to take the edge off any hangover.
Tenaya Creek Brewery
Beers to try: Favorites include the Hauling Oats oatmeal stout, and the easy, light-bodied 702 Pale Ale. Come by on Pint Night Tuesdays, beginning at 6pm, where the first pour is $7 with a pint glass and return pours just $3.
Beers to try: The beer list is constantly revised, but El Heffe -- a hefeweizen with a jalapeño kick -- is probably the most popular mainstay. The golden Wild Bill kolsch is a light, refreshing choice to fend off the notorious Nevada heat.
Lovelady Brewing Company
Beers to try: Fun choices include a tangy pineapple sour and a porter made with beans from Mothership Coffee roasters. We’re hoping the limited-edition Original Cinn -- a strong cinnamon and apple ale -- sticks around through fall and winter.
Bad Beat Brewing
Beers to try: Gose varieties seem especially popular. Ask about the Poppin’ Bottles Imperial Grose, aged in chardonnay and champagne barrels to mark Bad Beat’s six-year anniversary.
Big Dogs Brewing Company
Beers to try: Some of the beers are given a dog theme, with the Red Hydrant English Brown Ale and Black Lab Stout among the popular choices.
Hop Nuts Brewing
Beers to try: Aside from the Golden Ale, most of the brews have something of a hoppy bite, including the limited-edition Imperial Espresso Stout -- made with beans from Makers & Finders Coffee next door.
Chicago Brewing Company
Beers to try: Current limited-edition brews include the sweet Blueberry Vanilla Wheat and a medium-bodied (and appropriately named) Pandemic Ale.
Ellis Island Casino & Brewery
Beers to try: The stout was dropped in favor of a rotating lineup of dark beers that changes about once a month. The latest -- a German-style schwarzbier -- has a light body and a subtle malt roast flavor.
Able Baker Brewing
Beers to try: Choose from more than 30 beers on tap, including collabs with Golden Knight Ryan Reaves’ 7FIVE brand (which just released a Shiver Giver IPA) and Chris Kael of Five Finger Death Punch (a barrel-aged dark Impale’d Ale). The Radioactive Duck IPA balances a fruity finish with the bite of serrano peppers.
Mojave Brewing Company
Beers to try: 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 or Flyin’ Hawaiian Pineapple.
Beer District Brewing
Beers to try: Over-fruited sours and slushie beers have been popular this summer, including fun, decadent flavors like neapolitan, PB&J, and apple pie a la mode. If you want something darker, go with the signature Vegas In A Bottle Russian Imperial Stout.
Beers to try: There are 12 beers on tap at all times with the Speed of Light Kolsch and Hawking Hazy Pale Ale among the regular favorites.
Scenic Brewing Co.
Beers to try: There is a ton of variety -- from pilsners, lagers, and ales to coffee stouts and fruity fun stuff like a blackberry hefeweizen or the tart Key Lime Berliner weisse. The Tropical Hopanero pale ale mixes the sweetness of mango puree with the bite of habanero peppers.