Beer and Loafing in Las Vegas

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Apr 22nd, 2008
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Las Vegas is not what you’d call a beer town. It’s a cocktail town. So what’s a beer guy to do in Vegas? More than you would think.

I’ve long been a fan of the Gordon Biersch Brewpub in Las Vegas. It’s not too far from the Hard Rock Casino. Yeah, Gordon Biersch is a chain, and one is pretty much like another. And while the beer is not outstanding, I have to say that it is pretty good and it is consistent. Better yet, the food is always great. Since I’m usually in Vegas for a convention, I try to stay somewhere near GB, which is an ok walk to and from the convention center. And there’s a Starbucks right across the parking lot from GB … what more do you need? You can almost forget you’re in Vegas … good beer, great food … stumbling distance to your hotel … coffee in the morning. Life is good.

The Freakin’ Frog is another venue I always visit while in Vegas. It seems like it used to be the only place you could get a decent IPA in town. And you could usually count on Chimay Tripel on draft and some other interesting beers. But it’s a little out of the way, over by the university. The Freakin’ Frog has an extensive selection of beer in bottles … but a lot of the prices are pretty ridiculous (with many of the beers just listed as “market” for the price). I still like visiting the Frog, but it’s hard for me to take the bottled beer list seriously as so much of the prices are outrageous. Still, when I was there a couple of weeks ago, Sierra Nevada Bigfoot was on the bottle list for $4. Not a bad bar price at all. I don’t remember how many I had, but I’m thankful I woke up the next morning in my own hotel room.

For a better beer experience, I have to say that this time I enjoyed the Burger Bar at Mandalay Place. It seemed a little odd at first, a hamburger restaurant in small shopping mall with mostly upscale clothing shops, with a video constantly playing on the TV with their master chef appearing on PBS making his gourmet hamburgers. But when I sat down and ordered my first pint of Stone Ruination IPA, I knew I was in love. The Burger Bar has some other interesting taps (such as the obligatory Chimay Tripel), and it has a small, but good, reserve beer list. They had a Stone Anniversary Black IPA that I enjoyed with my burger. Since we don’t see Stone that much in the southeast USA, I was quite intrigued by their beers.

While in town, I also made a point to check out the Triple 777 Casino Brewery in the Main Street Hotel, down near the Fremont Street Experience. It was maybe a little better than you might expect from a “casino brewery”, but not much. It did have one redeeming grace, however … the beer was pretty cheap … and the food was pretty reasonable too. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to visit here again, but if you’re down near Fremont Street, and you could use a Pale Ale, the price to quality ratio is pretty good here.

Enjoy Vegas. If you find yourself in need of a decent beer, I hope this short report helps you out!

1 Comment

  • Las Vegas Hotels

    Thank you for the post! I am big fan of the good beer and I happy that I read your post:) Soon I come to Las Vegas and I'll be glad to find a good place with good beer. I will use your experience and check all the places by myself:) Wait for reply:))