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Vegas Beercation: Brewery Row

Before I started this beer blog, I was known around town as ‘The Vegas Guy’. I would get random calls and messages from friends and co-workers looking for hotel and dining recommendations. Which is so much better than doing my actual my job. One time I was pulled into a room of managers and directors to tell the story of the night I spent as part of Derek Stevens entourage. Derek Stevens is the co-owner of three casinos in Downtown Las Vegas, a big sports better and all around great guy. But as my Vegas trips were put on hold and my beer blog gained popularity, my identity morphed from Vegas Guy to Craft Beer Guy. Now I get random calls and messages asking for beer and brewery recommendations which is equally as cool and a welcomed work distraction.

It might surprise you that just north of the glitz and glamour of the famed Las Vegas Strip is a burgeoning tourist destination called Brewery Row. This area of Las Vegas between the Strip and Downtown hasn’t always been in high regard. In fact, locals would have advised you not to walk through it even during the day. But the past few years have seen a complete revitalization that started with the Arts District. The revitalization has spread and breweries have come together to form Brewery Row. This area starts North of the Strat Hotel and Casino along Main St from West Wyoming Ave up to West Charleston Blvd and is home to five breweries and a couple taprooms. In addition, you’ll find cafes, cocktail bars, bakeries, tattoo shops and numerous vintage clothing and décor retailers.

Nevada Brew Works

1327 Main St S, Las Vegas NV.

nevadabrewworks.com


I was first through their doors at the stroke of 11am, and ready to kick start my Brewery Row tour with a solid base of beers, burgers and fries. They have a huge front patio that is nicely shaded and perfect to chill on even in the hot afternoon. The interior is a bit rustic with dark blue and wood paneled walls balanced with natural light pouring in from the front windows. I ordered my flight at the counter and took a seat at the bar to peruse the food menu. Service was efficient but not personable and even a bit impatient as I chose beers for my flight. But the barstools are so comfortable I could have easily spent the afternoon working through their tap list, on to their bourbon shelves and then likely on to the floor.

In my flight of four 5oz pours I had their West Coast IPA, Vienna Lager, Arianna Rye IPA and Charlie’s Oatmeal Stout. All the beers were solid and good representation of style. For me, the West Coast IPA and smooth Arianna Rye IPA were the stand outs.

I’ve been following their social media and drooling over pics of their burgers and pizza. We’re talking juicy double smash burgers topped with bacon jam, onions rings and fried cheese curds. The pizzas look phenomenal and their chicken wings are huge. I ordered the Western BBQ burger with a double smashed patty, cheese, onion rings and BBQ bacon jam served with crispy fries. This was a tasty burger with plenty of delicious sweet and savoury bacon jam.

NVB is next door to HUDL Brewing with Soul Belly BBQ sandwiched in between making this the perfect spot for a brewery bang bang. Before Nevada Brew Works opened, they were featured on the show Bar Rescue with Jon Taffer. It wasn’t that the bar needed rescuing from poor sales or service, the family just needed some help finishing the project and getting the doors open. I already plan to return to NBW next trip to enjoy another burger with a glass of Arianna Rye IPA... and likely some bourbon.

Able Baker Brewing

1510 Main St. S. Las Vegas, NV

ablebakerbrewing.com


I doubled back towards the Strat to visit the most well-known brewery on the Row, Able Baker Brewing. This brewery is best identified by their rubber ducky logo and flagship Atomic Duck IPA. The brewery derives its name from the code names given to the first two atomic bombs that were detonated at the Nevada Test Site, “Able” and “Baker”. Legend says the only animal to survive these atomic blasts was a duck. See we don’t just drink beer here, we sling facts.

Inside is vast and warehouse like that almost seems unfinished with the black plastic sheeting that insulates the tall ceiling. I loved all the vintage atomic designs throughout, especially the pinup girl on their malt silo that suggestively tells you to “Take Flight”.

I took a seat at the polished concrete bar with wonder in my eyes like a kid on Christmas morning. Their tap list had an unbelievable 32 offerings that included imperial stouts, IPAs, saisons, Belgian tripels and even a 17% abv Zombie Slayer IPA.

I was lucky to have Sarah helping me choose my flight and talking beer with me between helping other happy customers. Each 6oz sample is priced differently and some are as much as $6 depending on the abv. Pictured in my flight is their Ugly Dunkeling, Atomic Duck IPA, Honey Dip Imperial Stout and Test Suite Saison. Every flight comes with a different little rubber duck that you get to keep.

With 32 beers on tap there was no way I could just try four. I also enjoyed their Excited State Pilsner and Our-Cha-Tai Cream ale along with sips of many others. Stand outs were the Honey Dip stout and their Atomic Duck IPA, which I enjoyed a full pour for more of its West Coast tropical goodness.

I actually had a hard time pulling myself away from here with the SoCal Reggae playlist and warm fresh air flowing through the open windows... just perfect vibes. Sarah provided awesome service and I could have spent all afternoon there and truthfully I just might next trip. If you can visit only one brewery during your next trip to Vegas, Able Baker should be it.

Hop Nuts Brewing

1120 Main St. S. Las Vegas NV.

www.hopnutsbrewing.com


Hop Nuts was the first microbrewery open in the Arts District and now the newly branded Brewery Row. I liked the exterior design of the small brewery with a fully shaded patio and inviting front entrance that offers some sunlight to an otherwise dark taproom.

The interior features a lounge space upfront with leather booths and barrel bar tables. A long bar spans most of the right side with six wall mounted tables to the left. towards the back you will find a view into the brewery and a lone shuffle board. It’s cool and dark inside with a dive bar feel.

Hop Nuts had 14 brews on offer with 7 of the 14 being either IPAs or DIPAs, this is a great spot for all you hopheads! In my flight of five 5oz pours I had their Harry Porter, Nelson Pilsner, Hoppy Gilmore IPA, Green Mamba DIPA and Golden Ale. I really enjoyed their porter and found the IPAs to be very flavourful, but the pilsner just ok. I'm not a fan of their flight boards, it’s hard to tell what you’re drinking and they make for poor beer pics.

The service wasn’t great, I asked a few questions on the style and what was popular but was offered only one or two word answers. After taking my seat at the end of the bar, they dropped off the flight without a word and walked back to the end of the bar never to return. I drank through my flight, took some pictures and eventually left without any desire for another round. After a great experience at Able Baker, I think it was hard for Hop Nuts to follow. I found the beer to be average and the overall experience underwhelming. I would return to Hop Nuts for a beer crawl but I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way.

CraftHaus Brewing Co.

197 California St. E. Las Vegas, NV.

crafthausbrewery.com


Don’t let the plain exterior design of Craft Haus Brewing fool you, the taproom inside is a bright, colourful and modern space complete with a some Instagram worthy backdrops.

I took a seat at the polished marble bar, meet taproom manager Nic and got down to business choosing a flight. With 18 beers on tap, Craft Haus had an awesome selection of styles spanning sours, saisons, lagers, IPAs and dark beers. With flight baskets holding up to 6 samples… I had to fill up that basket. I chose the Psycho Helles Lager, Czech Plz Pilsner, Sugio! Milkshake IPA, Cuckoo Dunkel and the Belgard Coffee Stout. All the beers tasted fresh, flavourful and drank perfectly to their description, I especially enjoyed the dunkel and coffee stout.

What the taproom is missing is a peek into the brewery, but no beer is made at this downtown satellite location. The main taproom and brewery is located in the nearby suburb community of Henderson NV.

Nic and I really hit it off as fellow Canadians. I finally escape from Canada and here I am sitting in a taproom talking about Canada with a bartender from Montreal. I felt really comfortable and welcomed at Craft Haus and was able to just enjoy my time and chat with Nic. The trendy modern vibes of Craft Haus should definitely appeal to a larger audience than just us beer geeks. I had a great experience here thanks to Nic, and I will absolutely return.

Servehzah Bottle Shop & Taproom

1301 Commerce St. S. Las Vegas NV.

servehzah.com


I was feeling pretty good by the time I arrived at SerVehZah for more…cerveza. I’d been following SerVehZah’s socials from the get go and the taproom and bottleshop is a great addition to Brewery Row.

The space is open and comfortable with tall wood planked ceilings, natural light and air flow with tons of seating. The design has an industrial vibe with corrugated steel accents, colourful artwork and polished concrete floors. I loved their walk through beer cooler that has get selection of local and national craft beers, Nevadans love their hazies! But that cooler could do more damage to your bankroll than triple zero roulette.

SerVehZah has 24+ taps pouring beers and ciders from all over the Las Vegas Valley and even some of SerVehZah’s own brews. In my flight I choose Servehzah’s Nueva Esperanza Vienna lager, Astronomy Ales Donde Estout El Cucuy Mole Stout, Bad Beat Brewing’s Best Furiend Wheat Beer and local favourite HUDL Vanilla Oak Cream Ale. I would give you some recommendations…ahem Mole Stout, but the beer selection is constantly changing so you’ll have to visit for yourself. They are also famous for their micheladas which are available by the glass or in a flight with your choice of mango, pineapple, guava, watermelon or traditional.

Service was exceptionally friendly and helpful in recommending beers for my flight, they checked on me numerous times and even offered a few sips of other beers on tap. This a comfortable and welcoming place where I could easily see myself spending an afternoon enjoying a few too many samples.

It was really cool checking out this new area, and with the breweries and taprooms only a 5 minute walk apart, it’s perfect for a brewery crawl. I’ve been to Vegas more than 40 times and I’ve done many things in this awesome city, but Brewery Row has now become a must do for all future trips. Stay positive, drink good beer and always double on 11.


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