2005 | REGIONAL | WEST COAST
Nevada Beer Nuggets
By Bob Barnes
Las Vegas, “Entertainment Capital of the World,”
has set its share of records and boasts the No. 1 ranking
in several categories, but now it can attest to a beer-drinking
accolade. Nine Fine Irishmen, New York New York’s version
of an Irish pub on the glittery Las Vegas Strip, can lay claim
to being the number one stout drinking establishment in North
America, pouring more Guinness stout on draft than any other
pub on the continent. According to publican (GM) Cory Harwell,
320,000 pints of Guinness were poured and 2,900 kegs were
emptied from July 2003 through November 2004. With so many
stout lovers bellying up to the bar, it’s fitting that
Harwell contracted Sin
City Beer Company to make a traditional version of an
Irish stout to boost the uniqueness of the pub and to conjure
up a stout that would resemble what was traditionally being
poured at the time of the revolutionary activity of 1848 for
which the pub is named. Called Ballingarry Warhouse Stout,
it’s a rich and full-bodied dry stout and, in my opinion,
Sin City’s best brew yet. At 6%, it’s 2% stronger
than the Guinness draft served in the States.
Sin City owner Rich Johnson (former Gordon Biersch director
of brewing operations for the West Coast) had, up to this
point, produced only German-style lagers. When asked about
his stout, he replied, “I’ve been keeping it in
the back of my mind since cycling around Ireland in 1985,
but due to my being a Gordon Biersch disciple, the non-German
beer styles had been relegated to the back burner. Now that
I own Sin City Beer Co., it has expanded my brewing universe
greatly, and I’m proud to produce such a fine example
of a dry stout, and frankly can't drink enough of it.”
Now that the brewery has celebrated its one-year anniversary
and produced over 1,000 kegs in its inaugural year, the likelihood
of finding Sin City’s beers on the Vegas Strip and in
the Vegas Valley has expanded, with nearly 50 establishments
tapping its beer. Locations on the Strip include Treasure
Island, Stardust, New York New York, Mandalay Bay, Aladdin
and GameWorks. For a complete listing, go to sincitybeer.com.
Brewing Company will be celebrating its first anniversary
on February 26 and 27 with the Johnsonville "Big Taste
Grill," the world's largest grill (an actual semitruck).
Expect brats and brews specials and live bands.
owner Adam Carmer is finding ways to make us feel good about
drinking beer by uniting the love of beer with raising money
for a good cause. An auction of fine beers raised over $600,
with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Fight ALD (Adrenoleukodystrophy)
fund in honor of Sawyer Sherwood (young son of Stone brewer
Bill Sherwood), who died of the disease. Carmer presented
the check to Janis and Bill Sherwood, Sawyer's parents. All
of the beer was donated by Carmer, UNLV professor J. C. Curtis,
employees of Stone Brewing, and Larry Chapman, a customer
of Freakin’ Frog. The fund-raiser is ongoing, with several
bottles of beer still available for purchase. The Frog’s
recent expansion has allowed it to expand its beer list, which
includes brews from all five Trappist breweries. The current
total stands at 425 beers, inching towards the final goal
Another first for Nevada took place at Freakin’ Frog,
namely the first-ever tapping in the Silver State of a keg
of the 7.4% Weihenstephaner Korbinian. A party to celebrate
the unveiling of this rich-tasting doppelbock was held at
the Frog and hosted by Renegade Brands (Nevada brand manager)
and Bavaria House (U.S. importer of Weihenstephaner).
I once again headed to Southern California to celebrate my
birthday, and like a magnet was drawn to Tustin
Brewing Company, where Brewmaster Matt Johnson cordially
shared his company and his beers with me. His IPA has now
surpassed his pale ale as my favorite birthday celebration
beer. It’s my kind of IPA, with tons of hop flavor but
without overpowering bitterness. Unfortunately, it’s
a seasonal, and they seem to be out of it each time the hapless
CBN Associate Editor Don Erickson stops by. Visiting Tustin
Brewing has become my birthday tradition. My apologies to
Vegas brewers, but Tustin just happens to be a short trek
from Disneyland, one of my happiest places on Earth.
The new Steiner’s on Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip)
is now open.
With 24 quality taps and 60-plus bottles, it’s worth
a stop for any beer lover, but what’s notable about
this location is that it’s only four miles from the
south end of the Strip. Part-owner Roger Sachs said, “Our
focus will, of course, be local, but we are excited about
the opportunity to reach the tourist clientele and look to
service the Cancun, Grandview and Tradewinds timeshares and
the Oasis motor home park, not to mention some hotel business
from the Strip.” To get to Steiner’s, just head
south on the Strip till you get to the Food for Less Center
at Windmill, or take the I-15 and exit at Blue Diamond and
go south on Las Vegas Boulevard.
You can now get a current listing of what’s on tap
at each of Southern Nevada’s brewpubs by visiting the
Web site of SNAFU, one of the Vegas homebrew clubs. The list
is updated monthly by Barley’s brewmaster, Jim Wilson.
the website here, it has links to each brewery’s
Web site. As always, good things happen in Vegas!
Nine Fine Irishmen
3790 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Big Dog’s Brewing Co.
| Visit Website
The Draft House
4543 N. Rancho Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89131
Freakin’ Frog Beer &
Wine Café | Visit
4700 S. Maryland Pkwy. #8
Las Vegas, NV 89119
8168 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89123
Bob Barnes is a native Las Vegan and
a regional correspondent for the Celebrator Beer News. He
welcomes your inquiries and is standing by to assist you in
your Vegas beer quest. He can also be reached via