2005 | REGIONAL | WEST COAST
Nevada Beer Nuggets
By Bob Barnes
3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
8125 W. Sahara #110
Las Vegas, NV 89117
620 E. Flamingo Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Barley’s Casino &
4500 E Sunset Rd. #30
Henderson, NV 89014
Chicago Brewing Co.
2201 S. Fort Apache Rd.
Las Vegas, NV 89117
In the not-so-distant past, a good beer was nearly impossible
to find in the Vegas mega-resort casinos. Times are changing.
Case in point is the MGM Grand, with its bars, restaurants,
showrooms and Sports Book serving up craft brews in abundance.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale can be found throughout the property.
Zuri, a bar just steps from the front lobby, offers Chimay
Red; Chimay Blue; Duvel; Spaten Franziskaner; Young’s
Double Chocolate Stout; and Lindemans Framboise, Kriek and
The nightclub Tabu serves the same beer menu, and Centrifuge,
an upscale bar opening in late March or early April, will
do so as well. The Cirque du Soleil KA extravaganza serves
1664 Kronenbourg, Fat Tire and Newcastle on tap. And the MGM
Sports Book pours Anchor Steam, Fat Tire, Sierra Nevada, Gordon
Biersch Märzen, Pyramid Hefe, Guinness and Newcastle.
Beverage Director Avi Haksar said, “Our philosophy is
that we have the finest food and need to offer the finest
products available in beer. Our clientele expects the best.”
Haksar exposes his staff to training seminars about the beers
they serve and encourages them to promote the higher-quality
Rosemary’s Restaurant in Las Vegas hosted a chocolate-and-beer
pairing featuring selected dark ales of Unibroue and the chocolate
truffles of Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Jim Javenkoski, Ph.D., Unibroue’s
culinary attaché, designed the food and beer pairings.
Michael Smith, Unibroue’s western regional director,
provided samples of Terrible (10.5% extra strong dark ale),
Trois Pistoles (9% strong dark ale) and Quelque Chose (8%
special cherry ale, served mulled). Each beer was paired with
two Vosges Haut-Chocolat truffles that featured nontraditional
ingredients, including paprika, peppercorns, chipotle chili
pepper, Hawaiian island honey and balsamic vinegar. I found
the blendings intriguing and the dark roast flavors of the
cocoa bean an agreeable match to the rich dark Unibroue beers
we were served.
Rosemary’s followed this up with a beer dinner ominously
titled “Death by Hops.” The theme was intensely
hoppy beers and spicy food. The brews were selected and provided
by Wine Warehouse’s Larry James, and the pairings were
selected by Rosemary's chef/owner Michael Jordan, GM Michael
Shetler and Sommelier Nick Hetzel. Chef Jordan is ably prepared
for creating spicy dishes, having apprenticed under Emeril
Lagasse in New Orleans. There were big flavors on tap, but
the taste buds were warmed up with Cornmeal Fried Oyster with
Spicy Rémoulade served with Christoffel Blonde, an
unfiltered pilsner from Holland. Tom-Kha-Kai Soup with Coconut
Milk, Chicken, Lemon Grass & Galanga Root was paired with
Arran Blonde, a Scottish wheat-based ale aggressively hopped
and made with a very aromatic yeast strain from the Isle of
Arran Brewery. Rogue’s Awry PA, a rye-based IPA, was
balanced with Foie Gras Dirty Rice & Stuffed Faro Quail
on a bed of Andouille Southern Cooked Greens. Flying Dog’s
Wild Dog Anniversary Double Pale Ale has a huge sweet malt
kick with Centennial hops that was complemented by a Chipotle
Chile-Rubbed Pork Chop with a Chocolate Mole Sauce.
The repast was topped off with a Dessert Trio of Caramel
Walnut Brownie, White Chocolate-Nocello Milkshake and Caramel
Pot de Creme with toffee, made all the more flavorful with
Uinta’s 10th Anniversary Barleywine, a spicy Utah brew
with caramel notes and a lingering finish. Rosemary’s
regularly sponsors beer and food pairings that almost always
sell out, and it shines as the city’s foremost gourmet
restaurant, having been selected as the city’s best
gourmet restaurant in the local newspaper reader’s poll
for the past four years. It’s also one of the few fine
restaurants in town that provides an exquisite beer lineup
and lists suggested brews with each entree on its menu.
A beer nugget I’ve recently unearthed is the beer selection
at Roy’s, a restaurant serving Hawaiian fusion cuisine.
Jeff McDermott, managing partner at the E. Flamingo location
near the Las Vegas Strip, has made a commitment to providing
quality brews to complement his restaurant’s unique
cuisine. Duvel, Blue Moon White Ale, Chimay Red, Weihenstephaner
Weissbier, Caulier Blonde, Fat Tire and Roy’s Private
Reserve round out a more than respectable beer menu.
is that we have the finest food and need to offer the
finest products available in beer."
Freakin’ Frog is now serving Samichlaus and Fantome
on tap as well as rotating a handle of locally brewed beer.
First up are Big Dog’s Double IPA and Barleywine. Slated
to follow in the near future are beers from Monte Carlo Brewpub
and Chicago Brewing Company.
The mercury is rising, and that means it’s the start
of beer festival season in southern Nevada. On May 14, Barley’s
Casino & Brewing Company will host its fourth annual Brewfest
from noon to 9:00 in the surrounding plaza. This is an opportunity
to try brews from all 10 of the Vegas area breweries, as well
as several other select brewing companies from neighboring
states, including Mudshark from Lake Havasu, Ariz.; Uinta
from Salt Lake City, Utah; and Lengthwise from Bakersfield,
Calif. Three live bands will keep the event rocking, and Barley’s
will provide reasonably priced BBQ offerings and unlimited
tastings for $20. BURP card members (Barley's Ultimate Rewards
Program) will receive a $5 discount, and new sign-ups are
eligible. Barley’s is in Henderson/Green Valley at Mountain
Vista and Sunset.
Chicago Brewing Company will celebrate its fifth anniversary
Hawaiian style with a luau-themed bash on Saturday, April
9. A pig will be roasted, a special menu served, and Brewmaster
Kyle Cormier will unveil his anniversary brew, a 12% Imperial
Honey Blonde that has two gallons of honey per barrel and
uses five different yeast strains (symbolic of Chicago’s
five years). A professional cigar roller will be on-site as
well as Havana Honey girls passing out cigars. The party runs
from 3:00 to 9:00 and costs $20 for all the food you can eat,
with beers an additional $1 each. Chicago is located at the
corner of Sahara and Fort Apache in the Village Square Center.
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