Thursday, June 3, 2010

Viva Las Vegas

The names below are in order from right to left.
As I travel, I always try and find interesting home-brew or craft beers along my journey. My honeymoon was no different, although we had an aggressive itinerary. Without going into too much depth, we traveled from Newark to Las Vegas, Flagstaff, Grand Canyon South Rim, Sedona, and finally Phoenix. The beer was so awesome in Flagstaff that it deserves its own post coming next week. Likewise, the beer in Las Vegas is so god-awful-terrible that it deserves its own post right now.

Las Vegas is an interesting town and wasn't at all what I expected. I've heard from others that over the last twenty years the pricing structure has changed greatly, moving away from gambling income and into the more traditional: fleecing of tourists. I really didn't expect everybody to pick my pocket but I digress. Although it is worth mentioning that the restaurants in Treasure Island are all terrible ($20 for severely burned toast, oily wet hash browns, and bacon I could use to scrape gum off my shoes.) This is a beer blog, so lets get back on topic.

Since I refuse to pay $9 for a Bud Light, Coors Light, or Michelob Light (unless it comes with five of its brothers), I felt like the only sober person on the Strip. Nearly all the restaurants cater to the same unenlightened (beer-wise) crowd,  so stadium-esque selection is to be expected. The one exception, the outlier, the oasis of beer in the desert is the Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay.

The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay has a robust selection including quite a few local beers as well as a figurative magazine of Belgian imports. It's sort of like being a kid in a candy store, except with fewer trips to the dentist and more trips to the gastroenterologist. If you have any money left over after tipping absolutely everybody, definitely check it out. My brew-tour consisted of the following, which I will summarize briefly:

Tenaya Creek Brewery - Seasonal Hefeweizen
This was very good, but a little dry and bitter. The hops are there but not easy to taste.

Delirium - Tremens
Named after alcohol withdrawal symptoms, this one has an exceedingly high ABV. It tastes great and is really what Sam Adams Coastal Wheat should have been. You listening Sam?

Sin City - Amber Lager
This beer was crap. It was very watery and tastes like a poorly implemented kit American Ale. It has literally no smell at all and a slightly spicy taste. Definitely a tourist trap beer.

Dogfish Head - 90 Minute IPA
Sweet and very hoppy. This beer is always excellent.

This tasted a little stale and watery. It was really nothing special; not as good as Hoegaarden but better than Blue Moon.

Van Diest - Früli Strawberry
This was the best strawberry beer I've ever had. It was very sweet but tasted like real fruit. It was just like a great daiquiri or lambic.

That was my tour, but they have tons of beer to sample. If you're in Vegas drowning in expensive flavorless beer definitely check out the Burger Bar. You won't be disappointed.


  1. The worst beer i have tasted is Monty Pythons Holy Grail Ale. I don't Know if it was because I tried it before I acquired the taste of beer. But I degress that is a whole different story. Lets see a review on that one. Monty Pythons Holy Grail Ale.

  2. lol, well I'm not going out of my way to find bad ones but I have run across that beer. Thanks for the comment!