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Grabbing Great Beer Downtown

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels' started by wasilla, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. wasilla

    wasilla Low-Roller

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    I'm one of those guys who actually go on beer vacations. Over the past 6 months I've written a couple really long, really VP intensive Trip Reports that also talks about what great beer is now available downtown. A couple of people have suggested that most of this board are not going to wade through those TR's. While I'm not going to recreate my experiences in these places, I am going to try and provide beer lovers some direction.

    The quality of Downtown beer has skyrocketed. The Arts District is particularly fantastically fantastic with 2 brewpubs and a tasting room already open and two more coming.

    We'll start with Casinos.

    Main Street Station
    MSS has their tap list on their website. They are an independent micro brewery. They have two bars, their 777 brewpub and the casino's Boar Heads Bar. BHB serves the brewery's standard line up. This includes a red, porter, golden, hefeweizen, pale, and an IPA. The IPA is probably their flagship at 7.6 %, 60 IBU's. The rest of the line up is 5% to 5.5%. These beers are comped to players both at the bar and on the floor. I honestly can't tell you how much they cost, but I will guess $2.50. Some of their glasses look like pints, but they aren't. The plastic cups are suppose to hold 14oz, the newer glasses are probably similar, and the pint looking glasses are a little above 12 oz. I like the Carlsbad IPA. The rest of their beers I consider as acceptable examples of their style. They are nothing I would pay for, but are some of the best beer that you can get comped on a DT casino floor. BHB also has a bottled collection. These do change and Bar Tenders will not always know what they have in the coolers. Most, but not all, of their bottles are displayed on the bar. When I left in November, bottles included Space Dust, basically a double IPA, and Stone's IPA.
    The 777 brew pub also carries the year round beers, but does not comp them at their non VP bar. It has HH's running M-F 3pm to 6pm and 11pm to 3pm. The beer cost more for larger servings. Beer is served in in attractive glasses by the pint or 23oz. Most people like the food and HH's have both food and beer discounts. 777 also has a Brewer's Special and Brewer's Reserve Taps. While I occasionally find these to be awful, they are usually at least drinkable and usually good to great. I've had a couple hit fantastic. Some floor servers use 777. You can get these comped from them if you know exactly how to order them. The current taps are a Rye IPA and a Brown.You should not expect a CW to know these taps.

    QQQQ's

    4Q's has 3 bars. The downstairs bars carry some of Chicago Brewing's beers and (I think) Deshute's Mirror Pond Ale. All 3 are VP bars that comp their beer. I'm a big fan of their 7% Hardaway IPA that is only served upstairs in what is in effect a Chicago Brewing tasting room. This bar serves good food. They are known for their Chicago style square cut pizza. The staff are actually Chicago Brewing employees. Beer is comped for players in both 14oz and 22oz glasses. It's player's choice. They have a light ale, Red, Brown, Stout, Hefeweizen, a root beer, and IPA. I drink the IPA. A large glass cost around $6 or $7. The food is mostly $6 to $12. If you gamble and have comp dollars, you can pay with those. Oddly, while you can buy these beers at Magnolia's, they are not available at Hugo's which has a rather underwhelming beer lineup. I generally bring an IPA to dinner there. These beers aren't comped on the floor. In addition, they have an unadvertised rotating tap. When I left in November, It was Self Esteem Ale which was a California Common.

    Golden Gate

    Players can get excellent comped beer both at the bar and on the floor. CW service can slow down to non existent back where the good VP is hidden. In June I was drinking Stone's Xocoveza Stout and Delicious IPA. This month they still had the Delicious IPA, and added Bells 2 Hearted Ale, a good IPA, and Duvel, an actual Belgium beer. Serving size is maybe 10oz's. They have a lot of taps. I saw Firestone, Guinness, and a bunch of others that I don't remember. The challenge with getting good beer at GG is that staff don't know what they have. I had to memorize the name and tell the CW where the tap was located to get the beer I wanted. I was at the bar briefly twice this trip and could not find out what the bottled selection was. One BT just gave me an incomplete written list.

    Golden Nugget

    A GN VP bar has a pretty good selection of bottled beer, if you want to play bad VP for comps. If you will pay for your beer, I'll be talking about cheaper and better options later.

    California.

    I believe that the Cal still carries and comps Goose Island IPA. The standout beer there isn't comped to players. The bar serving Redwood has Dogfish 90 minute IPA in bottles. I think it costs $6 and $4 during HH. I always order it when I can pull a Redwood or noodle house comp. The noodle house has been only charging $4 for it.

    DTG

    DTG usually has Lagunitas IPA on tap. Otherwise, I consider the casino a beer desert. The Furnace Bar does have some decent beer for purchase and has a couple of HH's. I would have gotten a Greenflash IPA, but hit the brewpubs instead.

    Binion's

    Their cigar bar has decent BBQ. The bar has some bar tops, so beer is comped to players. Their taps are similar to the downstairs 4Q's bar. The standout tap is Tenaya Creek's Haulin Oats oatmeal stout. I was considering walking to Tenaya later that night, but 3 comped Oatmeal Stouts changed my mind. Serving sizes are the same as at Chicago Brewing.

    The D

    The Long Bar has a lot of taps. They comp players, but the VP is better upstairs at the Vue Bar. The Vue Bar was serving Stone IPA in bottles and Draft and Alaska Amber on tap. Someone else will have to talk about the Long Bar selection.

    Freemont, I assume Goose IPA, but I haven't had a beer there in years.

    El Cortez: There are no micros on the floor. The bars usually carry some drinkable stuff, but the bar tops suck now and I stopped drinking there.

    Feel free to make additions or corrections. I'm headed to dinner now, but will follow up with the excellent brew pubs that have opened up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
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  2. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    BHB also has goose but as far as I know you are correct in your observations. I can attest to staff Not knowing what they have. Shift change at boars head and I had gone to the restroom. While busy my empty bottle was tossed and upon returning asked for a spacedust. About 5 minutes later and a vigorous search the barguy asked if i would be ok with an Elysian instead. o_O Sure, I’ll take one of those (it was a space dust) :woohoo:
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
    NY giants vs Cincinnati-- y not?
    The tax man cometh and i goeth.
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  3. wasilla

    wasilla Low-Roller

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    That was funny bubbakitty.

    Lets move on to brewpubs.

    Tenaya Creek is a brewpub around a 15 minute walk NW from Fremont Street. There is a bus stop in front of it, but walking seems quicker. They have a live picture of their beer selection on their website. It's a local's place with a lot of regulars and friendly stall. Staff at these downtown brewpubs tend to be knowledgeable about their product. If you aren't sure, taste it first. No brewpub wants to sell you a beer you don't like when they can sell you 3 that you do. Taps normally on include a couple of IPA's, a Brown, Oatmeal Stout, a pale, a lager, a pilsner and a hefeweizen. Their Barley Wine also is generally on whenever I've been there. They currently have a couple double IPA's I haven't tried, a brut IPA which I don't understand, and a Mexican lager. Some excellent seasonals are on including their 9.3% Baltic Porter and their 6.6% peach Saison. The Octoberfest isn't my favorite style, but theirs is a good example.
    This brewery is a standout for their amazingly amazing guest taps. This Summer I visited twice because they had a collection of Joseph James barrel aged beers. I honestly can't describe how good some of these were, made even more special because I was drinking out of the last keg left in Nevada. I thought maybe this was just a one off, but during my trip there this month, I found a beer that was even better. That one is long gone but they still have Omnipollo Tetrakty's NE IPA which I also loved. The guest taps currently are skewed towards big, alcoholic, full bodied beers. They have 2 daily HH's. I think that the first is 3 to 7pm. The HH doesn't apply to guest taps and a lot of their seasonals. Sometimes there is a food truck.

    Banger Brewing is on Fremont. They have HH's from 1 to 3 and 9 to 11 when their beer sells for $5 for varying sized pours. I drank a lot of their IPA and Brown when El Co use to carry them. I've only drank on site once, but was very impressed. They have an eclectic collection of their own beers including an IPA, DIPA, Hazy IPA, Farmhouse Saison, Chocolate Stout, Imperial Stout, Coffee Kolsh, Hefeweizen, Brown, Belgian Golden, and a 15% shot of Strong Ale. If I were in town, I'd order an Odell Woodcut #9 10.7% Imperial IPA from their guest taps. Perhaps someone who is in town will share what its like. I tasted 75% of their beers and I'd order any of those. Great and convenient place. They serve food.

    The Arts District beer scene is exploding. Two new brewpubs are suppose to open soon. I usually walk, but it takes a while. I had a bus pass and used it to hop the SDX to the Arts District stop. It's less than a 10 minute walk to Hop Nuts. From theer, I go to Crafthause, and then on to Able Baker. From there I catch the SDX at The STRAT stop to get back home. When I get back in February, I expect to have 2 extra stops.

    Hop Nuts has a daily HH from 4 to 7 when SOME of their pints sell for $4. They generally have a good selection of IPA's, a Belgian Strong Golden, a Pale, Blonde, Red, Porter, and Imperial Stout. They also do some sours. They have 5 or 6 guest taps. This is a neighborhood place with bar, table, and outdoor seating. They don't serve food, but you can bring it in. Sometimes there are food trucks. This is the place that brought beer to the Arts District. During my visits this trip, almost every tap was on. I'm an IPA fan, and they had 5 of their own. I like a lot of their beer.

    CraftHause is a few minute walk south east. It's a tap room for the brewery. Food is available at a restaurant across the street. They have around a couple dozen of their own taps. Once again I am not trying to recreate what I put in my TR's, I'm just trying to give an overview. I only went here originally, because it was only a slight detour from Able Baker. I was pleasantly surprised, tried and liked a lot of their beer, and returned the next week. They have several IPA's including red, black, and Imperial. They have a coffee and a Baltic Porter, Saisons, Gose, pale, sour, wee heavy, stout, and a malt liquor. They currently list a new Belgian Quad that I would have loved to have tried. My favorites were a Sip for MY Homies Imperial IPA at 9.5% and For Keeps, a 7.6% Farmhouse. Their $2 samples are a great way to try their beers. They don't have a HH.

    Able Baker opened a month or so ago, but is already the busiest of the DT brewpubs. There is good reason for that. They don't do HH's, but do serve great in house food. They have a ton of taps and a lot of big beers. I love this place and would recommend the 5.5oz pours as an economical way to try these Imperial Browns, Stouts and IPA's, and Belgian Quad. About a dozen taps are above 8% with half those above 10%. . This place would be a standout in Seattle, Denver, Portland or Bend. It's worth the trip from Fremont. I'm especially impressed by their nuanced Imperial Stout collection, but they have over 30 taps. I'm sure that you can find something that you like there and like a lot.

    My last trip down to the Art's District, I met a guy who decided to do his downtown brew tour in a day. DON'T DO THAT! After Tenaya, MSS, Chicago Brewing, and Banger, he couldn't even remember what he had drunk by the time I met him at Hop Nuts. My first 3 pub Arts District tour, I tried at least 20 beers. Most of us could happily do a full night of beer drinking at any of these places.The Casino places are a bit limited in their selection, but the 5 non casino places each have an impressive array.

    So I'm done with the thread. I know that there is plenty of other bars around, but I don't drink at them. Feel free to add to or correct what I've reported, and please add your own favorite places.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
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  4. AyDee

    AyDee is getting too old for this

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    I'll just fill in with my personal tastes:
    MSS: tried the carlsbad last trip, a little to strong :)eek:) for all nighters, my go to is the High Roller, because I know I can go all night and not mess up my betting too bad with that one.
    QQQQ: I need to investigate all this some time
    GG: I think you mentioned it in another report, it's hard enough to order a "Stone delicious IPA" - don't miss any part.(seems bottle option gone, just small tap glasses).. I tried to ask about the Xocoveza and the response was laughable. I recommend doing your own recon at the taps. Bartenders are generally great and helpfull.
    Cal: don't forget the Kirin draft at sports bar, nice waitresses can make it happen at tables.. Noodle house / redwood also have bottled Tsingtao, Asahi, Sapporo(?), if you're eating there- not available elsewhere AFAIK
    DTG: I just surrendered and had bottled Heineken and Coors light.
    D Vue: believe they had Moretti, an italian beer I have fond memories of, a while back
    Elco, kind of same as DTG, but ice cold drinkable and mighty fast getting to you once the waitress gets tipped.
     
    One mid trip night
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  5. Vegas Todd

    Vegas Todd Low-Roller

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    I miss the brewpub at the old Monte Carlo....
    I also miss The Holy Cow...
     
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  6. buttnugget

    buttnugget Tourist

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    When in the arts district try Three Sheets. They don't brew their own but have taps from all around Vegas. Their rooftop has great views. Downtown skip Banger Brewing and walk a bit farther to Eureka or Atomic for better selections.
     
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  7. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    Forget about protesting 6/5 blackjack.
    We need to focus on the travesty of 14 oz "pints." The menu says "pint" gawd damnit. You can't serve 14 oz and call it a pint!!!
     
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  8. gyosh1

    gyosh1 Tourist

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  9. Vegas Todd

    Vegas Todd Low-Roller

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    Everytime I'm Downtown, I always have the sampler at MMS.
     
  10. jimshan

    jimshan Tourist

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    looking forward to hitting Crafthouse tap rooms in December, have been to Hop Nuts and all the others you mentioned many times, as well as out to Henderson to hit all the breweries there. How close are Hop Nuts/Able Baker/Crafthouse to each other? Also, Atomic has a great selection of beers, one of the best in Vegas. the crowd can be a bit pretentious though!
     
  11. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    :drunk:
    You know they have little cups you can just ask to taste...over and over. :drunk:
     
    NY giants vs Cincinnati-- y not?
    The tax man cometh and i goeth.
  12. 1867

    1867 Tourist

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    Not aware of what the law is in the US / Nevada regarding this "under" serving ?
     
  13. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    My samplers are 14 oz.
    More than once I've gone "left to right" on the taps.
     
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  14. Big Tip

    Big Tip VIP Whale

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    That's what kills me about it. There ARE truth in menu laws that this practice so obviously violates.
     
  15. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    False advertising at best.
     
    NY giants vs Cincinnati-- y not?
    The tax man cometh and i goeth.
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  16. wasilla

    wasilla Low-Roller

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    I don't know that BHB actually advertises pint servings. Their glasses looked like pints, but the advertising I've seen just referred to them as "beers".
     
  17. gutshotSF

    gutshotSF Royal chaser and real-life long-distance runner

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    How bad is the Hugo's beer list? I am eating there on my trip next month. :p
     
    GG, Four Queens, South Point in Spring!
  18. Vegas Todd

    Vegas Todd Low-Roller

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    Yes, I know that. I will have one for their seasonal. As far as just drinking ''tastes'', I'll pass.
     
  19. Rhinoman79

    Rhinoman79 Tourist

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    Loved this posting. Wasilla, based on this and your trip reports, I think you should do a 3rd posting ... VP vs Beer. Compare casino beer offerings vs presence of decent paytables on floor with CW service and decent paytables on bartops (for the recrreational but odds-aware beer-drinking VP player). For example a casino with a lesser paytable but oustanding beer and service would surely rate higher than 99.98% paytables but where you're lucky to get served one beer a day by the CWs and it's Bud light only....
     
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  20. bluesdude

    bluesdude VIP Whale

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    @wasilla, I just wanted to add that GG currently has Founders Breakfast Stout on tap. (We just walked through there Thursday.) Also, just a comment on the Holo Holo bar tenders at the Cal, they have no idea what beer they are serving. I saw that they had a bottle of Space Dust on display so I asked for one. He had no clue what I was talking about. I had to walk to the other end of the bar to point it out and the he said that they were out of it except for the display. I have run into this before at this bar. If it isn't a domestic, forget about it.
     
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