Since the last Great Vegas Festival of Beer in April of 2011, the perception of craft brew in Las Vegas has changed greatly. Once completely dominated by billion dollar conglomerates, more and more establishments on and off the Strip are selling beers brewed and sold by smaller local companies. Events like last weekend’s Brew’s Best Beer Festival held at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson and the upcoming Great Vegas Festival of Beer are bringing microbrewery-awareness to local and non-local beer drinkers alike. On April 21 from 5 PM – 9 PM, over 150 beers will be poured at Tivoli Village in Las Vegas, about 14 miles away from the tourists.
Bigger than 2011
Since last year’s festival sold out during presale, Motley Brews, the company that organizes the event, has add three times the space to meet the potential demand. Participants include breweries like: Firestone Walker Brewing Co., New Belgium Brewing, Knee Deep Brewing Co., North Coast Brewing Co., and Ballast Point Brewing Company.
Local Vegas breweries to pour include: Big Dog’s Brewing Company, Tenaya Creek Brewing, Chicago Brewing Company and Joseph James Brewing Co. The count might be small, but according to one of the organizers, Brian Chapin of Motley Brews, Las Vegas is on the verge of a craft beer explosion, “Those in the know can sense it. Local breweries will take a big part in shaping just how big craft beer explodes within the next five years. It’s all about educating the public and retail owners on the benefits of craft beer and making exciting beer that people like.” The evidence shows, just last month Tenaya Creek Brewing began statewide distribution in Arizona and Big Dog’s Brewing Company is in the middle of a 4,000 barrel expansion. “These developments are a testament to craft beers in Las Vegas,” Brian says.
This year’s event will feature a “Get Hopped Up” tent featuring a concentrated dose of hoppy beers. New this year is the Brewer’s Lounge VIP tickets, which includes early entry and foods and beers that are not available for general admission ticket holders.