Following the success of last year’s Las Vegas inaugural event, which attracted 2,500 beer lovers, the Great Vegas Festival of Beer returns to Tivoli Village. The second annual event is expected to attract around 3,500 guests thirsty to try over 150 of the finest brews from across the southwest. To accommodate the growing crowd, this year’s festival space will be nearly three times as large as last year’s. Tickets include a tasting glass and samples of beers from more than 40 breweries. A limited number of Brewer’s VIP Lounge tickets will also be available which include early entry at 4 p.m., food options and specialty pours not available to general admission guests. A portion of the night’s proceeds will benefit local area nonprofits, so drink up because it’s for a good cause. Guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Great Vegas Festival of Beer
440 South Rampart
Las Vegas, NV 89145
Date: Saturday April 21, 2012
Hours: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets: General admission advanced – $27, at the door – $37, VIP advanced – $37, at the door – $47
Not sure what to sample with so many options? Here are five breweries participating in this year’s event that can’t be passed by.
Joseph James Brewing Company
155 N Gibson Road
Henderson, NV 89014
Price: Tours cost $5 and include a commemorative tasting glass and many of the company’s fine offerings to taste
Hours: Only open for tours every third Saturday of the month at 1 p.m.
Southern Nevada’s only canned brewery, Joseph James Brewing Company will be pouring four of its year-round selections at the festival. Those featured include the JJ Craft American lager, Tahoe Blue pale ale, HopBox Imperial IPA and Red Fox Russian imperial stout. Additionally, keeping with the tradition the brewery started at last year’s festival, it will be pouring two beers that are exclusive to the event. The first is Cherry Poppin’ Blonde, a 7% ABV (alcohol by volume) blonde beer that has essences of graham cracker, whipped cream and cherry pie. The second is Baby J’s German Chocolate Cake, a 6.2% ABV stout that has flavors of coconut, pecans, chocolate and cream.
Big Dog’s Brewing Company
4543 N Rancho Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130
Price: Pints of beer cost between $4 and $5
Hours: Open 24/7
Las Vegas’ first brewpub, Big Dog’s Brewing Company began as a modest brewhouse on the Las Vegas Strip in 1993 before relocating to its current location in 2003. The brewery began rolling out taps around town for the first time in March and will have bottles available in stores by summer. Pours at this year’s event include Rebel Red, Tangerine Wit, Wonderdog Double IPA and the very hoppy Dirty Dog IPA.
Tenaya Creek Brewery
3101 N Tenaya Way
Las Vegas, NV 89128
Price: Pints of beer cost between $3 and $6
Hours: Daily – 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Originally a restaurant and brewery known for its freshly brewed craft beers, Tenaya Creek Brewery ceased kitchen operations in 2008 to focus solely on beer production. Its Tenaya Creek Pilsner won the Gold Medal at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival for best “European-style Pilsner.” Guests will be able to sample two of the brewery’s more popular selections, the Hop Ride India Pale Ale and Calico Brown Ale, at the Great Vegas Festival of Beer this year.
1400 Ramada Drive
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Price: Tasting flights are $6; tours are free
Hours: Tasting room open daily – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., tours available Fri and Sun – 11:30 a.m., 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. every half hour
Named Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year for an unprecedented third time at the Great American Beer Festival, California brewery Firestone Walker will be at the 2nd Annual Great Vegas Festival of Beer pouring several selections. Included at the booth will be the award-winning DBA (Double Barrel Ale), Pale 31 and Union Jack. Most recently, the DBA won the Gold Medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, San Diego International Beer Festival and L.A. County Fair. Pale 31 also won the Gold Medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, while Union Jack received the Bronze Medal at the 2011 European Beer Star and the Silver Metal at the 2011 Australian International Beer Awards.
Anchor Brewing Co.
1705 Mariposa St
San Francisco, CA 94107
Price: Tours are free
Hours: Tours available Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. by advance reservation only
America’s first craft brewery, with roots dating back to the California gold rush, San Francisco’s own Anchor Brewing Co. will be pouring four selections at this year’s festival, including a seasonal ale. Other pours will include Brekle’s Brown, a classic all-malt, single-hop brown ale and Liberty Ale, the first modern American IPA brewed after prohibition, not to mention the first modern American single-hop ale and dry-hopped ale. Rounding out this year’s festival selections is Anchor’s classic Anchor Steam Beer, made since 1896.
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When she’s not interviewing some of Hollywood’s biggest celebs, Heather Turk can often be found visiting some of Las Vegas’ most popular restaurants and spas for Examiner.com. She also covers the Las Vegas market for a variety of other media outlets, including Allegiant Air’s in-flight magazine, Sunseeker. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.