Homer Simpson had it right, didn't he? Beer is delicious, and the popularity of the nectar of the gods has taken off in a big way over the past five years with the onset of the craft beer revolution. Today, it feels like you're more likely to find someone drinking a craft brew than you are a Bud Light. Which is good, because Bud Light is mostly terrible.
We are here for those of you who appreciate a beer that you probably can't find in your local gas station. This is our look at the best of the Las Vegas craft beer scene, from local breweries to great bars with plenty of taps.
Banger Brewing: They're one of the newest additions to the Vegas beer scene, but they're also one of the best. Located on Fremont Street right near Las Vegas Boulevard, Banger Brewing is a small brewery that features a selection of their own beers, plus a rotating selection of handles from other craft breweries.
But you'll want to steer clear of the other breweries, because Banger's beers are where it's at. It's a small operation, and they aren't afraid to experiment, which means you get the chance to try out some very unique and interesting brews. Our favorite is the jalapeno hefeweizen; it isn't hot like most pepper beers, but still has a delicious jalapeno taste.
We also recommend the Van Damme, a Belgian golden with what tasted like a hint of banana. It's a strong one, though, and drinks easy; you have to watch out, or that 7.3% will sneak up on you.
Tenaya Creek Brewing: Along with Joseph James, Tenaya Creek is one of the more popular and well-known breweries in Vegas. But they also feature a brew pub, and Joseph James does not, so we include them on this list. Tenaya Creek is easy to find in stores around town, but you should pay a visit to the pub and try them from the tap. We recommend the God of Thunder, a dark and delicious baltic porter that checks in at 9% ABV and will put you on the floor faster than Thor's hammer.
Yardhouse: Yeah, it's a chain. But they do brew their own line of beers, and they are good. And Yardhouse's three Vegas locations ensure you can reach one fairly easily, no matter where you are.
Besides their own beers, Yardhouse also features roughly 30 taps of excellent craft brews, plus 5-6 taps of rare or seasonal beers. And the food menu is top-notch; we recommend the macaroni and cheese.
Burger Bar: The first of our final two selections that do not brew their own beers. But Burger Bar, which we've mentioned before, has an excellent selection of craft beer taps.
But the main reason they are mentioned here today: the Dogfish Head fridge. DFH is one of the most well-known craft breweries in the world. But despite their popularity, they never lose sight of what brought them to the dance: creative and interesting (and sometimes weird) beers. Burger Bar keeps a fridge dedicated solely to Dogfish Head beers, including bombers.
Chances are, if you're looking for a hard-to-find DFH beer--including the 18% ABV 120 Minute IPA--you'll find it here.
Aces and Ales: A&A doesn't brew their own stuff, either. But this is the best beer bar in Las Vegas, and for our money, it isn't even close. They have tons of taps, and the taps are changed almost daily. They have $5 pints during Happy Hour. And if you're looking for something ultra-rare, well, the ultra-rare fridge might help you find what you're looking for. A few weeks ago, we bought a bottle of Dogfish Head's Worldwide Stout...from 2011. And they have bombers of beers dating back to 2002, all available for a price if you're willing to pay.
What do you think?