Two Wild and Crafty Guys

Since 2009, Brian Chapin and Chris Grimes of (tag line: “Get hopped up!”) have sought to promote craft beer culture. “Our events are designed to expose people to the vast amount of beer styles that exist domestically and internationally,” Chapin says. To find out more about craft brewing, Vegas Seven tapped into their expertise.

What exactly is a “craft beer”?

Until fairly recently, craft breweries were synonymous with microbreweries: small, independent breweries that produced 15,000 barrels per year or less. Since many breweries have expanded far beyond this, most of us now use the term “craft beer” to reflect adhering to standards of excellence in the brewing process; quality ingredients are key. A true craft brewer always puts the quality of the beer first and never sets mass-production goals ahead of the beer recipe.

Why is there a surge in interest in craft brewing?

Craft beer popularity reflects the years of hard work by the brewers who produce it. It’s definitely here to stay.

How does Nevada stack up?

There are over 20 breweries in Nevada, 10 of which are in the Las Vegas area.

How is craft beer different from what I usually drink?

In previous years, much of the U.S. has been accustomed to drinking what we call “American adjunct lagers.” The wider availability and variations of styles such as stouts, ambers, brown ales, pale ales, barley wines, Belgians and many more offer a greater selection of flavors than what some would typically expect from a beer.

Are there rules for craft beer enjoyment?

Enjoying with good friends is always recommended. We always tell people to drink what they like. You can’t go wrong with that rule.

Have any advice for a newbie?

We’re always excited to introduce friends to craft beer. A lot of them go pretty deep into the styles and never turn back. When you’re at a brewery or brewpub, let the staff/brewer guide you. Almost all breweries will let you taste for free before you order a full pint. We do the same at our events, but instead of just a few beers you’re typically able to taste over 100 of them. We do not, however, advise trying to taste all 100 in one day. Trust us—we’ve made that mistake before, with not-so-great results.

Speaking of your events, when’s the next one?

It’s the Motley Brews’ 2010 Craft Beer Tailgate Festival on Nov. 14 [1-6 p.m.] at the Hard Rock Café on the Strip. There’ll be 70-plus craft beers, tailgate foods, NFL games. [Tickets, which go on sale Oct. 1, are $30 in advance at, and $35 at the door.]