What are you doing Friday, Oct. 18? It’s fall in Las Vegas—however fleeting—so you’re drinking beer. Formerly the Rock ’n’ Brew Festival, the Rock Star Beer Festival returns poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel with live music, DJs and more than 75 beers. 7 p.m., Oct. 18, $40, RockstarBeer.com.
The beer mecca that is Aces & Ales presents a Ballast Point Takeover, 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at the 3740 S. Nellis Blvd. location with head brewer Derek Kermode. Check out a full complement of 21 Ballast Point beers from Abandon Ship Smoked Lager to Victory at Sea. 436-7600, AcesAndAles.com.
Did you know that pigs like beer? Well, pork does, anyway. Get your fill of both at All-Star Cochon, a late night Asian port-tasting feast promoting heritage breed pigs, 6 p.m. October 20 Downtown at Commonwealth. Check out the Chinese, Szechuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese fare, and especially the head-to-head butcher demonstration. Now about that beer: In addition to all the locally-owned Labor Wines, Fernet Branca cocktails and the Perfect Manhattan bar, featuring Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Hirsch, Four Roses, Breckenridge Bourbon and Luxardo cherries, there’s Crispin Cider and five or six of Anchor Brewing Company’s top seasonals. That’s gonna be some (drunk) pig! 525 Fremont St., Cochon555.com.
Across town, Ogden’s Hops & Harvest gets in on the action with its first beer-pairing dinner featuring Las Vegas’ own Big Dog’s Brewing Co. on Oct. 22. The four-course affair kicks off with tray-passed hors d’oeuvres over Big Dog’s Imperial Pilsner and progresses through a blue cheese soufflé with Raspberry Wheat beer, Diver scallops with Peace Love and Hoppiness, and grilled prime rib eye with Red Hydrant Ale. The season demands that this be capped off with pumpkin doughnuts and Spiced Pumpkin Cask Ale. $75, 6:30 p.m., 476-3964 HopsAndHarvestLV.com.
Grape Street Café, Wine Bar & Cellar wraps up Oktoberfest with a Brooklyn Brewery beer-pairing dinner Oct. 29. Executive chef John McKibben’s four-course affair begins with roasted buffalo shrimp paired with Sorachi Ace, continues through cheese and beer soup with Local 1. The entrée hits a high note with braised hoisin-porter short ribs with Local 2, and concludes after chocolate stout cake and a cherry lambic from Lindemans. 6 p.m. $55, 7501 W. Lake Mead Blvd., 228-9463, GrapeStreetVegas.com.
As much as the Life Is Beautiful Festival revolves around music and food, a great deal of energy has been put into creating a robust, elevated beverage scene, as well. Beer will play center-stage along with spirits and wine in the Alchemy Garden, a specialty concessionaire, with 18 beer producers presenting higher-end options for $7-$15—a nice alternative to what the standard concessions stands will have on hand. We’re talking Ballast Point, here, people. And Green Flash! Noon-midnight Oct. 26, noon-11 p.m. Oct. 27, LifeIsBeautifulFestival.com.